note: for sake of comparison, i used phoneview to inspect the contents of the ipod.
On the first scan by PV, i noticed that the albums+photostream were properly listed
But on a subsequent second scan (re-attachming the ipod later on), suddenly even PV also lost any reference to the albumbs! (or the Photostream)
ps: a (small?) variable in this equation is that —due to a breakdown in my login keychain being fubar'd— prevented me from logging-in to my icloud account (and hence couldnt activate photostreaming) ... but i cant see how this 'network' issue should have any bearing upon how the data in a local device is or is not rendered!