Afio makes cpio-format archives. It deals somewhat gracefully with input data corruption, supports multi-volume archives during interactive operation, and can make compressed archives that are much safer than compressed tar or cpio archives. Afio is best used as an `archive engine' in a backup script.
Good link. What seems to be happening is that the short legal text in original 1985 license is not considered good/clear enough anymore to declare that the software is 'free' by several 2008 definitions of free. This is leading to a reluctance to include it in distros. A shame really as the intent to allow distribution is clearly there in the license text.
I just updated the license tags on the freshmeat page (which seem to have been derived from the .lsm file originally) to avoid confusion about the license status of the package.
Re: automated mtx integration?
I think that the afio -H option is the option you are looking for.
If -H does not do what you want, please clarify.