Beyond the iPod classic

Trust me, I’m not a Apple fanboy at all! In fact I’m more of a Google fanboy. But I have always had a weakness for the iPod classic. Just the idea of having your entire music collection at just one press of the button. Fascinating! And then that sleek no-nonsense design and that click wheel?

But I always considered the price of the iPod classic a bit steep. 250-350 euro is a lot of money. Money that could be well spend on other nice things. And so I never gotten an iPod. Never… Until last month.

Yes, 10 years after the release of the last iPod classic I bought one! Of course not a new one. Even if someone would have had a brand new one it would be… well a classic. And so they probably also be sold for those “classic” prices. No instead I gotten a very well used secondhand one. So well used that it was full of scratches and a big dent in the back. But at least that gave me the opportunity to negotiate the price down to €40.

Ordering the parts

Once I received the iPod i started planning. Because I didn’t only want to replace the front and back side. No, I also wanted to replace the hard drive for an micro SD card. And as the micro SD card would be even smaller than the hard drive, I also wanted to try and fit in a bigger battery. And so I started searching online where i bought the following items:

And, to be able to protect it against any new scratches I also got myself: has multiple adaptor options. Besides the Quad MicroSD card they also have an (normal sized) Dual SD card adaptor, an Compact Flash adaptor and an mSata adaptor. The mSata adaptor is useful for getting a large storage capacity in a cost effective way. But it has the drawback that it isn’t energy efficient. And as the Compact Flash cards are expensive, that option was also a no go for me. The only real option for me where the SD card adaptors. And as I like the idea of a potential future expansion I eventually chose the quad MicroSD card adaptor (also it was only €2 more).

Putting it together

Well, first off all I needed to take the old casing apart of course. Luckily that was quite easy since the dent in the rear casing caused a slight gap in the side of the casing. This was my entry in. The gap was just big enough to get my flexible pry tool in. With the pry tool I managed to push back the retainer clips. With every clip that I pushed back the gap became wider until finally the back plate popped loose.

After disconnecting the battery wire I could fold away the back plate and access the internals of the Ipod. Now the fun could begin. The hard drive cable was only held by a plastic clip, after removing it the hard drive could be seperated. Since I also wanted to replace the front I had to remove the screws that hold the front plate to the structural frame. After removing 2 extra screws also the mainboard came loose from the frame. This was necessary to be able to replace the click wheel.

After transferring the headphone connector and the hold slider I could start putting the iPod back together. Putting it back together was quite simple. Just the reverse of taking it apart. I test fitted the iPod without the front plate first. This way I could make sure there would be enough space for the bigger battery. luckily it turned out to be a perfect fit. After hooking the iPod up to iTunes to recover the firmware, the iPod was ready for use.

The result

The end result is a super responsive iPod. While browsing through the cover art the covers load almost instantly. And besides the battery capacity being 5 times larger than the original one, there is also no hard drive anymore that consumes a lot of energy to spin up. Now I don’t use the iPod all day long. But in my use case I went from 3-4 days of usage to a whopping 21 days of usage on the first battery charge.

Are there better solutions? Yes, probably there are. But there is just something special about giving a second lease of life to a 10 year old product.

Posted in: Technology
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About Remco

Hi, I'm Remco and I'm the founder of Yosora. I'm a self taught web developer and a technology enthusiast with a passion for motorcycles. I have been a web entrepreneur, and since 2018 I'm working as a systems administrator. For my day job I administer Microsoft systems, but in my spare time I still prefer to work with Linux systems.

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