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Discussion Starter #1
All:
Since some of you folks like trailing edge technology, I thought I should share something with all of you that I just finished.
1) My wife wanted a cheap MP3 player with a simple interface and her old 40GB IPOD just died. The thing was 12+ years old so it lived a good life. I tried using an SD adapter for this IPOD but the ZIF connector broke so I just tossed this device.

2) I tried convincing her to use a $7 pre-paid android phone I keep around as a Spotify streamer to access all the music we store on our home server but all of the music players are admittedly poor quality. There is an ipod classic clone SW but the SW would lock up when you tried accessing 45GB worth of music off the SD card.

3) I then discovered that an IPOD MINI (which shipped with a 4GB or 6GB CF sized HDD) could easily use a CF drive.
Upgrade Your iPod Mini With Flash Memory - No More Hard Drive!

A few missteps later, I had an IPOD Mini with a fresh battery and 64GB of storage for cheap.
Total Costs:
* IPOD Mini with bad battery from eBay (pics showed it powered on): $15
* Hitachi 64GB micro-SDXC card w/ SDcard adapter: $15 (on promo from Frys electronics; I've seen Samsung cards for $12.99 as well)
* New battery from eBay: $5
* Replacement Control disc: $10 (my mistake, I broke the one that came with the IPOD)
* SDXC to CF adapter: $20 (I paid retail locally but there are some for $7-10 on eBay).
My cost was $65 but you could easily do this for $45 even if you didn't have some of the parts laying around (like the micro-SD card)

Other Tips:
1) Most micro-SDXC cards ship with SDXC adapters but you will need to seek out an SD to CF adapter that specifically supports SDXC cards. I had an old SDHC to CF card but I kept getting errors when trying to Restore IPOD. As a measure of desperation, I went out and paid $20 (aka full retail) for an SDXC to CF adapter just to see if that was the issue. It turns out that this was the problem. On eBay, there seem to be adapters in the $7-10 price range that say specifically they support up to 128GB SDXC cards.
2) Windows will try to format the 64GB SDXC card as exFAT so you need a tool that can format/partition the drive as FAT32. I first encountered this problem with a Raspberry Pi so this issue didn't stump me.

Ridgecrop Consultants Ltd...
3) It probably goes without saying but be VERY careful when you reinstall the metal retaining clip at the bottom of the IPOD Mini. Try to install the clip on the side that goes over the control dial's connector first. I stupidly used a small screwdriver and when that slipped off the retaining clip, it punched a hole in the ribbon. This was a $10 mistake (which money wise isn't a big deal but it's kinda annoying when I only paid $15 for the IPOD itself).

4) Minor annoyance: Test the IPOD with your PC while outside of the case to save you having to assemble/disassemble the unit multiple times. I was so excited that I got the SDXC card working that I forgot to test the headphone jack. This caused me to have to disassemble and reassmble the ipod one more time (further risking damaging the control disc ribbon cable again) because of my impatience.

Overall, if you are careful, this project really isn't that hard an IPOD MINIs have far more robust connectors than the stupid ZIF connectors inside a 4th or 5th gen IPOD.
 

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All:
Since some of you folks like trailing edge technology, I thought I should share something with all of you that I just finished.
1) My wife wanted a cheap MP3 player with a simple interface and her old 40GB IPOD just died. The thing was 12+ years old so it lived a good life. I tried using an SD adapter for this IPOD but the ZIF connector broke so I just tossed this device.

2) I tried convincing her to use a $7 pre-paid android phone I keep around as a Spotify streamer to access all the music we store on our home server but all of the music players are admittedly poor quality. There is an ipod classic clone SW but the SW would lock up when you tried accessing 45GB worth of music off the SD card.

3) I then discovered that an IPOD MINI (which shipped with a 4GB or 6GB CF sized HDD) could easily use a CF drive.
Upgrade Your iPod Mini With Flash Memory - No More Hard Drive!

A few missteps later, I had an IPOD Mini with a fresh battery and 64GB of storage for cheap.
Total Costs:
* IPOD Mini with bad battery from eBay (pics showed it powered on): $15
* Hitachi 64GB micro-SDXC card w/ SDcard adapter: $15 (on promo from Frys electronics; I've seen Samsung cards for $12.99 as well)
* New battery from eBay: $5
* Replacement Control disc: $10 (my mistake, I broke the one that came with the IPOD)
* SDXC to CF adapter: $20 (I paid retail locally but there are some for $7-10 on eBay).
My cost was $65 but you could easily do this for $45 even if you didn't have some of the parts laying around (like the micro-SD card)

Other Tips:
1) Most micro-SDXC cards ship with SDXC adapters but you will need to seek out an SD to CF adapter that specifically supports SDXC cards. I had an old SDHC to CF card but I kept getting errors when trying to Restore IPOD. As a measure of desperation, I went out and paid $20 (aka full retail) for an SDXC to CF adapter just to see if that was the issue. It turns out that this was the problem. On eBay, there seem to be adapters in the $7-10 price range that say specifically they support up to 128GB SDXC cards.
2) Windows will try to format the 64GB SDXC card as exFAT so you need a tool that can format/partition the drive as FAT32. I first encountered this problem with a Raspberry Pi so this issue didn't stump me.

Ridgecrop Consultants Ltd...
3) It probably goes without saying but be VERY careful when you reinstall the metal retaining clip at the bottom of the IPOD Mini. Try to install the clip on the side that goes over the control dial's connector first. I stupidly used a small screwdriver and when that slipped off the retaining clip, it punched a hole in the ribbon. This was a $10 mistake (which money wise isn't a big deal but it's kinda annoying when I only paid $15 for the IPOD itself).

4) Minor annoyance: Test the IPOD with your PC while outside of the case to save you having to assemble/disassemble the unit multiple times. I was so excited that I got the SDXC card working that I forgot to test the headphone jack. This caused me to have to disassemble and reassmble the ipod one more time (further risking damaging the control disc ribbon cable again) because of my impatience.

Overall, if you are careful, this project really isn't that hard an IPOD MINIs have far more robust connectors than the stupid ZIF connectors inside a 4th or 5th gen IPOD.
I have also seen Ipod classics upgraded with SSD's in them for more capacity, better battery life.
Nice job on the upgrade!
 

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