iPod 5G to Classic

iPod 5G with iPod Classic front face plateAs with all Apple products, after a few years they get long in the tooth. My 5G iPod was introduced on October 12, 2005, and after a couple of years, it’s still working OK, even the original battery. It is a little beat up, so I decided to do a couple of things to “refresh” it.

You can change the interface of your 5G ipod to make it similar to the one on the iPod Classic. You can see it over at iPodWizard.net.

I also decided to replace the scratched front face plate. While looking on eBay, I saw that the iPod Classic aluminum front face plate had tabs that looked very similar to my 5G’s, so I bought one.

When I received it, I noticed that the tabs on the Classic face plate were not separated by a gap. I used a Dremel cutting disk to remove the material on the Classic face plate so the tabs resembled the ones on the 5G.

iPod Classic Face Plate

iPod 5G Face Plate

It looked like it was a drop-in fit after that, but when I did a test fit, the screw holes on the cover’s tabs didn’t reach down far enough to line up with the holes on the iPod’s frame. I used a round jeweler’s file to make the holes in the tabs a little oblong and then I was able to screw the cover to the frame.

iPod 5G frame

With the Classic face plate mounted on my 5G iPod, there is a little less than a 1/64″ (~.396mm) gap between the front face plate and the back plate. I may have been able to shorten the height of the Classic’s tabs to get it flush, but I didn’t bother. Also the click wheel is slightly above the front surface of the face plate, but not annoyingly so.

iPod Classic front face plate (L) and iPod 5G front face plate (R)

Finally, because the Classic front face plate is aluminum, it is now much more difficult to remove – it doesn’t flex as easily as the plastic one.

It seems like a worthwhile mod if you’re going to replace the front face plate anyway because the mat finish doesn’t show fingerprints like the plastic face plate and it’s less susceptible to scratches, unlike the plastic one.

iPod Classic Comes to the iPod Video

I first saw this story on digg.com.

iPod Classic

The guys (H3X, bounci.rabbit.123, vettefan, saXas, matthew98, supernatural, and xxDriveNxx) over at iPodwizard.net have re-written the 5G (fifth generation iPod) iPod’s firmware, so it looks like the new iPod Classic’s.

The new iPod Nano and iPod Classic have a new interface. While navigating through the menus, half of the screen is taken up by a floating image of album artwork.

One thing that’s missing on the 5G version of iPodWizard’s hack that the iPod Classic has is Coverflow. Also the images don’t float, like they do on the new iPods, but iPodWizard’s work is very cool, nonetheless.

When I first used the iPod Classic to iPod Video firmware hack, I had the problem of my iPod going into a “Boot Loop” – after the firmware was written, during the reboot, the Apple logo would disappear while the drive clicked and then cycled again.

My iPod (5G)

Putting the iPod into the disk mode by holding select and play allowed me to do a restore to the original (Apple) firmware. Then I downloaded a version of the firmware “without the boot loops.”

iPod Headphone Jack Repair

When I ride my bike, I only have one earphone in my ear, so I can hear the SUVs with drivers on the phone that are going to kill me. I rarely listen to my iPod in stereo. I listen mostly to podcasts, so I don’t need stereo. At the dentist the other day, where they offer you an iPod and a nitrous oxide/oxygen cocktail, I discovered my iPod was only working in one channel.

iPod with Video

My malfunctioning mono iPod had just passed the one year warranty date but I didn’t imagine that Apple would fix it for me anyway. I started taking the it apart, thinking there was some loose solder joint that I could heat up. I found the heaphone jack held in by two small screws. After removing them, flexing the cable restored the other channel, but I couldn’t see where the break in the circuit was. I had to replace the whole headphone jack – hold switch assembly.

I found one on eBay for $16.29 from a vendor named mayvillage. They sent the part very quickly and I had my iPod was working again. You can see printed on one of the flex cables, the Taiwanese Electronics manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, better known as Foxconn (OTC: HNHPF) – one of the large manufacturers for Apple and other US computer companies.

UPDATE July 8, 2011: After four years, the headphone jack on my iPod failed again. A quick eBay search for iPod 5G headphone jack turned up a replacement part that is even less expensive than it was four years ago. When you buy one, make sure you are buying a new part. It took me about 15 minutes to put in the assembly. If this post isn’t detailed enough for you, iFixit has the best Apple product repair instructions I’ve seen.

Betty Carter sounds so good.