Reuse that old or broken iPod mini in a fresh, sweet, and slightly minty way. You might even be able to have the same color case!

Step 1: The Acquisition and Idea

Maybe you sat on your favorite iPod and broke the screen. Maybe the case got scratched and smashed when you were chair jousting at 3 AM last weekend. Either way, you're out one sweet tunes machine, but still have an excellent data storage device.

I acquired this iPod mini from a friend. The screen was broken, and the buttons no longer functioned properly. He had actually removed most of the casing himself, therefore picture documentation is lacking in that department. Knowing about the iPod's file storage capability, the obvious option was to make a super sweet four gigabyte portable hard drive.
Could you not use the microdrive and a usb CF card reader instead?
LOL! Thats my current project. I just dismantled my ipod mini which a kid at school so kindly gave to me (woot to adam) and i am actually on newegg.com right now ordering a 4gb CF card. Umm, i may even go up to 8gb... it depends how much my next check is (: . When and if it works, i will post an instructable.
I dont get it, whats the point of using a cf card instead of the hard drive in the ipod, besides the fact that apple will no longer meddle with the files, in which case why wouldnt you just put your music on a flash drive seeing as that i pod has no controlls anyway? Forgive me if this is a stupid question.
Yes, the CF card will read exactly the same as the standard hard drive. As long as you installed the CF card and adapter properly, it should work.<br />
actually all u need to do is go under ur control panel and under folder options, check the box next to show hidden files
i plan on modding it a little...just ordered a box of broken ipods...hope they accept my request
must...............................get...................................mac..............................somehow.......................*puts tinfoil hat on*.................aaah...................cant.................escape...................the...........................feeling
ugh, artemis fowl joke. everyone at my school liked that book at one time, but i didn't ever like it.
. I wasnt doing an artemis fowl joke.I never read the book anyway.
oh. they use tinfoil hats in the book. sorry.
YAY, i like this idea to an extend. YAY
Redgerr, its best if you use a flat end screwdriver, and pry it open. worked for me. mine looks a little different on the inside. i guess its because its a 15 gig. huge harddrive! nice intructable! inspired me to finally figure out some thing to do with one of the 8 ipods ive won in the past 3 years.
GIMME ONE!....please...
he won't on account of your screen name!! creative infidel!!! lol
that's attractive
okay i made one of these last night with my ipod mini but i dont get how to take the case off! its really hard lol your instructable works great though :) thanks again
i just found a old mini my mom had and i think i might do this! awsome idea :O thanks!! :D
so is the scroll wheel and screen removed???
hey, im new to this whole "dismantling my expensive devices" thing, and im hoping my old mini will find a way to get broken any day now. Anyway, how do you go about opening the iPod?
first you have to pop of the TOP white peice. if you try to take it out the bottom it will rip off the headphone jack. Believe me i did that. Unscrew the top part from the case, pop the scrollwheel into the case and pull it out.
<ul class="curly"><li>the white ends, prolly with a small screwdriver like for watches, and the screws in side are really small.</li></ul>
you have to take off the ends. on the top there are screws that connect the "guts" to the shell. on the bottom you have to remove that metal piece and unplug the spin wheel and put the ipod up and out (you'll see what i mean when you open it up)
I got mine from a big guy who just tore it open. The mini's aluminum enclosure is basically a tube that the components slide into. You have to find some way to push the components out either towards the bottom or the top since the metal piece is seamless. I don't know specifics exactly as I wasn't there, and when I got the mini the enclosure was... not so together anymore.
That looks so cool! That is an awesome case, maybe an Altoid can, would work... Nice Job! ~Shifrin
I have a question -- will this still work if I use my old iPod mini, although it's battery is near-dead?
Yes, it should still work if you use the Firewire cable to connect to your computer. If you use USB it may not work, but it's worth a shot anyway if your iPod is completely dead otherwise.
"Please note that Apple did a good job of hiding the folder your music in kept in on your iPod. Enabling disk use alone will not allow you to move music imported by iTunes around in the Finder or outside of iTunes." Not realy, you just can't see it in finder but all the music is there. for you probably: /Volumes/Escape\ Pod/iPod_Control/Music/ They do mix it all up and give everything nonsensical names like: BBZL.mp3 but you can get all your songs off an iPod and back into iTunes with no extra tools. Just pop open 'Terminal' (Applications -> Utilities) and cp -R /Volumes/Escape\ Pod/iPod_Control/Music/ /Users/steve/Desktop/ (the paths might not be the same they depend on the name of your ipod and username.) Then when it finishes just import the folder 'Music' that poped up on you desktop into iTunes. Sorry windows users; I try to avoid that crappy os.
Definitely interesting and useful information. Do you know if the folder is just hidden or is it encrypted somehow? I imagine the path is the same or similar for Windows.
it's not encryped, and regular unix hidden files start with a . like .profile so it's not even realy hidden. finder hides all sorts of things it doesn't think you need to see. All my 'pods have the music randomly sorted into 50 directories F00 - F49 inside Music in addition to the weird names; but if the songs are mp3s they have standard id3 tags so any program that sorts or renames mp3s by id3 tags should be able to make sense of it. keep in mind that anything you bought off of itunes is encrypted and mp3 isn't the default 'import from cd' format for iTunes. /Volumes/Escape\ Pod/ would be the path for the 'root directory' of an iPod with the name 'Escape Pod' the \ is to escape the space so that bash doesn't think it's two seperate arguments. if you don't have spaces you don't need to worry about it. allso if you are typing a command or path to a file in 'Terminal' you only need to type the first few characters and press 'tab' it will compleate it for you. if it doesn't that means there were multiple matches pres 'tab' twice to see what they are. I imagine the path on windows would be similar but realy I'm more of a linux guy
Do you have any idea why the file names are changed and divided into folders like that? Would that sort of system make it easier for the iPod to find each song? Also, does iTunes tag each song with its name and artist and so on so that when you load songs from an iPod back onto the computer they have this information? It seems that would be the case due to the way iTunes tags the songs.
I have a friend who owns an Olympus m:robe 5GB m100 (not sure) and the music was just in the root directory on Windows, and I think apple puts them into F00-F49 folders or however is to browser music faster by using the XML library file that locates the music. Watch as when you play a song it does not instantly play, there is somewhat of a wait on it. It also may have something to do with how Mac does the iPod business with iTunes, although I am not a Mac user.
Yes, it is hidden. The way to find it is (I will use > when entering file levels) My computer>your iPod Then hit tools>folder options>view tab>then check the circle next to "show hidden files and folders" Click ok Back to the iPod you will see all sorts of different dimmed folders. Click on iPod_Control. Inside, go to music, I do believe (I am doing this all from memory, so these things might not be labeled exactly as I say.) Then hit search at the top>Music>your file name, but be sure to go into advanced options and tell it to search hidden files and folders, or it won't find anything. Then, hope your computer has a fast search, cause with my 30GB, this can take several minutes.
By the way, this way is for Win XP
With Windows, though, you can use a program called Ephpod 2, which was made as a hack when iPod wasn't able to be used on Windows. You open it, then select your iPod's drive, and then it shows you all your music. You can then select what you want and hit Ctrl+Alt+C and then select where you want the music to be copied to. It will then copy to the HDD. I have done this several times, no hassle.
/Volumes/Escape\ Pod/iPod_Control/Music/ ( part of file path only or code only?) is the terminal comand cp return or cp -R /Volumes/Escape\ Pod/iPod_Control/Music/ /Users/steve/Desktop/ then hit return?
I have an idea: How about you take out the hard drive. You'll notice it has a IDE connection. Attach it directly to your comp as a slave hard drive TADA!!!! you just put 30 GBs on your comp the easy way. Don't go into all that work with a gum box that gets thrown out. By putting it INSIDE your comp, you can't loose it
So, will you be able to remove the battery and have it work if you are using a USB cable?
No. The iPod will only function without a battery if you use a firewire cable.
USB provides power also, if you are using version 2.0. My iPod runs through USB and charges at the same time. No need for Firewire, for those of us with WINDOWS!!!!
The USB provides power, but the hard disk won't run on the power provided by the USB alone. If you use a firewire cable you can remove the battery from the device entirely, but with USB the drive won't run unless you have the battery included. There's an advantage of making things smaller without the battery, but obviously if you can't use USB there are an awful lot of computers you can't connect to.
You can even remove the 4gb hard drive and replace it with a compact flash card (any size) if you line the pins up right it works fine and use itunes to restore ipod and done! (Leave Comment If It Works For You Too)
iTunes only opens automatically, if your iPod is set that way. Just adding to your statement for all those that don't know :)
to see your ipod music, open up the "ipod root directory" and click on the menue tools>folder options>view> and click show hidden files and folders, then it shows all the music, it has a pretty strange lableing system so good luck adding music without itunes
A much simpler thing to do would be to just enable it for disk use and store txt. files on it, while still using it as an iPod
That's certainly an option. I use my other iPod in that manner, but since I used a broken mini to make this, a case and other steps became necessary. You can also store files besides txt on the iPod. Were you referring to the ability to put txt files in the "Notes" folder and read them on a working iPod?

About This Instructable


54 favorites


More by mrdspecs: Copper Wire Door Unlocking Tool Gum Drive
Add instructable to: