Step 1: The Acquisition and Idea
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.
Step 2: Software Handling
Step 3: Enabling Disk Use
Step 4: Files!
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. In order to recover song files from a broken iPod, try searching versiontracker for a program to help you with that on your computer.
Step 5: The Battery and Hardware
Step 6: Casing
I decided that using a metal case without any inner lining might make unwanted and possibly device-ruining connections on the circuit board. That eliminated a soda can case.
Originally, as you can see in the photos, I used a simple cardboard case scotch taped together to hold the device. It did the trick, but I kept having to cut the scotch tape to show off my handiwork. Too much work.
I finally discovered that an Orbit gum case is precisely the right size for a stripped down mini. It's flexible. It opens easily, but can be taped shut to prevent accidental slippage. It even comes in different colors similar to the mini's original casing, and your friends like you even more when you inexplicably give away an entire pack of gum. All in all pretty sweet. Just make sure no one throws it away thinking it's a regular pack of gum. Maybe that's what happened to mine...