Add A Flash Drive To An iPod

Before the iPhone, before the iPad, there was the iPod. The iPod put Apple on the map. Of all the iterations of the iPod the very best sounding iPods are the 4th and 5th generation iPods that contain the Wolfson Digital to Analog Converters (DAC).

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Yep, after all these years they still work like champs but there are two problems. By now the batteries are probably shot and they have old mechanical hard drives in them. In fact my 4th generation iPod’s hard drive started clicking.

The good news is you can remove the old hard drives and replace them with flash card adapters. The 4th generation fix isn’t as polished as the 5th generations flash drives but it works and it’s very inexpensive.

What you need is a CF to 50 Pin 1.8 IDE Adapter. you can get it here for about $5. Slap a CF card in it, open the iPod, remove the hard drive and just add the adapter and CF card. Really good directions can be found here.

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CF to 50 Pin 1.8 IDE Adapter. Dolgix 64GB CF Card $50

Without a doubt getting a 5th generation iPod and swapping to a flash drive is the best solution because someone makes an adapter that fits marvelously and you can also use a CF to SD card adapter for blazing speeds. How about an iPod with 256 GB of storage? Amazing. Here’s the adapter. And you can buy it from here:



This is NOT my picture. I ripped it off but you can plainly see how perfect the adapter fits and with no danger of shorting anything on the iPod’s logic board.

Slap a CF card in here and you are done. Amazing fit. Your battery will last a LOT longer because it doesn’t have to power the mechanical hard drive, and your device will work a lot faster as well. And the iPod is MUCH lighter now because of that missing mechanical hard drive.

Now that you have a 64 or 128 or even 256 GB storage capacity you have the space to download high rez audio files such as FLAC or Apple Lossless files. To play your FLAC files, which I personally think sound best you need to install a special firmware called Rockbox.


Rockbox also gives you a lot more user control over pretty much anything. And it keeps your Apple firmware. You can dual boot into either Operating System. In another tutorial I’ll explain how to install Rockbox. It wasn’t all fun and games.