Potential iPod Classic purchase

Discussion in 'iPod' started by barcode00, Dec 29, 2016.

  1. barcode00 macrumors member

    Dec 25, 2010
    I'm considering a purchase of an iPod Classic, 6th Gen -- one that has been refurbished with flash memory, and which potentially has greater capacity than the stock max of 160GB when they were discontinued.

    Does anyone have any knowledge of how such a refurbishment might fair?
  2. kingtj macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2003
    Brunswick, MD
    My experience with the iPod Classics is that they generally keep on going and going, other than their batteries wearing out and their hard drives failing.

    The upgrade kits out there that convert them to using flash storage are clever, and a good idea. But most of them have you use an SD (or SDXC) card for the storage media. That means the quality of the card itself determines the long-term reliability there.

    I believe the firmware in the 6th. generation 160GB Classics is limited in how much drive space it can actually see, though. You might not be able to use much more than 180GB or so of the total amount of space on a given SD card, unless you also do one of the "hacks" that re-flashes the iPod Classic to use alternate software (usually a program called RockBox). I've heard good things about the RockBox software project .... but I'd also prefer my iPod Classic to run just the way Apple originally designed it. So not sure I'd be willing to do all of that just to add capacity to one.

  3. barcode00 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 25, 2010
    Thank you for the response, @kingtj. I hadn't considered those points.

    Anyone: Is there any reason one of these refurbished iPod Classic models - one with SDXC storage - may only be compatiable with iTunes through Windows PC, not Mac OS? From my limited research into this, I understand the new storage medium needs to be formatted.
  4. chscag macrumors 68020


    Feb 17, 2008
    Fort Worth, Texas
    You can format it either way. If the refurbished classic comes with a Windows formatted SDXC, just attach it to your Mac and run iTunes. You can then re-format it for your Mac. I've done that and it works.
  5. noodles5666 macrumors regular

    Aug 27, 2010
    6th Gen will need to use the Rockbox OS in order to go over the 128GB limitation.
  6. Ipod Collector 2, Jan 7, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2017

    Ipod Collector 2 macrumors member

    Ipod Collector 2

    Aug 16, 2015
    Hey, did you purchase your classic yet? If not, let me know if you'd like, I have some info
    you might want to hear. I've built many modded classics in my time. I have many pleased
    co-workers where I've modded their classics back to life. I totally prefer the SSD (mSATA
    solid state drive) route versus the SD route the above poster mentioned. It's all PNP, plug
    and play. Install all necessary hardware for the type of build you want, plug it into your
    computer, restore through itunes and you are ready to load it up.

    I just had a co-worker friend of mine that owns a 7th gen 120gb classic that was all original, where he dropped his ipod on the floor, about a 4 foot fall. It was in a case so cosmetically it was saved, but the shock of the fall caused the hard drive to crash. He brought it to me with a tear in his eye stating he dropped it and now it won't boot back up again. I told him it's now time to convert it to SSD. He was like whaaat? LOL, but I explained exactly what I could do to it and he'd back to jammin' in no time at all. I used this adapter board right here:


    I believe, as mentioned on this above page, that the only down side to SSD is that they
    use a bit more power consumption. Depending on what size memory you want to use,
    ie. 128gb, 256gb, the higher you go the more power the SSD will consume. I used a
    128gb Samsung mSATA SSD for his install, along with this board and also installed a new 850mah battery. The battery is the same size as the original, meaning that I was able
    to reuse his original backplate and headphone jack of the ipod. You can also use a 256gb
    or higher SSD card, but I'd also go with a bigger battery, in which they have a 2000mah
    and 3000mah battery. The only kicker to this is that the thicker back plate from the 6th
    gen 160gb classic model would have to be used in order to accommodate the bigger
    battery. The headphone jack from the thick backplate 6th gen would also have to be

    Anyhoo, I converted his ipod to a 128gb SSD drive about 2 months ago. I had a little bit
    of time on my hands the same day he gave it to me to get it done. Gave it back to him
    the next day, battery completely charged, ipod up and running, and told him to take it
    home, restore through itunes and load it back up. He said it took around 45 minutes to
    load 9800 songs onto it. He stated that he had to reload his old ipod before and it took
    well over 2 hours to load the same amount of songs onto it. He was impressed by how
    much faster it was with the SSD drive in it. He also stated that the battery life was much,
    much better, but since the old battery was almost 10 years old that this wouldn't be
    anything to compare it with. Heck, I even went as far as telling him that as long as you
    take care of it that he should be good to go for the next 10 years with it, and even then
    the only problem it should encounter would be this new batter going dead. Oh, and not to
    mention the ipod is also much lighter with the new SSD installed, versus old hard drive.

    But if you haven't made a choice to purchase one as of yet, let me know if you'd like
    and I could walk you through the best route to take. I could also build you a brand
    new modded ipod myself, with different color options and all, if you were interested....

    I'll also post a pic of said ipod. On the left is the old hard drive. On the right side you'll
    see the new hardware: iFlash adapter board, SSD card installed onto adapter board and
    the new battery. I reused his old backplate and headphone jack.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 7, 2017 ---
    Here is the pic:

    Left side is the old hard drive sitting inside the back plate.

    Right side is new iFlash Sata adapter board with SSD already installed on it, along
    with new 850mah battery. What you see is the backside of the battery. The brown
    label peels off to reveal 2 way tape, to stick battery right to the backplate on left
    side. If you look at top part of backplate you'll see the remnants of tape from old battery.
    Oh, and I mentioned that I used a Samsung SSD, I take that back, it was a Lite-On branded
    SSD drive, which is basically made by Toshiba. These are the 3 that I have used with
    absolutely no issues whatsoever. Samsung. Toshiba or Lite-on. All 3 are great boards to
    use for this type of application. 20161201_105309.jpg
  7. Bart Kela Suspended

    Bart Kela

    Oct 12, 2016
    Why do you claim that?

    The 6th generation iPod Classic shipped with a 160GB drive. I have one and mine is most definitely not running the Rockbox OS.
  8. barcode00 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 25, 2010
    Hello, thanks for your reply. It was very useful.
    No, I haven't purchased anything yet, but I'm still keen to get my hands on a Classic in some form. I've spent these few weeks just researching and looking at sellers on eBay.

    Think I prefer the mSATA route too.

    Love the picture you posted!
  9. Ipod Collector 2 macrumors member

    Ipod Collector 2

    Aug 16, 2015
    When you "mod" any motherboard from a 6th gen 80gb, 6th gen 160gb or 7th gen 120gg, (with the
    exception of the 6th 160gb model, but ONLY when using original hard drive), each of these mb's has
    a 128gb memory limitation built into them when using them with itunes. I've already tried to connect
    a 256gb ssd msata to a 6th gen mb and sure enough, it only recognized 127gb's out of the total 256.

    I don't know what the exact definition of it is, having brain farts right now, but this info is most
    definitely true when hardware modding any of these models if you plan on using itunes as your
    default program to sync ipod. I've only used an older version of Rockbox years ago, but that was
    ages ago where I don't remember a thing about that program. I believe I still have the ipod it's
    loaded onto, I'll have to dig it out sometime and mess with it. Hope this bit of info helps though.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 9, 2017 ---
    Here's some more pics to possibly tickle your fancy. I don't know if you like any of the gold colored
    faceplates/backplates they have available, but here's a couple I built a couple years ago now.
    I originally wanted to do gold faceplate/backplate style ipods with a red clickwheel and gold center
    button, so I built around 10 of those. I opted to use a thick style gold backplate to accommodate
    a 2000mah battery, powering a 256gb Samsung SSD connected to a Tarken iFlash SSD adapter

    I also took a moment to test one of these batteries in the first one that I built. I loaded the ipod
    up with around 10k tracks and gave the battery a full charge. I hooked up a pair of headphones,
    set it at 2/3's volume, put ipod on shuffle mode and timed it from a full charge to completely
    dead, where the ipod literally shuts off itself, and I hit well over 100 hours of continuous play
    on one charge. Needless to say I was quite impressed. I have a couple of co-workers who are
    some proud owners of my builds, still using them to this day, (not too long, around 2 years now)
    but all of them are not only working absolutely flawlessly for them, but some have noted that
    they've gone over 3 weeks on a single charge. I believe complete charge time is around 5 hours.
    Not too shabby for close to and/or over 100 hours worth of playtime on one charge.

    But anyhoo, if you ever have any questions, shoot me a reply or message me if you'd like.
    I'm of any help you may need in your decision. If you are at all handy and have some good
    steady hands you could even build one yourself. A majority of it is all modular plug and play
    type connections. There are very few raw "mods" that need to be done in order build one
    yourself if you were at all possibly inclined.


    If you went the SSD route, (I personally also prefer) you simply cannot go wrong with a
    Tarken iFlash SSD adapter board. I've never had a problem with any of them. I've used
    around 40 of them so far from him.

    SSD boards that I've used without issue, in this order: Samsung, Toshiba, Lite-on (Toshiba)

    Depending on how much memory you'd like to get with it, here's what I've done thus far
    using Tarken's adapter boards. If you were only looking at 64gb or 128gb worth of memory
    you can use a thin backplate with a 850mah battery that'll give you around 12 hours playtime.

    If you wanted to 256gb or higher, you'd most definitely want one that has a thick backplate
    with at least a 1900mah battery. If you were to build one yourself, make sure that you get
    a thick backplate headphone jack/hold switch to go with it. It's longer for the thicker case.

    The higher you go in memory the more chips/memory banks you have on the SSD to "fire up",
    thus requiring more power, which is especially important when it comes to syncing the ipod.
    Apple actually has a cable that I use constantly in applications such as this with my classics.
    It's a 30pin head that splits into 2 cables, a USB cable and a Firewire cable. You'd need a
    firewire charger though, but what it does is it keeps the ipod powered on through the firewire
    connection while you are syncing the ipod through the usb connection. You can, as far as I
    believe, only do this on the classic models. Nonetheless, a definite cable worth owning for
    what I do, you know?

    Alright, sorry for the book. Here's some pics to check out if you'd like. I'm currently using
    the see-through model. It's originally an 80gb 5.5 gen motherboard that I have modded,
    but I'm only using a simple (generic) SSD adapter board and a samsung branded drive.
    It works great, but the adapter board maintains no memory. It runs like basically booting
    up a computer if I shut it off for more than 2 days. I have to wait around 30-40 seconds
    for it to load, but other than the boot-up time it's been working flawlessly for around 2
    years now too.. I've dropped it twice already though, glad I've had it in a case....

    The other classics you'll see are builds that I've done. These are originally 7th gen 160gb
    models that have been modded to a Samsung 256 SSD, Tarken iFlash SSD adapter, thick
    gold U2 backplate to accommodate a 1900mah battery. All parts I used are brand new
    including the front plate, back plate, headphone jack/hold switch, clickwheel and center
    button, to name a few. I use the original motherboard (of course) and the LCD screen
    if there are no visible blemishes in it.

    20150220_160344_LLS (1).jpg 20150220_160344_LLS (1).jpg 20150216_013058.jpg 20150213_023551_LLS.jpg 20150213_023633_LLS.jpg 20150213_023402_LLS.jpg 20150228_190440.jpg 20161209_024728.jpg 20150213_023633_LLS.jpg 20161209_024728.jpg 20150228_190412.jpg Tarkan Flash Sata Adapter Card.JPG
  10. barcode00 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 25, 2010
    What is the difference between the 7th and 6th Generation iPod Classic/Video? (Does the 7G even exist?)
  11. chibiterasu, Jan 10, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017

    chibiterasu macrumors 6502


    Apr 5, 2012
    London, The United Kingdom
    Yes they do exist but people get confused.

    Right lets's clear this up, the 6th gen iPod was introduced as the iPod classic came in 80gb thin (MB029) and 160gb thick (MB145) , there was then a 1st revision more commonly know as the 6.5 which is a 120gb thin (MB565) all of these iPods are limited to are limited to LBA28 addressing by Apple hence the 128gb limit. Apple probably had 2 partitions on the thick 160gb but has written the software to see it as one drive. IT IS ONLY the 2nd revision 160gb thin (MC297) or more commonly know as the 7th generation which has LBA48 enabling it to address drives larger than 128gb when using iTunes.
  12. Classic160 macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2016
    Great White North
    Absolutely correct. Barcode00, if you haven't bought your Classic yet, I would strongly recommend seeking out that last model of Classic that came out in September 2009.

    There is lots of info here on how to tell the different 160gb models apart. Basically the model without the 128gb limitation is thinner (0.41 inches) and lighter (4.9 ounces) than the 6th gen (0.53 inches / 5.7 ounces). The model numbers etched into the back plate are MC293 for the silver one and MC297 for the black one.

    SDXC works fine on Mac. Just reformat to FAT32 with disk utility and you're good to go. Cheers!
  13. barcode00 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 25, 2010
    Thanks. I'm still waiting and looking, but that's the model I am searching for.

    I would not be against performing any upgrade(s) myself -- though it seems these models are notorious for their difficulty in opening. For that reason, I'm looking at both refurbished models and used.
  14. Classic160 macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2016
    Great White North
    Good plan. Looks like Ipod Collector 2 has lots of interesting options should you decide to go that way.
  15. Ipod Collector 2 macrumors member

    Ipod Collector 2

    Aug 16, 2015
    I would have helped him in the right direction for the "pry tools" used to open the classics but the
    seller on ebay I bought a couple of sets from seems to be sold out of the ones I got, which I'd
    recommend to anybody. The backplates are still difficult to open, even with the right tools.
    Having plenty of patience while opening them is a must! I've learned this after some time.

    I'd most definitely be willing to help barcode out if he ever needed it. I can build them one to
    any of their desires and even be able to keep the price competitive in the process. I have a
    majority of the parts already in stock to probably make around 20 modded classics right now.

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