I hate to give up without a fight. When something breaks, I do my best to fix it before giving up on it for good. I also hate losing, especially when losing means having to pay Apple for a new iPod.
So when my beloved ipod mini, constant companion for the past four years and occasional gag post prop, died a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t mourn the loss and start to shop around for a brand new replacement. I looked at it as an opportunity to tear the thing apart and try to make it work again. A quick look at a few sites and I learned how I could build myself a new – and much bigger - ipod mini for under 50 bucks.
I know the mini is old, that a brand new 16GB Nano that has a colour screen and shoots video isn’t expensive, but so what? I don’t need a colour screen to read text, music videos have always bored me to hell, and you don’t need to shoot video with an iPod. Who thought that one up, anyway?
Besides, if you’re used to handling the mini, you’ll find the wafer-thin Nano much too light, its feel too flimsy.
Another great thing about the mini – besides its substantial heft, smooth hand feel and functional simplicity – is how easily it can be taken apart.
Using only the two screwdrivers – one to pry the ends off and the other to remove two tiny screws holding the guts to the outer frame – I had everything apart within five minutes.
I would go into lavish detail about how to do all that, including why you also need a hair dryer for the job, but that would simply be repeating what is already available on this easy-to-follow how-to video.
I could have replaced the old hard drive with a 32GB card, but since I only need it for music and podcasts, the huge size and extra expense would go to waste.
So I swapped the old 4GB hard drive for a 16GB compact flash, and threw in a new battery at the same time.
After formatting the new flash card and charging the battery, iTunes at first wouldn’t load onto it, but after a bit of iTunes tweaking and reformatting, it finally worked.
Sorry, Apple shareholders. Your company’s bottom line won’t get much help from me.