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3 Great iPods to Purchase in 2024!

Hey, folks! Over the last few years, iPod modding has grown to be incredibly popular. There are tons of cool aftermarket parts and a thriving community of enthusiasts who keep these music players alive. The problem? Prices have gone up exponentially! The later iPod Classics have become extremely desirable, and now it's hard to get one at a compelling price. As a result, I have compiled this list of three iPod options that are often overlooked and offer excellent value.

Refurbished iPod Nanos

It's no secret that restoring iPod Nanos is nothing short of a nightmare. These devices are so compact that they require expert repair skills to even swap out the battery. Thankfully, people with these skills exist! Many people put new batteries in iPod Nanos and sell them on eBay for as low as $25. Quality varies, so you'll want to verify that the seller has good feedback. Do your homework, and you can get an excellent deal.

iPod Nano 2nd Generation Troubleshooting - iFixit

Aside from the risk associated with buying someone else's project, there is also the concern that the Nanos do not have a lot of storage. iTunes/Finder offers options to lower the quality of MP3s to fit more on the device, but many people prefer their music to be higher quality. My recommendation is to buy a Nano with at least 4 gigabytes of storage and convert your MP3s to a tolerable (to me, at least) 256 kbps. If you're willing to pay more, Apple sold later Nano models with up to 16 gigabytes of storage. However, the higher prices associated with these models make them a lot less appealing. The size of your music collection and how much music you want to store on it at once will likely determine the viability of using one of these refurbished Nanos.

Also, only the first and second-generation Nanos support the Rockbox custom firmware, so that's worth taking into consideration if that interests you.

iPod Mini

Since iPod modding took off, the iPod Mini has somehow managed to often be cheaper than the Classics, despite being an extremely nifty little device. I won't compare the two generations of Minis they released here, but I will say that my first generation Mini had no problem taking a 64-gigabyte flash mod. Tons of replacement parts are available for the iPod Mini, and they're not hard to open up if you're careful. It's easily my favorite iPod because of its simple and robust design.

iPod Mini - Wikipedia

Best of all, the iPod Mini can take a standard compact flash to SD adapter in place of its original hard drive! No conversion of the pins is necessary. This makes these iPods extremely inexpensive to mod.

By the way, be sure to search for online listings by referencing the model number of an iPod. For example, the iPod Mini has the model number A1051. Sometimes, sellers who don't know much about iPods will list iPods under their model number because they do not know the various different generations. You can often get a good deal!

iPod 4th Gen (Classic)

Finally, I must also recommend the 4th generation iPod. Specifically, the monochrome version. They're dirt cheap, cost virtually nothing to mod, and have an abundance of replacement parts available. This generation is rather chunky, but it more closely resembles the iPods most people recognize nowadays. Unlike earlier "classic" iPods, it does not have a freakish reliance on FireWire, and it also has the improved click wheel introduced with the Mini. In my opinion, it's a good balance of old and "new."

Apple IPod (40GB Review: Apple IPod (40GB CNET, 50% OFF

So, if portability is not your main concern, the monochrome 4th gen iPod is an excellent choice.

Final Remarks

It's never been a better time to explore the wonderful world of iPods! They're not as cheap as they used to be, but I know that I've found iPods to be a very cool creative outlet over the years. With this in mind, I hope you found this list helpful, and thanks for reading. Rock on, y'all.


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