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iPod surgery in a flash

One enterprising engineer has figured out a way to turn his fourth-generation iPod, which uses a hard drive, into a flash-memory storage device.

Want an iPod Nano, but stuck with a fourth-generation player? One DIYer has figured out a way to remove his iPod's hard drive and replace it with with an adapter that can accommodate plug-in flash memory cards.

This iPod underwent radical surgery to use flash memory cards. Mark Hoekstra /

Make Magazine spotted the most recent efforts of Mark Hoekestra, who posted his tips on He took two iPods, a 40GB photo model and a 20GB regular model, and replaced the hard drives with a homemade adapter. After getting well-acquainted with his soldering iron, he produced a working iPod capable of storing songs on flash memory.

Flash memory is more expensive than a hard drive of equal storage capacity, but it has no moving parts, which makes it more reliable. Apple is expected to eventually over to flash as costs come down, but if you can't want, check out the tips. You probably don't want to make this your first modding project; Hoekestra has already published a how-to on turning an iPod Mini into a flash-based iPod.