HolidayBuyer's Guide

iPod surgery in a flash

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

Make Magazine spotted the most recent efforts of Mark Hoekstra, who posted his tips on geektechnique.org. 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 wait, check out the tips. You probably don't want to make this your first modding project; Hoekstra has already published a how-to on turning an iPod Mini into a flash-based iPod.

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