Saturday, December 15, 2007

What to Do with a Dead iPod

Getting a new iPod for Christmas? Don't throw out your old one, there are plenty of ways to keep it going for longer.

Tom Whitwell

What happens when an iPod gets old? Apple boss Steve Jobs has said, “If you always want the latest and greatest, then you have to buy a new iPod at least once a year,” so you might already have a few littering your sock drawer.

Sell it: Brett Mosley buys any iPod in any condition. His website (previously offers prices on any iPod – from $2.40 for a first-generation iPod which has been run over, to $350 for a new, working iPhone. If they’re not fixable, he strips them for components and spare parts. He makes money, but also has an environmental mission. He says “We’re building a sanctuary for electronics from around the globe.” Beyond The Pod offer a similar service for more recent iPods. You might get a better price from eBay, but these one-stop services are less hassle.

Fix it: Most dead iPods have faulty batteries or hard drives. Sites like iFixit have detailed visual instructions about how to open (and hopefully close) the case and replace various components. You can buy batteries on eBay for less than £5 (just search for 'iPod battery', and find out which generation iPod you have). Hard drives are more expensive (£20-£50) and slightly fiddlier to fit, but it's still a relatively simple DIY job - there's no soldering involved. And if your iPod is dead already, you've nothing to lose, right?

Hack it: If your old iPod works, but you’ve replaced it with a shiny new one, don’t throw it out. Using Encyclopodia, you can turn it into a portable version of Wikipedia. Rockbox is a free alternative operating system for the iPod and various other Mp3 players. It adds lots of new functions, including the ability to play arcade games such as Doom. iDoom is another version of the same game, which uses iPodLinux - a completely new desktop-style operating system for the iPod.