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I recently purchased an iPod Mini from Amazon for about 35 dollars including shipping. It had been completely refurbished, new HDD, battery, shell and click wheel. I figured, what the hell, it's cheap and I always liked the iPod Mini design.

I have been playing around with it for a few days, and I found the hard drive to be somewhat slow when switching songs and that. But before I purchased the Mini, I had found an article on the internet about swapping it for a compact flash card (same pinout on the board, so no soldering or new adapter required, just plug n play.).

The person who did the initial swap, only used a 4gb at first. Then he got an 8gb, and then finally a 16gb. I thought, 16GB is awesome. 4 times the storage, no moving parts, possibility of better battery life? What the hell, I'll do it.

I got to the local computer place by my house and they had a 32gb card in stock, for less than 100 dollars. So I picked it up, whats the worst that can happen? It doesn't work? I take it back and get another company, no big deal.

Before I left the house, I had taken my Mini apart (Bit of a trick, but if you have a guitar pick or something thats plastic to pry the top and bottom off, its relatively easy). I tried my old 1GB CF Sandisk card and lo-and-behold it worked exactly as the article described. I put some music on it, played around for a bit and then headed to the store. When I got home, I popped the 32gb card in and fired it up. iTunes recognized the card and loaded the firmware on to it. Only problem though, was the iPod and iTunes both reported 936mb total. The same size as the 1gb card showed. So I had to take the card out, delete the partitions with the XP setup disc and then format the card in Windows to get itunes to recognize the entire 32gb. My guess is the card doesnt come pre-partitioned, so iTunes just used the last physical size.

Now I have a 32GB iPod Mini without any moving parts and most likely better battery life.

Heres a final conclusion pro/con table.


Faster when playing music and skipping ahead

Longer battery life (no moving parts to spin up)

Increased capacity

Increased ruggedness as the drive is now solid state

Relatively inexpensive because of recent flash prices dropping


Not as fast as microdrive, however certain flash cards are faster than others

Hard to take apart the iPod

Full size iPods have upwards of 100gb hard drives, CF still limited to around 32gb

Price per GB compared to HDD is higher

I took some pictures for those who are like me and just like to see pictures of declothed hardware :)


Closeup of the display when the iPod is opened.


Mini with new CF card installed.


Mini with new CF card installed and old Microdrive in its case.


The iPod is all back together and at the About screen it shows 30.1gb Total.

Edited by cygnus
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Thanks cygnus :D i already have iPod (yeah it was so f**ing expensive in my country too, Gosh Darn) but will may consider to buy the mini version sometime in the future since it's been much cheaper than the conventional ones. At least i'll recommend it to my other friends too again thanks alot :thumbsup_anim:

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