We’re here asking anyone thinking about ditching their older iPod to consider what it truly is—a super-slim, substantial storage device, from which you can do, well, just anything you’d do with a USB or external drive, with a convenient tiny screen and headphone jack attached. So here we’ve compiled some of our best tools for making the most of an older iPod below.
1. Full-Time Photo Frame
An app, for e.g LiveFrame, can turn your old iPad into an excellent digital photo frame. The digital photo frames of yesteryear were small, low-resolution, and a pain in the neck. But your iPad can deliver an excellent photo-frame experience, revolving through hundreds or even thousands of photos in a never-ending slideshow. LiveFrame displays photos from not just your photo library, but also your Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, and other accounts. It’s usually free of cost.
2. Make It a Flash Card Player
Whether you’re prepping for a presentation or cramming for a test, your iPod can be a more convenient way to carry your memory-boosting flashcards around than trying to carry the entire deck of 3x5s in your pocket. Any slide presentation maker that can export slides to picture files can create a folder that you simply sync up to your iPod. Your mileage will vary with your screen size and clarity, but for straight-up words, it’s a handy hack.
3. Load it up With Games
Apple’s iTunes store offers up games for both older video iPods and the newer iPod touch models, but if you’re just looking for a little airport time-killing, why pay for your games, or feel forced into an upgrade? Install iPod Linux on nearly any iPod, and you’ll be able to play games on your iPod for free. Rockbox also brings games onto your older music box, but the open-source Linux installation is a bit easier, and the games seem a bit more appealing.
4. Use it to Listen to Podcasts
iPod Touch is still one of the best sound delivery devices. You can use it to listen to podcasts in your garage and quickly lookup how-to manuals and videos via Wi-Fi when you are working on the bike or car without getting your new iDevice all greasy.
5. Kids Toy
Why even risk a toddler smashing your new iPhone or iPod when you can just hand them your old one? An iPod Touch is still a great device for games and movies and will keep young children entertained for hours. It obviously may not be running the latest version of iOS, but they won’t know the difference!
6. Replace The Battery
One of the biggest problems with MP3 players is battery health over the life of the device. If you’re an avid user, you can’t reasonably expect your battery to perform well beyond three years, particularly on older models. Perhaps poor battery life is the reason your old iPod ended up in a drawer in the first place? Theoretically, you can replace the battery on any model. However, it’s probably only worthwhile if you focus on the iPod Classic models—they had the longest manufacturing run and are thus the model people are most likely to have sitting around.
Be warned: while this is not an easy process, what do you have to lose? If you can’t fix it or you brick your iPod, at least you’ll have learned something. To get started, you’ll need a 1.5-inch putty knife, a metal spudger, a regular spudger, and plastic opening tools.
The replacement battery will cost between $10 and $20, depending on which model you have.