iPod Classic Hard Drive Upgrade to SSD

iPod Classic Hard Drive SSD Upgrade Medway, Kent, UK

Do you own an iPod classic or an iPod video? Is your iPod suffering from the dreaded red cross error? Why not revive your ageing iPod by upgrading to a brand new and lightning-fast Solid State Drive?

We will discuss the reasons why upgrading to an SSD solution for your iPod is a great idea if your an audio buff, the limitations of various iPod models and show you the best iPod SSD upgrade prices.

Many iPod Classic and Video owners replace the old mechanical drive in place of an SSD solution. Not only does an SSD speed up your iPod but battery life can be extended too! iPod operation is quiet with no vibration, humming or clicking and are more resistant to drops or knocks. There is also less delay in skipping and changing songs. There are a few SSD options to consider when upgrading your old iPod hard drive. These include:

  • mSATA (mini Serial Advanced Technology Attachment ) drives – Ideal for larger iPod storage upgrade but can suffer from Apple iPod red cross if the iPod battery drains to low.
  • 1.8″ ZIP (Zero Insertion Force) drives – Once a popular upgrade choice but now limited in size capacity 64GB, 128GB, 256GB.
  • CF (Compact Flash) cards – Again, now limited in capacity being 64GB, 128GB, 256GB and now becoming a more expensive upgrade solution.
  • SD (Secure Digital) cards – The best solution by far as higher capacity SD cards are now becoming cheaper. Supports 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB.

The best solution right now is SD cards. They offer good value for money, especially with higher capacity sizes, and read speeds compared to traditional mechanical drives. They don’t produce heat and they will not drain your iPod battery.

iPod SSD upgrade

How big can you go?

There is a maximum iTunes storage limit depending on your iPod model.

The iPod track limitation is an approximate number, with some users reporting either a slightly higher or lower amount of tracks that can be stored. The limit will also depend on your iTunes library and the amount of metadata stored within which include artist name, track name, genre, comments, album art, etc.

The track limits are a function of the iTunes database size and the memory (RAM) on the iPod motherboard, it is not a limitation of the SSD upgrade adapter.

Model DescriptionModel No.iTunes Storage Limit
5th Gen 30GbMA002 / MA146 / PA002 / PA146 ~20000 Tracks
5th Gen 60GbMA003 / MA147 / PA003 / PA147 ~50000 Tracks
5.5th Gen 30GbMA444 / MA446 / PA444 / PA446 / MA664 ~20000 Tracks
5.5th Gen 80GbMA448 / MA450 / PA448 / PA450 ~50000 Tracks
6th Gen 80GbMB029 / MB147 128Gb / ~50000 Tracks
6th Gen 160GbMB145 / MB150 / PB145 / PB150 128Gb / ~50000 Tracks
6.5th Gen 120GbMB565 / PB565 / MB562 / PB562 128Gb / ~50000 Tracks
7th Gen 160GbPC297 / MC297 / PC293 / MC293 ~50000 Tracks

The 6th Gen models (80GB/120GB/Thick 160GB) are limited to LBA28 addressing by Apple so these models will only show and use up to 128GB of the storage installed. The other iPod models have LBA48 addressing so do not have this limitation.

This LBA28 Limitation can be removed by replacing the iPod operating system with a 3rd party OS such as Rockbox. If you choose an SSD upgrade option larger than 128GB, we will automatically install Rockbox for free, unless you tell us not to but please bear in mind that your iPod 6th Gen (80GB/120GB/Thick 160GB) will only show 128GB.

Why fit a larger SSD drive to my iPod if I can’t fill it with more than 50000 Tracks?

The idea of fitting a larger SSD drive is so that audiophiles will store larger lossless tracks, resulting in a higher quality audio output. Lossy compression formats such as AAC and MP3 take up less storage space than standard CD audio does, but if you listen carefully you might notice that something is lost in translation. It’s usually the low-end and high-end frequencies that are sacrificed in the name of smaller file size.

You could opt for uncompressed audio, AIFF or WAV files that are an exact copy of the song on a CD but the files become so large (about 10MB per minute) that they make storage space a real concern.

That’s where lossless compression comes in. Lossless formats such as Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) and Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) are still larger than MP3 and AAC formats but they tilt the quality/size balance in favour of sound quality. In lossless compression, the codecs use algorithms that shrink the file size but allow the original to be reconstructed exactly. You end up with no quality loss and lossless files are 40%to 60% the size of uncompressed CD files (still a fair bit larger than lossy MP3 or AAC files, though).

SSD upgrade options

Your iPod is able to accommodate various upgrade drive options but we still recommend SD flashcards as the most economical and optimal solution.

2009 iPod Classic 160GB (7th Gen) A1238

  • mSATA supports 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
  • 1.8″ ZIF SSD supports 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
  • Recommended: SD card adaptors supports 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
  • Compact Flash card Adaptors supports 64GB, 128GB, 256GB

2007-2008 iPod Classic 80GB, 120GB, 160GB (6th Gen) A1238 – These models are limited to a maximum SSD capacity of 128GB due to the LBA28 Limitation. To overcome this limitation, a 3rd party Operating System needs to be installed. We recommend Rockbox.

  • mSATA supports 128GB
  • 1.8″ ZIF SSD supports 64GB, 128GB
  • Recommended: SD card adaptors supports 64GB, 128GB
  • Compact Flash card Adaptors supports 64GB, 128GB

To use more than 128GB in this model iPod, a 3rd party Operating System will need to be installed, replacing the default Apple Operating System. We recommend Rockbox. We will install this free of charge if you choose a larger than 128GB SSD upgrade option.

2005-2006 iPod Video 30GB, 60GB, 80GB (5th Gen) A1238

  • mSATA supports 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
  • 1.8″ ZIF SSD supports 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
  • Recommended: SD card adaptors supports 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
  • Compact Flash card Adaptors supports 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB

SSD upgrade prices

Prices are the same regardless of the generation of iPod and are based on exchanging your old hard drive for a lightning-fast SDXC memory card upgrade solution.

  • 32GB – £75
  • 64GB – £95
  • 128GB – £125
  • 256GB – £145 (will not work in iPod Classic 6th Gen 80GB, 120GB, 160GB without 3rd party RockBox OS installed)
  • 512GB – £175 (will not work in iPod Classic 6th Gen 80GB, 120GB, 160GB without 3rd party RockBox OS installed)
  • 1TB – £250 (will not work in iPod Classic 6th Gen 80GB, 120GB, 160GB without 3rd party RockBox OS installed)

What is RockBox and why would I want it?

Rockbox is a free and open-source software replacement for the OEM firmware in various forms of digital audio players with an original kernel.

If you are tired of trying to keep up with Apple’s new iPod releases, upgrade your old iPod with Rockbox. Rockbox allows you to upgrade your ageing iPod with new themes, fonts, games and more.

Rockbox is a replacement firmware for the iPod and many other devices. What the firmware does is extends the functionality and features of your current digital music player.

Rockbox will also overcome the 128GB LBA28 Limitation on the 2007-2008 6th Generation iPod Classic 80GB, 120GB, 160GB.

If you would like us to flash your iPod with Rockbox, we will charge a flat fee of £20, unless you are upgrading to SSD with us, then we will flash Rockbox for free if you wish us to do so.

iPod battery replacement

Why not replace your tired old iPod battery while we are upgrading your iPod to a super-fast SSD? iPod battery replacement prices are only valid when upgrading to an SSD drive.

iPod classic battery replacement

10.5mm Slim Models – we replace with a standard size battery for your iPod model.

  • iPod video 5th Generation 30GB – £30
  • iPod Classic 6th Generation 80GB – £30
  • iPod Classic 7th Generation 120GB – £30
  • iPod Classic 7th Generation 160GB – £30

13.5mm Fat Models  – we replace with a standard size battery for your iPod model.

  • iPod video 5th Generation 60GB – £30
  • iPod video 5th Generation 80GB – £30
  • iPod video 6th Generation 160GB – £30

Rear cover replacement

Does your iPod 5th/6th/7th gen Classic rear housing cover look a little tired? We can fit a brand new rear housing at the same time we are performing your iPod SSD upgrade. The rear housing will show the Apple logo, the word iPod and random serial number plus the regular small etchings on the very bottom. It will not show the memory GB size. Below repair price is applicable only when we are upgrading your iPod to SSD drive.

iPod classic new rear housing
  • Price for new rear iPod housing cover is the same for all models being £30.00.

Front face replacement

Does your iPod Classic front fascia cover look a little on the tired side? We can replace with a brand new front cover, making your iPod look as good as new! We will use your existing click wheel and button. Below repair price is applicable only when we are upgrading your iPod to SSD drive.

ipod classic new front fascia cover
  • Price for new front fascia cover is the same for all models being £35.00.

Headphone socket replacement

Are you having issues with your headphone jack port? Why not let us replace this while we are upgrading your iPod SSD drive? Below iPod headphone socket repair price is applicable only when we are upgrading your iPod to SSD drive.

  • Price for new headphone socket fitted is the same for all models at £30.00.

So, get in touch today to upgrade and give a new lease of life to your iPod Video/Classic.

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COVID-19 Lockdown 3 Update.

We are still operating during the latest lockdown. We have safety measures in place to help protect you and our staff.

  • We have anti-bacterial stations in our reception. Please use these on entering Admirals Offices.
  • Facemasks must be worn on entering Admirals Offices.

All repairs will need to be booked in via our online appointment system.

Our while-you-wait service includes:

  • iPhone repairs
  • iPad repairs
  • MacBook repairs
  • iMac Repairs
Please book your repair appointment here.

We urge you, at this time, to adhere to government guidelines and not leave your home unless absolutely necessary.

Thank you for your continued support and we will endeavour to support you and your repair needs through these difficult times.

Thank you.

Phil & The Repair Team.