The iPod Touch is not only the last official surviving member of Apple's iPod music player dynasty, it's also the only model Apple ever released with wi-fi connection. But what if the old iPod you've got in a drawer somewhere could be modified to add Bluetooth and wi-fi connectivity as well as access to streaming services such as Spotify? That’s exactly what developer Guy Dupont (opens in new tab) has achieved with the 4th-generation iPod he got from his mother-in-law.
This particular iPod Classic was introduced in 2004, making it 17 years of age (yes, that makes us feel old too). It was designed with a really rather small (by today's standards) display, a Click Wheel and no wireless connections, but by changing all of its innards Dupont has managed to bring it more or less up to date with the modern world. The player can now access Spotify's entire catalogue and stream it to your Bluetooth speaker or wireless headphones.
So how did he do it, you ask? Those interested in repeating his feat, or anyone looking to spend their lunch break a little differently this Friday, should definitely check out his video below.
As noted by 9to5Mac (opens in new tab) and Engadget (opens in new tab), precious little of the original 4th-gen iPod Classic remains in this modified version, bar the original case with a functioning clicky wheel (which now includes haptic feedback). But the final results are still quite special.
Dupont has named his masterpiece “sPot,” which now has a colour screen and an internal 1000mAh battery. A $10 Raspberry Pi Zero W and a Micro-USB connector were also used to create and install a version of Spotify (using Spotify’s official APIs) that harks back to the classic iPod interface.
The upcycling project apparently cost Dupont less than $100 in total, but the thrifty developer has no intention of trying to renovate and sell more Spotify-enhanced iPods. To prove it, he's actually shared details about how he built the sPot on Hackaday (opens in new tab) and also the source code of the software he created on GitHub (opens in new tab) – presumably in case you want to have a go yourself.
Might Apple take a few pointers and release an iPod Classic line with updated features under a retro hood? Improbable, perhaps – but then again, not impossible.
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