A YouTuber hacked a 17-year-old iPod Classic to let it stream Spotify tracks, successfully bringing a relic from the MP3 days into the modern era.
To be clear, this isn’t just a software hack. Guy Dupont pretty much gutted the vintage Apple music player. He added components like a Raspberry Pi Zero W board, a new LCD color display, a haptic motor, and a 1,000 mAh rechargeable battery.
The fact that these components fit in the comparatively cavernous iPod Classic body isn’t much of a shocker. But the fact that he was able to get it working with the original Click Wheel is certainly very nifty.
iPod Classic Spotify hack
Dupont details his impressive iPod mod in a lengthy video:
The iPod was a game-changer when it burst onto the scene in 2001. Apple pitched the iPod as putting “1,000 songs in your pocket.” That seemed like a miracle back then.
But two decades on, the way we listen to music has shifted from downloaded and ripped MP3s to streaming music services. Apple Music now stocks 50 million songs in its catalog.
Dupont’s iPod makeover didn’t stop with the hardware hacks. He also built a new user interface using Python. The end resulting is an iPod that can play any current digital audio format — and even search Spotify’s massive streaming catalog.
The iPod of Theseus
It’s an impressive achievement. It also reminds me of the old metaphysics thought experiment about the ship of Theseus.
If you replace or upgrade virtually every component of a particular object, does it remain the same object? Is a ship that’s had every plank, sail and mast replaced by a new one still the same ship at its core? And is an iPod Classic that’s no longer, well, classic, still an iPod?
Regardless of the answer, Dupont deserves a round of applause.
Even if Apple, presumably, would have rather that he chose Apple Music instead of Spotify as his streaming service of choice.