Take apart an iPod mini for its Microdrive | iLounge News


Take apart an iPod mini for its Microdrive

“Determined to salvage what I could from my former music player, I disconnected its hard drive, unwrapped the black plastic tape from around it, removed its three blue bumpers, and—because I understood that this 4GB Hitachi microdrive was encased in a Compact Flash form—plugged it into my USB LaCie Hexa Media Drive.

Lo (and, may I add, behold), the microdrive mounted on the Mac’s Desktop just as a good removable drive should. Because the drive had been formatted with the iPod mini 1.0 Updater, the drive displayed the icon of the mini and contained all the items you’d normally find on an iPod’s hard drive—the Contacts, Calendars, and Notes folders along with the invisible folder that holds the iPod’s music.”

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This is truly sad. But being an avid photographer, I really wanna give this a try. I have heard of others doing this to the Rio Muvo 2 with much success. I’m sure this will continue until Hitatchi (formally IBM) lowers their awful prices on the Microdrive.

Posted by Orb in Irvine, CA on March 4, 2004 at 12:40 AM (CST)


so the moral of the story is buy a $249 mini and sell the hard drive for twice as much.

Posted by soulless in Irvine, CA on March 4, 2004 at 12:49 AM (CST)


“The drive is bit thicker than a normal CF card and doesn’t fit in my digital camera…”

Of course its thicker, microdrives are in Type II Compact Flash form factors, and its not as if Type I cards are the “normal” ones.  There are very few low to mid end digital cameras with Type II CF slots, though on prosumer and digital SLRs such slots are commonplace.

Posted by Nick Pedersen in Irvine, CA on March 4, 2004 at 1:27 AM (CST)


if the drive alone costs $500 it raises to questions

1) how can apple sell the mini for $200?  I know you are going to say buy in bulk etc but its not just the cost of the drives that needs to be included

2) why is everyone compalining about the $200 price tag for the mini!?

Posted by bryan in Irvine, CA on March 4, 2004 at 5:36 AM (CST)



this is what i think

1) the production cost is very minimal for these microdrive, the companies selling them at these redicular prices just show how much profit margin they have and the money they are racking in.

2. why is everyone complaining, well because people like to complain, they always want more and better than they can get.

Posted by Gandharv in Irvine, CA on March 4, 2004 at 8:33 AM (CST)


Can’t you buy these on eBay relatively inexpensively now?

Posted by ronco in Irvine, CA on March 4, 2004 at 9:59 AM (CST)


who in their right mind would do this to a beautiful iPod mini?  I can see stripping it out of Muvo2, but iPod mini?

Posted by apexi350z in Irvine, CA on March 4, 2004 at 11:32 AM (CST)


OK people, lets get this straight…

iPod Mini = $249

Muvo2 = $199 (or less!)

iPod Mini = Beautiful, sleek, metallic, a pristine example of perfect classic design

Muvo2 = ugly, cheap, plastic.

Now, anyone who would WILLINGINY destroy an iPod mini over a muvo2 is urged to seek professional psychiatric help immediately!

Posted by steve in Irvine, CA on March 4, 2004 at 11:51 AM (CST)


is in the eye of the beholde.r

I actually *like* the Muvo style - it’s high-tech industrial, and shiny, with just a hint of menace.

I find the iPod Mini is just too girly, flaming metrosexual. Not my cup of tea at all.

I am also bored with the old iPod looks, it’s been the same for ever now.

What I want is an all chrome mp3 player.

Posted by beauty in Irvine, CA on March 4, 2004 at 12:04 PM (CST)


“too girly, flaming metrosexual…” This coming from a man named “beauty”. And chrome? Well, nothing a little paint couldn’t do….


Posted by Sam in Irvine, CA on March 4, 2004 at 12:16 PM (CST)


i would just rather stick with the normal ipod, and why should you care if people think you are a flamer? they’re just jealous that they dont have such a sweet little mp3 player

Posted by Masta_92 in Irvine, CA on March 4, 2004 at 4:08 PM (CST)


I’m the author of the piece this refers to and thought I’d offer this update:

It seems that the Hitachi drive within the MuVo can be used with some digital cameras. The drive inside the mini, however, can’t. No one’s come up with the real dope on why this is (Apple certainly isn’t talking about it). They’re the same drive, but something about the mini’s configuration keeps it from working in digicams.

As for the price: Hitachi (IBM really) isn’t making a boatload of money on the drives inside the MuVo and mini. It is doing pretty well, however, on those drives sold separately. My best guess is that the Hitachi folks are chatting with Creative at this very moment suggesting that they follow Apple’s lead and keep these things from working in digital cameras so photographers are compelled to pay the going rate for the drive in its raw state rather than ripping apart a MuVo (IOW, more money for Hitachi/IBM).

As to why I ripped apart my mini:

So you don’t have to.

I want my book, Secrets of the iPod, to be as complete as possible and in order to make it so, a mini had to die.

Posted by Chris Breen in Irvine, CA on March 4, 2004 at 5:09 PM (CST)


Chris Breen - murderer :-)

Posted by Jackson in Irvine, CA on March 6, 2004 at 8:53 AM (CST)


I wrote this on another thread.  Hope this answers the question of why the MD’s from the iPod Mini won’t work on dSLR cameras:

“The MuVo^2 was release in January and was sold out even ‘til now.  So many webmerchants have had backorders for weeks.  The exploit of using the 4GB MD (MicroDrive) in the MuVo^2 on dSLR cameras (founded by Andy Mack) was an incredible story!  I for one, bought the MuVo^2 just for this purpose.  Most people who by the MuVo^2 by it either for the MD to take out or as an alternative to the iPod Mini.  *Note: You can revive the MuVo^2 with smaller CF cards or other MD’s. Many have been successful with SanDisk 512MB CF card and the IBM 1GB MD*. People who buy the iPod Mini also want to extract 4GB MD for cameras to, BUT unfortunately no one has yet been successful in doing so.  The MD from the iPod Mini reads/writes in IDE-Mode only (a modification made by Hitachi after the MuVo^2 incident) to prevent users from using the 4GB MD on cameras (which only read/write in I/O-Mode).

So, people with iPod Mini’s end up with just iPod Mini’s.  If people bought it as a music device, then that’s great!  Otherwise, if you’re like some of the hundreds who buy it for the MD to use on their dSLR camera, then you’re out of luck.

I wouldn’t call the MuVo^2 an ‘iPod Mini’ killer b/c it’s basically like the iPod Mini.  I think a better term would be the ‘iPod Mini Alternative’.

In the end, both are selling fast and furiously like hot cakes!  Power to both.”

Also, I have to agree with ‘beauty’ on this.  I love the original iPod design, but yeah, the iPod Mini’s design is the same old boring thing.  When I saw the MuVo^2, I instantly fell for it.  I love the high-tech industrial design (plus it’s black and grey!).  The iPod Mini’s design, IMOH, girly and flamingly metrosexual.

Posted by MuVo^2 User in Irvine, CA on March 7, 2004 at 10:17 AM (CST)

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