Q: I have a fifth-generation iPod classic and would like to upgrade it to include the Cover Flow feature seen on new iPods, but I was recently told by Apple staff that this isn’t possible. Is this really the case? Is there another place from which i can download this software?
A: Unfortunately, Apple has not released an update to the fifth-generation iPod to add Cover Flow or any of the other new interface features. Considering the problems with Cover Flow performance that even new iPod classic users have been experiencing, it’s possible that the hardware of the 5G iPod may simply not be capable of supporting Cover Flow effectively, but it’s also important to keep in mind that the 5G iPod is now a discontinued model, and Apple may simply not be interested in providing any firmware updates for it beyond bug fixes.
There are some third-party hacks available for the fifth-generation iPod such as iPodWizard that will bring some of the user interface from the iPod classic to the older iPod, but this is mostly in the form of a “theme” or “skin” that simply adjusts the existing interface to give it the look and feel of the iPod classic. These modifications do not actually add any new features such as Cover Flow, and as third-party hacks also risk voiding the warranty on your iPod.