Q: Is there a way to tell which version of the 30GB iPod one has? They look virtually identical to me, and I’d like to know which I just purchased.
A: Absolutely. Although nothing has changed with respect to the exterior appearance of the 30GB iPod, there are several ways to tell the difference between the original fifth generation iPod and the newly-released “enhanced” fifth generation (or 5.5G) iPod.
First, and most obvious if you still have the iPod’s packaging, is that the newest iPods feature iTunes’ new movies feature on the box: the packaging of enhanced 5G iPods features Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Carribean playing on the iPod on one side of the box, and the audio track “Dani California,” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, playing on the other.
Second, if don’t have the packaging anymore and the iPod is functioning, the enhanced 5G iPods have a “Search” functionality built into their Music menu, while even fully-updated original 5G iPods do not:
Finally, if the iPod is no longer functional, and you don’t have the packaging, you can still identify the iPod precisely: the new enhanced fifth generation iPod models have serial numbers which end in WU9, WUA, WUB, or WUC.
For more information on how to identify which model iPod you own, check out this excellent support document on Apple’s website.