Quick Guide for iPOD video 5g

What needed:

  1. iPod video 5th or 5.5th generation. This mod has been tested to working with all the 5 and 5.5g Ipods.
  2. Crucial m500 240GB mSATA SSD as tested. Simply buy Crucial because of their quality, and most importantly, they provide detailed specs & datasheet as always . which made my rockbox firmware patching much easier. It also has the build in thermal management feature, so this SSD is less prone to damaged when thermally stressed.
  3. JM20330 based Zif to mSATA adapter. msata_adapterIt can be bought on Ebay for less than $10 and more or less they are all of the same design & (mediocre) quality.
  4. Some ESD safe foam & double side tape to secure the mSATA SSD in the iPOD.
  5. Optional: Thermal GAP filler in between the iPOD back case & SSD.

Photo from HeadFi forum, cmstastny

Once the SSD is installed, power on the iPOD & boot into disk mode, do a recovery in iTune, which will format the SSD & install the stock iPOD firmware. Issues that you can run into and solutions:

  1. iPOD boots into the sad face support screen: Check if the ZIF cable is properly seated, and replace ZIF cable if necessary.
  2. iPOD boot up momentarily and then shut down with battery low signal. Try to charge the iPOD fully with a firewire adapter, USB charger simply can not supply enough current for the mSATA SSD and the iPOD will likely fall into a reboot loop.

Issues with the iPOD stock firmware

  1. Very short Battery life, caused by high peak current draw from mSATA SSD
  2. iPOD became unstable due to high peak current draw from mSATA SSD.
  3. It took very long for iPOD to start from deep sleep when lots of songs are loaded. iPOD will try to initialize the Database each time it cold starts, thus made the start up very slow, and the intensive disk activities during database initialization can actually completely drain the battery during start up.


Rockbox will run stable & faster on the moded iPOD. Official Rockbox firmware does not support this MOD so download the patched rockbox firmware

and follow installation instructions

installation instructions

The patched firmware is optimized for this MOD and has been tested for both 5/5.5th iPOD models.

14 thoughts on “Quick Guide for iPOD video 5g

  1. Justin

    Patch is great, m500 240gb is working in my iPod 5.5g. Unfortunately, I can’t get themes to load. It seems like any theme with an image loads all scrambled and messed up. The same themes work fine on rockbox 3.13 on my 5G stock 30gb hd and another member confirmed he has the same problem.

    Thanks for your hard work.
    Do you happen to have any suggestions on the themes issue?

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