Classic iPods are having a bit of a comeback, largely thanks to a new wave of collectors, modders, and YouTubers. But while the majority of iPod projects are little more than a novelty, a new mod that turns the iPod into a Bluetooth Spotify player stands out as something that could be genuinely useful.
Developed by Guy Dupont, the sPot is a 4th gen iPod powered by a Raspberry Pi Zero W. It retains the look and feel of a classic iPod, including click wheel controls, but has an updated color display and support for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Guy also added haptic feedback to the sPot—a modern spin on the iPod’s classic scrolling noise.
The sPot’s user interface is remarkably similar to what you’ll find on an unmodified iPod, with featured categories for Artists, Albums, and Playlists. Because the sPot connects to your Spotify account, these categories only include the artists and songs that you’ve “liked” or “followed” on the Spotify desktop or mobile client. Guy Dupont also stuck a handy New Releases category on the sPot to help keep things fresh, and included a Search function to look through Spotify’s library on the fly. (Of course, anyone who’s typed on an iPod knows that the Search function won’t get much use).
While the sPot stays faithful to the iPod’s original design, it does miss a few marks. The headphone jack doesn’t function in this design, and as Guy notes, the old “Lock” switch is now a power switch. Also, because the sPot uses flash storage, it doesn’t make all those neat clicky sounds that you get with the iPod’s original hard drive (yeah, the iPod used a spinning hard drive).
Want to turn your dusty old iPod into an sPot? Check out Guy’s Hackaday page, which contains detailed project instructions and GitHub links. Bear in mind that this project will work best with the 4th gen iPod, which has different dimensions and different internal hardware than other models of Apple’s music player. Should you choose to turn an iPod Nano into an sPot—well, good luck!