Friday, 17 April 2015

How to make your own ipod touch for $15 - a guide for i-bigots.

Or, more perhaps more accurately "how to avoid unnecessary nonsense and save shitlots of money at the same time"

I find it hard to exercise without my own personal soundtrack motivating me to move. Given that I have an intense hatred for all things apple (mainly because itunes, but also due to semi-illogical snobbery), I've always used Sandisk mp3 players. They play pretty much any file format you throw at them, including flac and ogg and formats you may not have heard of. The software is pretty shitty and the navigation is often annoying, but they’re fairly cheap and easy to get your music on to. As far as non-i-thing music players go, there aren’t many alternatives.
Another reason for hating apple - the marketing is emetic. 
About a month ago I was in the process of buying a new Sandisk, when I remembered I had an old android smart phone laying around, collecting dead skin cells. Not powerful enough to be a decent smart phone, but plenty sufficient to be my new training partner.

I’d rooted it years ago, so trimming the fat was a piece of piss. Deleting the very long list of rubbish apps (looking at you, Google) that were on it - nothing but the essentials remain. Then it was simply a matter of installing a decent music player, throwing in a micro SD card in with all my tunes, and that was it. 
Engineered for minimal bullshit
Where I’m from a 16GB ipod touch will set you back at least $230. 32Gb are about $300. I made my 16GB equivalent for the $15 it cost to buy a 16GB micro SD card.

Apart from saving over $200, it also:
·         doesn’t force me to use the most idiotic software program ever invented to get my music on to it.
·         plays any audio file format and any video file.
·         lets me make phone calls if I feel like throwing a SIM card in it.

Granted, not everyone has a working smart phone laying around, but surely a second hand one can be bought fairly cheaply online. Definitely less than $200.

Sure, I could use my current phone as a music player, but it's massive and doesn't fit in my gym short pocket. It also cost a fortune and I’d hate to drop a dumbbell on it.
Recycling has never sounded this cool.
If you are a fan of avoiding nonsense and saving money, you may find the details below interesting. Your kid who "needs" an ipod touch will probably tell you to pull your head in and stop being so old, but kids are so spoiled these days - tell them it's character-building. 

Phone - Huawei G300, but any android from the last few years will do.
Rooting your phone - head to xda developers and search for your phone in the forums. Rooting your phone and uninstalling apps isn't essential, but it will streamline your device and possibly make it more responsive.
App to delete the space-wasting apps - Titanium Backup or ROM toolbox lite.
Music player app - any you like. I use Shuttle or Poweramp.
Video player - video player for android.


  1. Strangely, we (my family) are also anti-Apple snobs. It doesn't mean we have something against that great company, we truly admire their business model, but what we understand about it doesn't inspire in us the desire to support all that with our money.
    Our son is 22 now, when he was growing up , we were not in a hurry to buy him every latest play gadget , so he choose to learn on internet how to fix broken staff which his friends were throwing in a garbage, somehow he started to fix computers and cell phones as well. At least his desire to play on a Playstation led him to develop some skills and to realize that there were other ways to get what he wanted besides expecting from his parents to spend money.

    It is better for economy when people buy every food, gadget and a pill without much thinking, but as soon as a person starts to think rather than just doing what everybody else is doing, such strange in a human society behavior spreads on other areas of life.

  2. I fail to understand why many MUST have the latest Apple or iPhone etc etc.

    My humble mobile can make a call, receive a call, send a text (too many in Eddie's opinion LOL) and receive texts. The internet and everything else, I leave to read or go on when I have some time at home. But then I'm just a tiny bit old fashioned !

    I guess if you have the money and you want to spend these quite ridiculous amounts then it is your decision.

    But good for you Chips

    All the best Jan

  3. The value of Apple products are not in the functions they provide.

  4. When I was a kid, a Sony Walkman was around $20 and you could make a call from a pay phone for a quarter. Looking at it that way, I just can't justify spending hundreds of dollars on a portable music player or a phone, which would be pure luxuries for me. Besides, when would I use them--when I'm on the bus? Running errands? It can wait until I get home.

    1. People used to use exclusive clothes, perfumes, jewelries to sent messages around about their financial well-being. Apple managed to convince part of humanity, mostly young people dressed in t-shirt , to send messages about own imaginary high status with hugely over-prices gadgets. It is very convenient - it costs much less than an expensive diamond ring, but you have to pay often because previous device gets outdated rather quickly. I applaud to it with whole heart, just don't want to contribute my money into all that. It was a wonderful business idea to get into such niche.

    2. And some still do go for exclusive togs. Designer handbags in particular are ridiculously overpriced--and Coach (as an example) has a wonderful financial statement to prove it. After a few years' wear and tear, those handbags look better on your balance sheet than your arm. (Apple stock: same thing if you bought at the right price.)

    3. My son has an opinion that I lack some necessary female instincts which are necessary to appreciate handbags and to wear nail polish - I am just very ignorant here. I love well-made clothes and quality shoes though.