people are “tuning” iPods and recovering Winamp as if we live in an eternal 2003

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Ellie Huxtable I had an old 5th generation iPod Video (released in 2005) abandoned in some drawer, but decided to give it a new life. What did he do? Change the 80 GB hard drive for 1 TB in Micro SD cards, install a new firmware and turn it into an MP3 player much more adapted to the new times.

The result is fantastic and shows how the love for MP3 players is still very much alive in 2022. And if that example wasn’t enough, check out the player that a user has built with an Adafruit PyPortal touch screen board in a device that it also makes use of the legendary Winamp as a player. Great ideas that show that there are still very nostalgic alternatives to the smartphone with Spotify.

Does an MP3 player that is just that make sense in 2022?

The answer seems to be a resounding yes for many users and the occasional manufacturer that is committed to the world of audiophiles.


The Astell&Kern Kann Alpha is a good example of a modern portable music player. These devices are usually aimed at a very special audience, and their prices show it: this one costs almost 1,000 euros.

We have seen various launches of companies unknown to many but popular in this sector, and that makes it clear that sometimes our smartphones they may not measure up for certain scenarios.

Hi-fi doesn't have to be elitist: we help you set up good quality equipment at a realistic price

Manufacturers such as Atell&Kern, Fiio, Hilby, Sony or Snahling stand out for audiophile proposals that often exceed 1,000 euros and that offer features that are very far from those offered by the iPod, for example.

Mobile phones and services like Spotify have become the norm today: they allow not having to go to a specific portable music player, but there are those who certainly prefer to separate one thing from another.

Nostalgia is a powerful motivation

Some do it for the sound experience and quality — the image player is a good example — but others simply want to continue enjoying that experience they had years ago in the era of iPods and MP3 players. Nostalgia is usually a strong component here of these personal eye-catchers.


We have a good example in projects like the one mentioned by Ellie Huxtable, which counted how he turned that ipod video into a player adapted to the new times.

This user swapped out the 80GB drive for a small board with Micro SD slots and combined two 512GB cards to have a total of 1 TB available (and two free slots for future expansion).

He even bought and retrofitted a new case from a 1TB iPod Classic so that the rear would honor its tuned versionsomething that cost him some work because of the need to deal with the delicate cables of his original iPod.


The end result, with fully functional iPod controls and a striking transparent case.

It also replaced the battery and other internals, but there was one other major change: the internal softwarewhich instead of the iPod original modified and changed to rock boxa popular project in these areas that also gives you the option to customize the interface with different themes.

My player has got a Winamp on the screen

Added to that project these days is another very striking one: a user named ‘Tim C’ from Adafruit devices —he had already shared various projects– toward his special tribute to MP3 players, a category that there has some popularity.

This user made use of a module PyPortal —which includes a board and a small touch screen mounted on top— to create a “very crude” MP3 player but yes, it had a very special component: the Winamp interface to control it.

Actually many of the controls don’t work —no adjusting equalizersfor example—but the basic ones do, for example, to be able to move forward or backward through the song and pause it or continue playback.

Not only that: one of the most striking features of Winamp was its catalog of themes to customize your interface. Precisely the author of the project explained how taking advantage of these visual templates was perfectly possible, although with some extra work that consisted of modifying a JSON file.

Project code is available on the Adafruit websiteso anyone can replicate the project and improve it adding for example support for interface features that don’t work in Tim C’s implementation.

Be that as it may, these two projects show that there are people who still using (or retrofitting) your old MP3 players or buying specific devices that can be mainly focused on this format or go further and enter more ambitious categories. It is great to be able to take advantage of the mobile as an MP3 player, but this type of alternative is also great.

Ellie Huxtable I had an old 5th generation iPod Video (released in 2005) abandoned in some drawer, but decided to…

Ellie Huxtable I had an old 5th generation iPod Video (released in 2005) abandoned in some drawer, but decided to…

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