TL;DR, I found my old 4th generation iPod Photo, having not seen or used it for ~10 years, I charged it up, turned it on, and it worked. Sweet.
At the weekend, I cleaned out my old office. I’ve not used the room as an office for about 4 years and whilst I’ve tried to keep it clean, it still managed to collect a substantial amount of junk. In fact, for the past few months the room ended-up being used as a dumping ground for all sorts of crap (empty boxes etc) and it got so jammed that it became difficult to enter the room at all. Not good.
Reminder to self; throw away empty boxes!
Anyhow, realising that I actually need be able to access the room, it still houses my router and servers, I figured I’d just have to roll up my sleeves and get rid of all the junk. So, that’s exactly what I did, and whilst I was at it, I also decided to clean out my “bits” box — you know, the box that you chuck all your old cables and tech into — we’ve all got one, right?
Unsurprisingly, my bits box was also overflowing with junk. It was rammed with cables and all sorts of old tech, including numerous network cards, webcams, microphones, disk drives, phones, an Iomega zip drive (remember those?) and a gazillion other bits and bobs. To be honest, most of the items in the box were worthless and I have no idea why I decided that I needed to keep hold of them. That said, hidden at the bottom of the box I found my old 4th generation iPod Photo, which I couldn’t remember seeing for years!
I actually got quite excited about this discovery and promptly decided to plug it into a power socket and charge it up. I then returned to cleaning out my office and forgot about it, until tonight (reminded by a post about iPod socks). Excited to find out if a) it still worked, and b) it had any music on it, I turned it on and found that it booted into Rockbox. Urgh.
To be fair, Rockbox was pretty handy back-in-the-day when I was only using Linux and I didn’t have access to iTunes, however; now that I’m a self-confessed Apple fanboy, I have no need for it and so I decided I’d try and restore the iPod to its factory settings. This turned-out to be surprisingly easy. I connected the iPod to my MacBook, opened iTunes, selected the iPod and then hit the “Restore iPod” button. A couple of minutes later, Rockbox was gone and the iPod was restored with its original functionality. Win!
I think it’s pretty cool that Apple are still supporting these old devices within iTunes. I mean, 12 years doesn’t actually seem that old, but I’m sure I’ve got some computers of similar age that cost a lot more than the iPod, but officially became unsupported a long time ago.
Nice work, Apple, nice work.