The iPod 5th generation, commonly referred to as the iPod Video, is the fifth iteration of the classic iPod line of portable media players designed and marketed by Apple. This model was introduced in October 2005 and discontinued in September 2006 following a silent hardware revision in the same month.
The 5th generation iPod was the first model capable of video playback and remains one of the most highly valued iPods by the community for its simple design and ease of upgradeability through flash-mods. It was the last of the iPods to feature the iconic white faceplate and gray clickwheel combination.
Along with the video support, the screen was upgraded to a larger, denser, 2.5 inch 320x240 display to allow clear video playback. While the 5th generation screens have the same connectors and dimensions as the 6th generation screens, they are not cross compatible and issues such as screen glitches will occur. The size of the click wheel was reduced from the 4th generation and the front panel was made thinner and flatter, removing the curved edge used by predecessors before it. The 5th generation iPod was also the first to remove the remote port, which stripped compatibility with older accessories. It was introduced in a new all-black variant alongside the traditional white and gray, also receiving a Special Edition U2 variant later in its life cycle.
This generation and the enhanced "5.5th" generation were the last iPods in the classic iPods lineup to feature the Wolfson WM8758BG DAC before the iPod product line shifted to Cirrus Logic DAC featured in the iPod classics and iPod Nanos after 2006. This iPod features a headphone jack and 30-pin dock connector, which is used for syncing, charging and various accessories including the iPod Radio Remote, AV Connection Kit and Universal Dock.
|Model||30GB (Thin, 2005)||30GB (Thin, 2006) (5.5 gen)||60GB (Thick)||80GB (Thick) (5.5 gen)|
|Release date||September 7, 2005||September 12, 2006||September 7, 2005||September 12, 2006|
|Processor||2x PortalPlayer PP5021C ARM processors @ 80 MHz|
|RAM||225 bytes (32 MiB)||226 bytes (64 MiB)|
|Hard Drives||Toshiba MK3008GAL||Toshiba MK8010GAH||Toshiba MK6008GAH||Toshiba MK8010GAH|
|Maximum capacity (after upgrade)||241 bytes (2 TiB), with up to approx. 20,000 songs||241 bytes (2 TiB), with up to approx. 50,000 songs (30,000 songs on shuffle)|
|Song limit||Song limit is caused by RAM limitations, and can be bypassed using Rockbox.|
On September 12, 2006 - a new version of the 5th generation iPod was released. This model is commonly referred to as the "5.5th" generation or 5th generation "enhanced". The new revision was sold with the regular 30GB model and introducing a 80GB (thick) model along with a brighter screen, 32MB of additional RAM, longer video playback time and a Search feature to both the 30GB and 80GB models. The 60GB model was discontinued. A $50 dollar discount applied to all models in this generation as it was nearing the end of its life cycle, bringing the price of the 30GB model from $299 to $249 and the 80GB model received a discount from $399 to $349.
Being one of the most easily modifiable iPods, this iPod is becoming very popular among the iPod modding community. Using flash storage, this generation can theoretically be upgraded to 2TB of internal storage - however, these iPods may become unstable and slow if loaded with too many individual tracks, as these devices can only do so much with their limited RAM. The suggested maximum amount of tracks are said to be about 50,000 tracks with the 64MB RAM versions (which originally shipped with 60 or 80GB mechanical hard drives). The suggested flash modification capacity for these iPods are 128GB for the 30GB models, and 256GB for the 60/80GB versions, though this can and will vary based on factors such as bitrate of one’s music and the amount of tracks the system will have to index through.
There is a wide variety of face-plates and rear cases available online for this iPod generation, with transparent face-plates being quite popular. There are custom batteries that take advantage of the extra space left after flash-modding to house higher capacity batteries.
Multiple guides for repair of this generation - guides are easy to follow, so that anyone can attempt a repair on their device.
DankPods’ attempt at plugging a full terabyte into a 5.5 gen, identified by its standard 80gb. He runs into shuffling issues because of the limited RAM available.
Reference page for iFlash adapters compatibilities, including iTunes storage limits for 5th and 6th generation iPod models.
Everymac.com’s info page on the 5th generation iPod.
Everymac.com’s info page on the 5.5th generation iPod.