I have a 4th generation iPod. It is ancient, I know, but it still functions without any problems. Well, I’ve never had problems with it ever since I purchased it in the summer of 2004, except that it does not allow me to play free and open source audio codecs like OGG and FLAC. I am a free and open source advocate, so using open codecs is very important to me.
I found the solution to my problem in Rockbox, a free and open source firmware replacement for the iPod and other digital audio players. Aside from supporting the OGG and FLAC codecs, Rockbox includes a wider range of sound settings, plugins, games and applications than the iPod’s original firmware.
Installing Rockbox using a Windows machine is as simple as downloading, unzipping and running this software. Everything is graphical so you do not have to mess around with command lines. Mac users have to use this software while Linux users should get it from here.
Rockbox does not erase the iPod firmware. It coexists with it. Thus I can choose either to boot Rockbox or the original iPod firmware. First generation iPods up to iPod Video are supported. Of course Rockbox is also proven to work in other digital audio players. For a complete list of supported players please follow this link.
Some of the sound settings that I find particularly awesome are gapless playback, crossfading, replay gain, 5 band fully parametric equalizer, and crossfeed. It was not until I tried the demos included in the software package that I realized that my grey iPod 4G could actually display 3D animation. It might also interest you to know that Rockbox includes the following popular games:sudoku, solitaire, minesweeper, and pong. Rockbox also allows users to change the font and the theme of the user interface.
If you want to know more about Rockbox, you should visit this site.