iPOD and SDHC – SDXC cards

iPOD and SDHC – SDXC cards


For some time many people have wanted to use my iFlash iPod CF adapter with the new generation of large format SD memory cards. SDHC and SDXC are the new generation of SD cards which are cheaper and have capacities of upto 256Gb and growing.

SDXC 7g and 256Gb PNY

SDXC Installation

For many years you could buy SD-CF adapters but they would not work in the iPOD. Most of these convertors required a high working power supply current that the iPod was unable to provide, while others just did not provide the correct True IDE functions.

The Good News

Recently a user let me know he had succeeded in getting a 64Gb SDXC card working in my iFlash with an SD to CF adapter.
So after some investigation and spending a small fortune on various SD – CF adaptors I noted that there is a new generation of pcb design used in these adapters which seems to work well with the iFlash and the iPOD. Even better it works in all the iPod generations supported by my iFlash – 5g, 5.5g, 6g, 6.5g, and 7g.


7g 256Gb About Screen

7g and 256Gb PNY

Installation is simple, the iFlash is first installed – then install the SD card in to your SD-CF Adapter – finally insert the whole thing in to the iFlash, ready to restore the iPod.

SDHC and SDXC which cards to get

So far all the SDHC and SDXC cards I tested worked ok, so it is looking likely that majority of the SD cards out there will work ok.

In terms of card speed, one user has reported issues playing FLACS with a Class 4 card. I would suggest you want a minimum of a Class 6 card with Class 10 the prefered option.

So far… working and tested in 5g / 6g / 7g iPods

iPod 5g with 256Gb PNY

iPod 5g with 256Gb PNY

The current compatibility list has been moved to the iFlash-Bundle product page.



694 thoughts on “iPOD and SDHC – SDXC cards

  1. Tarkan Post author

    @beer – the only proven way is to remove or reduce the amount of meta-data, as much as you can live without! – e.g. Comments, Composer, Grouping, Lyrics, Publisher fields, etc.

  2. Bob

    Hi Tarkan, thanks for the explanation. I am using the iFlash with PNY 256 GB SDXC and have very rare issues with this, so not worth the effort to solve unless there is a way to replace the iPod firmware, but even Rockbox relies on it.

  3. Tarkan Post author

    Reformatting and restoring may change it for the better as the location/sectors the files are written will change.

    But if it is happening rarely, you need to think about how much effort you want to put in to it.

  4. mobes

    @Tarkan – So are you saying that there is no way to truly correct the issue? For me, it’s not a big problem. It doesn’t happen often. I just thought if there was something I should have done prior to installing I would go back and start over if that meant for sure fixing it. Like I said not a big deal for me though.

  5. Tarkan Post author

    @Mike – actually skipping issues are rare.

    The skipping you describe is caused by a combination of issues related to the SD card and the Apple OS.

    Firstly, SD cards when they are powered on can (rarely, not always) wake in to a bad state or shall we say a busy state. Certain cards like the Kingston 128Gb & Lexar 256Gb, do this more often than others especially when they are filled above 70% compared to when they are empty.

    This is why reformatting and having files located elsewhere on the card changes things.

    To compound this the Apple OS, if it encounters any issues while reading from the card it will just skip to the next track and keep doing this for many many tracks, until it finally decides there is something wrong, and at that point it finally sends a reset to the storage bus, which will fix the issue and the iPod will resume playing.

    I can understand why the Apple engineers have designed it like that for a spinning HDD, but for solid state storage it can introduce these kinds of issues.

  6. Mike

    I think there is a general problem with iFlash bad song skipping, many ppl have this problem so do I in few 7th gen 160gb iPods with QUMOX 128gb and PNY 256gb. Some songs skip in a chain but the file is ok some play just few first seconds. I use original firmware

  7. mobes

    Hello – Like the new site. I was actually trying to find all of the comments regarding this subject. I purchased the bundle for my 5th gen video, everything synced fine. But, I have noticed a few instances on some tracks, skipping and then also a few tracks where it will play for 10 – 15 seconds or so and then change to the next track. I purchased a Sandisk 64gb SDXC Class 10. One thing I didn’t do is follow the formatting instructions for 64gb and higher. Could this be the cause?

    Thank you

  8. Pete

    Just popping back to mention my 256gb pny sdxc pod has been working well for several months now.

    Strange thing is I had to convert it to rockbox as I never managed to get it stable with the original firmware (would go into reboot loop and need to resync, happening more frequently the larger my library got), yet rockboxed it works entirely reliably. Stranger still the same is true of my 240gb hd ipod, which suggests maybe there was just something weird about my iTunes library that the original firmware didn’t like. Decided I much prefer Rockbox anyway, so no big deal.

    Anyway, I would recomend your sdxc adaptor combo as being a good upgrade for the classic.

    Two things I’m hoping will happen one day though, are (1) that someone can eventually track down a source for a type I CF/SDXC adaptor that works with >128gb, thus allowing a 2000mah battery to be used with sdxc cards, and (2) that 512gb sdxc cards come down more in price (got to happen sooner-or-later, right?)

  9. Nathan

    Hi there- I did get the ipod working with the CF SD adapter and the new ribbon. I had a 256 PNY card running wave files and it would work for a little while and then songs would freeze, skip or play some really harsh scratching/static over the music. Sometimes the device would become unresponsive. I did notice that if I put it on random, the ipod would play many of the wav files but would skip many as well. It would play all mp3s. I have a 5.5 30 gb, which I know has a 32 mb ram so I’m sure if this model is just incapable of playing large lossless files smoothly or if it was the card? I have decided to try another card and also to convert my wav files to ALAC which are a bit smaller yet retain a higher quality.

    Do you have any info on the interaction between 32 mb ram, 256 gb cards and poor lossless playback? I want to get this going, because when it worked it was awesome!

  10. Tarkan Post author

    @Beer – I have not tried that, but not sure how much of an impact that would have – the album art is stored outside of the iTunes DB in another cache file or as embedded in the music files. There maybe some saving as the iTunes DB probably stores some metadata related to the album art.

  11. Nathan

    @Tarkan- Yes, I checked and my old hard drive is a Hitachi. So it looks like I will need a new ribbon, and I’m glad this seems like it might be an easy fix.

    Any advice on what kind and where to buy the correct ribbon replacement?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

8 − 3 =

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>