03 February 2011


For years now I've marveled that my iPod Classic (2007 model) is roughly the same size as a cassette.  Two days ago we had a transformer explode outside the house, and while awaiting the utility repair service, I got to tinkering with customizing an iPod case out of a cassette box.  My intrepid wife assisted me in my effort, but the hard plastic was too uncooperative and our first draft was not the success I'd wanted.  But then last night while we were out, I stumbled upon three of those old soft plastic cases!  Here's my first working model:

The case in its original shape, next to iPod.
There are two tabs built into the body of the case that fit into the wheel portions of a cassette.  These snap off rather easily, allowing your iPod to lie mostly flat in the case.  There's some bowing at the top and bottom, and this can't be helped.  You'll want the front of the iPod facing the lid of the case because you're not going to want the remainder of the tab over your screen.  Close the case and use a Sharpie to trace around the iPod menu wheel.  Go ahead and mark a dot over the earphone jack on the top.  Use an Xact-o knife to cut out the wheel.  Careful; not only can you hurt yourself, but this is your one chance to ruin the entire project!  You can see in the next picture that my first effort was a bit sloppy and I caused a minor crack to form.  Carving out the earphone jack is easier; simply pierce the Sharpie dot and rotate the knife until the hole is large enough for your earphone jack to penetrate the top of the case.

Case is ready!

Here it is, with the iPod:

Now the fun part!  You should be able to decorate the case with any cassette insert you have.  Note: there's not a lot of wiggle room so if you want to use an insert that folds out, you may need to cut away the additional panels.  The spine should also fit comfortably (if snugly).  I elected to use the insert to my cassette of Waylon Jennings's Music Man since I lost the tape itself to a Walkman several years ago.

I don't think Waylon done it this way!
As I mentioned, the top and bottom bow because of the actual length of the front of the iPod (the back is more rounded and shorter).  Fortunately, though, the side latches seem to be staying in place and in any event this isn't the kind of case you'd want to just throw into a duffel bag.  It's more of a showpiece, and the fun part is that you can change out inserts at will so one physical case can be an infinite number of case options!

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