iTunes not showing full iPod capacity
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: I recently purchased a 30GB iPod with Video. When I connected the iPod to my PC and checked iTunes, the available disk space is displayed as 27 GB. Is this normal or should I log a complaint with Apple?
A: Believe it or not, this is completely normal, and in fact is standard procedure for any hard drive based device.
The problem stems from the fact that computer storage measurement units are calculated differently between software and hardware. In software, a kilobyte (KB) is measured as 1,024 bytes, a megabyte (MB) as 1,024 KB, and a gigabyte (GB) as 1,024 MB. Therefore, from a software and operating system point of view, 1 GB is actually 1,073,741,824 bytes.
Unfortunately, a number of years ago, hard drive manufacturers started using a different basis for measuring storage capacity, presumably for marketing reasons. The result is that to a hardware manufacturer, a kilobyte is 1,000 bytes, rather than 1,024, and so forth. Therefore, 1 GB to a hardware manufacturer is an even 1,000,000,000 bytes.
So, when you buy a hard drive that is labeled as 30 GB, it is actually 30,000,000,000 bytes, give or take a few. However, to the software on your computer, 30 GB should be 32,212,254,720 bytes. Therefore, as far as your operating system is concerned, the “30GB” hard drive falls somewhat short of this number. If you actually do the math, the “30GB” hard drive actually works out to 27.94 GB of actual capacity. A little bit more of this is lost to some of the operating system format and internal iPod files that are placed on the hard drive, but for the most part, this difference is based on simply the difference in measurement between what the hardware vendors are selling, and how software calculates storage capacity.
Note that this problem is not in any way unique to the iPod, but rather applies to all hard drives in any computer system. If you check the hard drive in your computer, you will discover that the same discrepancy applies. For example, a MacBook Pro with a 100GB hard drive actually only shows 93.1 GB of space as far as the operating system is concerned.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Notes from Apple’s Q3 2016 earnings call
- Apple Q3 results: $42.4B revenue, 40M iPhones, 10M iPads sold
- Researchers expose security flaw in Osram smart bulbs
- Cops bust ‘criminal enterprise’ using stolen credit cards at Chicago-area Apple stores
- Update in iOS 10 allows for autoplay of silent videos in Safari
- WSJ: Apple brings in trusted executive Mansfield to head Apple Car project
- CarPlay to be available in all 2017 Ford models
- Rumors claim new iPhone will be released Sept. 16, could have ‘iPhone 6 SE’ name
- Photos claim to show alleged ‘iPad Pro 2’
- Apple to sell limited-edition Olympic Apple Watch bands exclusively in Brazil
- Moe Bull Stand for iPad Air 2 + 9.7” iPad Pro
- Netatmo Tags for Welcome Smart Home Camera
- iDevices Socket HomeKit-enabled Light Adapter
- Koogeek Wi-Fi SmartPlug for Apple HomeKit
- Marbotic Smart Letters for iPad
- Ecoxgear Sol Jam Bluetooth Speaker
- Gumdrop Cases DropTech Case + Hand Strap for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Braven BRV-1M Bluetooth Speaker
- Braven BRV-Blade Bluetooth Speaker
- Invoxia Voice Bridge
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app