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?
- Apple’s UK tax bill under scrutiny
- Apple lays out ‘differential privacy’ plan for data collection
- Report: New iPhone’s space gray to be ‘much darker color’
- Incipio to acquire Skullcandy
- Apple confirms iOS 10 kernel was left open to improve performance
- Apple leaves iOS 10 kernel open to scrutiny
- Judge throws out ‘Error 53’ lawsuit against Apple
- Chinese company in iPhone patent fight is all but defunct
- Apple adds nine more apps to universal search in Apple TV
- WSJ: iPhone to see modest changes this year, eliminate headphone jack
- Phiaton BT 460 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
- Zagg Slim Book for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Element Case Ronin for iPhone 6/6s
- JBL Clip 2 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
- Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BT Wireless On-Ear Headphones
- Catalyst Case for iPad mini 4
- Jaybird Freedom Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
- Zagg Flex Arc Wireless Earbuds + Speakers
- Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7NC SonicPro Headphones with Active Noise Cancellation
- Twelve South BookBook for 12.9” iPad Pro
- 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