Disc capacity & song quality tradeoff


Q: I just got a new 80GB iPod, and before I begin digitizing my entire CD collection, I’d like to get a feel for the tradeoff between song quality and iPod capacity. Is there somewhere I can easily see what my options are? Thanks!

– Jane

A: Absolutely. We’ve written a calculator that does just that. Simply select your iPod’s advertised capacity, and you can find out what useful capacity that corresponds to, and approximately how many songs of various bitrates (and average durations) that model iPod will hold.

window.onload = calculate;function calculate(){with (document.iPodcalc){var size = iPodsize.value;var songlength = songdur.value;var cus= bCus.value;}if (isNaN(songlength)){window.alert(“Error: Input a numeric song length.”);document.iPodcalc.songdur.value = 4;}if (isNaN(cus)){window.alert(“Error: Input a numeric custom bitrate.”);document.iPodcalc.bCus.value = 480;}var us = size*1000*1000*1000/1024/1024/1024;document.iPodcalc.usefulspace.value = us.toFixed(2);n96 = us*1024*1024*8/96/(songlength*60);document.iPodcalc.f96.value = Math.floor(n96);n128 = us*1024*1024*8/128/(songlength*60);document.iPodcalc.f128.value = Math.floor(n128);n160 = us*1024*1024*8/160/(songlength*60);document.iPodcalc.f160.value = Math.floor(n160);n192 = us*1024*1024*8/192/(songlength*60);document.iPodcalc.f192.value = Math.floor(n192);n224 = us*1024*1024*8/224/(songlength*60);document.iPodcalc.f224.value = Math.floor(n224);n256 = us*1024*1024*8/256/(songlength*60);document.iPodcalc.f256.value = Math.floor(n256);n320 = us*1024*1024*8/320/(songlength*60);document.iPodcalc.f320.value = Math.floor(n320);nCus = us*1024*1024*8/cus/(songlength*60);document.iPodcalc.fCus.value = Math.floor(nCus);nLoss = us*1024*1024*8/850/(songlength*60);document.iPodcalc.fLoss.value = Math.floor(nLoss);}
Average Song Durationminutes
iPod Size
Approx. Useful Disk SpaceGB
Average Song BitrateSong Capacity
96 kbpssongs
128 kbpssongs
160 kbpssongs
192 kbpssongs
224 kbpssongs
256 kbpssongs
320 kbpssongs
Apple Losslesssongs

Update: This calculator is now available as a permanent iLounge site feature, the iPod Storage Calculator.

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Jerrod H.

Jerrod was a contributing editor at iLounge. He mostly wrote articles about iTunes and iPod accessories. He was known for his in-depth knowledge of both topics and was often able to provide readers with unique insights into the world of Apple products.