Empty iPod has less than 60GB of formatted space

Q: I just bought a 60 GB iPod and after installing iTunes and the iPod software it shows that it has 55.79 GB available and 73.9 MB used. (this is before I put any music on it) Is this normal? I lost almost 5 GB!

– Brian

A: Yes.

Apple’s stated capacities for iPods are based upon “unformatted” hard disk sizes – an industry-wide marketing practice that has brought about some law suits, and now is heavily disclaimed on the web sites and packages of hard disk-based products. Alas, your 60 GB iPod only holds a bit more than 56 GB, and the iPod software, as you see, takes up 74 MB in your case.

For a more detailed explanation on this point for various hard drive sizes, you can see our FAQ on actual hard disk capacities.

Kirk McElhearn is the author of several books including iPod & iTunes Garage.