Tom Sucks

Everything sucks, but we can make it suck less

The iPod Illusion February 7, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 9:46 pm

In computing, binary prefixes can be used to quantify large numbers where powers of two are more useful than powers of ten. Each successive prefix is multiplied by 1024 (210) rather than the 1000 (103) used by the SI prefix system. Despite the ambiguity, binary prefixes are often written and pronounced identically to the SI prefixes, rather than using the system described below.

A song as defined by apple is a 4 minute AAC encoded song at 128 kilobits/sec, or 16 kibibytes/sec. This is a 3,840 kibibytes of song, or 3.84 megabytes (3.75 mebibytes). Apple claims a 512MB (Megabytes not Mibibytes, as defined by Apple) iPod Shuffle can hold 120 songs. If there is nothing but music in the 512mb, no firmware or anything, a little over 133 songs could be held. If it was 512 MiB, it could hold 136 songs. Why 120? I suppose the firmware does take up space! As well, 13 is an unlucky number, so you wouldn’t want that on your product. I do not have a shuffle nor a 240 second 128kilobit/sec encoded AAC song, although I’m sure some adventurous young lad could create one and test the true capacity of the shuffle.

Thusly, the 1GB shuffle could hold about 267 songs, due to the 512 being able to hold 136.533 repeating (I would claim 250 songs if I were apple), the nano the same (although apple for some reason kept 240 for the 1GB nano, I would have moved it up to 250 because half of 500 (for 2gb) is 250, and this will only confuse customers).

Damn, I hoped to prove that iPods hold less than advertised using advertised metrics, and bigger ones do! The 60gb ipod is really about 55.87 gb and that means it holds 14,919 at best, 81 short of the advertised 15,000.

Title a tribute to the Megahertz Myth


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