Visual Guide: iPod and MP3 player storage

Find out how much media your portable music player can hold

by Barb Dybwad on October 29, 2010


One of the most important factors when shopping for a portable music player is figuring out how much storage you need. If you're an audiophile with a truly gigantic collection, almost no player will be able to handle your entire music library — but at least you know you'll probably get a lot of mileage out of getting the most capacity you can afford. If you have a smaller collection, the decision gets a bit trickier; you want enough to hold everything you have now, but what happens when your library grows? You probably want a bit more space than you actually need, so that your music collection can continue to grow.

Plus now that most portable media players can also store video as well as photos, you really need to know what that difference an 8GB versus a 16GB player might make to you. Check out our visual guide to storage sizes below, where we break down just how many music, video and photo files the most common storage sizes can hold.

bd visual guide to audio music players storage

Please note: These figures are estimates! Please be aware that all of the above figures are estimates based on average file sizes, which can be affected by a number of factors. Here are the figures we used to arrive at the numbers above:

  • Number of songs Based on a 4-minute song encoded at 128 Kbps in AAC format
  • Number of pictures Based on a 2.4MB average-sized JPG image from an 8-megapixel digital camera
  • Hours of video Based on a video file as 640x480 pixel resolution, encoded in H.264 format

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