How Much Music Does the 32GB iPod Touch Hold?

By Marina Martin

Apple's 32GB iPod Touch combines the features of a traditional iPod with many of the features of an iPhone. While an iPod Touch cannot make phone calls on a wireless carrier plan, it can connect to a wireless network so you can surf the Web, purchase music and download applications from the App Store. The number of audio files that can fit on a 32GB iPod Touch varies depending on song length, audio encoding and other factors.

Official Estimate

According to Apple, you can expect to fit up to 7,000 songs on a 32GB iPod Touch.

Effect of Song Length

Apple's official estimate of the 32GB iPod Touch's song capacity is based on an average song length of four minutes. If you tend to listen to longer audio files, particularly classical music, podcasts or audiobooks, you will not be able to fit as many files.

Effect of Song Encoding

Apple's bases its estimate of 7,000 songs on the assumption that every song has 128-Kbps AAC encoding. If you prefer higher-quality song encoding, such as 256-Kbps or 320-Kbps AAC encoding, particularly if you connect your iPod Touch to an external speaker system, you would be able to fit fewer songs.

Effect of Formatting

While this iPod Touch has a total hard drive capacity of 32GB, all of that space is not available out of the box because you must have iOS, the Apple mobile operating system, installed in order to use the device, similar to how you need to have Mac OS X installed on an Apple computer in order to run Mac programs. The operating system takes up roughly 2GB of space, leaving you with 30GB of free memory.

Effect of Other Media

Since you can use an iPod Touch for much more than just music playback, you may need to leave room for downloading applications, videos and photos. According to Apple, the 32GB iPod Touch hard drive can fit 40 hours of video or up to 40,000 photos.