Incorrect Storage Shown?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by jasphair, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. jasphair macrumors member

    Dec 22, 2008
    I have a 32GB iPhone 4. I have iTunes set to convert all my MP3's to 128KB AAC, to save space.

    I have all of my music on, but when I downloaded some new apps and tried to sync (a game, and one other program), it says I'm short 300MB.

    In iTunes, it shows the following:

    Audio: 20.9GB
    Photos: 0.01GB
    Apps: 3.4GB
    Other: 1.4GB
    FREE: 3.5GB

    If I have 3.5GB free, why does it say I need 300MB more?
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
  3. jasphair thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 22, 2008
    I don't know, I assume that would be under the 'other' part?
  4. SAD*FACED*CLOWN macrumors 65816


    Apr 5, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I have 16 GB iPhone capacity under settings it says 14 GB...the missing 2 GB are dedicated for the OS as I was told by an Apple Genius...the operating system has already been assigned memory before you ever sync anything to your phone
  5. TheMacBookPro macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2008
    Happens to me too- iTunes claims 4.8GB free but Settings>General>About shows 0 bytes remaining. SBSettings claims 128MB free (Storage, not Available Memory(RAM)). I guess iOS forces the phone to have at least 128MB free at all times.

    Check how much available space About says.
  6. scaredpoet, Nov 19, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010

    scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    That's a quick and dirty way to pacify most people who ask this, but it's not quite right.

    What's actually happening is the issue between how most operating systems display storage capacity versus how storage vendors market the capcity of their products. Most OSes have for the longest time treated a Kilobyte a binary representation... so a Kilobyte is 1,024 bytes, a Megabyte is 1,024 KB, and a Gigabyte is 1,024 MB.

    This is also true in how iTunes shows the capacity of your iPhone. So, it expects a Gigabyte to be 1024 x 1024 x 1024, or 1,073,741,824 bytes.

    Storage Vendors though, don't do this. They use Base 10 math... so, a kilobyte is 1,000 bytes, a MB is 1,000 KB and a GB is 1,000 GB.

    What does that mean? Well, for every GB of Flash memory the vendor makes, the OSes see a "missing" 73MB, give or take. And it adds up FAST. For an iPhone 4 with 32GB of Flash memory installed, those missing megs add up to about 2.19GB of "missing" storage.


    Even more confusing is that makers of RAM memory, DON'T use base 10, and report RAM using base 2 just like the OSes... so a gigabyte of RAM is always, well... a gigabyte.

    Apple has sort of "given in" to how the storage companies see things, and starting with OS X Snow Leopard, they're using Base 10 to report storage capacities on Hard Drives and Flash drives. This is mainly because people would get angry when they bought a 1TB hard drive, formatted it, and saw that it had "only" 944 GB of capacity.

    But this change hasn't carried over to iTunes and iOS for whatever reason.

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