A human’s guide to digital storage.

A human’s guide to digital storage.
(How many songs can I fit on my music player)
You can find a table of Astell & Kern models and their respective song capacities at the end of this article.
You’re buying a portable music player. You want something to escape the hustle and bustle of the bus, the office, uni, or maybe you just want something to help you drift off to sleep.
Astell & Kern offer a wide range of portable music players that do just this. These range in quality, but in general offer a high quality music playing experience, easy to use interface, and are music players only. No email, no messaging, no distractions.
One of the other areas in which they differ is storage. This ranges from 16GB of onboard storage on the CT10, through to a whopping 512GB on the brand new SP2000. But what does this really mean? Is 16GB heaps already, or do you need more? What is on-board storage? Let’s take a quick look.
Onboard vs. external storage
Onboard storage is digital storage or memory that is permanent in the device. It can’t be removed, and as such is included when you purchase the device.Onboard storage is often referred to as internal storage.
External storage is storage that can be removed from the device. This is often in the form of an SD or Micro SD card (Secure Digital), but technically extends to things like USB thumb drives, flash drives or even external hard (disk) drives.
In this article I will be referring mostly to internal, onboard storage, as well as external storage in the form of micro SD cards.
Bits and Bytes
Digital storage is expressed by its capacity. These days, most storage is listed as either Gigabytes (billions of bytes) or Terabytes (trillions of bytes).
One byte = 8 bits. No, really. Half a byte is a nybble. I’m not making this up.
Okay, but if we go back to 16GB of storage, what does this really mean? How many songs or albums can I put on this? It depends.
Digital music comes in a range of different formats. You’ll likely be familiar with MP3, or at least have heard of it. But there are quite a few others. FLAC, WAV, AAC, ALAC. These are all different types of codecs (code – decode) which operate in different ways. Ultimately, they do the same thing, just at varying qualities and with varying rates of compression.
This is a fully uncompressed, lossless file type that is almost always 1411Kbps. That is kilo (thousand) bits per second. And this is because most music is recorded and mastered to be 16bits at 44,100 samples per second, meaning 16

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top