A 16-gigabyte iPod can hold approximately 3,500 to 4,000 songs, according to EveryMac.com. This figure is an estimate; the actual amount varies depending on song length, file type, encoding and the amount of other media stored on the device.
Apple provides storage estimates for song capacity based on music files encoded at 128 kbps AAC. These audio files strike a balance between size and sound quality. Higher bitrate MP3 files, or files in even more complex formats, like FLAC, take up more space but offer higher sound quality. A 16-gigabyte iPod is capable of storing far fewer audio files if they are encoded in a file format larger than 128 kbps AAC.