Rogers’ Funny Math on MP3 Player

A blog reader notes that Rogers is currently promoting a new Sony Ericsson phone that features an 8 GB MP3 player.  The company claims that allows users to stuff up to 10,000 songs on the device.  It is unclear how they arrive at that number but it is obviously wrong and likely misleading many customers. At roughly 4 MB per song, the Rogers claims is about five times overstated. By contrast, Apple also offers an 8 GB MP3 player (the new iPod Touch) which it more accurately says can hold up to 1,750 songs.  It's time for Rogers to correct the marketing campaign.


  1. Rogers are right, but they forgot to say that the only songs you can listen are ringtones.

  2. It may be that Rogers are using their own music store as a guide, which sells very low quality tracks that are often only a megabyte or two in size. Still misleading but perhaps that’s why they can get away with it.

  3. Perhaps they meant 10,000 lyrics?

  4. Mr.
    I just find this hard to believe – that Rogers would knowingly mislead their customers.

    Is this not the same company that marketed an Extreme internet connection as “super fast”, and then started implementing bandwidth throttling technology that actually reduced speed?

    Rogers is all about misleading their customers, and no doubt makes a considerable profit in doing so.

  5. I see one of their billboards during my commute and I was curious as to what they used for a benchmark. I spent some time on the weekend looking around Rogers’ site and was unable to find any info on bit-rate, track length, etc.

  6. In order to fit 10,000 songs on an 8GB card you need to come in at 800K per song. The quintessential BTO song “Takin’ Care of Business”, when converted to a 56kbps version (bad quality) still takes over 2MB. If was reduced further, to 48kbps, and changed to mono, it might, just might be small enough to fit.

    The marketing campaign by Rogers is effective in that people notice the 10,000 song point and immediately think of their own phone being able to hold 250 or even 500 songs. I know that my two daughters who have cell phones were immediately captivated by the 10,000 limit as their own phones, with a 2GB card, top out at around 475 songs. When they asked me how that phone could hold that many songs I told them the truth: Rogers was less than truthful. (OK, I used another word, but I’m trying to be PC here.)

    Let’s face it, they aren’t upfront about the cost of a plan (System Access Fee anyone?) and now, when trying to compete with Apple, they are misleading with regard to the number of songs that can be stored. If at first you don’t succeed, lie, lie again? Is that the model we want our children to follow?

  7. How They Plan on Doing It?
    Maybe they meant 10,000 songs as in all those sound effects buried in you favorite OS interface. I bet it might be possible.

    Reminds me of a joke by Ryan Stiles: “We have over 10,000 songs on one CD! VERY fast songs!”

  8. Blaise Alleyne says:

    VERY fast songs
    Very fast. Very, extremely fast songs.

  9. I noticed when this campaign started a few weeks ago and was flabbergasted that Rogers would straight up lie to it’s customers (or potential customers) like that. Thanks for picking up this story and putting the pressure on them.

  10. Woops
    I’d place bets that someone on the marketing team simply misread or miscalculated the number and that it made it through quality assurance. It happens. I doubt they’re lying about something like this on purpose.

    However, if they are notified and don’t pull the ad (which wouldn’t surprise me), then they’d be lying.

  11. Considering (as mentioned above) that mp3s can be whittled down to smaller ratios and horrible-sounding bit rates, is there an industry average that companies use to determine how many songs can fit on a device? My guess would be a megabyte per minute and an average song length of three minutes?

  12. Is Apple the Standard?
    An industry average? Well, when I bought my 20GB iPod four years ago Apple said that it would hold 5000 songs. I came close at 4950. Four years later and that ratio is still pretty close 250 songs per GB. 4MB per song.

    From doing a little bit of research most companies seem to advertise based on this premise. Once again, Apple showed the lead. Once again, Rogers has totally obliterated reality.

    They have been notified of their “mistake”, but refuse to change their comments. As a result I will be filing a False Advertising claim with Industry Canada later this week. (Later this week in an effort to allow Rogers to respond completely to my complaint.)

  13. Check out: [ link ]

    even sandisk states that the 8gig card can only hold 2,000 songs. This isn’t even close to false advertising now is it? 😛

    seriously though, how do companies justify actions like this?

  14. Called rogers about this promotion. They can’t tell me anything about the length of the songs or the compression rate. I had them looking for a while. They finally returned by saying that I would have to call sony about the 10,000 song claim. Even though sony doesn’t appear to have that offer on their own website. But they still insist it was sony who told them that 8gb could hold 10,000 songs. I told them that it was false and misleading information. They insisted it was not because they said it all depends on the length and compression rate of the files even though they don’t know what that is. So I told the girl why don’t you advertise 20,000 or 40,000 songs. I guess they figured people might not be that stupid. More Corporate Red tape

  15. 10,000 tunes is, I suppose, technically possible- but they would be 30 second songs of horridly lo-fi quality. Bell makes the same claim for a music phone of theirs. It’s certainly deceptive advertising if not an outright lie.

  16. It seems Sony/Erickson is making the same claim of 10,000 songs. It does say they can be downloaded to the phone, Can you imagine the cost???????????

  17. What a load of….
    This is great! I have been having the same discussion with friends and was tempted to approach a Rogers store many times to ask their opinion (for a bit of a laugh) but thought I better do some research on it to find out if this was really true that an 8Gb card could hold 10,000 songs.

    Glad I am not the only person that was a little suspicious about the claims.
    I might make that trip to the store tomorrow for some amusement. 🙂

  18. ty
    flat out false advertising. my not-so-tech-savvy brother told me about the ad and i told him he had obviously misheard it. then i heard it for myself and i’m just appalled that people can do this. people WILL fall for this. an absolute shame. i feel like calling rogers sales reps right now to piss on them for this bull.

  19. This has really been bugging me. Thankfully no one I know has fallen victim to this scam.

    Digg this and help spread the word:
    [ link ]

  20. Doyle
    I think the manager must of said 2000 songs to the marketing guy but the marketing guy thought he heard 10 instead of two. Would make sense because my 4 gb nano holds 1000 songs, just multiply by two and you get the 8 gb 2000 song capacity.

  21. Can no one force Rogers to admit to their lies? Do they not realize that anyone who knows anything is calling them a joke for their ads? Do they even care about truth in advertising or their customers? Boycott Rogers now!!!

  22. n/a
    I wrote to the advertising standards canada regarding this Rogers claim. They wrote back to me claiming that Rogers is correct on this 10,000 songs per 8 GB. Here is the breakdown, 8 GB *will* hold 10,000 songs if these songs are compressed to 32kb/s (verses the standard of 128 that Apple uses) and 3 minutes per song (vs the 4 minutes that Apple uses) I was a bit surprised that they didn’t noose rogers for this misleading advertising, but, i suppose since rogers pay taxes, and they get their money from taxes, why bite the hand that feeds??

  23. 32kb/s compression…

    Humming songs yourself would sound better.