How Much Data Does Streaming Music Use

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Online music streaming is one of the biggest ways of consuming music these days. Obviously besides YouTube, iTunes or any other service that you are subscribed to. So how much data does streaming music use?? If you are streaming music over your Wi-Fi, this might not be a big issue. If you are using your mobile data, you want to keep an eye on how much data does streaming music use.

Some of the big service providers when it comes to online music streaming are:

  1. Spotify
  2. iTunes
  3. Pandora
  4. Google Music
  5. YouTube Music
  6. Beats Music

Streaming music online is exactly like as downloading a file form the internet. The only difference is that this download takes place in the background of the app. While you are listening to your favorite tunes online, the app downloads the music file and plays it from the downloaded file. Thus, consuming your mobile data or the Wi-Fi depending upon your connection.

First you must understand the type of data that is downloaded when you stream music online.

Different songs have different bit rate. Bit rate depends on the quality of the stream, higher the bit rate the more data is used to stream the song.

How much data does Streaming Music Use: Calculation

1 MB(Megabyte) = 1024 kB(Kilobyte)

Let’s assume you want to listen to a song at a bit rate of 320 kbps (Kilobits per second, not byte)

1 Byte = 8 Bit.

So, 320 kbps songs will consume 320×60 = 19,200 kilobits in a minute = 2400 kilobyte= 2.34 Megabyte in a minute.

If a 320 kbps(highest quality) song is 4 minutes long you would consume roughly 4*2.34 = 9.36 MB of your data.

Sorry for the boring mathematic calculation :D.

All the fore mentioned online music streaming services have their respective bit rate/quality which you can choose from per your personal needs.

  1. Spotify

Spotify allows access to its service for free but with some limitations. Premium users on the other hand have much more control and are provided with much better features such as:

  • Unlimited song skips.
  • Downloading songs for offline playback.
  • Streaming music in extreme quality. (If you have a free account you can only stream music in high quality.

Per Spotify’s online resource there are three different bit rates for each quality.

  1. 96 kbps: Normal Quality for a mobile phone.
  2. 160 kbps: High Quality for a mobile phone and standard for desktop playback.
  • 320 kbps: Extreme quality for a mobile phone and high quality for desktop playback. This option is only available for premium subscribers.

Other service providers also have information related to the quality they provide and the bitrates they use on their website. You can check them from the links below.

At last, it all comes down to the bit rate the music is being played and nothing else. So, if you are concerned about your mobile data plan, we recommend you will restrict all the background activity of the app and restrict mobile data usage on the phone.

How Much Data Does Streaming Music Use : Minimizing Data Consumption

Online music streaming can consume lots of data. In order to minimise the consumption you can take some precautions:

  1. Always try to stream in lower quality bitrate.
  2. If offline playback is supported, make sure you use that feature.
  3. Turn off background data from your phone if its turned on.

Have something to say?? Leave in the comments below.