How to Prevent YouTube Music From Wasting Your Mobile Data

Joel Lee 13-04-2016

If you want to stream music for free on mobile devices What Is the Best Way to Stream Music for Free on Android? There are a ton of free music-streaming apps for Android, but how are they different and which is your best option? Read More , one of the best options currently available is YouTube Music (available on Android and on iOS). This app lets you browse and listen to YouTube as if it were a music streaming service, making it a formidable competitor to the likes of Spotify, Pandora, etc.

It gets even better if you subscribe to the YouTube Red program Is YouTube Premium Worth the Cost? 7 Things You Need to Consider Is YouTube Premium's cost worth it? We look into the pros and cons of YouTube's paid version. Read More  because Red membership unlocks a special feature: the ability to stream audio without video, which can save a ton on bandwidth and data usage. But what if you don’t have a Red membership?

Fortunately, YouTube recently added a new feature that lets you only stream when you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network. It’s a common feature in streaming apps like this, so it’s strange that it took this long to be implemented, but the good news is that it is here, so you should enable it ASAP.


All you have to do is open the side menu, select Settings, and tick the checkbox for the setting labeled Stream via Wi-Fi only. If you still want to stream on mobile data but only in non-HD quality, tick the checkbox for Limit mobile data usage instead.

The best part is that these options are available even if you’re just a free user, but you should still consider getting a Red membership anyway. Despite some of the downsides to the Red program 4 Reasons YouTube Red Is Bad for the YouTube Community Google just announced YouTube Red. YouTube is a different kind of service with a big community. So, is YouTube Red good or bad for the video site in the long term? Read More , you get a lot of neat benefits like ad-free browsing and access to YouTube’s library of original shows and films We Watched Scare PewDiePie So You Don't Have To Are these YouTube Red Originals worth the price tag? We watched the first batch so, well, you don't have to. Here's what we thought... Read More .

Do you use YouTube Music? If so, what do you like most about it? If not, why not and what would convince you to start using it? Share with us down in the comments below!

Related topics: Streaming Music, YouTube.

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  1. Andrew Formosa
    August 26, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    I've tried TIDAL twice, each for extended periods and both times I cancelled. As a music lover I was drawn to the high-quality lossless streaming. Like other music lovers, I have a stereo which I like very much. I also like to listen in my car. The biggest problem with online streaming is compression. Writers out there may claim that compression is unaudable at xxx kb/s, but you're just plain wrong when you say 360kb/s is the maximum you can hear. Audio engineers hear mistakes made by other audio engineers because they are aware of what they are hearing. Active listeners on good stereos with well accustomed hearing can hear flaws. This is what is so disappointing about other streaming services - Apple especially - which has a horrendous problem with compression and is completely unapologetic about it. Spotify premium on it's highest setting has proven the best overall, but could offer better.
    TIDAL fails to deliver content. Unfortunately this isn't uncommon when it comes to some genres such as Classical, Jazz and blues, but also house music, progressive, world music and other genres. The focus on what is popular is self perpetuating. It yields more listens, which gains again more listeners. This makes new content discovery challenging. Where TIDAL shined was in full album playback at lossless listening, but TIDAL fails to identify it's niche - music listeners and musicians who enjoy Classical, jazz, blues. My personal collection of CDs Vinyl SACD and files alone seemed larger for many genres and my collection is pretty modest. If I was wrong - then perhaps the problem was the difficulty in finding new albums. As a classical music lover- this genre is often treated by streaming services as an after thought. Poorly sorted by artist/genre/album etc and limited in offering in some genres. With all the quiet transitions and subtle nature in classical music TIDAL was the only service that usually got the quality of play back right with lossless audio; however, the lack of content and price was a deal breaker. It has a poor value proposition. Had the lossless quality playback been the standard offering at 9.99 I would still subscribe, but at 20.00 it just wasn't worth it. Spotify could learn by increasing to lossless streaming and putting some real focus into classical music - instead of force feeding hideously mis sorted playlists made up of the top 10 classical music for kids or reading. This is a 1000 year old plus genre and it's treated like only 5 subscribers care. For a global service, classical genres and world genres need a boost. American top 40 is not all anyone wants to listen to and it seems like that's the visually dominant music presented by all the providers.

    TIDAL should make lossless audio available at 9.99
    Increase its classical jazz blues house progressive and world offerings, while continuing to develop its pop genre selections and discovery playlists. Link them to albums when you want to hear more of who you like and look seriously into app development. If i cant get a TIDAL app on my android tv, Xbox, ps4, apple or android phone, tablet, or in my car then how are people really going to be exposed to the service as an option. I wasn't aware of it until I researched providers with the best audio quality. Lastly consider integration of local radio stations, traffic, talk radio, and live sports. There's sure to be countless individuals interested if it reaches its market. Do what Sirius and Spotify each do well, but do it lossless for the same price and you will win.

    There's hope for TIDAL.
    Cross platform Apps, pricing and Content.

    Either that or kill it and start from scratch.. Spotify really only needs to develop its classical and other genres, and start offering lossless compression or higher bitrate... but who will care enough first about what it takes to be the best and most accessible provider on the planet.

  2. Ben
    April 18, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Google removed a great app from the Play Store then added the feature to their YouTube Red pay service. The app had the ability to play YouTube videos audio tracks without adverts. They also use an icon too-close-to-the-original-to-be-accidental for it. It's a shame when the big guys step on the little guys to get ahead.

    • Joel Lee
      April 18, 2016 at 9:58 pm

      Hmm, do you remember the name of that app? This is the first I'm hearing of it, and if that's true, then that sucks. :(

      • Ben
        April 18, 2016 at 11:53 pm

        Hi Joel,
        Yes, it's called FireTube and it's still available elsewhere as a 3rd party app. I found out by emailing the developer about a year after Google removed it from the Play Store.

  3. Nathan
    April 14, 2016 at 9:43 am

    I'm really disappointed this app is not available in my country South Africa. Any other suggestions on another app to use?

    • Joel Lee
      April 18, 2016 at 9:57 pm

      Sorry Nathan. Didn't realize it was region locked, though I guess it makes sense in retrospect. Can't think of an alternative off the top of my head. :(