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How to Reduce Mobile Data Usage When Streaming Music

Nancy Messieh 20-03-2017

If you’re on a limited data plan, there are quite a few tricks you can use to keep your data usage under control Everything You Can Do to Cut Down Your iPhone Cellular Data Usage If you’re sick of running out of data or racking up massive bills, it's time to take control of your usage and restrict what your iPhone can do online. Read More . One of the common culprits that drains data is your music streaming app, but with a little trick, you can keep that to a minimum too.

To make sure your music streaming app is using the least amount of data possible, you’ll need to change the audio bitrate on the music streaming app of choice. If you know you’re running low on data at the end of the month, you can also set streaming to Wi-Fi only.

Reduce Data Usage on Spotify

If you have a premium Spotify account, you can save playlists for offline listening, but if you don’t think premium is worth it Is Spotify Premium Worth Its Premium Price? Is Spotify Premium worth its premium price? Discover what Premium offers and whether you should upgrade from Spotify Free. Read More , you can just adjust the bitrate. Go to Settings (tap the wheel icon) > Streaming Quality and select Normal.

Your music will be played at a minimum bitrate of around 96 Kbps compared to 160 Kbps at High and 320 Kbps at Extreme.

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Reduce Data Usage on Google Play Music

Open up Google Play Music, go to Settings and scroll down to Playback > Quality on mobile network and select Low.

Under Playback, you can also toggle on the feature to stream music on Wi-Fi only. Also be sure to toggle Cache music while streaming which will also reduce data usage on music that you listen to regularly.

Under Downloading, toggle Download only on Wi-Fi. This way when you download music for offline listening, you can be sure you don’t waste your data when doing this.

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Reduce Data Usage on Amazon Music

On Amazon Music, you can’t adjust the bitrate but you can increase your music cache size to reduce data usage. Go to Settings (tap the wheel icon) > Music cache size.

The default size is 500 MB. You can increase it to 1,000 mb or unlimited. If you opt for unlimited, this will obviously take quite a bit of space on your phone, but Amazon Music will automatically leave 10 percent of disk space free. Also make sure that Download only on Wi-Fi is toggled on.

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Reduce Data Usage on YouTube

Do you find yourself gravitating to YouTube for listening to music? Tap your profile picture to pull up the menu and go to Settings and make sure that Play HD on Wi-Fi only is toggled on.

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Reduce Data Usage on Apple Music

Apple hasn’t given listeners control over playback quality but you can minimize data usage during downloads. Go to your iPhone Settings and scroll down to Music > Cellular Data.

Make sure that downloading is toggled off. This means your data will not be used when your music library is being updated or when album artwork is being loaded.

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Reduce Data Usage on Pandora

Pandora also doesn’t allow you to adjust your playback bitrate, but you can disable higher quality audio. Tap the hamburger menu icon and go to Settings > Advanced and make sure that Higher quality audio is toggled off. (Pandora defaults this setting to off.)

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Do you have any tips or tricks for saving data usage when listening to music on your phone? Let us know in the comments.

Explore more about: Apple Music, Google Play, Pandora, Spotify, Streaming Music, YouTube.

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