Anyway to reduce Apple Music streaming quality & reduce buffer time?

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by sam.walker22, Aug 15, 2015.

  1. sam.walker22 macrumors member

    sam.walker22

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    #1
    This is my main bug about Apple Music... The buffer time is only usually about 5 - 8 seconds, but I've been using Spotify for years where there is literally no noticeable buffer time at all.

    When my phones plugged into my car's media system and I'm listening to Apple Music through it, if the media system doesn't detect any input (i.e. no music playing because it's too busy buffering) then it automatically switches back to the radio. This makes Apple Music practically impossible to listen to in the car because of the buffering times.

    I understand that Apple Music streams at a higher quality than Spotify which is why the buffer time is longer, but is there any way to force it to stream at a lower quality? I was perfectly happy with Spotify's stream rate... :(
     
  2. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #2
    While IMO it should be 'illegal' it is coming next month in iOS9.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Tech198 macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #3
    how is that different to Spotify ? it's not like u'd get uninterrupted there either at 320k (which by the way is higher than Apple music)

    Apple music is only 256K AAC, so i would expect as a "premium" user of spotify u would get more interruptions at 320k. less with Apple music.
     
  4. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #4
    Spotify uses 96kbps when you select Normal or low quality.

    Also Apple uses AAC (MP4) which is a more advanced codec than MP3. Technically 256kbps AAC is on par or slightly better than 320kbps MP3.
     
  5. Supermallet macrumors 65816

    Supermallet

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2014
    #5
    Illegal? What?
     
  6. Rigby macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #6
    And 160kbps when using "high quality" or 320kbps when using "extreme" (see here).
    Yes, but apparently they use a lower bitrate than the standard 256kbps when streaming via cellular.
    Actually, the differences at these high bitrates are minimal to non-existent. AAC brings the most improvement at low bitrates. And it also depends on the quality of the encoder (e.g. LAME is a very good MP3 encoder that will usually achieve equivalent quality at higher bitrates).

    As to the buffering, that's likely not related to the bitrate but simply due to a different design choice made by Apple for their streaming client. A larger buffer has pros (e.g. better resilience in case of short drops of available bandwidth) and cons (longer startup time). Or perhaps their CDN is not quite up to par.
     
  7. sam.walker22 thread starter macrumors member

    sam.walker22

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    #7
    These are my spotify settings...
    image.jpg

    Does anyone else have a longer buffer time with apple music compared to spotify? My wifi's not the fastest, around 5mb, but I still have around a 6 second buffer time on 4G (approx 10mb). Spotify is almost always instant.
     
  8. Knapple macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2014
    #8
    For me Apple Music definitely has a longer loading time when I start a playlist or choose a song. I have a fast wifi and spottily loads instantly while AM takes 5-6 sec to start the song.
     
  9. quable macrumors newbie

    quable

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2015
    Location:
    Brooklyn, New York
    #9
    Spotify's buffer is nearly instantaneous because of their streaming method - not the sound quality (indeed, Spotify's highest-tier of 320 OGG format creates larger files than Apple's 256 AAC). Spotify uses a peer-to-peer network instead of Apple Music's web-based method. You'll notice that Spotify is punchier to load tracks and "fast-forward" both on iOS and desktop.

    Here's a good article detailing the technology behind this:

    http://pansentient.com/2011/04/spotify-technology-some-stats-and-how-spotify-works/
     
  10. sam.walker22 thread starter macrumors member

    sam.walker22

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    #10
    Ah right, thanks didn't realise that. Here's hoping apple adopt these methods soon!!
     
  11. Rigby macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #11
    They stopped using their P2P network quite a while ago and now have their own CDN.
     
  12. quable macrumors newbie

    quable

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2015
    Location:
    Brooklyn, New York
    #12

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