How much data does Apple Music streaming eat?

NJRonbo

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jan 10, 2007
2,116
236
More than three months post Apple Music launch, I have not signed up for my free trial.

The reason? I am concerned about the amount of cellular data that the Apple Music service will eat into.

So, I thought I would finally ask....

For those of you that don't have unlimited data on your iPhone...

How much data does your iPhone go through streaming Apple Music for an hour? More than an hour?

Would be interested to read the responses. Thank you in advance
 

jayducharme

macrumors 68040
Jun 22, 2006
3,342
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The thick of it
I stream for an hour every weekday while driving to and from work. Even with all the other stuff I do on my iPhone, I've never used more than 1 gb of data in a month. Hope that helps.
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,140
3,829
Atlanta
More than three months post Apple Music launch, I have not signed up for my free trial.

The reason? I am concerned about the amount of cellular data that the Apple Music service will eat into....
Download your Playlists on WiFi and it will eat NONE.:D
 
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swandy

macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2012
410
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I stream for an hour every weekday while driving to and from work. Even with all the other stuff I do on my iPhone, I've never used more than 1 gb of data in a month. Hope that helps.
That sounds just too good to be true. I do some streaming while running/exercising, some while driving and the normal iPhone stuff and I easily hit 3-4GB per month. So I don't see how you can stream an hour each workday (for most people that is 20 per month) and not hit 1GB. Just does not make sense.
 
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Tech198

macrumors G5
Mar 21, 2011
13,976
1,642
Australia, Perth
This is why i don't use Apple music over cell connection.

One way to test (every case would be different depends who your cell provider is..) test it with one song for an hour, then times the result u get with how many hours per moth u would likey to stream..

Most cell services have data calculator of their site for approx. calculation
 

rigormortis

macrumors 68000
Jun 11, 2009
1,813
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if your lucky enough to live in a t-mobile area, apple music uses no data at all , except for meta data, like lyrics and album covers. right now my phone says i used 1.6 gigs and if i subtract the 300 megs i used for speed tests and music streaming, it matches what t-mobile says when i dial #932#

I've also heard when you stream music ( from apple music or iTunes match ), it saves it on the phone , so if your streaming the same songs over and over, those songs could actually be on your phone, and thats why your data is low.

i have not heard anything about iTunes radio or any other online streaming service saving songs on your phone, i am only taking about iTunes match and apple music

what you do is, you turn off iTunes match or apple music on the phone, and then check the phones storage page to see how many songs you have on your phone, it should be 0 because you didn't sync anything from iTunes
 
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swandy

macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2012
410
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I've also heard when you stream music ( from apple music or iTunes match ), it saves it on the phone , so if your streaming the same songs over and over, those songs could actually be on your phone, and thats why your data is low.

i have not heard anything about iTunes radio or any other online streaming service saving songs on your phone, i am only taking about iTunes match and apple music

what you do is, you turn off iTunes match or apple music on the phone, and then check the phones storage page to see how many songs you have on your phone, it should be 0 because you didn't sync anything from iTunes
If you are checkin the About page in Settings - where it shows how many songs/photos/videos you have - yes that amount does increase when you stream songs. But if you also check the Storage/Usage to show the actual amount of free space on your device, that amount does not change. I have 200 songs that I downloaded (or "make available offline in Apple-talk). My Songs list in About shows over 500 songs. But under Usage the Music app still only shows the same 1.6GB and my available still shows 30.3GB.
 

rigormortis

macrumors 68000
Jun 11, 2009
1,813
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If you are checkin the About page in Settings - where it shows how many songs/photos/videos you have - yes that amount does increase when you stream songs. But if you also check the Storage/Usage to show the actual amount of free space on your device, that amount does not change. I have 200 songs that I downloaded (or "make available offline in Apple-talk). My Songs list in About shows over 500 songs. But under Usage the Music app still only shows the same 1.6GB and my available still shows 30.3GB.
back in iOS 7, there was a problem where when someone turns on itunes match or the very first time, and it says this will delete your music that is synced from itunes.. and it would not. and it would show up in other. thats why i was saying to turn off and check that songs/photos/videos storage page.

another situation i have been having with just recently is when you connect your iPhone to itunes and your free space which you say never changes, is not what itunes says.

the worst i have ever seen was 50 gigs of other which was my music library with itunes match on and just recently my iPhone said i had 24 gigs of photos, but itunes saying i have 10 gigs of photos and 14 gigs of other and the free space not matching up.

i tuned on photos in the cloud and everything is better now
 

swandy

macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2012
410
90
back in iOS 7, there was a problem where when someone turns on itunes match or the very first time, and it says this will delete your music that is synced from itunes.. and it would not. and it would show up in other. thats why i was saying to turn off and check that songs/photos/videos storage page.

another situation i have been having with just recently is when you connect your iPhone to itunes and your free space which you say never changes, is not what itunes says.

the worst i have ever seen was 50 gigs of other which was my music library with itunes match on and just recently my iPhone said i had 24 gigs of photos, but itunes saying i have 10 gigs of photos and 14 gigs of other and the free space not matching up.

i tuned on photos in the cloud and everything is better now
You are right about what shows up in iTunes. As I said I know I have one 200 song playlist that I "downloaded" to my iPhone 6, but when I connect it to iTunes to back it up, it says I have 53 songs on the device. Definitely something glitchy there how iTunes (at least the newest version of iOS and iTunes) have some issues passing information back and forth.
 

gsmornot

macrumors 68040
Sep 29, 2014
3,073
2,471
That sounds just too good to be true. I do some streaming while running/exercising, some while driving and the normal iPhone stuff and I easily hit 3-4GB per month. So I don't see how you can stream an hour each workday (for most people that is 20 per month) and not hit 1GB. Just does not make sense.
You can look in settings-cellular and see how much data you have used over cell for each application. Scroll to the very bottom to see when you last reset the counters.

I use Apple Music on average an hour per day with a mix of running and in the car and use less than 1GB per month on average. In fact, my settings-cellular says 1.2GB used since the 25th of Sept. and that was with a few days where I took short trips and listened for more than my average hour. Make sure where you option setting is for music quality in the settings-music and if you want to save data do not select the option of higher quality over cell. Also, as stated, music will cache on the device after play so if you listen so some of the same songs over and over (i do) then you will see a savings there as well.
 

gsmornot

macrumors 68040
Sep 29, 2014
3,073
2,471
This is why i don't use Apple music over cell connection.

One way to test (every case would be different depends who your cell provider is..) test it with one song for an hour, then times the result u get with how many hours per moth u would likey to stream..

Most cell services have data calculator of their site for approx. calculation
Just open settings-cellular at the end of the hour and the phone will tell you what you have used app by app.
 

dmk1974

macrumors 68020
Sep 16, 2008
2,153
103
if your lucky enough to live in a t-mobile area, apple music uses no data at all , except for meta data, like lyrics and album covers. right now my phone says i used 1.6 gigs and if i subtract the 300 megs i used for speed tests and music streaming, it matches what t-mobile says when i dial #932#

I've also heard when you stream music ( from apple music or iTunes match ), it saves it on the phone , so if your streaming the same songs over and over, those songs could actually be on your phone, and thats why your data is low.

i have not heard anything about iTunes radio or any other online streaming service saving songs on your phone, i am only taking about iTunes match and apple music

what you do is, you turn off iTunes match or apple music on the phone, and then check the phones storage page to see how many songs you have on your phone, it should be 0 because you didn't sync anything from iTunes


Not exactly. I have T-Mobile and Apple Music subscription on my iPhone 6s. I've been performing a few tests using different Apple Music options this afternoon. Here is what I have determined.

No data charged: If you select anything under the Radio icon. Even if you search for a custom station based on an artist, as long as you initiate it from under the Radio section, no data is charged.

Heavy data charged: If you select anything under My Music that is not a previously downloaded song. Meaning, even any Apple Music Playlist, song, artist search, album, whatever. It appears that those items are NOT considered as streaming.

I have not yet tested anything under the For You and New sections of the app.

I think T-Mobile should absolutely clarify this in their FAQ since more and more people are using Apple Music over the past 4-5 months. I think we all understand that videos are not covered (at this time) but it is implied that anything you stream/download when using the paid Apple Music app would be not charged against your data. From what I have found so far by testing a couple hours of various music types, it is not the case.
 

rigormortis

macrumors 68000
Jun 11, 2009
1,813
229
Not exactly. I have T-Mobile and Apple Music subscription on my iPhone 6s. I've been performing a few tests using different Apple Music options this afternoon. Here is what I have determined.

No data charged: If you select anything under the Radio icon. Even if you search for a custom station based on an artist, as long as you initiate it from under the Radio section, no data is charged.

Heavy data charged: If you select anything under My Music that is not a previously downloaded song. Meaning, even any Apple Music Playlist, song, artist search, album, whatever. It appears that those items are NOT considered as streaming.
yeah that would go along with t-mobile's original claim that you do not get music freedom for any stored music locker.

I figured it was charging me for playing stuff off of itunes match.

back in iOS 7/ iOS 8, i would actually see a download button sometimes when connected to t-mobile. and not using wifi and sometimes this download button would disappear when connected to cellular ( so you wouldn't burn up your data plan ) and sometimes it would show up, allowing you to download music to burn up your data plan.

i could never figure out why it comes and goes

the download button shows up when your on wifi
the download button shows goes away when your on cellular
and sometimes the download button comes back when you are on cellular
 

swandy

macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2012
410
90
You can look in settings-cellular and see how much data you have used over cell for each application. Scroll to the very bottom to see when you last reset the counters.

I use Apple Music on average an hour per day with a mix of running and in the car and use less than 1GB per month on average. In fact, my settings-cellular says 1.2GB used since the 25th of Sept. and that was with a few days where I took short trips and listened for more than my average hour. Make sure where you option setting is for music quality in the settings-music and if you want to save data do not select the option of higher quality over cell. Also, as stated, music will cache on the device after play so if you listen so some of the same songs over and over (i do) then you will see a savings there as well.
I have the higher quality turned OFF. The only difference I can see is that I don't tend to listen to the same songs - either use various playlists or Radio. And I do know about checking the amounts under Cellular. Just saying from my experience (for the times I have done only streaming, not listening to downloaded music) your amount of data seems a bit low. Who knows?