Google Play Music updated to reduce mobile data usage

June 14, 2013

Google Play MusicThe problem with cloud based computing is you need a good data connection to the Internet. Broadband services at home (including those lucky enough to have Google Fiber) are great and in the most part offer unlimited bandwidth. But on mobile it is different. Data plans are often capped or the carrier’s unlimited options are beyond the means of many users. To help ease the data usage problem for those streaming music over a 3G or 4G connection Google has updated its Play Music app to add new streaming quality settings.

As well as the existing “Stream via Wi-Fi only” option, which will stop Play Music using your data connection to stream music, there is now a setting to control the music quality whilst streaming over a mobile network. The three options, which are cunningly called “Low”, “Normal” and “High”, determine how much bandwidth is used to stream music to the phone via your carrier. Google also mention that this new version, known technically as v5.0.1052J, also reduces the overall data usage of the app.

Google Play Music New Streaming Settings

The optimal settings for reducing data plan usage, without disabling it altogether, are to set “Automatically cache” (which only caches music while the device is charging and on Wi-Fi), set “Download via Wi-Fi only” and set the “Mobile network stream quality” to “Low.”

Other changes to the app include improvements to the search quality and a speed increase in how long it takes to store music on the device when it is marked as “Keep.”

Are you having trouble with the data usage of Google Play Music? Please leave a comment below.

Comments

  • As

    Please fix the artists cover art… Allow manual upload because not all artists are recognized and not all photos are great.

    • Daniel DS

      You can manually change cover arts within the web version, idk about the artist picture though…

      • As

        yes, I mean the artist art cover that Google automatically picks for you.

  • Shawn Lott

    Since the latest update, I have had a problem with the songs I already had downloaded to the phone not showing up in the Play Music app. I uninstalled the latest update and presto! there was my music. So, I’m back to the old version. Has anybody else had this problem?