Opera is making good progress with its Android-based data compression service that allows users to save data when browsing the internet and using apps. In the latest update, Opera Max has gained compatibility with five music streaming services, with more to come in the following months.
This new feature of Opera Max can save users up to half the data they would normally consume by listening to music on YouTube Music, Pandora, Slacker, Gaana, and Saavn. The last two are music services from India, a fast growing market where data connectivity remains spotty and expensive.
Opera Max uses a technology called Rocket Optimizer, which converts MP3- and MP4-based streams to AAC+, a codec that provides a similar quality at lower bitrates. In theory, users shouldn’t hear a major difference between the normal and compressed streams.
Opera says that using a music streaming service for nine hours eats away 1GB of data, so even for casual listeners, using Opera Max should provide a sizeable saving at the end of the month.
From Opera’s press release, it appears that there shouldn’t be any major impediments in adding support for more music services. Spotify and Google Play Music are probably the biggest candidates, though Apple can claim a spot as well, now that it launched its Music app on Android.
Opera Max also supports compression of video streams from YouTube and Netflix. The service acts as a server that intercepts unencrypted data traffic, routing it through Opera’s servers where bandwidth-saving compression is applied to images and video, along with website loading optimizations.
With 100 million installs projected by the end of 2016, Opera Max is turning out to be a real success for Opera. In its traditional business – web browsers – the Scandinavian company is holding on to just 1.4% of the market. That’s compared to Google Chrome’s 55.8% share. On a related note, Google is offering its own data compression service, though Opera Max is more feature-rich.
Opera Max is available for free in the Play Store.
Opera Max is the first to offer data savings for music and video apps
Android users can now stream twice as much video and music with Opera Max
Oslo, Norway – November 23, 2015: Music lovers are able to listen to their favorite streaming music apps on the go while using less mobile data. Opera Max, a data-management and data-saving app for Android phones, is the first app in the world to optimize streaming-video and -music apps, reducing data usage.
One month after introducing video savings for YouTube and Netflix apps, Opera Max, in its latest version, now offers data saving on music apps includingYouTube Music, Pandora, Slacker Radio, Gaana and Saavn. This means users of these apps can enjoy data savings of up to 50% with Opera Max.
“More and more people love listening to their favorite music with apps; however, these apps are among the major data hogs consuming users’ mobile data quickly,” says Sergey Lossev, Product Manager at Opera Software. “Now, we have added audio compression for these music apps so that people will feel free to stream music without having to look constantly for available, free Wi-Fi coverage. This is particularly helpful for users with limited data plans.”
Data compression technology will increase usage of music apps
According to the report from Next Big Sound, 1 trillion audio streaming plays so far in the first six months in 2015. That averages out to 140 streams for every single human on the planet. Usage of streaming-music apps has increased substantially, with the growing adoption of smartphones, especially in emerging markets. However, listening to streaming music or online radio for 9 hours would take 1 GB of data. It could easily burn through users’ data plans if they were streaming through mobile networks.
Opera Max uses streaming audio optimization powered by Rocket Optimizer, which manages streaming audio traffic in the same way that it optimizes video traffic. It supports both MP3 and MP4 stream formats, and it can also convert streams to the more efficient AAC+ codec, which is able to deliver high audio quality over a low bitrate connection to any compatible device.
Lossev adds, “We keep fine tuning the streaming-audio-optimization technology in Opera Max, so people can save more data while enjoying good audio quality. Pandora, Slacker Radio, Gaana, Saavn, and YouTube Music are the first five apps that passed our quality-assurance test, but we will support more music-streaming apps in the near future.”
Opera Max gives users data savings of up to 50% across most apps and browsers, including video apps, such as YouTube, Netflix, and IMDB, among others on mobile networks as well as on Wi-Fi. This app also helps users monitor and keep count of how much mobile internet or WiFi they have used, on a monthly or daily basis, giving them better control over their data plans.
Opera Max is available for users with phones running Android 4.0 and above. It is free to download from Google Play.