Last month at Google IO Google released their subscription based streaming music service, Google Play Music All Access. Here at Ausdroid we tested it out and found the new interface and the options included in Google Play Music All Access to be fairly extensive and were very impressed with it, with one main downside – Data usage. Though Google music detected your data connection speed and modulated the bit-rate of the streaming music to produce a similar performance no matter what the connection speed. The result of this was the Google Music app appeared to consume large amounts of data when compared with similar services (eg. MOG Music). Today Google have released an update to the Google Music app that is meant to, among other things, solve this issue.
The update allows the user to choose the “Mobile networks stream quality”. The options do not give details of bitrate or similar but give a high, normal and low setting, with low using the least amount of data. After testing these settings for an hour it seems that the high quality is the same as the previous streaming quality with respect to data usage, normal is half to two thirds of this and low is under a half of the original data usage. The quality of the music on low setting is still a quality where the average user will not be able to distinguish a major difference from this to the high quality setting. This update of the app and service now, in my opinion, make it usable here in Australia where data allowances on carrier plans are decreasing more and more each year.
For those who have also tried to download songs to their device while on wifi to save on data usage later will find this much faster to perform as well as search finding results a lot faster according to the changelog of the update:
- Keeping music on device now much faster
- New setting for mobile network bandwidth usage
- Search quality improvements
- Reduced data usage overall
The new update to Google Music app should be arriving on your device today – check Google Play for app updates if you have it installed and if you’re using Google Play Music All Access, then I urge you to try it out. If you’re not using it, check out our guide to subscribing for people here in Australia to give it a shot. Remember, for those who sign up to Google Music All Access before the end of June can do so at the discounted price of $7.99USD.