Streaming music on Apple Music can get expensive if you use cellular data. Provided Apple Music even allows you to stream music in Lossless format; you could easily use up your limited data plan before you know it.
However, there are ways to minimize the amount of data Apple Music uses while streaming or downloading your music for later. We’ll show you how.
How much data does Apple Music use?
Before we dive into reducing Apple Music’s data usage, let’s take a look at the amount of data the platform uses when streaming music. To understand this, we need to consider the sound quality of Apple Music. For starters, Apple Music supports various audio qualities.
The lowest quality available on Apple Music is High efficiency, which consumes only 1.5 MB of data for a three-minute song. The second option is Of high qualitythe lowest audio quality available when streaming over a Wi-Fi network. Of high quality is limited to 254 kbps, which translates to 6 MB of data for a three-minute track. The next one is lossless audio quality, allowing you to stream files in Apple’s proprietary Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) format.
Lossless streams audio up to 24-bit at 48kHz and consumes 36MB for a three-minute track. The highest quality on Apple Music is Hi-Res Lossless which streams files up to 24-bit at 192kHz. It consumes 145MB for a three-minute track, but you’ll need more than just enable the option if you want to stream Hi-Res audio on your iPhone or iPad.
How to reduce the amount of data Apple Music uses
There is no single solution to reduce your Apple Music data usage. However, by implementing the various solutions we have listed below, you can save a significant amount of data while using Apple Music.
1. Download music for offline listening
As one of the best music download apps, the first step you should take is to download your music offline. As one of the benefits of subscribing to Apple Music, offline downloads allow you to store your songs, albums, and playlists on your device so you can listen to them when you’re out of data or in an area with poor connectivity.
While streaming and downloading typically use the same amount of data (as long as they’re identical files with the same quality), the latter stores your files on your device so you can access them over and over without the need for an internet connection. So you save data.
2. Reduce the sound quality of your Apple Music
To further save your data, you need to reduce the quality of your downloaded files. You reach that by going to Settings > Music > Audio Quality > Downloads and select Of high quality.
Downloading music is the ultimate solution to save data, but sometimes you may also want to stream music. In that case, lower your streaming quality to save mobile data. To do this, open the Settings app > Music > Audio Quality > Mobile Data Streaming and select High efficiency.
You can also limit the streaming quality on Wi-Fi by going to . to go Settings > Music > Audio Quality > Wi-Fi Streaming and select Of high quality.
3. Turn off mobile data download
Another way to save your data is to disable the ability to download songs using mobile data. To disable this functionality, open the Settings app, scroll down and select Music. On the next page, scroll down to the Downloads section and turn off Download over mobile data.
With this setting turned off, Apple Music won’t download music even if you want to while using cellular data.
4. Turn off animated art when using mobile data
Some playlists, albums, artist pages and more may have animated album art on Apple Music. As you probably guessed, animated covers consume more data. To reduce data usage, you should disable animated art while streaming music over mobile data.
Open the Settings app and go to Musicand then navigate to Animated Art and select it. Select on the next page Wi-Fi only. By default, Apple Music plays animated art on Wi-Fi and mobile data.
5. Block Apple Music from Accessing Cellular Data
This is the last option to take if you don’t want Apple Music to stream or download anything when you’re not hooked on Wi-Fi. It’s a simple kill switch that blocks Apple Music’s access to your data. Here’s how to do it:
- Open the Settings app.
- Scroll down to your apps and select Music.
- On the next page, turn off the switch next to Mobile data top of the page.
Saving data while using Apple Music
Apple Music can easily exhaust your limited cellular plan, but by changing the sound quality on Apple Music and making a few tweaks, you can continue to use the service with peace of mind. Start by downloading your music for offline streaming, then reduce the streaming quality and disable animated art when streaming over mobile data.
Take it one step further by disabling music downloads over cellular data and, if you don’t want Apple Music to have a pie with your cellular data, block access completely.