Streaming music to Apple Music can get expensive when using cellular data. Assuming Apple Music even allows you to stream music in lossless format; You can easily exhaust your limited data plan before you know it.
However, there are ways to minimize the amount of data Apple Music uses while you stream or download your music for later. We’ll show you how.
How much data does Apple Music use?
Before we dive into how to reduce Apple Music data usage, let’s first examine the amount of data the platform uses when streaming music. To understand this, we need to consider the sound quality of Apple Music. First of all, Apple Music supports various audio qualities.
The lowest available quality on Apple Music is high efficiency, uses only 1.5 MB of data for a three-minute song. The second option is High qualitythe lowest audio quality available when streaming over a Wi-Fi network. High quality is limited to 254 kbps, which is 6 MB of data for a three-minute song. Next is Lossless Audio quality that allows 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 song. The highest quality in Apple Music is Hi res lossless that streams files up to 24-bit at 192kHz. It uses 145MB for a three-minute song, but you’ll need more than just checking 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 that we have listed below, you can save a considerable amount of data while using Apple Music.
1. Download music for offline listening
As one of the best music downloading apps, the first step is to download your music offline. As one of the perks of Apple Music subscription, offline downloads allow you to save your songs, albums, and playlists on your device so you can listen to them when you’re running out of data or you’re in a poor connectivity area.
While streaming and downloading usually use the same amount of data (provided they’re identical files with the same quality), the latter saves your files on your device so you can access them again and again without needing an internet connection. So they store data.
2. Reduce Apple Music sound quality
To further save your data, you need to reduce the quality of your downloaded files. You can achieve this by going to Settings > Music > Audio Quality > Downloads and select High quality.
Downloading music is the ultimate data storage solution, but sometimes you might want to stream music as well. In this case, reduce 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 WiFi by going to Settings > Music > Audio Quality > WiFi Streaming and select High quality.
3. Disable downloading over cellular data
Another way to save your data is to turn off the ability to download songs over cellular data. To disable this feature, open the Settings app, scroll down and select music. On the next page, scroll down to Downloads Section and turn off Download via mobile data.
When this setting is off, Apple Music won’t download music even if you choose to while using cellular data.
4. Disable animated art when using cellular data
Some playlists, albums, artist pages, and more may have animated cover art on Apple Music. As you’ve probably guessed, animated covers use more data. To reduce data usage, you must turn off Animated Art while streaming music over cellular data.
Open the Settings app and go to musicthen navigate to animated art and select it. Select on the next page WiFi only. By default, Apple Music plays animated art over Wi-Fi and cellular data.
5. Prevent Apple Music from accessing cellular data
This is the last option you should choose if you don’t want Apple Music to stream or download anything when you’re not connected to Wi-Fi. It’s a simple kill switch that blocks Apple Music from accessing your data. That’s how it’s done:
- Open the Settings app.
- Scroll down to your apps and select music.
- On the next page, toggle the switch next to off mobile data at the top of the page.
Save data while using Apple Music
Apple Music can easily exhaust your limited cellular plan, but by changing Apple Music’s sound quality and making a few adjustments, you can keep using the service with peace of mind. First, download your music for offline streaming, then lower the streaming quality and turn off animated art when streaming over cellular data.
Take it a step further by disabling music downloads over cellular data and, if you don’t want Apple Music having a pie of your cellular data, block access entirely.