Apple Music — Bandwidth Considerations for Streaming Music

Apple’s recent Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) garnered a lot of press for its announcement of Apple Music, Cupertino’s attempt to gain a share of the Internet music streaming market currently dominated by companies like Spotify and Pandora. Apple brings some heavy hitters from the music industry to the fray, including Dr. Dre and Nine Inch Nail’s Trent Reznor.

Still, most Internet users don’t care so much about music playlists curated by celebrities; they want to know whether or not their Internet service offers the bandwidth to stream high quality music with no buffering or stuttering. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at Apple Music to see if it makes sense for your Internet music experience.

Streaming Apple Music

Details on Apple Music Streaming Service

Using an app only compatible with the iOS platform — for now — Apple Music offers a music streaming service with a variety of features Cupertino hopes distinguish its product from Spotify and Pandora. These include the previously mentioned curated playlists, Siri voice control, and the Beats Connect platform which lets musical artists share blog posts and other content with their fans.

The Apple music streaming service costs users $9.99 per month, after an initial three-month free trial period. Families are able to get everyone in on the streaming action for one monthly fee of $14.99. Apple Music’s Beats 1 radio station is always free.

Apple Music is expected to be available to all current iTunes users by the end of June. Apple TV owners won’t see the service on those devices until sometime this summer. Android fans need to wait until later this year before the app arrives at the Google Play store.

Will You Need More Bandwidth for Apple Music?

Fortunately, music streaming services don’t require the massive amounts of bandwidth as with video streaming. Most Internet accounts, even as low as 1 Mbps,  are able to stream music with little problem. Since Apple Music also offers other content on Beats Connect, you’ll need to pay attention when streaming videos or other rich media formats.

As always, make sure to perform regular speed tests to see if you are getting all the bandwidth promised by your ISP. Remember that an HTML 5 speed test works best on the mobile devices — smartphones and tablets — on which most folks do the bulk of their music streaming.

Whether Apple Music is able to make a dent in Pandora’s market share remains to be seen, but there is no denying that Cupertino is taking music streaming very seriously.