With all the buzz about Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, and other music streaming services, Google Play Music almost gets lost in the shuffle. Google Play Music All Access is the tech search giant’s own streaming product, and considering Android’s large market share, it offers a service easily accessible for many smartphone owners. Google Play Music also supports iOS for iPhone and other Apple product users.
If you already subscribe to Google Play Music, you probably wonder whether streaming media content hogs the monthly bandwidth allowance from your wireless provider. What follows is an overview of Google Play Music, including its All Access streaming service, and its impact on your bandwidth.
Google Play Music Review
Featuring an online library of over 30 million songs, Google Play Music rivals other large digital music providers like Apple iTunes and Amazon MP3. Individual songs are generally priced from $0.69 to $1.29 for downloads, and some are available at no cost. Google also ups the ante by providing free Cloud-based storage, allowing users to upload 50,000 of their own previously ripped or downloaded songs for listening anywhere. As a bonus music purchased through Google Play doesn’t count against this limit.
Paying a monthly fee of $9.99 gives you access to Google’s All Access streaming music service. This includes essentially all the content from the Google Play online library. You are also able to create your own online “radio station” by combining your own uploaded content with tracks from Google Play.
Recently, the Google Alphabet subsidiary, YouTube, introduced its own streaming product, Music Key. This new service merges All Access with YouTube’s library of videos and no advertising on the latter. This is a good deal for those regularly streaming videos in addition to music. This June, Google also introduced a free version of All Access which does include advertising.
Bandwidth Considerations for Google Play Music and You Tube Music Key
Of course, video content takes up more of your bandwidth than music, so perform regular speed tests to ensure your service can handle the online video. This is especially true when accessing the Internet using your wireless devices or when traveling. Hotels are known for limited bandwidth, and you don’t want your streaming experience to suffer from stuttering or content buffering, so test before you watch or listen.
Since music streaming uses less data, it works better in a limited bandwidth environment, but you need to be aware of monthly data limits when uploading and downloading audio files. A typical song in MP3 format takes up a few megabytes of data.
All in all, Google Play with their All Access music streaming service makes sense if you are already comfortable using the company’s products. The ability to essentially merge your account with YouTube Music Key puts a whole host of rich media content at your fingertips at home or on the go. Just make sure your bandwidth can handle it!