The bandwidth specifications for streaming apps are becoming more and more important as streaming replaces downloading. Everyone loves streaming music, whether on your cell phone or desktop. The issue, specifically for mobile, is bandwidth.


What if you go over your data cap by streaming your bandwidth away? Also, poor bandwidth equals bad streaming. But don’t worry. Here are some bandwidth tips and requirements for some of the more popular streaming apps:

Pandora and Spotify

One hour is about 72 MB of bandwidth usage (15 hours would then equal out to 2 GB). On mobile, if you use a sizable bandwidth cap, you should be able to easily use a 64 Kbps HE-AAC–encoded stream setting. For both mobile and desktop, make sure you’re getting at least 1–2 Mbps download speeds on your device. Use an Internet speed test to determine this.

iTunes Radio

One song is about 4–11 MB, so with a 1 GB data cap, you will get approximately between 100 and 256 songs per 1 GB. On mobile, you will want to use a higher stream setting for iTunes Radio. Also, for both mobile and desktop, make sure you’re getting at least 1–2 Mbps download speeds.

Beats Music

Whoa! Supposedly there are no data charges, but then you’re paying $14.99 a month anyway — on top of your data usage — and you have to be on an AT&T phone plan. Beats Music is also super-high-quality audio, so you will want to stream at the highest setting. Plus, you need to make sure you have better than adequate bandwidth speeds running. More like 5 Mbps download, for sure. You’re paying for this, so you better make sure your streaming is at the next level.

In the end, make sure you know your bandwidth specifications for your streaming service (this goes for video as well). There is nothing more annoying than paying extra charges for data plans, or streaming a song and having it pause, skip, and jump. Get informed!

Paul Williams
Paul Williams

Paul Williams brings a wide range of experiences to his writing. He worked extensively in technology, as a software engineer, technical writer, and now a technology writer. Known as the leader of one of the top American Spacerock bands, his forward-looking music continues to be heard all over the world.