Switch To Lower-Bandwidth Music Streams Without Sacrificing Quality

If you've switched to a capped mobile data plan, you might think you can't fit streaming music into your service, or that you'll sacrifice sound quality with lower-rate streams. Both are generally untrue.

The Tested blog digs into the streaming functions of the major music services, like Pandora, Spotify, Last.fm, Grooveshark and others. At 128 kilobytes per second, generally the "high" or "better" setting, most apps channel music through in MP3 format. At 64 kbps, though, music services use a smarter AAC codec, which the tech blog states can sound just as good:

Those of you with sizeable bandwidth caps, might be tempted to opt for a high-quality, MP3-encoded stream, logically assuming that the quality will be better. But in reality, you're actually using more bandwidth than you need when compared to a comparable 64kbps HE-AAC encoded stream. If you're looking to keep the usage down, Pandora, Rhapsody and recent entrant mSpot are all excellent choices for low-bandwidth tunes, yet still manage to sound decent over 3G.

If you've got first-hand experience with the quality or data usage of a streaming service, share it in the comments.

How To Keep Your Mobile Bandwidth Usage Under Control [Tested]


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