: Streaming bitrates for iTunes Match on iOS6


ldphoto
Sep 26th, 2012, 03:01 PM
I recently subscribed to iTunes Match, and I've been using it for a bit on iOS6 on a few devices. It works great at work and at home, where I have solid WiFi. I'd be interesting in using it on the road, but I'm trying to figure out how feasible that is on cellular data.

It appears that unless songs are specifically downloaded, Match downloads whatever is being played and caches it to the phone for a yet undetermined amount of time. It also seems to catch the next song in the album/playlist to make the transition seamless.

Does anyone know what bitrate is used for this. I don't want to blow through gigs of data listening to music on the road, but if the bitrate is reasonable, I'd use it on cellular on occasion. 128 kb/s would be about 58MB/hour, which is pretty reasonable. It it streams at the full 256 kb/s, it starts eating into the data plan pretty quickly though.

Tech Elementz
Sep 26th, 2012, 07:45 PM
I would assume that they would stream at the bitrate the song is provided by through the iTunes Store (256 kb/s), but I think someone that actually uses iTunes Match can clarify on the matter.

phphreak
Sep 26th, 2012, 08:06 PM
I recently subscribed to iTunes Match, and I've been using it for a bit on iOS6 on a few devices. It works great at work and at home, where I have solid WiFi. I'd be interesting in using it on the road, but I'm trying to figure out how feasible that is on cellular data.

It appears that unless songs are specifically downloaded, Match downloads whatever is being played and caches it to the phone for a yet undetermined amount of time. It also seems to catch the next song in the album/playlist to make the transition seamless.

Does anyone know what bitrate is used for this. I don't want to blow through gigs of data listening to music on the road, but if the bitrate is reasonable, I'd use it on cellular on occasion. 128 kb/s would be about 58MB/hour, which is pretty reasonable. It it streams at the full 256 kb/s, it starts eating into the data plan pretty quickly though.

If you're downloading a few songs a day via LTE or 3G, you'll use 1.5 to 2gb of data a month. The downloaded songs stay on your phone until you purge them.

hayesk
Sep 26th, 2012, 10:17 PM
It's 256.

ldphoto
Sep 26th, 2012, 10:29 PM
I thought it was lower than 256, but I may have been using one of the songs that Match didn't have which was uploaded from my collection at a lower bitrate.

I'm going more tests with Match on iOS now, and it does look like 6-10 MB per song played, which would be plausible for 256 kbps AAC.

I find it strange that the same encoding is used over cellular. That's a great way to burn through data in no time. Considering the other issues with Match on iOS6 (can't delete downloaded songs, can't see which songs are locally stored within the listings), I'm not certain getting Match was a great idea...

PosterBoy
Sep 27th, 2012, 12:10 AM
On my iPhone they download when I start playing them, so the data used is how big the file is. I've started chewing through quite a bit of data since I started using iTunes Match, too.

phphreak
Sep 27th, 2012, 12:29 AM
I thought it was lower than 256, but I may have been using one of the songs that Match didn't have which was uploaded from my collection at a lower bitrate.

I'm going more tests with Match on iOS now, and it does look like 6-10 MB per song played, which would be plausible for 256 kbps AAC.

I find it strange that the same encoding is used over cellular. That's a great way to burn through data in no time. Considering the other issues with Match on iOS6 (can't delete downloaded songs, can't see which songs are locally stored within the listings), I'm not certain getting Match was a great idea...

What are you talking about? You mean 6gb isn't enough data? But Rogers, Bell, and Telus tell us it's more than enough.,,,? ;)

ldphoto
Sep 27th, 2012, 08:56 AM
What are you talking about? You mean 6gb isn't enough data? But Rogers, Bell, and Telus tell us it's more than enough.,,,? ;)

Actually part of the blame relies with Apple and the Music app in iOS6. In iOS5, using iTunes Match was a much better experience. I could download any song I wanted to the device while in WiFi, and it would always be there and clearly identifiable as being on the device.

In iOS6, I can no longer tell which songs are stored locally on my device, and if space is running low, songs get deleted without any warning. That makes it pretty much impossible to tell whether I'm playing a song from iCloud or from my device.

Between this and the maps fiasco, I'm not impressed with iOS6 at all.

mjollymo
Sep 27th, 2012, 09:31 AM
Actually part of the blame relies with Apple and the Music app in iOS6. In iOS5, using iTunes Match was a much better experience. I could download any song I wanted to the device while in WiFi, and it would always be there and clearly identifiable as being on the device.

In iOS6, I can no longer tell which songs are stored locally on my device, and if space is running low, songs get deleted without any warning. That makes it pretty much impossible to tell whether I'm playing a song from iCloud or from my device.

Between this and the maps fiasco, I'm not impressed with iOS6 at all.

You should be able to go into the music settings and switch the Show All Music indicator to No under iTunes Match. That way you will only see saved songs in iTunes app.

That's what I had to do in iOS 5. I stopped using match for other reasons but I would assume it is the same now.