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Have You Reached a “Streaming Limit” in Google Music Yet? (Updated)

One of our readers, who has converted his entire musical life to Google Music, was prompted with a “streaming limit exceeded” message yesterday. This is the first we have heard of any sort of streaming limit, and in fact, Googling for it leaves us to believe that this issue is fairly uncommon. But with the support page for it leaving out all details, we have pinged Google to see if we can get some further clarification on how a user could reach such a limit.

And from what we can tell, this has nothing to do with the 20,000 song limit that Google Music accounts have. This is about streaming that music, reaching some sort of data or time cap and then being told to “try again later.” Again, since cases of this happening seem to be low, we can’t imagine that the limit is low enough that any of you will ever see it.

Update:  We have been told that there is a daily streaming limit, but that it has been set so high that the majority of users will likely never hit it. Explains why we couldn’t find very many cases of this happening when doing a few searches. Not sure there is a need to worry at this time.

Via:  Google Support

Cheers David!

  • TheRandom1

    I may have hit this… but music works so buggy on my phone I pretty much stopped using it. Maybe if Google ever fixes the “cannot load stream” error I’d notice it, but for now it’s just a POS app I can’t use.

  • otter34

    So Google automatically puts your music on their cloud then limits your access

  • http://www.facebook.com/YAYSAVERGN Eric James Salcido

    You say “The majority of users will never reach it” without giving us a number?! I must challenge this, number nao!

  • http://profiles.google.com/corgimas Rob Banks

    are they counting songs? mbytes?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Travis-Royer/100000358962998 Travis Royer

    I’m curious what IS the streaming cap for Google Music? I too, am a pretty heavy music listener and have just adopted Google (Play) Music as my default media player as of late. 

  • http://twitter.com/howzball Mike

    Some of the music my Google music plays is terrible. 

  • SD_Scott

    Wow, I stream a lot over GMusic (7+ hours a day) and have never run into this…  I did recently find out that Google converts my uploaded .flac files to 320 kbps mp3s.  Not too happy about that but I probably would have eaten up a whole TB with 20,000 lossless files so it’s understandable.

  • http://profiles.google.com/davidukfl David Wanless

    Lol daily streaming limit. Lucky me I guess.

    I have google music installed on 2 android tablets, my Gnex, My wife’s iPhone, sister’s iPhone and another friends iphone. I also have it installed on 3 computers: 2 at home and 1 at work

    • Rodeojones000

      So you’re the David from above? And all those devices are using the same Google Music account? That might be why you reached a daily limit.

      • http://profiles.google.com/davidukfl David Wanless

        Yeh that’s me. And yeh it probably is because of all the devices, but to be honest I would never have signed up so many devices had I known there was a limit.

        It’s just easy to use one account to sync up mine and my wife’s music, My sis and friend listen to all the same music I like so I just let them use my music collection.

        Odd thing is that my phone allowed me to still play music, however my computer couldn’t play anything online. And my wife texted me in the morning saying her iphone Gmusic app was giving her an error too. And the iphone gmusic app doesn’t register an official device.

  • http://Twitter.com/ContestsAccount bigrob60

    For those that always ask. This is why I also carry my Ipod. I would be streaming 24/7 from my phone & I don’t want to do that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Emberton/100000627165100 James Emberton

    Ok, so what is the daily streaming limit?

  • http://twitter.com/shystie1 Shystie1

    I see what you did there…

  • http://www.matthewdlyons.com/ matthewdlyons

    The fact that not many people have hit this wall with a service that is, essentially, all streaming, may provide some support for the reports that Google Music is not doing as well as Google (and partners) had hoped. I use Google Music most days commuting back-and-forth to work, but use Pandora throughout the day in my office, and play music directly from my own drive (where Google Music pulls from) or Pandora at home.

    If nothing else, Google should have language somewhere that explains or defines the daily streaming limit.

  • http://iamandroid.co/profile/rocktoonz Rocktoonz

    Even so, an undocumented streaming limit, however high it may be, is (at the very least) EXTREMELY shady.  Is Google taking cues from AT&T now???

  • http://profiles.google.com/elliot.devries Elliot de Vries

    That response from Google isn’t really good enough.  Given that the majority of users probably make rather light use of it, “So high that the majority of users will likely never hit it” doesn’t mean a whole lot.  Actual numbers, please!

  • Gongadin

    In all of these comments, I haven’t seen a single one that said “hey that happened to me too”. I think is just an isolated indecent or glitch, so everyone just relax until we get more facts…

  • gma08jcsn

    It means you have google music streaming on too many devices. I think the limit is 10 or something. You cant have your buddies streaming your music on their phones too.

  • samcraig

    Complaining about a free service is silly. And most people will never encounter this. If it’s an issue or becomes an issue – I am sure that there are paid alternatives instead of relying on – what’s that again? Oh yeah – a FREE service.

    • Wolfwood

       Of course, you get what you pay for; but, free or not the cap (if any) should be clearly spelled out.

      • https://plus.google.com/115081267187799351846?rel=me Michael Hart

        Even if a cap were documented in their EULA/TOS or help articles, you likely wouldn’t ever read it there either.

        I imagine this limit is triggered when you listen to more music than possible for 1 user (more than 1 device playing music for 12+ hours each in a 24 hour period, for example). This would be a fairly obvious scenario of account sharing, and I am almost certain this is what it’d take to hit this limit (as someone who’s streamed music from Google Music for over 24 hours straight with no issues).

    • swayda

      Service is not free, everything Google you pay for with your privacy, they make this very clear.

      • https://plus.google.com/115081267187799351846?rel=me Michael Hart

        This assumption is flawed, as Google never abuses your privacy. Algorithms are not people; your privacy is NEVER compromised when Google serves you an ad.

        The algorithms used by hard drives to store data or processors to process data are just as violating as algorithms used to find relevant ads.

        • swayda

          The fact is you pay for Google services with your privacy, just like you pay for a car with money. Google is comparable to a “reputable car dealer” as opposed to a “shady used car dealer,” but you are still paying them with your privacy. This is how a publicly held company with shareholders fund projects like Chrome, Google Music, and Android. Because you are paying, they should make all terms of the service known to you, including any limits.

          • https://plus.google.com/115081267187799351846?rel=me Michael Hart

            This reasoning is stupid. Google profits from you regardless of whether or not they have your personal information. Personal information only makes ads more relevant. Ads that you would see if you were logged in and they knew everything about you, or not and they knew nothing about you but your approximate location.

            Why do you think Google lets people opt out of ad tracking cookies? Because at the end of the day, it makes a _relatively_ small difference. If you click ads, they profit. You see ads regardless of being logged in or not.

            No, users are not “paying with privacy”. We receive a better service. It’s not even a loss of privacy; as I’ve started, the algorithms that find more relevant ads are no more invasive than algorithms that store a text file on your computer’s hard drive or search for a file on your hard drive (while scanning through *every single file*, even if it’s not relevant). Do you then blame Microsoft or Apple because their operating systems are accessing and analyzing your private files?

            Better, more relevant ads are not a downside to being logged in; it’s a feature, a bonus. If they make you more likely to click an ad, then that means that, yes, while Google makes more money, you should too be happier and more satisfied with your experience. Otherwise, don’t click the ad.

            It’s truly not worth debating; you clearly have no idea what you’re talking about. Gain an even basic understanding of how computers work on fundamental levels, and I think you’ll quickly realize how wrong this perception is.

  • Levi Wilcox

    I have 20k tracks and the only time I’m not streaming is when I’m sleeping. No caching and high quality… If there is a limit, I’m very surprised I haven’t exceeded it.

  • Dustin Debord

    How long is too long to be capped on streaming?

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  • Michael_M

    So have the main 1000 songs that you listen to on your device. Use Google Music mainly and if that happens, you can always have those local songs to use if something does happen. I mean my entire music is on the cloud, but I obviously still have it on my laptop so I can access it at my office/home if I need to do so.

    • Lakerzz

      I’ve actually been having a problem with Google Music re-downloading all of my “offline” music for, to me, seems like for no reason. Why was it taken off to begin with? It ended up being so frustrating, that I now use Double Twist. :(

    • LewisSD

      I deleted all my music from my laptop sense it was in the cloud lol. hope this doesnt happen to me

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Travis-Royer/100000358962998 Travis Royer

        Doh!….smh

    • Bob Campbell

      Exactly what I do.  I have a playlist for those songs and use the Music option for “available offline”.  Might be what keeps me under the limit…

  • ScottK

    Glad I’ve ignored the Google Music train and stuck with Amazon MP3.

  • http://twitter.com/RobbThundr Robb Manlapaz

    any idea on how many active google+ users there are and that are actively using the streaming service? 

  • sc0rch3d

    i have not had this happen, but i can tell you that “turning on cached music” (or whatever it’s called) will probably help.

    I have a vast collection on google music but typically hone in on the same 50 songs or so. the cached copy allows it to play immediately without streaming.

    • http://twitter.com/LiveInTheDream LitDreams

      Cache music is on by default when installing the application.

  • http://techonblogger.ward.pro/ TechRumblings

    It may mean something else entirely.  There may be to many simultaneous streams as would happen if one person gave out their username/password to a Google Music to many people.  This is supported by the ‘try again later’ too.  If I was in HS, that’s what I would probably do…

    • moelsen8

      true but the case for transparency remains.  who knows what this means at this point.

      • http://techonblogger.ward.pro/ TechRumblings

        At worst, it could be construed as ambiguous and not really a lack of transparency. However, I believe Google would let a user stream 24/7 so that rules out the likelihood that is what they mean. Google isn’t short on bandwidth. What they DO need to protect is their service being used to share music files which would be against the law. For me, the answer to this streaming issue is solved, but I understand others’ concern.

        • moelsen8

          ok, you got me there, stated it much better.  but stuff like this needs to be clearer.  as someone who shares their google account (with my wife) for apps and now a little music here and there, i’d be interested in knowing how they handle the whole sharing thing

      • http://techonblogger.ward.pro/ TechRumblings

        The bigger problem with Google Music for me is that if you move your music library on your computer without telling the Google Music uploader, all of your music online will be gone. From what I can tell, If you let the uploader know fairly quickly the files can be recovered without being re-uploaded. If you wait too long though, you have to start all over again… This happened to me.

        • moelsen8

          interesting and good to know.  haven’t used google music too much yet but we’re starting to, especially with the good deals they’ve been having a lot.  you would think that what you upload would be standalone from your computer, at least until you resync.  as someone who likes to have backups of their backups and moves stuff around a lot, that kind of sucks, especially if you don’t know it when you do it.

          • http://techonblogger.ward.pro/ TechRumblings

            An easy way to ensure files don’t get deleted online in these cases is to have the Google Music desktop sync app only running when you add music to your desktop library from 3rd party sources. Anything you buy via GM is always available.

        • http://twitter.com/starnovsky Stan Tarnovsky

          Strange. I move my music from place to place every time (organizing my offline storage) and nothing like that ever happened to me.

          • http://techonblogger.ward.pro/ TechRumblings

            Within your defined music folders or outside of them? I am talking about taking the files out of a music folder and putting them into a non music folder in Windows. In Windows, if you simply move your music folder, its reference as a music folder will follow and GM wont lose the files (depending on your config). I did a lot of experiments with Amazon Cloud Player, iTunes Match, and Google Music and found this to be one of two drawbacks to GM, but not a catastrophic issue unless you are paying by for bandwidth per GB. The other drawback is that you can’t download your uploaded music files. Should your computer burst into flames you cannot recover your music files. However, given that it is free, its broader accessibility, and its tie-in to Google services, I still like it the best. I will return from my tangent now…

          • http://twitter.com/starnovsky Stan Tarnovsky

            I don’t use Windows music folders. I maintain my own structure. However, both my source and destination folders were configured in Google Music Uploader to be monitored. Maybe that’s the reason…

          • http://techonblogger.ward.pro/ TechRumblings

            That makes perfect sense.

  • moelsen8

    that’s complete bullsh!t.  things such as this should be made apparent upfront.  this is why i won’t sign my entire digital life over to “the cloud”. bad google, bad.

    • Butters619

      I mean it is free.  And this guy must have been doing some serious streaming.

      • PC_Tool

        It’s free…blame the user?

        Sounds like a cop-out.  I’m not buying it.

        • Bakerbreaker123

          You don’t have to buy it. Its free…

          • http://www.JWesCampbell.com/ Wes Campbell

            ZING!

      • swayda

        But it is not free. Google makes it very clear nothing is free. You pay with you’re project.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25001493 Hank Godwin

      Dude…it is free.  Chill.

      • moelsen8

        i know it’s free.  but wouldn’t you be upset if you lost or couldn’t access everything you put in the cloud?  reminds me of a while back when i read about a guy being cut off from his gmail and pretty much all the information he had on everything, with no explanation or help from google.  it’s free, but you could take a big hit if you lose that access then.  especially if it’s not spelled out completely, like in this example.

        • Tony Allen

          Harumph I say.. Never heard of anyone losing everything in their Gmail.

          This isn’t losing anything, it’s just music, and it’s still there. Streaming limit reached or not. You have to have a “hard copy” somewhere on a device with your Google Music manager, or you have it via your Google account. Google isn’t taking music away from anyone, stop being one of ‘those’.

          • Google

            actually thousand of peole lost their emails a few months back. 

          • https://plus.google.com/115081267187799351846?rel=me Michael Hart

            Verifiably “thousands”?

          • moelsen8

            wow, you should google it sometime.

            and if limits like this aren’t made clear, then even if it still exists on a server somewhere, you still have lost access to something important that you may have been relying on.

          • http://www.removement.com removement

            I trust the cloud more than I do my hard drive.

          • moelsen8

            to each their own.  this would make a good poll.

          • Omar Ibrahim

             /me looks at the megaupload fiasco

          • https://plus.google.com/115081267187799351846?rel=me Michael Hart

            You trust a company that was almost exclusively used for piracy for legitimate content?

            Very smart. You should get in the stock market. /sarcasm

          • TheUI

            Do no evil, they took his dergggg!

          • moelsen8
          • https://plus.google.com/115081267187799351846?rel=me Michael Hart

            It is very possible that such users are victims of phishing. The ToS could have very well been broken by someone else using their account. How can he confirm it hasn’t?

            Regardless, such scenarios obviously affect a fraction of a minuscule portion of users.

        • balthuszar

          who said anything about them losing anything int he cloud…and couldnt access? yes, but only temporarily…chill out

  • RedPandaAlex

    Was he trying to stream from multiple devices at once? That’s all I can think of.

  • Paul

    Throttling is starting to branch out.

    • moelsen8

      you mean skynet

      • hkklife

        Yet one more reason why I prefer to keep most of my media stored locally.  Unexlained “issues” like this are why I find the removal of microSD slots on new devices absolutely horrifying. 

        • moelsen8

          definitely.  people are getting too caught up in this cloud bs.  i want to be in actual possession of everything i “own”.. and then if i choose, the cloud can compliment that possession.

          the removal of microSD slots really is horrifying.

          • Steve Benson

            Remove your tin foil hat

          • moelsen8

            ignorance like that will catch up to you man.  i’ve lost a few hard drives before and it’s horrible.. i’ll keep my tin foil hat on when dealing with the cloud, which is much more out of my control than my hard drives were.

          • iFonePhag4S

            How are you going to call a LACK of paranoia “Ignorance”? Cloud storage is fine for an always connected(cellular data) mobile device as long as you have unlimited data. Once you move to a carrier that limits your data then you’re screwed. Also I have never met anyone who put something onto cloud storage then deleted it from their hard drive… If you stored something on cloud storage for free and it’s inaccessible for 24 hours cuz you streamed to 5 devices, you can’t really cry about it. You overuse a free service they take it away. Cry more noob.

  • Michael_NM

    “try again later?” Sounds like trying find OTA updates. That would make me angry.

  • Bob Campbell

    Faith in the cloud holding, but the demons of doubt are beginning to feed

  • http://facebook.com/nyvz9lyvz Jamison Harvey
  • crazysamz

    I hope I don’t reach this. My entire collection is on Google Music

    • 4n1m4L

      Ditto

    • Tweekex

      Same here..

    • Rodeojones000

      Same here. I’ve reached my 20,000 song limit (I’d have more if Google allowed) and use it all the time.

      • Nex

        Create another gmail account and continue uploading.

  • Greg Morgan

    Wow, that’s something that should be mentioned…

  • DrHotmann

    Not cool, I use Google music exclusively as my music player now on all devices: phone, tv, computers.  Unstated limits are not cool at all.

  • Logan_jinx

    I hope this doesn’t turn into having something like a free Spotify account

  • http://www.kovdev.com/ koveleski

    That’s not cool.