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Google Music Update Introduces New Bandwidth Usage Setting, Reduced Data Usage Overall

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In the weeks following the announcement of Google Music All Access, we wrote up a piece detailing a semi-serious issue that could arise should someone use the service alongside their tiered data plan. Since the new music service lacked any sort of data usage or bandwidth controls, one could gobble up massive amounts of data in no time at all without even realizing it. By bringing the issue to light, we hoped for a change to the app from Google that would give users better control over bandwidth usage. An update to solve this problem has arrived today. 

In the newest build of Google Music, a setting to control bandwidth usage over mobile networks has been introduced, along with a reduction in data usage overall. They also made on-device music downloads faster, and improved search quality.

Of course, the update is under a staged rollout, so it’s not available to just everyone at this time. I guess we all need to learn patience.



  • Keeping music on device now much faster
  • New setting for mobile network bandwidth usage
  • Search quality improvements
  • Reduced data usage overall

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Cheers Junior and brkshr!

  • Rebecca Rush

    Pin Settings >
    Select default storage for pinned music:
    ( ) Internal Storage
    ( ) External Storage


  • Robert H

    just need to add this feature to tablets so when you are using mobile hotspot you can control data rate

  • rggarrison

    Why is the search function so awful?? I can type in the name of a song EXACTLY and it will pull up Artists, Albums and Songs not even CLOSE to what I typed? Anybody have a solution for this?

  • How to Add and Display Lyrics on Google Play Music?

  • Silver Veloz

    What would be cool is to have Google All Movies/TV at a monthly charge, like Google All Music. Or even as a combo deal. I’m ready.

  • mike s

    I keep getting a “couldn’t play the stream you requested” error since day one of all access release. Anyone know of a fix??

  • gabravo2005

    So I just got the update and tried one song (3-Way by The Lonely Island) on low band with setting. Used 9mb of data for a 3 min song…..

  • Gaurav K

    Interesting that it didn’t take long for the update to be pushed to my phone. It used to take a couple of days for other google made apps.

  • t1no5k

    Still wish they’d add full screen lock screen controls like power amp and formerly audiogalaxy. Also shouldn’t have to have a security code enabled to get the lock screen controls it does have.

  • Cory Wilson

    Now if they can just improve the radio function, it’s terrible! No customization

    • Droid4LifeDawg

      Like what?

      • Cory Wilson

        Ability to add more than one artist or song, ability to ban artists, etc like slacker

  • googlyeyedfrog

    i have unlimited data and loved the super high quality previously. now the audio quality is substantially diminished and there’s no real reason to switch to this service over other comparable streaming services. Consider me upset

    • ShadrachCA

      I’m not sure why that would be the case. If you set the quality to “High”, it should be equivalent to before.

  • Reginald Jefferson

    Greatest. News. Ever.

  • Alex Hutchins

    Great, except I need to limit usage on WiFi, instead of mobile networks…

  • sylent101

    Dont know why but verizon grandfathered my unlimited data lol, its weird I even chose the 2gb option, my billing cycle just restarted and its still unlimited. Has this happened to anyone else with an s4? Not complaining just curious lol

    • Mike

      If you bought the phone outright, it will continue as unlimited.

      • sylent101

        I didn’t, I got the phone on contract that’s why its strange lol.

    • Chris Hollenbeck

      Girlfriend got the Samsung 3 and the Verizon Rep “messed up” the setup process. He stated that he couldn’t reverse it, but the good news was that she has unlimited.

  • Bob Buttons

    I wonder if they’ll be adding the ability to update your own Artist images like you can album art. It keeps putting in pictures completely unrelated to the artist they’re for or it just shows an album even for popular artists.

  • Luxferro

    A much needed update. I used 4-5 gigs of data in like 3 days just driving 15/20 minute routes to and from work. The music I uploaded to google music a long time ago never used that much data when streaming.

  • Dave

    did they add back in Nexus Q support?

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    They also made on-device music downloads faster.. … Thank GOD

    • Jimneezy

      On-device? if its on device then why would you need to download? Do you mean your own library music that you uploaded?

      • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

        Caching(or pinning according to google) streaming songs to the device it’s referring to. It currently takes 2wice the amount of time as Spotify.

  • Travillion

    I really wish their TV app would allow fullscreen album art so my plasma didn’t experience burn-in when listening through home theater setup (I’d rather not turn my screen on and off when listening). It can’t be that hard to code, c’mon Google…!

    • guest

      Full screen album art is available. You just have to drag it from the bottom to the top. I do it all the time on my Logitech revue.

      • Travillion

        You may be about to rock my world. How do you “drag” it from the bottom to the top? I have the Revue, too. Do you use the trackpad? I can click on the small art on the bottom left, which blows it up, but I still have music and navigation control bars on top and bottom that get burned in.

        • guest

          Oh, I thought that’s what you meant when you wanted the full album artwork. If you’re trying to get rid of the play/pause buttons in the bottom that’s not possible. Sorry to get your hopes up. 🙁

          • Travillion

            Oh, sad day 🙁

  • wuzzranger
  • Scott Hartman

    Now if they would just re-enable streaming to my Nexus Q I’d be thrilled (and I could actually use the new app).

  • TSY87

    this is good, but I just cancelled the trial and am going back to spotify… hopefully google continually improves their selection and social aspect of this and I may convert… also cross platform is a big deal to me… my phone is an android but my tablet is an ipad.

  • Fozzybare

    there is one issue i have, does anyone know how to listen to music that is shared to you? when it is shared it gives me an option to buy it but i cannot just listen to it from there….i have to search for it under “explore” to get it to load. any help would be wonderful.

    • guest

      On the browser or the app? You can also access it from Google+ on a browser or the mobile app.

      • Fozzybare

        on the browser i look at the music shared to me. i click on it and it brings me to the purchase page and i cannot listen to the full songs there….i have to search for it. how the hell do i get that to work?

        • guest

          I can’t stem to figure it out. I thought it always gave me the whole song when someone shared it with me. I never bothered to listen to the whole song. Sorry I can’t help.

  • Shane Redman

    Is this a staged rollout too? b/c it’s not available for me yet….APK anyone?

  • Caleb Martin

    Something that I didn’t see in the change log, but I’m pretty sure is new… the app now has an equalizer in the settings.

    • wakefinance

      There has been an equalizer for years now.

      • Michael

        It wasn’t in it with the new redesign.

        • wakefinance

          Yes it was. I haven’t received the update and I have equalizer settings. It’s been there at least since honeycomb.

          • Michael

            With the update to Google Music 5.0 it was removed for some odd reason. He is saying it is now back, like it was before.

          • wakefinance

            I understand what he is saying but it’s not accurate. Of course I may have gotten the special download where Google included the equalizer for me and only me.

          • Guest

            Dude, understand that the equalizer has been available since honeycomb and never once has it been removed. I should know because I always check if the equalizer has been updated. The only thing that changes about the equalizer is where it is located. And of course the color to match the current android version. The equalizer was first introduced in gingerbread way before Google Music Beta. But you needed an app to unlock it. I don’t know why Google decided to hide it. And then when 3.0 came around Google allowed access to it and since has NEVER been removed.

          • SemahjLam

            chill out lol cause he’s right. In the new play music it was originally there but in a update they took it out because it was having issues I know because i used to use it until they took it out

          • Droid4LifeDawg

            The EQ, has always been there and it was never an issue where they had to take it out. If anything they buried it further in the settings (which is really stupid) with the new Orange version of Google Play Music.

        • Junior G.

          It was buddy; I’m still on the old version (after the redesign) and it’s here, although I don’t use it.

          • Caleb Martin

            Now that you mention it, I vaguely remember something about an equalizer earlier on, though I never used it. However, I don’t recall it being there in the redesign, or else it was hidden some other place, because I specifically looked at the settings menu and it wasn’t one of the options.

  • d-rock

    It’s not available as an update yet for my N4??!!

    • brkshr

      Try going to the app. It didn’t show up in the Update Apps section for me, but I could update when I went to the app.

      • d-rock

        Tried that too…will keep an eye on it.

        • guest

          It’s an app update not a system update. Being a Nexus owner means nothing to Google when it comes to app updates.

  • Greyhame

    This is great.

    What would also be fantastic is them making the menu button on a song a larger active area. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to queue something, only to have it immediately play and interrupt what’s currently playing and lose my queue. Or at least have songs you play append to the end of your queue so you don’t lose it if you accidentally play it.

    • ynksbsbll2

      I knew I saw this comment over on AndroidPolice! But yes, I totally agree. Long-pressing would be a nice option (instead of or in addition to) the menu button.

    • sc4fpse


    • Guest

      You think that’s small? What about the Play Store? For some reason I never miss in the Music App but always miss in the Play Store.

    • Ian Smith

      if i’m not mistaken they actually didn’t even follow their own design guidelines for apps with that. i recall a post by a googler on G+ that was actually a PSA to developers the make the 3 dots a button w/ larger surface area rather than having to EXACTLY hit the 3 dots

    • michael arazan

      I have replayed a song 5 or six times trying to add it to my playlist, the 3 dot menu on the side of the screen is way to small for my fingers being 6’2, it is the most annoying thing about the app.

      I do wish the play store had a better search function like the music app, that would find apps in a similar function, by criteria, developer and title and list them all out, How does the play store still have such a terrible search function, being Google and all

    • michael steinmetz

      fully agree ill be playing music at a party or something and be like hey you know what i wanna hear next…. nvm i guess i wanted to hear it now

  • Marcus Pitts

    cached full album (18 songs) in about 2 mins

  • Daeshaun Griffiths

    i’m dreaming of WebP for music…
    Go head, sing it.

  • addicuss

    still no store to sdcard?

    • tyguy829

      U froyo bro?

      • BeLogical

        No, he’s on a S4 🙂

        • Franklin7777

          Or a RAZR, I have the same problem…

          • wantsSDsupport

            Same here, would love external SD card support but don’t think we’re ever going to get it…

          • addicuss

            if it interests you I have a work around to the sd issue. its just annoying. but hit me up if you want

          • Franklin7777

            I have a couple too (variations on directory binding) but they are a PITA and not always reliable. How about real support Google?

    • Guest

      That’s illegal. Might as well pirate them.

      • addicuss

        It’s not illegal they support store on SDcard just not store on external sdcard.

        • James Roche

          I would love to know how. I have an at&t galaxy note 2. Rooted. Stock rom. How hard is it?

          • addicuss

            not very. get root explorer. I have the paid version so not sure if you need that (if you do buy it or find another file browser capable of making symlinks).

            on your sd card create a “cache” and a “files” folder. I would put it in a gmusic folder as well just to keep things organized but the file structure is up to you.

            Navigate to /data/data/com.google.android.music/

            delete the cache and files folders.

            navigate back to the sdcard folders long press cache and hit link to this folder, navigate back to /data/data/com.google.android.music/ and hit create link. Do the same for files. If you click on it you can tell it worked because your available space will change to the ext sd card space at the top.

            A few notes:
            Gmusic crashes everytime I boot up. It tries to find the cache and music which are on the sd card which probably hasn’t mounted yet so it freaks out. It’s not a huge deal. after restarting I have no further issues.

            When you pin music, if you don’t have enough room on your sdcard (internal) it will show a red pin because it thinks you’ll run out of space before the music is downloaded. It will keep downloading music though.

    • Drome

      this is the kind of reason why companies are moving to internal storage and not expandable SD

      • addicuss

        The reason why is google dictated that external memory cards are confusing. and basically removed all tools needed to make sd cards usable in order to encourage manufacturers to do away with them. Sd cards are not confusing. if youve used a flash drive ever than you should get the premise behind an sd card. They also have an interest in promoting cloud storage (which is basically the same as an sdcard). Google needs to stop being stubborn. The #1 reason I’ve seen for people not keeping play music all access is lack of sd card support.

        • Drome

          I used to think 32gb was the minimum I could get by with when i got my Galaxy nexus. Then I got a Nexus 4 and was essentially forced to upload my music to google music. 16gb was not enough storage admittedly but I made it work with the cloud and got used to it. I now have an HTC One with 32gb storage, but it isnt even nearly full. Once I embraced the cloud storage and streaming capabilities of all access you realize that you dont really NEED ext storage of 64gb. If you are a power user and wish to store a LOT of stuff on your device, then you can get a HTC One 64gb model. The galaxy s4 can only have 16gb more than that, 16gb of which cannot hold apps or data. But with cloud storage, I really can’t see how the user experience is affected. You simply must accept that this is the way technology is headed and you can either embrace it, or be a stick in the mud and be disappointed in every phone that comes out with no expandable sd. You and others act like this is such a deal breaker, but you are hyper focused on something that is completely trivial which barely affects the UX unless you want to carry around your entire collection of 1080p movies and music.

          • addicuss

            I have unlimited data because I’m grandfathered in. When I use google music on 4g with highest quality settings, changing tracks is a mess. it constantly cuts out. And I end up hitting 7+ gigs per month just streaming music from my car.

            Now try telling someone that cloud storage is the wave of the future when they’re paying 90$ for 1 measly gig of data a month and let me know how they feel about it. Cloud data has it’s place, but it doesn’t match the speed of physical data and likely never will for years to come. I totally embrace cloud storage. for things like account syncing, and small transfers of data. once you start heading into anything larger than a few gigs it’s simply not feasible.

            The biggest problem is theres simply no reason not to support both. cloud data for convenience and on board data for speed.

  • npompei


    Is there an option for that because mine will SO be put on that…

    • Ian

      I think its default 🙂

    • dannysmith134

      I get paid over $87 per hour working from home with 2 kids at home. I never thought I’d be able to do it but my best friend earns over 10k a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless. Heres what I’ve been doing, http://www.Pro67.com

    • TheDrunkenClam

      Okay, you win the internetz today.

    • Kisuk3

      You and me both brother!