I have recently purchased the Galaxy Nexus, and I am extremely happy with it. As part of that purchase, I decided to bring all my music into Google Music. So, I've been using Google Music on my way into and home from work (about an hour total a day) and I am seeing a huge amount of data usage from Google Music. (Everything else combined doesn't come close to what it uses.)

Here is a screenshot of my data management window:

Google Music Data Usage

Why is this happening? Is there anything I can do to prevent it from heavily using data like it is?

  • An hour total should use ~144 MB for 320 kb/s music. Less that double that for 6 days seems perfectly reasonable given that your music is probably not all that quality. Why do you think it should be less? Jan 20, 2012 at 21:57
  • @MatthewRead - I guess, based on what I have seen in the past with Pandora, this seems significantly higher. I could listen with about the same frequency on Pandora and it didn't use nearly the same amount of data. Guess I should be glad that I am still grandfathered on the unlimited plan.
    – JasCav
    Jan 20, 2012 at 22:02

1 Answer 1


OK, I think the answer to your question is that Pandora's stream is never more than 64 kbps for mobile devices, whereas Google Music uses 320 kbps MP3s and there's no downsampling. That's 5 times the amount of data, assuming Pandora doesn't use a better format than MP3.

Since Google Music transcodes your files, I don't think you have much of an option here.

  • Thanks, Matt. I was afraid it was something like that. I guess I'll have it download my content on my wireless connection so I can go on long trips without racking up huge amounts of data charges.
    – JasCav
    Jan 20, 2012 at 23:03

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