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Internet Chew-Through: How Much Internet Will You Use to Stream Music?

How Much Internet Do I Use To Stream Music kb/s GB/Hr

More and more people realize that the majority of their listening and new music discovery is now streamed over the internet. Others are afraid of streamed services because they worry that they’ll use up their entire internet plan streaming music.

Well, here’s how the maths works out to check how much ‘internet’ we’re actually using when we listen to streamed music: and, I’m happy – relieved, even – to report that it’s not very much at all!
What we need to find out is how much music we hear per gigabyte of internet download. To work it out, the first thing to understand is that internet broadcast services stream, at different rates, in data known as kilobits-per-second or ‘kb/s’ (examples follow) and that we purchase internet download from service providers in Gigabytes or ‘GB’s per month.

I’ve used hours to make things easy.

For every kb/s, we take 1kilobit per second x 60seconds x 60minutes = 3600kilobits per hour. To convert that to ‘kilobytes’ we divide that figure by 8 (8 bits in a byte) to get 450kilobytes per hour. To convert that to ‘gigabytes’ we divide that further by 1,000,000 (1mil. bytes in a gigabyte). So 1kb/s = 0.00045GB/h.
So we simply multiply 0.00045GB/h by the kb/s rate of each internet streaming service. In these examples I have also worked out how many hours of music we get from just every gigabyte of data:
Spotify Premium Subscriber Service
320kb/s = 0.144GB/h or >7Hrs/1GB data
3RRR Internet Radio
128kb/s = 0.0576GB/h or <17Hrs/1GB data
ABC Internet Radio
96kb/s = 0.0432GB/h or <23Hrs/1GB data
3AW Internet Radio
32kb/s = 0.0144GB/h or <69Hrs/1GB data

So, if you run out of internet data, it’s more likely to be your Catch-Up TV than how hard you’ve been hitting the internet radio. Cut loose! With literally thousands of streamed services, we can listen to music from anywhere in the world in excellent quality and with impunity…..

2 thoughts on “Internet Chew-Through: How Much Internet Will You Use to Stream Music?

  1. Based on your excellent & detaied response – I listened to 3AW from 7am – 6pm for 2 days when house sitting for my daughter. Seems like I may have eaten up a couple of gig of her time.
    Am I right?

    1. Hi Joy, Even if you streamed 3AW’s highest quality quality stream (64kb/s = 0.0288gB/h) for 22 hours, you’ve only used 0.6 of ‘1 gig’ of your daughter’s data and 0.3gB if you happened to pick up their lower quality stream. Internet radio is virtually guilt-free! Thanks for your question.

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