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How Much Internet Will You Use Streaming Music?

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

Streaming Music

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

Well, in a moment, I’ll talk about how the maths works.  You can check how much internet data you’re actually using when you stream music. And, I’m happy – and somewhat relieved – to report that it’s not very much at all!

Internet Chew Through

What you’ll want to know is, how much music can you stream per gigabyte of your monthly internet download?

To work that out, the first thing to understand is that streaming services deliver different data rates, in data known as kilo-bits-per-second or ‘kB/s’ (examples follow). Now, we purchase an internet download allowance from service providers in Gigabytes or ‘GB’s per month.

I’ve used hours to make things easy.

  1. To convert kilobits per second to kilobits per hour, we multiply 1 kilobit per second x 60 seconds x 60 minutes: so that’s 3600 kilobits per hour.
  2. Now, outside of streaming, no one reallt uses kilobits. Data usually happens and is measured in bytes. We buy our internet allowance in giga-bytes. There are 8 bits in a byte, so to convert kilobits to ‘kilobytes’ we divide our 3600 kilobits by 8 to get 450 kilobytes per hour.
  3. There are 1 million bytes in a gigabyte, so to convert KB to GB we divide that further by 1,000,000. So 1kb/s = 0.00045GB/h.
  4. And 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 x 0.00045GB/h = 0.144GB/h or >7Hrs/1GB data
3RRR Internet Radio
128kb/s x 0.00045GB/h = 0.0576GB/h or <17Hrs/1GB data
ABC Internet Radio
96kb/s x 0.00045GB/h = 0.0432GB/h or <23Hrs/1GB data
3AW Internet Radio
32kb/s x 0.00045GB/h = 0.0144GB/h or <69Hrs/1GB data

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

Oh, you need a streamer? Check out this one:

2 thoughts on “How Much Internet Will You Use Streaming 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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