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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Question play music problem -- throttled 4G ?

    I have a new Moto X phone with carrier T-Mobile. The service is "pre-pay" (cheaper) and I'm on the 500 MByte/month plan. After 500 MBytes, the service is still "unlimited", but throttled to 2G performance.

    1) Is the connection indicator still supposed to show 4G while speed throttled down? It does, which seems wrong to me.

    While on my daily walks, I carry the phone in my pocket, usually playing an "instant mix" from my Google Play Music library. When the service becomes throttled, it often fails to download the next song. If I skip to next song, it will sometimes play, but I think this is when the song has already been listened to recently. If I do nothing and arrive home where it can connect to my home WiFi, the song will invariably download and begin playing.

    2) Is it normal for Play Music to fail to download tracks, and stop, while service is being throttled?

    I have a theory, which is why I asked the two specific questions above. My guess is that T-Mobile is not actually providing 2G service while throttled (hence the indicator still reading "4G"). Instead they may be time-slicing the 4G service, something like 2 seconds on, two seconds off, etc. This would cause innumerable dropped packets. My theory is Google Play senses all these dropped packets and gives up, deciding that my device is not worth bothering with. Is this possible?

    Regardless, can someone suggest settings which will enable me to listen to instant mixes for the duration of my walks? It's frustrating not having a reliable source of music.

    -- Rich
  2. #2  

    Default Re: play music problem -- throttled 4G ?

    Welcome to Android Central! It doesn't surprise me that the 4G indicator still shows, because I suspect you're still on the 4G network--it's just being throttled at the source. I might be wrong ...

    It also doesn't surprise me that you have problems listening to streaming music when throttled, because those slow speeds are probably inadequate to stream the music even at lower quality. You could try changing the streaming quality--open Google Play Music, swipe in from the left and tap Settings, scroll down to "Mobile networks stream quality," and select Low.

    If there's certain music that you listen to frequently, you can save it to your device by going to the Album view, tapping the menu button associated with the album, and tapping on the pin icon next to "Keep on device." It's best to do this when you have access to wi-fi. This option is not very feasible, though, if you have a lot of music, because I think there's a limit to how much music you can keep on your device.
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  3. #3  
    Golfdriver97's Avatar

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    Default Re: play music problem -- throttled 4G ?

    B. Diddy is probably right about the low data speeds and streaming.

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    Default Re: play music problem -- throttled 4G ?

    Quote Originally Posted by B. Diddy View Post
    Welcome to Android Central! It doesn't surprise me that the 4G indicator still shows, because I suspect you're still on the 4G network--it's just being throttled at the source. I might be wrong ...
    No, you're right. It's showing 4G because the signal indicator is for voice, not data. You can still make phone calls over HSPA+

    Sent from my Galaxy S4 running SlimKat 4.4.2
    Everything in this post is 100% accurate...I think

    R.I.P. Motorola...and what could have been the best smartphone line ever
  5. Thread Author  Thread Author    #5  

    Default Re: play music problem -- throttled 4G ?

    Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I've lowered the streaming quality and will find out later this morning if this has fixed the problem. This setting hadn't seemed applicable to me, because it did not occur to me what I was doing was "streaming". What happens is it downloads a song, plays it, downloads next song, plays it, etc. (It bugs me that it doesn't ever seem to download the next song while playing the current one, not even using my home's WiFi.) I understood streaming to be data coming in on the current channel or track during play, the way YouTube works, or internet radio. Is the "download, use, download use" serial model now referred to as streaming as well?
  6. Thread Author  Thread Author    #6  

    Default Re: play music problem -- throttled 4G ?

    Took my walk with Google Play Music set to low quality. It didn't help; the music eventually stopped playing. This time it was in the middle of a track, so maybe it does actually stream. Shouldn't a 2G signal still be adequate to download at least one track every 3 minutes (i.e., download the next during current track)?
  7. #7  

    Default Re: play music problem -- throttled 4G ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Franzen View Post
    Took my walk with Google Play Music set to low quality. It didn't help; the music eventually stopped playing. This time it was in the middle of a track, so maybe it does actually stream. Shouldn't a 2G signal still be adequate to download at least one track every 3 minutes (i.e., download the next during current track)?
    I don't know what tmobile throttles to. 2g speed is vague, but let's say 150kbps or 18.75KB/s. So in 3 minutes you would get about 3.3mb. That could be pushing it depending on the bitrate of the Google stream.

    Sent from my Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 3 via Tapatalk Pro
  8. #8  

    Default Re: play music problem -- throttled 4G ?

    Just some more info. Apparently Google play music low setting uses 1.48mb per minute. So if tmobile throttles you to 150kbps then you would be at around 1.1mb per minute. This speed would not be sufficient to stream Google play music even on low setting.

    http://www.androidcentral.com/testin...ality-settings

    Sent from my Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 3 via Tapatalk Pro
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