Best answer: This largely depends on how much 4G LTE data you consume each month and whether you offset it by downloading your music and podcasts using Wi-Fi instead.
- Your choice: Monthly Mobile Plans (from $15/month at Mint Mobile)
What’s Mint Mobile?
California-based Mint Mobile is a discount carrier that provides prepaid data plans in the U.S. starting at just $15 per month; it uses T-Mobile’s national network. Available for unlocked phones only, the service provides plans that include unlimited talk and text, plus a limited amount of 4G LTE data of your choice. You can select from 3-, 8-, or 12GB of 4G LTE data each month.
When you run out of high-speed data, you can purchase more online or through the Mint Mobile app starting at $10 per gigabit. If you exceed your monthly 4G LTE limit and don’t buy more data, your data speed drops to just 128 kbps until the next month begins.
Spotify and data
Spotify, like other streaming music services, uses Wi-Fi data by default, not 4G LTE data. If you do decide to use Spotify on 4G LTE, be aware that usage varies depending on sound quality. A good rule of thumb: the better the sound quality, the more data you’ll be using.
You’ll find four music quality settings on the Spotify app for iOS and Android:
- Normal – streaming at around 96kbps
- High – streaming at around 160kbps
- Extreme – streaming at around 320kbps (only available with Spotify Premium)
- Automatic – quality will change based on your network connection
According to at least one site, the hourly breakdown at these rates would be:
- Normal – 40MB/hour
- High – 70MB/hour
- Extreme – 150MB/hour
Saving 4G LTE by downloading music
If you’re a Spotify Premium customer, you can download your Spotify content to listen offline. In doing so, you can save a lot of 4G LTE data by downloading the content on Wi-Fi.
Another solution is to turn off Autoplay.
- In the Spotify app under Playback, scroll down to Autoplay.
- Switch it on (green) or off (gray).
On the same screen, you can also activate the Offline toggle. When you go offline, you’ll only have access to songs and podcasts you’ve downloaded.
Ultimately, you’ll need to decide which music quality you can accept given your situation and whether it’s worth using your 4G LTE. Regardless, you can stream either way – how long depends on how you are listening.
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