With Apple Music recently launching and Spotify also widely used around the world, I’m going to say something about Music Streaming today that will seem to many like obvious advice. But I’m not sure everyone, at least not everyone in the UK, has thought about this…..

For many people the idea of millions of tracks being available in the cloud to stream instantly for free (Spotify with adverts) or for a small, monthly fee (Spotify Premium, Apple Music and several other services such as Tidal) is a no-brainer. For the cost of buying one album per month, you’ve potentially got unlimited amounts of music for your listening pleasure.

But please don’t forget, every time you stream a song you’re using some of your monthly data allowance if you’re not at home/work (or somewhere else with a WiFi connection). Looking around at the ‘typical’ UK data allowances available today, many people will have around 1Gb of data usage (some of you may even had a quarter of that). A 1Gb allowance will get you, roughly, 250-300 streamed songs before you go over your allowance. Depending on the network you’re on, this will result in either a slowdown of your traffic, a block on traffic for the rest of the month or additional charges.

If you are commuting regularly without WiFi access you’ll possibly go over your allowance pretty quickly. But there is a way to avoid this. With Apple Music and Spotofy Premium you are allowed to download music for offline access. This means that the music you pick will be strored locally on your device avoiding the need for you to use mobile data allowances when travelling. On Apple Music, all you need to do is select the appropriate song(s) or playlist, and click on ‘Make Available Offline’. On Spotify Premium you have a ‘Available Offline’ button for all your created playlists. You can do this while connected to WiFi at home or work, and the files will download to your device, meaning that they don’t have to be streamed using your mobile data allowance. Remember that any music not stored on your device will be streamed, and therefore eats into your monthly allowance.

Alternatively, take a look at your mobile plan and get an unlimited data allowance. I strongly recommend Three in the UK for this (you also get free calling in many countries when with them – I saw someone who saved £1500 on call charges when travelling in the US for a couple of weeks recently!).