Google Music Seems to Have a Streaming Limit


A lot of you won’t like this story. It appears that Google Music has a streaming music limit which will keep you from streaming songs to your devices after hitting some sort of cap. A user was met with a message alerting him of the unfortunate circumstances and was simply told to try again later.

It’s a most odd situation considering Google hasn’t made any mention, or at least any clear mention, of a streaming cap. We’re not sure if the cap is for time or data, but Google doesn’t make it clear. They also don’t inform the user of when their service will be restored.

Things like this is why a completely cloud-enabled future is tough to swallow. To know that I could be blocked from content I own, some of which I buy from Google, is unsettling. And I’m not so sure that I’m as mad about there being a potential cap as I am about the fact that there is seemingly nothing you can do about eradicating it.

If Google needs to impose a cap, fine. I have absolutely no qualms with that. But allow me to pay my way out of it so I can enjoy my music whenever and however I want. Of course, you could always download your music (PC) and make it available for offline streaming (Android) but that pretty much obliterates the point of offering cloud services.

This could simply be a mistake, too. We’re not sure if some glitch in the system caused this (perhaps Google is testing a forthcoming pay service) but it’s another possibility we have to consider. Either way, I can imagine it’s pretty frustrating. The issue doesn’t seem widespread so it’ll be interesting to see what Google says. [via Droid-Life]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. You can’t stream to more than one device at a time.  That user could have been listening on Android and tried to play on the web.  Or it could have been a small timing issue.  A song is paused on Android, and he started trying to use the web player right away.

    Streaming limit in this case could mean limited number of streams, only one allowed, etc.

    1. i think you’re right on this one. he or she is probably playing on two different devices at the same time. 

    2. I’ve tried that and it give you a different warning. Basically, is says that you can’t stream on two devices at once, no that you’ve exceeded your limit.

    3. Also, you can only have 7 devices listed.  If you try to stream to the 8th device, you get nothing.  To correct this, go to your Music page on the net and click Settings, then delete whatever device you don’t need listed.  Could be what is happening in this case.

      Edit: scratch that, it’s 10 devices. De-authorize those you don’t need and it’ll likely work properly.

    4. I get a completely different error message for multiple devices. Tried it with two tablets and two phones. Got the error multiple times and nothing said anything about a “streaming limit.”

      1.  Perhaps the user who received the message described in the article somehow managed to get two devices streaming at once which provoked the error message?

        While the fact that the error screen itself is a slight cause for concern I agree with the majority of the people who have commented here.  There are simply not enough facts within your post for us to be very worried about this, at least at the moment, and we cannot make inform decisions about the subject, only speculations.

  2. Do we know any other facts about the user’s usage prior to receiving this message? Like, was this after streaming music for 72 hours straight? or while trying to stream to multiple devices simultaneously? Too little information to draw any real conclusions.

  3. I use Google Music streaming daily….for ~8 hours each day (most times I’m not evening listening, but its still going :) ) and I’ve not reached any sort of screen such as that.  How much did said user use? 

    1. I use it a whole lot, on my GN, on my laptop. I could easily get 8 hours a day and I’ve never had an issue either.

      The least this article could do is give a fact or two.

  4. This would keep me from buying a Nexus product without expandable memory.

  5. If this is true its just another reason why I wont get a phone without a sd card slot

  6. Quibbling over the amount they used misses the point. Using online storage instead of local storage means you’re putting yourself in the hands of the service provider.  I’d rather have control of my own content, either locally on my mobile device, or online from my own media server.

    1. I’ve been saying that since “the cloud” started getting trendy.  “The Cloud” is awesome, until it’s a bright and sunny day….

  7. LOL This is what you get for Google’s “free” services. 

    I’m surprised they didn’t just throw more ads in your face. 

    A lesson to the hardcore Google fanboys: Nothing is free in life. And Google will continue to fuck you over until you wake up and realize this. They don’t care about YOU. They care about $$$$$, the same thing you want to criticize Apple for doing. You’re just too blind to Google is eating your lunch too.

    1. Apple fanboys like you are pathetic. Apple’s greatest desire is to try to force everyone to buy what they sell as some kind of smartphone/pad Nirvana and yet you think they can do no wrong. They definitely couldn’t care less about you so stop grasping at little straws like this to try to prove your point. noboday likes you.

      1. That’s their greatest desire? Really? Do you have any proof? I’d like to see it.

        I’ll be waiting….


    2. So this service has been out for how long now and we are just now hearing of one person who is having this unverified problem? You’re argument is just sad…

      1. “Your”.  

        1. don’t be “that” guy

          1. Then learn basic grammar.

          2. “Than”.

    3. Lol – and Apple is making all that cash because they CARE so much about you… ROLF.

      1. Where did I even suggest Apple makes money because they care more about the user? 
        Are you that fucking stupid?
        If you’re a technology consultant, you must be. LOL wtf is a technology consultant like you do? “USE GOOGLE BECAUSE ITS OPEN!! SQUEAL!!!!!!”

  8. Bitch first, ask questions later. Top notch blogging right there.

    1. Inform first – get more information as you can.

      Top notch, indeed. 

    2. Pretty sure this was vetted more than by just a simple one time screen shot. Top notch response right there.

    3. Who “bitched?” 

  9. Of course we will never know what exactly that limit is.. Google doesn’t care about divulging any concrete details about any of their products..

    ICS updating coming soon!

    4 months later

    ICS update coming sometime this month!

  10. Without the facts behind it, this report is just pissing people off. as others have said, someone turns it on 24/7, ya GOOGLE SHOULD TURN YOUR ASS OFF, it’s free and that would be totally understandable

  11. I stream for about 4-5 daily through my phone or PC.  I have even left it on at work forgetting to hit pause and come in the next day(sometimes i get that are you still listening message, sometimes i don’t) and it is still playing with no issues.

  12. Who needs cloud when u have SD cards

    1. When you have 80+ gb of music. 

    2. when you have more music than fits on your SD card, or you don’t have your phone with you.   Smart?

  13. I’ve ran into this error before when I was sharing my account with my girlfriend, she was streaming music to her phone and I was streaming to my laptop, I could play maybe 2 songs before this error message was printed. Once she stopped on her phone however the message went away. Reading the other comments I too have streamed music for 8+ hours without a problem. Hopefully Google clarifies things for everyone none the less.

  14. I’m curious to see is this was just a glitch. I’m also wondering if this user’s streaming behavior was in the ‘ridiculous’ range. For example, have they been streaming 24 hours/day for a month. That WOULD be ridiculous, but even so, if they were purposely cut off, they should have been given a warning (maybe they were?) and there should be something in the TOS about this (maybe there is?)

    1. The server is running code to check a user’s streaming counter and testing that number against some unknown cap value.  In other words, ‘taint no glitch.  Now 24/7 streaming might indeed be excessive for you and I, but for some perhaps this might be the norm, and apparently for such people Google won’t let them enjoy their music as they are accustomed?  How then can Google expect me to get excited about having my music in the cloud?

  15. [please ignore this non-entry]

  16. Jumping the gun much? This story is ridiculous to even put out there without even a little fact checking. Now you have people complaining about sd cards and data limits and increasing internal storage, and we have no idea why this happened. Could have been a one time glitch out of who knows how many Google Music users. My regard for the reporting on this site just took a hit…

    1. or it could be real.   Don’t dismiss the report just because you don’t like it.   

      1. I’m not dismissing because I don’t like it. I’m dismissing it because the evidence being submitted is so weak as to be laughable. All it does is stir up folks for no reason and a semi-proffesional site like this should know better…

    2. Error messages don’t materialize out of thin air in response to some glitch’.  Messages like this appear because there is deterministic code on the server being executed – in this case code written specifically to test a user’s streaming activity (total hours?  # of concurrent clients?) against some set cap.

  17. At least there is Amazon Cloud Player.   If they have some theoretical streaming limit, I just download my shit to my phone.

  18. Ouch. This was one of my main reasons for loving Android…

  19. I love Google Music, but hearing that there is a cap on streaming is rather upsetting, however, I can’t really get mad at Google for this. They’re offering a free music storage and streaming service and they set the rules. I still have access to locally managed music on my hard drive, and my devices, so I can still listen to my music if I want to. Google Music is just more convenient for me.

  20. Holy crap way to over react! He was probably streaming from too many devices at once.

    1. You’re the one over-reacting. The multiple devices error is NOT the same. This is completely different. And it’s been verified that there is a daily streaming limit but it’s so high that most users will never see it. Please do a little research of your own before trying to bash our reporting.

  21. PHANDROID WTF YOU GUYS! It’s a fucking hidden Help Page not an error message

    1. What does the help page have to do with it? That page is what the user is taken to when clicking the link in the error message to learn more. This has nothing to do with the multiple devices error – that is completely different. There is definitely a streaming limit as it is described in the article.

      1. You published this article w/o any proof of any of that. You simply copied Droid-Life’s pic & article on a whim, hoping to steal some traffic. just sad really.

  22. Not trying to argue with anyone I simply believe clouds will die
    Micro SD up to 2TB is around the corner. Then we can carry all our files in our device and have multiple back-ups of our own. Online storage is a scam of the not tech savvy
    Even now I simply use an external WD to back-up all my files.

  23. am i the only one who noticed that this was a help guide screenshot (maybe of something to be coming in the future) this is the link to the help guide: 

  24. rusty…ihope your right…ireally do. SD is the way …or should be.

  25. I’m so upset that I deleted all my original music after dumping it to Google’s servers, I thought they’d let me have more control over what I do with MY music, sadly I was mistaken. 

    I can’t even re-download it without some sort of work-around, and even then, it’s in a lower quality format.

    1. You did WHAT?

    2. WHY would you do that? I don’t trust ANY cloud

  26. I stopped using Google music long ago

  27. Thats why I have an sd card and a computer

  28. So I’m sitting here listening to Google Music and procrastinating (homework), when not five minutes after I read this article I also get the Streaming limit exceeded page. A few minutes later though, I was able to play my music again. Very strange considering I only used Google Music for maybe 7 hours today.

  29. Late chime in and ill echo a few who cares name a Company that gives you free 20,000 song upload not 20gb or 30gb limit 20,000 songs @ 250mb max each song. So really who cares.

  30. Google Music is very handy!  I uploaded my entire collection a while back, and now I can listen to any of my tunes from work, from my phone, tablet, etc.

    My local hard disks are also handy.  I can listen to all of my collection without worrying about using bandwidth.

    MicroSD cards are also handy.  I can put some of my collection on my phone and use it like my old 80G iPod.  Once the SDXC 64 gig and 128 gig cards are commonly available and cost less than a phone themselves, they’ll probably see widespread adoption.

    The cloud is attractive as long as memory is limited.  When memory becomes unlimited, the pendulum will swing back toward local storage.  Yes–it’s nice having your files distributed and backed up on remote servers.  It’s also nice being able to access them on a plane, or out in the desert, or in a dead zone in the middle of the city!

  31. Not that big a deal.  Just stream less. 

  32. It wasn’t long ago that Google had a 1Mbps upload cap to Google Docs. It is finally removed, at least up to 10 Mbps up.

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