T-Mobile’s Music Freedom program lets customers stream music from a number of online music sources without that data counting against their monthly data caps.

The wireless carrier launched Music Freedom in June, added a few additional services in August, and now the company is more than doubling the number of online music services that are supported.

Some of the new music services include Google Play Music, Xbox Music, and SoundCloud.

google play music

Technically T-Mobile offers customers “unlimited” data… but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still data caps. You only get up to 5GB of “high speed” data each month on most plans. Once you hit that cap, T-Mobile will throttle your internet connection to a much lower speed.

Now customers can stream music from iHeart Radio, Slacker, Rhapsody, Spotify, Rdio, Songza, Grooveshark, and many other services without that data counting against their data caps.

On the one hand, this makes it a lot easier to get by with a phone with a small amount of internal storage: you don’t have to carry your music collection with you when you can stream your own songs from Google Play or stream songs, playlists, or other content from other music services.

On the other hand, folks who are concerned with that whole net neutrality thing have expressed concern that T-Mobile is treating some mobile data differently from other mobile data: sure, what the company is doing is ostensibly good for consumers at the moment because it lets them stream music for free. But it could pave the way for working out deals with music or video services in the future so that only those that pay up can be included in Music Freedom or a similar plan.

That hasn’t happened yet (at least not that I’m aware of), but I can see why some people would be concerned.

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3 replies on “T-Mobile customers can stream Google Play Music, Xbox Music for free(ish)”

  1. This is basically what all my usage comes from — so it is great for me. (Except since I upgraded I never come close to the cap.)

    But I still worry about the precedence it is setting…

  2. Please be careful about your reporting. T-Mobile has several data plans, not just the 5GB high-speed plan you mention in the article. These plans range from smaller data packages up to unlimited high-speed data as well. The “net-neutrality” argument in this case is specious at best.

    1. Actually, I meant to say “up to 5GB,” but I think it’s even more relevant when you take the different plants into account.

      If you’re paying $80/month for unlimited high speed data, then the Music Freedom service is completely irrelevant: it only really matters if you have a data cap.

      For customers that *do* have data caps, T-Mobile is removing those caps… but only for one type of data and only from a limited number of internet services.

      Again — that’s probably a good thing in the short run for most customers. But it opens the door to treating data differently depending on its source.

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