Better Music Streaming with Speedify Mobile

Alex Gizis Blog, Fix Buffering Problems

In his latest <rant> for popular tech news site, The Register, Alistair Dabbs holds no punches as he calls out bad Wi-Fi as the elephant in the room when it comes to poor user experience on mobile devices. In the op-ed piece titled, “Everything bad in the world can be traced to crap Wi-Fi” (amen, brother) Dabbs points out some very common headaches that arise when your phone or tablet is connected to a crummy Wi-Fi connection on-the-go. From painfully slow connectivity in train stations (sound familiar?) to the absurdity of bad Wi-Fi at seemingly every tech conference and tradeshow, the piece really gets to the heart of our collective frustrations with Wi-Fi on mobile devices.

Dabbs’ Dilemma

One bit of Dabbs’ post that caught our attention was his experience with Apple Music on less-than-desirable Wi-Fi connections. Incredibly, even music that he has downloaded directly onto his device for offline playback seems to “hang” on poor Wi-Fi, as Apple Music seems to still try and fetch some content over the Internet. He writes:

“Even if you have disabled its…streaming service and chosen to transfer your MP3s to the device itself, Apple Music insists on looking for something on the internet before it will play anything. If your connection it glitchy, the app shows a blank screen and refuses to play at all, even though the songs are on the SSD. The only way to get the bloody thing to play is to switch to Airplane Mode.”

But, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Apple Music, like most other apps, is simply at the mercy of whatever your phone’s OS happens to tell it about your Internet connectivity. When we connected an iPhone 6S to a slow, lossy network here at Speedify HQ we saw a lot of the kinds of issues you might expect as a cloud music service tries to grapple with limited connectivity to said cloud.

When Wi-Fi Goes Bad…

Song streaming hanging on a lossy Wi-Fi network

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Apple Music “Connect” unable to stream video on slow Wi-Fi

We discovered that music in our online library, while still appearing available,
would simply hang when we hit play on our slow Wi-Fi network. On the right, you can see an artist update video via Apple Music’s integrated “Connect” social network, which lets musicians communicate directly with fans. Unfortunately for fans of Corrine Bailey Rae with spotty Wi-Fi, this video just failed to play at all.

Ultimately, while Apple Music could probably do a better job detecting and recovering from slow Wi-Fi or dead zones, the problems Mr. Dabbs encounter
ed (and the ones we pointed out above) are better solved at a lower level on your iOS or Android device. After all, Apple Music isn’t the only app that is going to be affected when your phone is happily connected to a Wi-Fi even if the vast majority of packets aren’t actually being transmitted. No, in that case, each and every app on your device is prone to get stuck even when there’s probably a lightning-fast LTE connection ready in the waiting.

Speedify Solves Wi-Fi Woes

That gets to the core of what we’re solving here at Speedify. Our new Speedify app for iOS and Android enhances your mobile connectivity at the tap of a button. Speedify sits below the application layer, continually monitoring the speed and latency of your available Wi-Fi and mobile data connections, making split-second decisions on which networks to send traffic over. If you need a speed boost on slow 3G, Speedify kicks in with the added bandwidth from available Wi-Fi so your music and videos keeps streaming. When Wi-Fi becomes lossy or unavailable, apps like Apple Music aren’t stuck spinning the wheels, Speedify intelligently moves to mobile data until both connections become available again. Come to think of it, almost every Wi-Fi related problem that Mr. Dabbs is (rightfully) frustrated with in his Register column can likely be avoided using Speedify Mobile. If you’re tired of crappy Wi-Fi too, and just want your phone to work better, get Speedify today!

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