Opera Max will soon do data saving magic on music streaming

Streaming media over the Internet is slowly but surely taking over even buying digital copies of videos and music. It's a trend that Apple itself has practically affirmed by launching its own Apple Music service. That means, however, that more and more people are becoming reliant on media streaming even while their bandwidth or data plans don't support it. Luckily for those kinds of users, Opera will be rolling out an update to its Opera Max service that will perform data saving compression on music streaming as it does web pages and videos.

Opera Max started out as a way to save on data and bandwidth by compressing the data that passes through Android apps. It's the same principle, though different technology, that Opera employed with its popular mobile browsers, back in the days when phones were barely smart. But these days, the bulk of Internet consumption isn't just on web pages anymore. Video and music streaming, by nature, take up plenty of bandwidth and their popularity only exacerbates the situation.

Last August, Opera flipped the switch for supporting video streaming in Opera Max, specifically for YouTube and Netflix apps. Now it's doing the same for music. To be exact, it promises to almost halve the data consumption of YouTube Music, Pandora, Slacker Radio, Gaana, and Saavn. Noticeably missing, however, is Spotify, which is probably one of the most popular among this lot. More services might be added to this list, but strangely no mention of Spotify at all.

While there will be some data savings from Opera Max, some audiophiles might find the idea almost too horrendous to consider. MP3's and MP4's are already lossy formats, so called because of some data they lose thanks to compression. Rocket Optimizer, the technology Opera acquired and is now using for Max, transcodes those to the AAC+ codec, yet another loss format. To those with sensitive hearing, that might equate to an overall loss in quality. For those who don't mind, the money savings might be well worth it.

Of course, Opera Max is available only on Android, so Apple Music users on iOS will feel left out. That said, Apple Music is now available on Android too, though it might not make it to the list of supported services anyway.

VIA: TechCrunch