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Simple, really. As in... so bloody simple I really can't believe they
haven't done it already. You know how, when you're browsing apps
the App Store or Google Play Store or whatever Windows calls their
mobile app place, the file size of the app is prominently displayed?
it tells you two equally important things: how much
your device's storage space the app will occupy, and how many
kilobytes/megabytes/gigabytes you can expect to be deducted from
your monthly data plan allotment when you download it. You see the
same thing on torrent sites so when you download a bootleg version
Elysium (crap movie, btw) or Oblivion (still some weak plot points
Better than Elysium) you know the same things. It's great for
overage charges on your statement.
So... why don't streaming services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube,
Pandora Internet Radio, iHeart Radio, Spotify, SoundCloud, Google
All Access, etc. have the file size displayed so you know how much
data it'll cost you to stream it? Streaming doesn't use any more or
data than a straight download. The file size is the same. I've
this (several years ago when I worked in Smartphone Tech Support
so I could tell customers a way they could more informedly choose
the data plan to best fit their use habits) by downloading a few
episodes of Family Guy from Samsung
Media Hub (the file sizes of each video were about 240 MB). I then
streamed the same episodes on Netflix and checked my carrier data
usage records afterword. It was identical.
So. That's the idea. Prominently display the file size of any song or
video about to be streamed. For music services such as Pandora, it
could display an anticipated usage amount per hour as well as a
tally running on the screen while it's playing so you know at least
roughly what to expect to use before you start a session and how
much you've actually used so far. The blanket "warning: this app will
use a large amount of data" that such sites currently pop up is just
ridiculous. You don't pay for a "large amount of data" each month.
You pay for either unlimited data or a very specific amount of data.
The numbers are available. They ought to be provided.
(Note: I don't know how important this is in Europe, but in the USA, it
vitally important to be able to keep track of your data usage. Verizon
Wireless and at&t Mobility are the two biggest mobile service
here, and neither of them offer unlimited data plans. Of the 4 major
carriers, only the two smallest [Sprint and T-mobile] still do. I was
considering switching my service from T-Mobile to Verizon to take
advantage of a deal they offered on the Moto X, and saw that the
highest data plan allotment they offer is 10 GB per month. I checked
my current usage on T-mobile's unlimited data plan and I'm already
almost 15 GB for this billing cycle).
||I suppose the best you can do in the absence of the info would be to make some kind of estimate based on the playing time (and avoid videos offered in HD). A look at the time:size ratios on some downloads reveals quite a lot of inconsitency, but perhaps you could calculate some estimate of the range, and then decide what's worth the risk, and what is not, based on that?
|| I've gone in the opposite direction, from GPRS that cost enough to be measured in KB chunks, to ADSL that just keeps getting cheaper and cheaper. The kind of feature I want from YouTube is a "speed up button", so I don't have to dowload videos to watch them in VLC player (which will hurry things along without sounding like Mickey Mouse if you hit +, and slow down to "stoned speed" if you hit "-". Try it. Once you've experienced 2X, normal speed is never fast enough again.)
|| Does between 0.0001570 and 0.001046 MB/sec sound right? Or have I fed my numbers in back to front? I suspect the latter.