Opera Max: support for music streaming apps added
The most recent version of Opera Max for Android adds support for music streaming app to the data compression proxy.
Opera Max is a standalone application that routes traffic through Opera services to compress the data to reduce the amount of data transferred to the user device.
Since it is a standalone application, it works with various web browsers and system applications on Android.
Opera improved compatibility with video services less than four months ago by adding compression support to Netflix and YouTube, and now it has done the same for various popular music apps in the latest update.
The music apps listed by the company are YouTube Music, Pandora, Slacker Radio, Gaana and Saavn. According to Opera, users of these apps can save up to 50% when they run Opera Max on the Android device when using these applications.
The Opera Max application uses technology by Rocket Optimizer to optimize the audio stream. It supports mp3 and mp4 audio streams, and may convert these streams to AAC+ as the format offers a better quality to size ratio than the other formats.
The new feature has been designed specifically for users who listen to audio streams on the go, as doing so can burn through a user's monthly mobile bandwidth quota quickly depending on the plan.
While that is the case, it works equally fine when connected to Wireless networks, and since it does not differentiate traffic, will compress regular web data and video data as well at the same time.
A quick test using the Gaana application for Android resulted in savings between 40% and 50% while using the application to stream high-quality music to the device. There was no noticeable delay while using Opera Max during the test and no noticeable quality reduction (I'm not particularly good when it comes to these things, so test that for yourself to find out if you notice quality issues while using Opera Max).
Opera plans to add support for additional music streaming applications in the future.
The downside to using Opera Max is that traffic gets routed through Opera servers, and Opera is first and foremost an advertising company.
Still, the technology works well and the bandwidth savings make a big difference, especially for users on limited monthly data plans.
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