PSA: Be careful how you stream your music on T-Mobile

Music Freedom

T-Mobile wowed a lot of the tech world a few days ago by announcing that all of its Simple Choice customers – those on its latest Uncarrier plans – would be able to  stream music from all of the most popular streaming services, including Pandora, Rhapsody, iHeartRadio, iTunes Radio, Slacker, and Spotify, without it counting against their high speed data caps.

And in case that’s not good enough for you, T-Mobile is also giving customers the opportunity to vote for additional services that they’d like to see added, including Xbox Music and Google Play Music All Access. All in all, this is not a bad move from T-Mobile. But watch out.

Hidden in the terms and conditions, is this little statement:

Qualifying Simple Choice plan required. Licensed music streaming from included services does not count toward Simple Choice high speed data allotment on T-Mobile’s network; song downloads, video content, and non-audio content excluded. Music streamed using Smartphone Mobile HotSpot service or to tethered devices may count toward high speed allotment. 

In other words, you can’t tether your computer or tablet to your phone and stream Pandora for free – you can only stream for free through your phone. This is an important distinction to make – and one that John Legere failed to make during the announcement on Wednesday. Consumers might not be aware that the device they use to stream music over T-Mobile’s network does indeed matter.

This certainly doesn’t seem very Uncarrier of T-Mobile, but it will be interesting to see if there is any public backlash about this, and if so, whether Legere will rethink this policy. He’s done it before when customers have spoken up, so it’s not outside the realm of possibility.

What do you think?

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

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