Persistent iOS 6 Glitch Still Costing Users In The Bandwidth Department

Reports are starting to pop up that Indiate that a bug in Apple’s iOS 6, particularly with the audio playback framework, is causing multiple streams of content to open up and stream to handsets. The result is higher bandwidth usage, overage charges for customers, and bigger bandwidth and hosting bills for website and content producers.

PRX Labs, a company that hosts This American Life, noticed that multiple streams were being opened up for content:

“the first 2 bytes of the file (in most cases, this will be ID, as in ID3) are downloaded in one request and then what appears to be the file being downloaded multiple times on iOS 6 and only once on iOS 5 … The player appears to get into a state where it makes multiple requests per second and closes them rapidly. Because the ranges of these requests seem to overlap and the requests themselves each carry some overhead, this causes a single download of an MP3 to use significantly more bandwidth than in iOS 5. In one case, the playback of a single 30MB episode caused the transfer of over 100MB of data.”

We haven’t seen any huge spikes in our bandwidth bills from our carriers lately, but the problem is alarming nonetheless. From the sounds of it, iOS 6 is also restarting entire downloads while you’re mid-stream. Instead of downloading one file to stream, it keeps opening up new streams. Again, this only seems to be happening in iOS 6.

If you’re the type of person that likes to stream music or video over 3G or LTE, you could be in for a huge surprise on your next bill. We recommend turning off that functionality entirely. I’m not sure about most services, but I know that Rdio lets you turn off streaming over cellular. Make sure you protect yourself, at least until word of a patch arrives.

Update: Some of our readers have noticed the problem…


Joshua is the Content Marketing Manager at BuySellAds. He’s also the founder of And since all that doesn’t quite give him enough content to wrangle, he’s also a technology journalist in his spare time, with bylines at PCWorld, Macworld… Full Bio