iOS 6 Could Be Overtaxing Your Data Plan Because of a Bug

Podcast listeners seem to be the most affected, research indicates

  iPhone display close-up
An AV Foundation flaw in iOS 6 reportedly causes podcasts and audio streams to be downloaded over and over again, which may result in overcharged data plans.

An AV Foundation flaw in iOS 6 reportedly causes podcasts and audio streams to be downloaded over and over again, which may result in overcharged data plans.

Originally documented by the Public Radio Exchange labs, the issue could be very serious, according to The Next Web.

PRX has released a memo on its website, stating “We received a report from the folks at This American Life of extremely high bills from their CDN for the month of October.”

After researching the problem, the technology group concluded that “this is caused by bugs in the iOS 6 Audio Playback frameworks resulting in files being downloaded multiple times – this could result in dramatic overage charges for both content distributers and data plan customers.”

PRX tries to put the technical details into plain English explaining that, “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.”

The discoverers isolated one case where the playback of a single 30MB episode caused over 100MB of data to be transferred.

The issue appears to affect both Wi-Fi and cellular connections, with TNW noting that some affected users were actually able to convince their carriers to remove the overage charges.

“Based on our research, it looks like the issue is iOS 6,” PRX emphasized.

The flaw is reportedly fixed in iOS 6.0.1, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system.

Users who frequently listen to radio shows via Apple’s Podcasts app should seriously consider updating to the latest iOS, if they haven’t done so already.

iOS 6.0.1 was released by Apple on November 1 with no mentioning of a patch for the aforementioned bug.

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