YouTube Music

Date Tue, May 30 2017

What do you guys use Youtube for? For years, I only used it to watch music videos and to enjoy You Suck as Cooking Videos. I now subscribe to a few infotainment channels and have checked out some Youtube Red Original (Red comes along with my Google Play subscription), but most my liked videos are music.

Of course, I can’t just turn on that playlist to listen to music because not all of the videos I’ve liked are music, so I find myself skipping through non-music content. What I want is an easy way to enjoy the music I’ve liked on Youtube and find new music. Enter YouTube Music.

With this app, you can only browse music videos. When you log in with your Google account, you’ll get a customized music experience including

  • Your personalized playlist with songs you’ve already liked and similar ones
  • Recommended songs and stations
  • Suggestions for songs to listen again
  • A playlist consisting of only music you’ve previously liked on Youtube/Youtube Music
  • Trending playlists
  • New music in various genres
  • Artists on the rise
  • Etc

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Now, I obviously love the idea that you can simply view the music you’ve liked (including lyric videos and videos hosted on unofficial/fan accounts0 without non-music videos, and having this as its own tab in the main navigation is smart. This list is arranged chronologically like it is on Youtube. As far as I can tell, all music I’ve liked shows up here because creators have marked it as music.

In fact, this is the playlist that I use the most. I don’t particularly enjoy the trending tab because so many of the songs/artists/playlists are based on genres that are popular but not my favorite. I do wish YouTube music didn’t seem so mainstream. A truly personalized experience wouldn’t just focus on mainstream genres. You can, of course, search for songs.

youtube music song options

Easily like a song, add it to a playlist or share it

I’ve had mixed luck with my personalized station as well as stations for genres that I do like (rock and indie, for example). YouTube music plays some new music, but it seems to revert to tracks that I’ve already liked pretty quickly, so I don’t feel like I am being exposed to too much new stuff. I have found new music that I like, of course. Adding it to my like playlist affects both YouTube music and the general liked playlist on YouTube, and you can easily add songs to your other playlists.

You might not watch many music videos on your device because of data restrictions. But YouTube Music has an option to turn off the video and just listen to audio, which I am sure helps with that. There’s no point to download the whole video on slower connections or when you’re listening in the background, either. I am not sure how background play works for someone who doesn’t have YouTube Red, but I can do this with most regular YouTube videos, anyway.

Another perk is the ability to cast to your TV to watch videos like you can with the YouTube app.

The most functional part of YouTube Music is being able to listen to music that you’ve already liked, which the app does allow you to do conveniently. But it’s not convenient to have to do another app. I’d like to do that within the Youtube app itself or, better yet, have a Google Play Music playlist generated from my liked music videos on Youtube. That would make it easier to listen to all of the music I enjoy, too, because not every song is a video on Youtube.  I also know that artists are being compensated when I used Google Music.

YouTube Music gets some things right, but not everything.

Get YouTube Music for Android and iOS.

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