Some transitions are simple and seamless whereas others are disruptive and unwelcome. On that be aware, my expertise shifting from Google Play Music to YouTube was someplace in-between these extremes. However having now lived with YouTube Music for nearly two months, I like a few of its distinctive options and have grown extra accepting of the change.
As it’s possible you’ll recall, Google has been plotting the transfer from Google Play Music to YouTube Music for years, however issues actually heated up over the previous 12 months: YouTube Music (YTM) changed Google Play Music (GPM) in Android beginning with Android 10 final fall, and this previous Might, Google introduced that it was beginning to switch present GPM libraries and accounts over to YTM.
As a paid G Suite buyer with a customized area, I knew that I wouldn’t be among the many first wave of subscriber transitions—that’s how this stuff all the time work—and positive sufficient, I wasn’t. However I used to be shocked after I lastly noticed the invitation to switch my GPM library to YTM pop-up within the GPM app in mid-June.
I instantly accepted the supply as a result of I’d been very interested in how this course of would work and I knew that I might proceed utilizing GPM and YTM side-by-side for months to come back if the latter app wasn’t actually prepared for my wants instantly. Based on the wizard that jumpstarts the cloud-based switch, Google would copy my music suggestions, playlists and stations (the latter of which might be transformed to regular playlists), favored and disliked songs, uploads and purchases, and the albums and songs in my library from GPM to YTM.
Moreover, my subscription was transferred over to YTM, so I now I’ve a person YouTube Music Premium membership as an alternative of a GPM membership. (This nonetheless grants me ad-free YouTube, as effectively, which I actually depend on having.)
After I triggered the switch, the app famous that the method might take “just a few hours,” and I had just about anticipated that given the scale of my library, so I didn’t even attempt to babysit. As an alternative, I checked the telephone the following morning and noticed a notification alerting me that the switch was full. (That stated, you’re in a position to switch a number of instances if you need, so you are able to do this once more sooner or later too should you’re not happy with YTM now and maintain utilizing GPM.)
With the switch full, I got down to use YTM, which, sure, I had dabbled with previously. However the app takes on an entire new dimension with my music assortment copied over, and it offers me with a greater foundation for comparability.
For anybody conversant in the GPM cellular app, the transition to YTM could be a bit rocky at first. The apps use utterly completely different person interfaces with completely different navigational fashions, and GPM does a greater job of leaving you within the a part of the interface—Music library, in my case—that you simply most frequently use. YTM, in the meantime, dumps you within the default Dwelling view every time you open the app, so I’ve to manually navigate to Library after which no matter content material I would like (often Playlists). That’s not a large deal, since YTM’s top-level UI shows three tabs—for Dwelling, Discover, and Library—however it’s an additional step or two.
My many playlists, which consist principally of subscription-based music (from Google’s cloud-based library) but additionally comprises dozens of songs that I had uploaded to the service as a result of they weren’t obtainable there, seem to have all accurately made the transition, and that was my number-one fear. I’ve used numerous third-party companies to do issues like switch my GPM music library to Spotify for testing functions (and earlier than that, switch from Groove Music too), and have had solely sporadic success. This switch appeared to go effectively.
In order that’s good. Additionally good is how YTM handles what I’ll name the Now Taking part in expertise. The precise Now Taking part in screens range a bit between GPM and YTM, after all, however each look and work effectively sufficient, and assist acquainted swipe-based gestures for advancing to the following track and so forth. And aesthetically, I discover the YTM show to be the extra enticing and fashionable. (It additionally permits you to simply entry lyrics and music movies when obtainable, plus associated music.)
Perhaps that is only a private factor, however after I’m actively listening to music—for instance, when my spouse and I sit within the sunroom and revel in an evening of music through the Sonos audio system there—I typically discover myself scanning the listing of songs developing subsequent and modifying it. This takes two kinds: Eradicating songs that I’m simply not within the temper for on the time and rearranging the order of songs. In GPM, each of those actions are very simple: You possibly can swipe on a track within the listing to take away it, and you’ll contact and maintain after which drag on a track to rearrange its place within the listing.
And sure, each of those actions work equally in YTM. The issue is that YTM lacks a functionality that I depend on with GPM: You possibly can’t management Sonos from the YTM app, as you’ll be able to with the GPM app. So I’ve to make use of the Sonos app to begin playlists after which handle the Now Taking part in listing. And within the Sonos app, you’ll be able to’t take away or rearrange songs within the Now Taking part in listing with out first getting into a particular Edit mode. It turns one thing enjoyable into one thing tedious. So I’d wish to see Google add Sonos management to YTM.
One very attention-grabbing advantage of YTM is you could entry songs—and actually, movies of songs—that seem solely on the YouTube video service. For music lovers equivalent to myself, that is an unbelievable benefit: YouTube homes what must be the one biggest assortment of what I’ll name non-standard music anyplace. You get reside variations of songs (and full live shows), leaked track demos, and every kind of different content material you’ll by no means discover in Spotify, Apple Music, or anyplace else. And these songs could be added to your playlists, providing you with one more avenues for music. So along with subscription-based music and my very own uploaded music, I now have entry to music that’s solely on YouTube.
Furthering this idea, any playlists you make on YouTube present up in YTM too. My spouse and I are large followers of the reside/gig music that musicians have been supplying because the starting of the pandemic, and so I created a Quarantine Music playlist to gather all of them for later enjoyment. We are able to watch this playlist on the TV, after all, utilizing the YouTube app. However I can even hearken to this music through YTM, and I can combine and match particular person songs into my playlists.
I like that so much. However now that I do know I could make playlists in YouTube for later YTM consumption, I’ve approached the previous service a bit otherwise too. For instance, Def Leppard not too long ago launched a reside album from its Las Vegas residency which is offered on GPM/YTM and all the opposite main music companies right here within the U.S, and so I’ve entry to that in YTM. However the band additionally launched an analogous reside album from its O2 residency within the UK, and there are some further songs we didn’t get right here within the U.S. So I can add these songs to a playlist in YouTube after which entry them through YTM. Good!
(Much less efficient. Non-music YouTube playlists additionally present up in YTM. It’s unlikely I’ll ever need to hearken to, however not watch, my Net Dev playlist, for instance.)
As a result of I’m a paying buyer, I’m shielded from among the issues, or at the very least the uncertainties, that face free customers of GPM. For instance, that service allowed anybody, even free customers, to add tens of hundreds of songs, without cost, to the service in order that they may entry them from the cloud anytime. With YTM, it’s unclear if this functionality will proceed.
However even paying clients now not have entry to the Google Play Music extension for Chrome/Edge that offered a pleasant music library uploader utility. With YTM, you simply get a typical File Open dialog, so these with in depth collections to add face a frightening activity. (And it’s not clear if free customers will retain this functionality.)
YTM presents segregated tabs for private (uploaded) and subscription-based songs within the library views—Playlists, Albums, Artists, Songs, and so forth—which is ridiculous. However one factor I do like is that these library views could be sorted alphabetically (in both path) or by “Lately added,” which after all places new music proper on the high. GPM doesn’t supply this functionality.
Since making the transition about two months in the past, I’ve caught solely to YTM and have added new songs to present playlists and created new playlists. In doing so, I’ve just about ensured that I can’t return to GPM, even quickly. However that additionally pressured me to make peace with the person expertise variations and simply get used to how YTM does issues. I’m nonetheless blended on the respective UIs general—there are issues about GPM I simply want, nonetheless—however the transition is doable. I really feel prefer it’s sticking.
That stated, I do know I’m going to run into machine limitation points quickly, as I did annually with GPM: Google lets you join your account to as much as 10 gadgets (cellular and net/PC), which is ok, however you’ll be able to solely take away (deauthorize) 4 gadgets per 12 months. As a result of I overview so many gadgets annually, I run into this restrict on a regular basis and should mainly beg Google assist to reset it. Up to now they’ve executed so annually, however these limits stay with YTM, and I dread this assist session.
Anyway, it’s not excellent, however up to now so good.