Last year when Google announced it will be rolling Google Play Music into YouTube Music, I was just as skeptical as the next guy. But unlike some, I didn’t have the knee-jerk reaction of”That’s it! I’m going to [insert other music streamer here]!”
Instead, as I do with all things tech, I simply embraced the fact that everything updates, changes, and evolves over time. I also understand that some use this to reinforce the battlecry that “Google kills everything everyone likes”. I for one welcome Google’s current trajectory which seems to be one of streamlining apps and services, and shaking off the reputation of being nothing more than a beta playground. It’s simply time for Google to grow up.
As such, I’ve been spending more and more time using YouTube Music as opposed to using Google Play Music like I usually do. The problem is, there is no problem – at least none that I can readily find that impact my listening.
Of the worries I initially had when Google announced this move was the fact that I don’t want to have videos playing while I’m listening to music. But this was addressed with a simple “Audio Only” toggle. With this enabled, not only is the current song played without video, but also every song afterward until you disable it.
However, what’s missing is the ability to leave this enabled via app settings. Thus, every time you launch YouTube Music and you want audio only, you have to enable it again. My hope is that one the transition is completed (Google says sometime this year) this will be added as an app setting option.
As of now, if you have playlists in YouTube (as I do, because I’m a bit obsessive about organization) they are also readily available in YouTube Music.
Downloads, playlists, albums, likes… All there.
The only other thing is the question of music that users have previously uploaded to Play Music. I personally have over 3,500 uploaded tracks there. To date, there has been no announced change to Google’s statement that uploaded music will also be made available in a what was referred to as a “music locker”.
Some people have mentioned that searching for music doesn’t seem to return the same robust amount of results as searching for music in the Play Music app, but Google has encouraged people to be patient and give it time. This is still a work in progress.
That all being said, I personally don’t foresee having an issue with this transition. I have no interest in jumping ship and trying to adapt to a different music streaming service. To me, that would require much more effort than simply adapting to the changes Google is making. So far, for me anyway, Google has been making this transition pretty painless with sensible changes and features in YouTube Music.
So what are your thoughts? Have you tried using YouTube Music as your primary player / streamer as opposed to Play Music? If so, has your experience thus far been similar to mine, or are you of the “abandon ship” crowd?