Announced Last Week, and as of this Tuesday, YouTube Music is Google's latest music streaming offering. While the mobile apps are visually similar to the previous version of the service, several new features have been added to reflect a re-thought-out product. There are many smart additions, while the desktop client is a very welcome addition.
The "redesigned" YouTube Music will be familiar to users of the previous iteration of the app. A simple bottom bar contains tabs for Home, a renamed hotlist, and a library. At first login, new users are greeted with a grid of artists and asked to select their favorites to begin the referral process. In the meantime, the app will ask you to provide site approval for referrals.
This Home tab is dynamically updated throughout the day based on your previous listening history, location, and activities (exercise room, sleep state, etc.). These factors combine to make "shelves" or carousels like "your favorites" and "family-friendly fun" with descriptions – "Listen again" and "Looks as if you're home" or to mention why it appeared.
Other common sections are "Similar to" artists based on their story, new releases, today's biggest hits, throwback jams, and live performances.
Compared to the previous version, I noticed that some parts of the new YouTube Music interfaces are the official audio version before music videos or even audio with only one still of the video. Google announces millions of official versions of songs before the other cover versions found on YouTube are harder to find.
This prioritization is especially true for My Mixtape, the most recommended shelves and other official playlists where the music videos were shown were previously converted to audio with album art.
However, on my account, where I used to be a strong YouTube Music user, I still see a lot of videos, but I think that will change in the future.
Google notes that the new music contains thousands of playlists, each containing custom YouTube cover art. Apart from recommendations, this curated approach is another focus of the new music. Any details of who they are and how long they are running, with the option to save in your library or download.
I've found that a great way to find playlists is on an artist page and scrolling to the "Which playlists are the bands you like?" Section.
It It's still too early to judge whether the recommendations of YouTube Music – supported by these three factors and presumably Google's other AI capabilities – are equivalent to something like Spotify's excellent Discover Weekly playlist after seeing the previous version of YouTube I've been using Music for a few months now, so I like the current algorithm very much.
I think YouTube Up's next feature is pretty good at recommending a mix of your previously played songs and similar new ones that you might like. After using it for a few months, I can usually play it in the background with Autoplay and get new songs that I would like to save. In terms of discovery, it's not as good as Spotify's offering, but it's good enough. I hope the new iteration makes more progress.
Formerly called "Trending", the Hotlist shows 20 videos based on currently "new, hot and trendy". It shows full-width maps with thumbnails, artists, and number of views
As on the YouTube app, a "Recently Played" shelf is the first item on the third tab "Library" , A larger carousel allows users to see the songs they last played. If you tap the header, you can see a history divided into Today, Yesterday, and This Week.
The sections for downloads, playlists, albums, beloved songs, and artists are below. Downloads are much more accessible than the previous version. Individual songs and albums saved by Music Premium users are available here, with the constantly updated offline mixtape up.
As mentioned before, the Cloud Locker and the ability to upload your own songs eventually comes to Play Music's YouTube Music. At the moment, only beloved and saved songs from YouTube are displayed here. Under Privacy & Location in Settings, users can pause the history of calls and searches, as well as location-based and activity-based recommendations.
On an artist page, you'll find a short paragraph that shuffles the band and its story with a button through their entire discography or starts an artist radio. Songs are listed first, followed by a carousel of albums, singles and videos. There is also a "Featured on" section that lists official playlists that contain their songs, as well as a "fans like" logbook of similar artists.
Earlier this month, YouTube Music was released as a redesigned player. This interface is more like a traditional music app that no longer appears under the video window.
Given the new focus on audio, cover art is available here with larger playback controls. An info icon allows users to quickly jump to the artist page and full album. For songs that contain album art, the player can extract colors better for a matching user interface.
At the bottom of the screen is the new Queue feature, which determines what will be played next List to organize and swipe the order. The overflow menu for each title, album, and playlist in the app includes a "Add to Queue" button. This list view overlays controls over the cover or video.
The search in the new YouTube music is quite powerful and uses a page from Assistant on Google Home. You can search by typing in some lyrics – even the wrong ones where YouTube finds the best match – or by briefly describing the song (the hipster song with the whistle).
Users can also search for songs using "mood", such as "music for a rainy day." There are now filters to refine the results by song, video, album and artist.
Desktop Web Site
Like the YouTube Music mobile app on the Web, it features a dark theme that is a welcome sight to the eyes. The app bar above contains links to Home, Hotlist, Library, and Search. Layouts remain the same, but with multiple columns to make better use of the larger space.
The UI should be familiar to Play Music users, with a stubborn streak at the bottom that determines which song plays with album and artist information, as well as YouTube's View and Like counts for video. On the right side are the standard playback controls with thumbs up / down, volume, repeat, and shuffle to the right.
The Current Title screen contains the bottom bar and the cover art or video window on the left side while your queue is on the right side. With a chevron in the lower right corner, users can hide the entire interface and return to the search and display of the other tabs. For videos, there is a picture-in-picture mode in the lower right corner. ” style=”width: 246px; height: 154px;”/>
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