May 14, 2020

YouTube Music gains feature parity with Google Play Music, latter to shut down

YouTube Music gains feature parity with Google Play Music, latter to shut down

Two years ago, I wrote about Google’s plan to launch YouTube Music, a replacement for Google Play Music. At the time, it didn’t seem quite as polished as the then-existing music service, lacking things such as a music locker (Google Play Music’s main draw—allowing users to upload up to 50,000 songs to their online account).

Since then, Google’s slowly made some improvements to YouTube Music. The most recent change came this week, when Google finally added a transfer feature to transfer uploaded tracks from Google Play Music to YouTube Music. YouTube Music will also allow uploads of up to 100,000 songs (double the old limit) for all users. Playlists will also allow up to 5,000 songs per list (up from the old limit of 1,000).

Google Play Music on smartphone
Photo by FirmBee (Pixabay / CC0)

Finally, pricing should remain similar. YouTube Music offers a free ad-supported tier; for $10 a month, YouTube Music offers background listening, downloads, and no ads. YouTube Premium at $12/month extends the same benefits to regular YouTube, as well.

As YouTube Music now seems to mostly match Google Play Music’s features, the latter is finally set to shut down later this year; an exact date hasn’t been given. This does keep with Google’s modus operandi of shutting down services; however, at least there’s an actual Google-made replacement for Google Play Music (unlike Google+, Google Reader, etc. simply being “spring cleaned”).

I used to use Google Play Music as my music service of choice; it worked in a browser (and thus worked on Linux systems), and I uploaded my music library to the online locker service. I’ve since switched to Spotify, but still have my old Google Play Music account.

I installed the YouTube Music app on my iPad to give it a brief look-over. At first glance, it feels a bit more awkward to use compared to Spotify, and keeps trying to upsell the paid versions. It also hasn’t yet prompted me to transfer my old Google Play Music data.

Do you have any interest in YouTube Music, or do you use a different music service?

Tags: GoogleGoogle Play Musicmusicstreaming audioTechYouTube Music