Google’s latest YouTube Music improvements help it compete with Spotify and Apple Music

The company is working hard on bringing its music streaming service up to par


YouTubeMusicCircleHero-01

You may not think that it’s the case after the botched transition from Play Music to YouTube Music, but Google is actually working hard on updating its new music streaming service with features and improvements. The company details that it rolled out a whole lot of changes over the last few months, with many of them already covered by us, but with a few more pleasant surprises.

The headlining improvement is probably one you can’t quite put your finger on, but you might still have noticed it while listening to radios. Google reports that it has improved artist diversity in song and playlist radios, giving you a broader selection of songs from different artists whenever you hit that radio button. People seem to like this change, as the team has noticed an increase in likes and newly discovered songs.

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Another new option you may have noticed already is the ability to save a queue as a playlist. This is already widely available on iOS but only now rolling out to the Android version of the app.


YouTube Music save queue to playlist

There are a few changes specifically meant for smart TV and smart watch users, too. On TVs, you may have noticed that you no longer see duplicates in the “Listen again” section, where YouTube would previously put up the same songs with slightly different interfaces. On smart watches, you can now finally shuffle play all the music you’ve downloaded. Previously, you could only shuffle playlists, while albums would always play in order.

Then there’s a quality-of-life feature that has made its way from the mobile apps to the web app. For Premium subscribers, it’s now possible to seamlessly switch between video and audio versions of songs.

Google has also shared some more updates, some of which we have already found ourselves. For one, it’s possible to share what you’re listening to and even full artists’ pages to Snapchat. For another, there are serious enhancements to the add to playlist workflow, which is now just plain more beautiful and useful. Google also reiterated that it’s experimenting with putting the Explore section right on the home screen, making the current individual bottom tab for it unnecessary.


YouTube Music one song only in queue

There are also smaller improvements, like the addition of a Family mix to the Family shelf for those who share their subscription with others, and single song queues for those who prefer not to automatically launch a song radio when they just want to listen to a single audio clip.


If you haven’t used YouTube Music for a while after Google turned off Play Music, it might be time to give the service another try. There are still some things I miss from the good ol’ Play Music app, but the service has vastly improved over the years. Personally, I’m happy to report that Rammstein is finally available on YouTube Musicso if you’ve been missing specific artists or songs, maybe the company now finally has them on offer for you, too.


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