YouTube has finally released their music app and as someone who regularly listens to music through YouTube regularly, it’s a beautiful thing. I had a chance to use it the night it was released and, with anything, there were a couple pros and cons to everything the long-awaited app offers.
Pro: With the release of YouTube’s new paid subscription service YouTube Red, users of YouTube Music are automatically signed up for a free two-week trial of the ad-free service since YouTube Music is practically a child of YouTube Red and is well integrated into the program. This is done through whatever Google account you sign up for upon first use of the YouTube Music app.
Basically your first two weeks of YouTube music are ad-free and enable all of the features offered through YouTube Red, including audio-only mode and offline downloads.
Con: This feature is automatic. If you wanted to save your YouTube Red free trial for another time, you’re out of luck. I think the point is that you get so used to the ad-free listening experience that you just have to pay for it once it reverts back to ads and video-only mode. But hey, I guess that’s what multiple Google accounts are for.
Also I believe these two weeks can be added onto your initial YouTube Red 30-day free trial so I guess you have 44 days of free YouTube Red with YouTube Music?
Pro: Holy cow this is a miracle. Before YouTube Music, I would just play my music playlist without locking my phone which would drain my battery like crazy. Now, with audio-only mode, you can just listen to the music and no longer need to be on the actual app during the duration of the song. I have a Droid Mini and the integration is beautifully done. Once I close out of the app, a little notification appears at the top of my phone and tells me whatever song I’m listening to. I love it. This is by far my favorite feature of YouTube Music.
Con: You have to actually pay for this feature. How do you pay for this feature? Through YouTube Red. Which is $10 a month. Although I am a fan of YouTube Red and plan to use it in the future, I just have to disagree with the fact that this one, tiny, super-useful feature is worth $10 a month. Just let me buy a version of the YouTube Music app for $2, Google, that allows audio-only mode and I’ll call it even.
The Actual Music Experience
Pro: By signing into the app through your Google account, you give the app your entire YouTube history. The app then takes the songs you listen to the most, music videos you ‘liked’, and recent music videos to create playlists based on your interests. While I haven’t looked into the more specific playlists curated for me (pop-punk genre, Panic! At The Disco mix, etc.), I absolutely adore the ‘My Station’ option. It really does take into account everything you’ve ever listened to and even adds options based on your preferences. I didn’t have a single complaint about a song until five hours into the playlist, which is pretty darn impressive if you ask me.
Con: If you’ve had a Google account as long as me, you’re gonna get some weird songs you haven’t listened to in years. Sometimes it’ll be a pleasant surprise, other times it’s an unwanted flashback to a time where you asked your crush to the dance and then never spoke to him again. Not to mention, the YouTube music app also takes music videos into consideration. Sometimes it’ll switch out your favorite music video with the audio-only version of it, but most of the time you’re going to get your favorite song with the music video audio and sound effects included.
All in all, this app is stellar. If you listen to music regularly through YouTube, you’re going to adore this app. It’s well-designed, well-thought out, and still has a lot of room for improvement. My one true complaint is that it’ll cost a monthly subscription to keep it running at its prime, which is a true shame. I think YouTube and Google could really benefit from a YouTube app with a one-time price of $2-$4 that allows all of the features the monthly subscription allows. But for now, I am going to absolutely abuse this 14-day free trial.