Review: YouTube Music Key

folder_openOpinions & Rants, Reviews

This post was published 9 years, 5 months ago. Due to the rapidly evolving world of technology, some material it contains may no longer be applicable.

Recently Google unveiled YouTube Music Key, an extension to the already existing All Access subscription available to Play Music Users. The aim is to integrate music videos into the service and expand the database of available music. I’ve been using the service for just over a day now and I thought I’d share my initial impressions with you.

The first change you notice is the addition of a YouTube icon in the center of the album art when you’re playing a song with an available video. Pressing the button will naturally start the video and load times are snappy, the video rarely takes more than a few seconds to start playing. It should be noted that I have only tested this on WiFi and loading times on a mobile network may be longer.

The YouTube app itself has also undergone some major changes recently, especially with its material design makeover but the changes are far from cosmetic. If you are an All Access subscriber you can now download music videos to watch offline. On top of that, you can exit the YouTube app, or lock the screen and while the audio of the video will continue to play in the background.

These features work well, support for memory cards is a nice touch and a full quality video such as Blank Space only weighs in at 78MB which is pretty good. Most of these features are available on the PC version of Play Music although it is worth noting that you can’t seem to download videos onto the PC at this time.

I have a hunch that Google have made this step for another underlying reason. The amount of content available to users. Unfortunately, singles and albums are very often available on iTunes before anywhere else. It has been getting better recently, but it’s still an unfair system.

Combining YouTube and Play Music has gone a long way to change this however. What is the one place everyone shares their music? YouTube. In fact some artists share their latest songs on YouTube before actually releasing it. Let me give you an example. Kodaline just premiered the single from their forthcoming album. Currently you can only preorder the single on iTunes. However, because they premiered the song on YouTube I have already downloaded the song and I can listen to it whenever I want, that’s quicker than iTunes.

That is the genius of Google. Instead of waiting several years for Play Music to gain the same weight with labels as other online services, they simply merged it with something that already has that kind of success.

Are there any negatives to this new service? None that I can find. The service doesn’t cost anymore than it used to, but it now possesses what is arguably the largest collection of music there is and it can give you new releases quicker than pretty much anywhere else. If you want to try this service out I say go for it. Even if you’ve already used your thirty-day free trial it’s worth buying a month to test it out.

If you have any questions about the new service or have any suggestions as to something I may have missed, please let me know in the comments!

label_outlineAll Access, Google, music, Play Music, YouTube
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