It wasn’t that long ago we asked Google to finish one of their music apps, now with continued development, it feels like YouTube Music is close.
We’re not alone in providing coverage of the pending sunset to Google Play Music. It’s been a staple for many users for years. It’s simple to set up, easy to use and over time gets better and better at just playing the music you want. Absolutely, there have been a number of roadblocks for users to permanently migrate over to YouTube Music from its predecessor but they’re nearly all gone.
The last remaining major hurdle is now gone with the ability to transfer your library from Google Play Music to YouTube Music appearing recently. So it seems that now is the time, to jump aboard the YouTube Music train and make it work for you before it too late.
Use the lockdown to your advantage
With such a high percentage of the population working from home at the moment there’s a great opportunity to use the time to your advantage. I’m not for a moment advocating for people to neglect their paid work, but there’s an opportunity to set the wheel’s in motion and get your YouTube Music setup and recommendations up to speed.
Install the app, try the progressive web app and trigger the process to transfer your library over to YouTube Music. Like a lot of GPM users who have been on the service since day 0 I’ve uploaded a significant library of music that’s not available via streaming on the service. Understandably I’m sure, I don’t want to lose that, so once that’s over to YouTube music I don’t have anything preventing me from engaging with the service any longer.
Even before this though, I’ve been using GPM for my personal library. I’ve had YouTube Music installed for some time but recently noticed that it’s become the default — which I did not set — on my Home speakers and on Android Auto so be design for default, I’ve been using YouTube Music.
YouTube Music will know what you like too
One of the things I’ve loved about Google Play Music is that it learns what you like to listen to and when. I’m convinced the algorithm thinks I’m on something special on the weekends because my kids are in the car and using my GPM account. Recently and particularly since the default service was updated, the algorithm that generates the “Your Mix” selection is pretty bloody good.
But that didn’t come easily! Fear not though, the hours and hours of likes and dislikes you have put into Google Play Music are also transferred over to YouTube Music as part of the transfer process. It will thus also be tailored to your liking right from the word go.
All tolled it must have taken a few hundred hours of listening, queueing music I like at times I like to listen. I even did this at times I wasn’t actively listening to the music for a few weeks. Over time the discover and Your Mix became more and more accurate to my tastes. So much so that now I’ll start Your Mix up and realise that a couple of hours have gone by and I’ve potentially not skipped a single song. I’m definitely glad those hours have not gone to waste and with the results waiting for me when I transfer all my data across.
What other option do you have?
There are options, a reasonable number of them in fact. Just scratching the surface with the bigger names you’ll be looking at
- Spotify is the leader of the pack with about 130 million paying users
- Amazon Music has around 52 milliont paid subscribers
- Apple Music has around 70 million paying users
- Tidal has around 3 million subscribers, but option for high bitrate playback
All of these services are at, or around the same cost as YouTube Music also. So the consideration of cost isn’t likely to be a factor unless you want to jump services regularly for the enticing deals they offer. Remember though that the top tier of YouTube Music (and GPM) comes with the ad-free YouTube experience along with offline and background play.
Google has a bit of a history of killing off services, they’re a big business and if it’s not successful for them that’s fair. But as a consumer, I agree it kinda sucks and is one of the drivers for the birth of the website killedbygoogle.com – a thorough and somewhat disturbing look at the dozens of services killed off by Google over the years.
That history adds a hearty dose of trepidation from many users in their migration from one service to another. There is a lack of confidence in Google to deliver a complete service and even less confidence that the service will be around in a few years time. I’m pretty sure that for a lot of these users who have stuck with Play Music, Google has one shot to get this move right before they leave for good.
Unfortunately, we’re rapidly running out of time and ultimately don’t have a choice in the matter. There is a looming sunset later in 2020 for Google Play Music, there are options but unless you pick one soon the benefits of having a starting point may disappear. So back to my earlier point that it’s time to get onto YouTube Music or pick another option and migrate away.
What features do you want and need from a music service to make it your choice among the crowd?