Showing posts with label YouTube Music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label YouTube Music. Show all posts

Google Update for YouTube Music

YouTube launched specialized mobile apps for kids, gamers and now for music lovers. YouTube Music replaces the music section from the regular YouTube app and provides a better interface for playing music. There are no comments, you can switch between the video mode and the audio-only mode, the autoplay feature is enabled by default and you can't disable it.

"With YouTube Music, you'll get a completely new type of experience, designed to make discovering music on YouTube easier than ever. No matter where you start in the app, the music will never stop. Every song you play or artist you choose will take you on an endless journey through YouTube's music catalog. (...) The home tab will recommend tracks just for you and create personalized stations based on your tastes," informs the YouTube blog.

You can download YouTube Music from Google Play Store and Apple App Store, but only in the US. If you're not in the US and you manage to install the app, you won't be able to use it without a proxy/VPN service.

YouTube Music works even better if you use YouTube Red, so you get the YouTube Red features for free for 14 days. No ads, background audio, offline music.


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How to Records Song in Google | Google Shows Other Recordings of a Song

When you're searching Google for a song that has multiple cover versions, Google shows a new section below the video: "other recordings of this song". For example, if you're searching for [Felix Jaehn Ain't Nobody], Google shows the original version of the song from 1983 (Rufus and Chaka Khan) and a recent cover version from 2013 (Jasmine Thompson), which was remixed by Felix Jaehn, a German DJ.


You can click the other recordings to find more about them and watch their videos.

YouTube Music Key for Desktop: Ad-Free Music Videos

YouTube Music Key is not just for YouTube's mobile apps. One of its feature is also available if you use YouTube's desktop site: ad-free music videos. You'll notice the "ad-free" label next to the video title. Mouse over the label and you'll see this message: "Your YouTube Music Key subscription lets you play this video without ads."



"Subscribe to YouTube Music Key and you'll be able to listen to music without seeing or hearing ads. Ads won’t be shown before or during eligible music videos you watch on youtube.com, and music videos and playlists will play continuously on your mobile device, without interruption. You will still see ads on other YouTube videos, however. The Ad-free badge tells you that a video will be ad-free," informs YouTube.

YouTube Music Key Restrictions

An important downside of YouTube Music Key is that YouTube treats music videos just like Google Play Music songs. You can't play music videos on 2 different Android/iOS mobile devices when using the YouTube app and the same Google account.

Let's say I play a YouTube music video on an iPad and then try to play another music video on a Nexus 5. YouTube shows this message: "Playback paused because your account is being used in another location". That means I can't play YouTube music videos on multiple mobile devices at the same time. This is strange, especially when you realize that YouTube Music Key is only available in the Android app.


If I sign out, I can play music videos, but YouTube Music Key features are disabled (background playing, offline caching, no more ads). I can also play music videos in Chrome or other mobile browsers, where YouTube Music Key features aren't available.

Google Play Music has a similar limitation: "If you play music on multiple devices at the same time using the same account, playback will be paused so you can choose which device you'd like to use. To help ensure uninterrupted playback, make sure you're listening to music using one device or computer at a time."

Maybe it would be a better idea to enable Music Key on a single device at a time and disable its features when using other devices. This way, you could still use the YouTube app and play music videos just like any other videos.

Reduce Data Usage When Playing YouTube Music Videos

YouTube doesn't offer yet an audio-only version for the desktop, but there's a simple way to save bandwidth when playing a YouTube video in a different tab or in the background. 

Let's say you're listening to a 2-hour concert while reading a book. Since you only care about the audio, YouTube wastes bandwidth by streaming the entire video. YouTube now uses adaptive streaming (DASH) and there are separate streams for audio and video.

I mentioned in a recent post that the mobile YouTube app for Android downloads only the audio files when playing music videos in the background. The desktop site doesn't do this, but you can save bandwidth by switching to the lowest quality option that's available: 144p. Click the player's settings button (the wheel icon) and pick 144p from the "quality" dropdown.

It may not seem obvious, but YouTube uses exactly the same audio stream, whether you're watching 144p, 240p, 360p, 480p, 720p or 1080p videos. You can check this by right clicking the player, selecting "stats for nerds" and watching the DASH section when switching to other resolutions. The first numerical value is the ID (itag) of the video stream, while the second one is the ID of the audio stream.  You'll notice that the audio ID is the same: 140.


Here's an example: the 2-hour David Gilmour concert from the screenshot above uses 237MB for the 360p stream and 94MB for 144p stream, while the audio stream uses 111MB. That means you can save more than 140MB by switching from 360p to 144p.

Please note that this only works if you're using the Flash player or you're using YouTube's HTML5 player in a browser that supports Media Source Extensions (Chrome, Opera, Safari, IE11).

Save Bandwidth When Playing YouTube Music Videos

I've checked to see what happens when you play a YouTube music video in the background when using the YouTube app for Android, while YouTube Music Key is enabled (it's bundled with the Play Music All Access subscription). I played U2's Beautiful Day on my Nexus 5 and opened the app data usage section to see how much data is used by the YouTube app.

When playing the video in the background, the YouTube app used about 4MB.


When playing the same video in the foreground, the YouTube app used about 24MB.


By default, YouTube selected the highest video quality that was available for this video: 480p.


This means that you can save bandwidth by playing music videos in the background. YouTube uses separate chunked streams for audio and video, so it can download only audio files when playing videos in the background.

Finding Music Key Enabled YouTube Videos

When Google announced YouTube Music Key, I expected that mobile users will be able to download and play in the background almost any music video. Unfortunately, these features don't work for many videos, especially for music videos from unofficial YouTube channels.

It's easy to tell if you can download or play in the background a video: look for the download button in the mobile YouTube app.


If the download button is there, you can tap the home button and the video will continue playing in the background.


For some reason, YouTube doesn't offer a search filter that allows you to restrict search results to videos you can download and play in the background. A good idea is to play YouTube's mixes or pick an album from the music card, when searching for an artist.


YouTube Music Key

YouTube is the most important online music library and Google wants to make it easier to use. Until now, YouTube was optimized for playing videos, not for playing music. This was especially obvious when you used YouTube's mobile apps, which didn't offer features like playing videos in the background or caching videos.

YouTube wants to change all this. "Starting today, you'll see a new home just for music on your YouTube app for Android, iOS and on YouTube.com that shows your favorite music videos, recommended music playlists based on what you're into and playlists of trending music across YouTube," informs the YouTube blog. "In the coming days, you'll be able to see an artist's discography on YouTube, and play a full album with both their official music videos and high-quality songs our music partners added to YouTube."





The most important announcement is YouTube Music Key, a subscription service that lets you play YouTube music videos without ads, in the background and offline when using your mobile device. For a limited time, it costs $7.99/month (discounted from $9.99/month) and it also includes Google Play Music All Access. YouTube Music Key is invitation-only and you can try it 6 months for free. Apparently, YouTube will send email invitations to their "biggest music fans first." Billboard.com reports that the service will be launched on November 17 in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Spain, Italy, Finland and Portugal.

It's not clear if Google Play Music subscribers have to pay extra for YouTube Music Key, but I don't think they should. YouTube Music Key looks like a great opportunity for Google to enhance the Play Music catalog with all the remixes, covers and indie music uploaded to YouTube.




YouTube Music Key, Free for Play Music Subscribers

When YouTube announced the Music Key subscription service, I wondered if Google Play Music subscribers will be able to use it for free. It made sense to assume this, since YouTube Music Key bundled Google Play Music All Access. It turns out that Google Play Music subscribers will get access to YouTube Music Key for free.

"Starting next week, as a Google Play Music subscriber, you'll get free and complete access to the YouTube Music Key beta, a new service from YouTube where you can watch ad-free music videos, and keep the music playing in the background or when you're offline. The Google Play Music app will also include ad-free music videos alongside select tracks," informed Google.

This means that Play Music subscribers will be able to use Music Key starting today. It's worth pointing out that Music Key will only be available in the US, UK, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Finland and Portugal.


Music Key and Play Music All Access are complementary services. Music Key uses Play Music data to show recommendations and metadata, Play Music's catalog is enhanced by adding YouTube's huge music library. Play Music's subscription service offers more value, while Google manages to use YouTube's strengths to make Play Music more popular.