As Google prepares to finally shut down Google Play Music in favor of YouTube Music, the company is making a lot of last-minute updates to make sure the latter service is ready to go. YouTube Music already available on a wide variety of devices, and today Google is tackling the smart TV experience.
Google first added a YouTube Music tab to the main YouTube app back in July, which is similar to the home page you see when using the app on a phone or the web. Basically, it’s a bunch of links to recommended playlists, videos and albums like you’ll find on most music services. As of today, though, you’ll be able to access the playlists you’ve created or saved to your library, as well as all the songs you’ve given a thumbs-up to. Judging from the above screen shot, you’ll also be able to access any songs or albums you’ve saved to your library, too. Visuals for playlists and albums have also been updated to better fit a bigger screen.
More substantial changes are coming to TVs that run the Android TV OS as well as the YouTube Music experience on the just-announced Chromecast with Google TV. There, the YouTube Music app will let you access music you’ve uploaded to your library, a feature that Google Play Music users will certainly appreciate, as only a few music services let you upload your own songs these days. YouTube Music also shows up as a row in the Android TV home screen, which lets you scroll over and start playlists without having to jump into the app itself. (You can see that in the image below.) Finally, there’s a new “now playing” interface that sounds similar to what you see on a smartphone, just optimized for TV.
As with most Google software updates, the company says this one is rolling out, but it may not have hit your TV just yet. The updates to the Music tab inside the main YouTube app have arrived for me; I can see all the albums and playlists I’ve saved to my collection. But there doesn’t appear to be a YouTube Music app on my Sony Android TV just yet — Google says that eventually the Play Music app (which I do have) will be replaced by YouTube Music, so that might not be rolling out quite as fast. Either way, it’s just another sign that Play Music’s days are numbered.