Google has recently added a number of new features to its YouTube music to prepare it to replace Google Play Music, which will be sent to live on a farm with Google Reader, Inbox by Gmail and other Sunsets from Google products in the end of the year .
The latest comes in the form of Suggestions, which uses machine learning to suggest songs to add to playlists based on your listening habits or content in your existing playlists. The feature rolls out for users on a limited basis.
We are lucky to have a device that has access to the new feature. This is how it works.
Step 1: Update YouTube Music
It seems like an update on the server side, but it̵7;s good to update your app to get the latest features. At the moment, it seems to be an Android-exclusive feature, but it should come to iPhones eventually.
Step 2: Launch a new playlist or edit an existing one
This feature works with your personal playlists, not those curated or automatically generated by YouTube Music (although I learned that saved mixes transferred from Google Play Music are now considered playlists I created). Then navigate to the library and tap the Playlists section. You can start from the beginning by pressing “New playlist” or selecting one of your existing collections.
Step 3: Add suggested songs
If you are building a new playlist, you will find the suggestion list under the Add a song button. In my test playlist, suggestions were similar to what I would find in your Mix playlist, so this is a great option for creating a new playlist that reflects your latest tastes and preferences.
If you’re adding an existing playlist, you’ll probably have to scroll down to find the ‘Suggestions’ section. In my limited testing, I found that the suggested songs matched the content already in the mix.
To add a suggested song, tap the icon to the right of it in the list. Do not tap on the song title, as it will start a mix based on that song instead. Repeat for as many songs as you want to add; Once you have scrolled to the bottom of the list, you can press refresh for a new list of AI-curated songs. When you are done, scroll back up to play or shuffle.
It also seems like there is a 20-song cap on existing playlists for suggestions to be displayed. Luckily, I actually have playlists with 20 and 21 songs each illustrating the limitations. As you can see in my previous examples, playlists with 20 or fewer songs give suggestions, while the 21-song playlist below does not contain suggestions at the bottom.
Music streaming is a relatively competitive field, so Google will need unique features to stand out from Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music and retain previous Google Play Music subscribers. The Suggestions feature is just one differentiator that can help YouTube Music stand out. Another is Collaboration, which allows you to invite others to contribute to playlists, which we keep an eye on.
Hopefully, Google has even more tricks up its sleeve to further enhance YouTube Music. Maybe an upload tool in the app? Or a full-screen widget like Google Play Music that extends the album art?
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