YouTube Music gets Smart Downloads, seamless music-to-video playback

YouTube Music red

YouTube Music is getting two new features this week, one concerning seamless video-to-music switching, and another called Smart Downloads.

Let’s start with the latter. Smart Downloads takes a page out of Netflix’s book, and allows users of Google’s video-music streaming app to schedule downloads when connected to WiFi. Users can download up to 500 of their “favourite songs offline using their Liked Songs playlist as well as other favourite playlists and albums“.

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Previously, music lovers could use the Offline Mixtape feature to download up to 100 songs, specifically chosen for them based on what they listened to and loved most on the platform. Now, with Smart Downloads, users can simply select the number of songs they would like automatically downloaded by toggling their YouTube Music Settings,” Google South Africa clarified in a press release.

You can now switch in YouTube Music from listening to your favourite song to watch its video with the tap of a button

Users can also now seamlessly switch from listening to the audio of their favourite track, to watching the music video without switching apps. This is done through a button-tap, and now means that you needn’t restart the video if you’re in the middle of the song. It’s a nice quality-of-life improvement.

While these two additions to YouTube Music — now Google’s flagship music app — is welcome, the app itself still falls well short of Google Play Music’s audio-centric features. The legacy app allows users to upload their own music to the cloud to listen to when they choose. Google has also yet to allow users of GPM to transfer their playlists to YouTube Music.

It’s not clear when these features will be made available, but Google has promised users these features will be migrated before GPM is culled. That said, Google is clearly committed to updating YouTube Music. Google Play Music is practically abandonware at this point.

New South African YouTube Music playlists

Google also announced seven new South Africa-specific playlists for YouTube Music listeners, covering genres like hip-hop to Afrikaans and AmaPiano. The playlists can be found below.

 Feature image: Google

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