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YouTube Music’s free tier allows personal library casting

Engadget logo Engadget 10/6/2020 Mariella Moon
graphical user interface, website: YouTube Music YouTube Music

YouTube Music can now cast your uploaded songs to a smart speaker even if you don't have a premium account. 9to5Google has confirmed the welcome change, which is merely one of the many transformations the app has gone through and will keep on going through after Google Play Music’s shutdown. Google rolled out the ability to play your own music files, regardless of where you got them from, on YouTube Music earlier this year. However, as Ars Technica noted a few months ago, the app’s free tier didn’t come with the ability to cast the songs in your library to a speaker.

The restriction can a be a major cause of disappointment, since it can make you feel like you don’t own the songs you already purchased. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case. 9to5Google says smart speakers now show up in the list of Cast devices whether you’re a paying customer or not. That said, the app will remove YouTube Music album and playlist tracks from the queue if you’re a free user. A notification will pop up on your screen that says “Only uploaded music can play on your speakers. Get Premium to play all of YouTube Music.”

The tech giant launched YouTube Music a couple of years ago, but it’s only recently that it began ramping up the app’s feature releases. It started shutting down Google Play Music in favor of YouTube Music in September, but you have until December to transfer your data out of the defunct service.

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