Earlier this week, Google Clock added support for musical alarms from YouTube Music, while last month the streaming service gained Android Auto integration with version 3.03. That update also added rudimentary support for playing on-device audio files.

Being able to play downloaded audio files is an important step in YouTube Music one day replacing Play Music as the default Android app. For the past several releases, we’ve been tracking an interface within YouTube Music to see all the audio files you have locally on your device.

That UI is still underway — with YouTube Music 3.05 (more below) today continuing work on that, but we missed that version 3.03 from mid-February can open and play local audio files, like .mp3 and .m4a.

Tapping a downloaded audio file (from Gmail or the Files app) will launch Android’s “Open with” prompt where YouTube Music is now listed. The resulting player is quite rudimentary and identical to Play Music’s with cover art (if available), song title, length, play/pause, and a scrubber. This black overlay is themed from the background to the bright red scrubber and of course a “YT Music” logo, which can be tapped to open the full app.

This player is more akin to a preview, and does not actually play the selected file in YouTube Music as closing the window will stop playback. That song file will not appear in YouTube Music’s Now Playing interface.

On first launch, users need to grant the standard “Storage” permission to YouTube Music so it can “access photos, media, and files on your device.” This should be a step towards the full “sideloaded” capability we’ve been tracking for the past several versions.

YouTube Music 3.05 APK Insight

Version 3.05 of YouTube Music does not warrant a full teardown, but does feature strings that are explicitly about the upcoming ability to “Play audio files from your device.” This in-app prompt should ask users to grant the Storage permission.

<string name=”sideloaded_permission_mealbar_title”>Play audio files from your device?</string>

<string name=”sideloaded_permission_mealbar_message”>Allow YouTube Music to access and play music files</string>

<string name=”sideloaded_permission_mealbar_action_button_text”>Allow</string>

<string name=”sideloaded_permission_mealbar_dismiss_button_text”>Cancel</string>


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