The last major update to YouTube Music in May added local file playback on Android. Google today is revamping how its streaming service on Android and iOS handles offline caching with “smart downloads.”
Premium subscribers can already download entire albums and playlists for playback when there’s no connection. One collection called “Offline mixtape” automatically choses songs “based on the music you listen to and rate.” In fact, it’s one of the best parts of the app and reduces the need for manual creation.
YouTube Music today is expanding its automatic caching system with “smart downloads.” It physically replaces the “offline mixtape” toggle and slider in “Library & downloads” settings, with the number of songs that can automatically be stored jumping from 100 to 500.
The offline mixtape is still available and makes up the first hundred songs saved by smart downloads. Like before, it will appear as “Your Mixtape” in the “Home” and “Library” feed, as well as the app shortcut.
When users want more than 100 songs on their phone, YouTube Music will download your Liked songs, favorite playlists, and other frequented albums. To account for this new feature, the Downloads screen sees a slight revamp. Replacing “Offline mixtape” above is “Recents,” while other saves are arranged in alphabetical order below.
Smart downloads in YouTube Music is rolling out now, and will be available for all users over the coming days.
Update 6/30: Announced on Wednesday, the smart downloads revamp is now widely rolling out on Android. Visiting the Downloads page reveals an “Offline mixtape is now smart downloads” prompt that details the new feature.
Every night when you’re on Wi-Fi, we’ll automatically download your favorite music so you always have something to listen to. Just pick the number of songs and we’ll do the rest.
You can set how many songs you want stored locally with a slider, with controls to “Turn off” and “Got it.” This setting is also available in the “Library & downloads” menu. Below is a carousel of “Recent activity” with cover art and a full list of “All downloads” below that. Playlist and album smart downloads are marked with a lightning bolt icon.
More about YouTube Music:
- Comment: The agony and ecstasy of using YouTube Music in 2019
- YouTube Music drops Premium’s red status ring around avatars on Android
- YouTube Music 3.15 adds full, edge-to-edge adaptive icon [APK Insight]
- Report: YouTube Music has 15 million subscribers one year after launch