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YouTube Music will soon let you cast uploaded music to smart speakers for free

It would be an understatement to say that some dislike the upcoming gradual shutdown of Google Play Music in favor of YouTube Music. Ahead of that shutdown, Google appears to be addressing one of the many complaints with YouTube Music by preparing to let you cast uploaded music to smart speakers for free.

About APK Insight: In this ‘APK Insight’ post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.

One of the core features of Google Play Music that made the app successful in the first place was the ability to upload your music to the cloud and play songs in your library entirely for free. Ahead of Play Music’s ending, YouTube Music finally gained the ability to import your uploaded library from Google Play Music.

Fairly quickly, though, people — including Ron Amadeo at Ars Technica — began to notice a critical flaw with YouTube Music’s uploads. Without a YouTube Premium or other paid subscription, you currently cannot cast your music to a smart speaker.

With YouTube Music version 3.83, rolling out now via the Google Play Store, Google is actively working to fix this. From some newly added strings, we learned YouTube Music’s free tier will only be able to cast uploaded music to smart speakers. Otherwise, you’ll need to either cast to a video-enabled device that can play video ads or upgrade to a YouTube Premium subscription.

<string name=”audio_only_castability_missing_start_playback_toast”>Play your uploads now or get Premium to play all YouTube Music songs</string>

Free tier members will not be able to queue songs from YouTube Music’s library when casting to a smart speaker. Similarly, any non-uploaded song that’s in your queue before you start casting will be removed, though you’ll at least receive a warning before YouTube Music wipes out your fire mixtape.

<string name=”audio_only_castability_missing_queue_toast”>You can only add uploads to your queue. Upgrade to add YouTube Music songs.</string>

<string name=”mdx_audio_cast_uploads_confirmation_dialog_message”>YouTube Music songs will be removed from your queue once you connect to your speakers</string>

This is definitely a step in the right direction. Hopefully Google squeezes in a few more much-needed improvements before Google Play Music ends next month.

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Avatar for Kyle Bradshaw Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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