There was a time when listening to music on YouTube was considered an unquestionably naughty activity. Uploads were rips from official videos, and the closest you could get to an official song was a lyric video from an obsessed fan.
Those days are long gone. YouTube has been responsible for countless musical success stories – from Bieber’s rise to fame (thanks a bunch, Google) to Psy hitting a billion views, there’s no question that everyone’s favourite video streamer is a bona fide platform for launching global tunes.
Want to channel all the good stuff from Google without the cat video chaff? If you’re in the US, you’re in luck: you can download YouTube Music today for streamlined song satisfaction.
How is YouTube Music different from the standard app? Oh, in just about every way.
OK, so it’s still red all over, but it cuts out all of the fail compilations, dodgy TV rips and the rest, to push curated content and musical variations on an “endless journey through YouTube’s music catalog [sic]”. And, boy, it’s a whopper.
You can search for a specific song and, whilst it’s playing, you’ll be able to browse remixes, covers, lyric videos and gig shots of the same song from the YouTube community.
More of a shuffle kinda listener? The home tab in the Music app recommends tracks and creates stations, Spotify style, just for you.
The real beauty of this stripped-back service is the direct access it offers to the vast library of sounds that YouTube possesses. From the get-go, Google’s vid-viewer has been home to indie artists, unsigned singers, parody players and countless other music makers looking for recognition – and now they’ll be more discoverable than ever.
Sure, some of them could get their audio on iTunes or Spotify, but the ease with which gifted (or otherwise) songsters can whack a vid onto YouTube and now be found makes it a truly unique opportunity.
Don’t want to sacrifice your data as you deign to find the next big thing in pop? Bag yourself a Red membership and you’ll have access to offline listening – for both video and audio-only content – and, here’s the kicker, keep your sounds streaming under the lock screen or as you multi-task. Tunetastic.
For those not inclined to go Red, the app should still offer enough in the way of online listening to make it appealing – though the real boons are bundled with the bought membership.
Want to give it a try? Sorry, Australian ‘Tubers, it’s US only – for now, at least.
This article originally appeared at Stuff.tv