Elias Pelcastre

YouTube Music is here: Review and how to try it outside the US (Update)

On October 28 I reviewed Red, YouTube´s new offline and ad-free video service. I also told you how to try it outside the United States.

I hate the fact that technology giants restrict global users from trying new features or apps. Twitter´s Moments is the perfect example: people around the world can speak English, but we´re treated as second-class citizens when it comes to getting a simple news feed that everybody should be able to access.

The new YouTube Music app is no exception. In case you´re not in the US, you have to jump hoops to watch ad-free and offline music videos on your smartphone or tablet.

For starters, installing YouTube Music on Android is almost, if not, impossible. You need the APK file, and at the moment of writing the app is not available. (As I told you in my Red review, VPN Betternet doesn´t offer an efficient way of tunneling to the US and use YouTube´s new service on Android.)

I used my iPhone to install and try YouTube´s new music app; remember that you will need to log in with your US Apple ID to download the official app.

Turn on a US-located VPN (Betternet, IPVanish, or ArkVPN, to name a few) and launch YouTube Music. Log in with your Google details to reach Music´s main screen.

Music´s home displays “stations created for you”, trending music videos, as well as your liked videos. On the top right corner of the screen, you will find an audio mode, which you can toggle to listen only the audio of a video to save battery and internet data.

If you´re a Red subscriber, you can exit the app and keep listening to the audio in the background. You can still use YouTube Music if you chose not to pay $10 a month ($13 on iOS.)

Another interesting feature is “Offline mixtape”, located in the left hamburger menu. Tap on “Make my offline mixtape,” and Music will “pick 20 audio tracks to save on your device.”

When I selected “Offline mixtape”, Music downloaded twenty of my favorite videos and stored them in my iPhone. The audio-only download took a few minutes and used less than 200 MB of my internal storage.

If you tap on a video, you will get similar suggestions, as well as the ability to explore more videos of that artist.

I love music and appreciate the app´s hub for (just) music videos, as well as the option to stream and download a video´s audio – many music videos differ from the official CD audio with subtle changes and remixes that make the original song sound entirely different.

And if you´re outside the US, you can keep listening to your saved music once you turn off the VPN connection. Take a look at YouTube music´s promotional video:

I have to point out that YouTube Music is not available for iPad, although you can use it as a 2x-pixelated iPhone app. Hopefully, that will change soon.

Red gives you a “free” subscription to Google Play Music, and Music, with its wide selection of videos, make YouTube´s premium service even more appealing. I definitely will consider subscribing when the service is available in Mexico.

Annoying, isn´t it?

Are you thinking of paying $10 a month once Red breaks worldwide? Let me know in the comment section.

Update 1:

YouTube gives a Red 14-day trial when you try Music.

Update 2:

YouTube Music’s Android APK is now available, but as I predicted, you can’t use the app outside the US, even with a VPN like Betternet installed.

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