Like it or not, Youtube Music is surely growing, looking to likely replace Google Play Music completely eventually. Google has been continuously adding new features to YouTube’s music-only counterpart. Yet, the app is yet to completely catch up to Google Play Music in terms of compatibility, and Android-TV support is one of those areas. However, a new feature by the company solves this, well, somewhat.
While a separate YouTube Music application is still not present for Android TV, Google has decided to integrate the functionality within the existing YouTube app. A new update on Android TV has added a new ‘Music’ tab to the sidebar of the YouTube app on Android TV. As pointed out by XDA, the implementation merges YouTube recommendations along with content from your history and ends up feeling half-baked.
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The main con with the weird implementation is that since it is not a separate app, there is no background playback yet. You cannot leave the app if you want your music to keep playing. Further on, there is no shuffle or repeat feature for now. There is no toggle to shift between video and audio modes either. Managing your own playlists is also still not possible and users will also have to give up on accessing their full music library or uploaded music.
Separate YouTube Music app expected eventually
This naturally doesn’t work out for most people who actually use YouTube Music. The main features that made the app become a separate entity from the normal YouTube app are missing here. What we can take from this is that the implementation is actually a temporary hold-over until Google is developing a separate app for the music-streaming service on Android TV.
We will then likely see YouTube Music in its full prime on the interface, with features including background playback coming back. For now, a better way to listen to music from your TV is to simply cast your phone on the Android TV interface and use YouTube Music from there instead.