Google has added a number of new features to its YouTube Music recently to prepare it to replace Google Play Music, which will be sent to live on the farm with Google Reader, Inbox by Gmail, and other Google products sunk by the end of the year.
The latest comes in the form of Suggestions, which are machine learning averages for suggesting songs to add to Playlists based on your listening habits or existing playlist content. This feature is limited to users.
We are lucky to have a device that has access to new features. This is how it works.
Step 1 : Update YouTube Music
Although this appears to be a server-side update, it is good practice to update your application to get the latest features. For now, this seems to be an exclusive Android feature, but it must eventually go to the iPhone.
Step 2 : Start a new playlist or edit an existing one
This feature works with your personal playlists, not those curated or created automatically by YouTube Music (although, I have learned that saved mixes transferred from Google Play Music are now considered playlists that I have created). So, navigate to the Library and tap the Playlist section. You can start from the beginning by tapping “New playlist” or selecting one of your existing collections.
Step 3 : Adding Suggested Songs
If you create a new playlist, you will find a Suggestion list under the Add song button. In my test playlist, suggestions are similar to what I found in your Mixed playlist, so this is a good choice for creating a new playlist that reflects your current tastes and preferences.
If you add to an existing playlist, you might need to scroll down to find the Suggestions section. In my limited testing, I found that the suggested songs are in harmony with the content that is already in the mix.
To add a suggested song, tap the icon to the right of it in the list. Don’t tap the song title, because that will start the mix based on that song instead. Repeat as many songs as you want to add; After scrolling to the bottom of the list, you can press refresh for a new list of AI curated songs. When finished, scroll back up to rotate or shuffle.
In addition, there seems to be a limit of 20 songs in the playlist so that Suggestions appears. As luck would have it, I actually have a list of songs with 20 and 21 songs respectively that illustrate limitations. As you saw in my previous example, playlists with 20 or fewer songs provide Suggestions, while the 21 song playlist below does not include Suggestions at the bottom.
Music streaming is a relatively competitive field, so Google will need unique features to stand out from Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music and retain previous Google Play Music customers. The Suggestion feature is just one differentiator that can help YouTube Music differentiate itself. The other is Collaboration, which allows you to invite others to contribute to playlists, which we noticed.
Hopefully Google has more tricks to improve YouTube Music. Maybe the upload tool in the application? Or full screen widgets like Google Play Music that expand album covers?