YouTube finally gets ‘Open in YouTube Music’ shortcut

Photo credit: Dev Ashish

YouTube now has an important shortcut to open songs and videos in YouTube Music. While the main YouTube app has offered this option since 2019, the integration is now more apparent and user-friendly.

YouTube started rolling out the change for Android in droves this week. When you play a song in the YouTube app, you will notice a YouTube Music icon right in the window. The icon appears to the left of the autoplay toggle and stands out prominently.

Tap the icon to open the song on YouTube Music, but notably, playback will start from the beginning rather than retaining any progress from the main YouTube app. You will have the option to switch between audio only and music video, if available.

Despite implementing the new icon, the message “Do you want audio only?” The prompt remains below the video window, and the bottom of the overflow menu still contains a “Listen with YouTube Music” link. The new icon is the most obvious of the three, and the company may leave all the links available to encourage use of the service for all things music.

The shortcut open in YouTube Music follows a host of other changes YouTube has made to its music platform.

In April, the YouTube Music app introduced the “pinned explore shelf,” making it easier to discover new music if nothing catches your eye on the home feed. The explore feature was previously available as a tab in a 2020 update, but the company experimented with its placement and confirmed that it is better used in its new iteration.

“While running experiments on this feature, we’ve learned that listeners prefer discovering new music through the new explore shelf rather than the explore tab and so we’re excited to finally be able to bring it to more of you!” the company said.

The explore section of the home feed links to new releases, graphics, moods, and genres. It’s unclear how many people see regular use of the explore feature. Still, given its similarity to the features that exist in its competitors, their inclusion by YouTube Music is no surprise.

To that end, no change is too minor when it comes to YouTube. The company even went so far as to change the size of the app buttons, making them slightly larger for easier tapping.

Victor L. Jones