It was almost a week ago today Google finally took the wraps off of YouTube Music Key, making it official after it was originally leaked back in August. Still in beta, the new service gives YouTube users the ability to download music videos to their device for offline playback, and an ad-free listening experience.
The best part? Anyone who’s already signed up for Google Play Music All Access is in, just make sure you’ve updated to the latest YouTube via Google Play. After that, you should see a new option in the sidebar menu, with quick access to offline videos, as well as a few new settings relating to background and offline play. There’s even a few options in there to pick exactly where you want offline videos stored, as well as an internal storage bar to help you stay on top of your device’s available space.
Because Google Play Music All Access subscribers also get to enjoy the benefits of YouTube Music Key, you’ll now find music video links when playing videos, as well as a little YouTube icon in the now playing bar at the bottom, indicating when a YouTube video is available for that track. When viewing an artist’s album, scrolling down to the bottom will also reveal some quick thumbnails for their music videos as well.
In and of itself, YouTube Music Key may not sound like a huge value, but when choosing between Google Play Music and all the other music streaming services out there (Rdio, Spotify, Beats), having unhindered access to YouTube’s vast music video portfolio is one helluva incentive for music lovers. Now, give me a material designed YouTube and then maybe we can talk.