YouTube Music – Google’s latest effort to muscle in on the streaming scene – is in line for a series of imminent upgrades, the company says.
Google tells Engadget that bi-weekly updates will rectify the YouTube Music app’s initial shortcomings. That means features missing at launch, like the ability to group albums alphabetically, SD card storage and streaming quality options are all on the roadmap.
Currently saved albums appear in the order that they were added, which will be one of the first things Google sorts out, says product manager Elias Roman.
Similarly there’ll be interface updates and the ability to customise how YouTube Music interacts with the video site. Currently, following an artist on Music automatically subscribes users to their YouTube channel. While the firm isn’t planning to get rid of the feature, it will enable YouTube users to filter out musicians from the video subscriptions.
Google isn’t nixing that idea completely, given there are over a billion people who use the main YouTube platform to listen to music. It believes inter-compatibility between the two apps is important.
In terms of the offline storage abilities, Google says SD card support is already rolling out to subscribers. The ability to stream or download songs in low, medium or high quality will arrive within a few weeks, Roman says.
While YouTube Music matches the likes of Spotify and Apple Music in terms of the library, Google admits the app wasn’t quite up to the competition in terms of the feature set.
Roman says: “We basically got to a point where we felt like what we had was good, ready to see the light of day. But there is still a ton of work to do… it’s a constant iteration.”
Eventually Google wants YouTube Music to replace its Play Music subscription offering. It seems when that happens, the company will finally have a coherent music streaming strategy worthy of a fight with the big hitters.
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