For most of us, music is a fundamental part of our lives. We listen to music on our way into work, we use it as background noise when working on tasks and projects, and we’re constantly looking to discover new artists that challenge our tastes while bringing us elements of what we’re already familiar with. Today, there are many platforms you can use to find and stream music, but many of them require payment or are complicated or inconvenient to use.
If you’re familiar enough with the platform, you can use YouTube for practically any music need—whether it’s discovering a new artist or jamming to your old favorites—but there are many options you could feasibly rely on to get the job done.
Your first option is using YouTube Music, a dedicated music streaming service that allows you to use YouTube as a central hub for music streaming. The platform allows users to quickly browse through music videos, making recommendations based on what you’ve listened to in the past, and providing genre-based lists that make it easy to discover what’s popular in each of several areas.
You can use YouTube Music for free, but you’ll have to put up with ads. If you want ad-free playback or audio-only playback (which is ideal if you’re not on Wi-Fi, or if you’re trying to listen to music throughout the day as background noise), you’ll need to pay a subscription fee for the “premium” service. This service also allows you to download songs for offline playback.
Downloading Videos as mp3s
What if you want to download your favorite music from YouTube, without paying for YouTube Music’s premium service? There is an option available for that. You can use a YouTube to mp3 service to capture your favorite videos and convert them into mp3s. From there, you can transfer your mp3s into your mobile device, or to any device or platform you use to listen to music. Make sure to check your quality settings during the conversion process, so you don’t lose the integrity of the file when it’s finished processing.
Playing Audio With the App Minimized
If you’re not interested in downloading mp3s and messing with the file conversion or transfer, and you don’t want to pay for YouTube Music, you’ll be stuck finding and playing YouTube videos as your main source of music. You can feasibly do this on a desktop computer, with a separate tab open in your internet browser, but if you try to do this on your phone, it’s going to tie your phone up as a resource.
Thankfully, there are some tricks you can use to play music from YouTube even when the app isn’t active. For example, on Android devices, you can open YouTube in a Chrome browser, turn on the desktop version of the site, and leave your Chrome app in the background. On iOS, you can do something similar, but you’ll have to download a different mobile browser (Dolphin) to take advantage of it.
Finding New Music
If you’ve decided on a way to listen to your favorite music on YouTube, all that’s left is to employ a method of discovering new artists.
There are a few good tricks for doing this:
- Listen to lots of music like the type you’re hoping to discover. YouTube’s recommendation engine is fairly robust, so make sure you’re listening to lots of music within the genre you’re hoping to explore. Once YouTube has a sense for your taste, it will recommend new tracks and new artists that fall in line with that taste.
- Rely on channels focused on discovery. There are also several YouTube channels dedicated specifically to helping viewers discover new music. Find one that more or less aligns with your taste, and keep watching their new videos as they come out. You’ll be among the first to hear new tracks from up-and-comers in the genre.
- Participate in communities and forums. Music communities are perfect places to learn about new artists and exchange your favorite tracks. Find a forum or online community that specializes in your favorite type of music, or your favorite audience, and start asking for recommendations.
- Use third-party recommendation engines. If you don’t like what YouTube’s been recommending for you, you can also use third-party recommendation engines to discover new tunes. Musicroamer and Gnoosic are just two examples here.
It’s possible to use YouTube for all your music needs, even if you aren’t a paying subscriber to YouTube Music. There are several options available both for subscribers and non-subscribers, so no matter what, you should be able to play your favorite tracks when you want them—and discover plenty of new artists to keep your tastes fresh.