It’s no secret that I tend to rant quite often about YouTube Music and the shortcomings found there. I was a Google Play Music user and loved that service, so winning me over is tough for sure. As Google Play Music began winding down last year, I knew the time was coming to move all my daily habits to a new service, and with my current subscriptions it made sense to start getting used to YouTube Music as my go-to streaming service.
To be fair, I did try out Spotify for a month and quickly realized all streaming music services come with their share of caveats and trade-offs. That experience solidified the fact that I was going to stick with YouTube Music through the highs and the lows, and to be honest, I’ve liked a lot about it now that I’ve really invested the time.
It seems my constant complaining about YouTube Music’s biggest shortcoming – from my perspective, anyway – has finally gotten the attention of those in charge. I don’t want to take credit for anything, but I’m certainly very happy that Google is officially acknowledging the shortcoming and is actively working on a solution to the casting issue with YouTube Music on the web and in the PWA and they sent me a quick email last night after my latest gripes with about the service.
We understand that casting and offline playback are integral parts of the listening experience for many of our users across YouTube Music. We’re working hard to bring these and other features to our Chromebook users in the near future. We look forward to sharing more updates soon.via Google spokesperson
While there’s no definitive timeline here, I’m hopeful that the decision to finally reach out was predicated on the fact that some fixes and adjustments are actively in the works and not simply an idea for the future. If you’ll notice, two issues were mentioned in the statement, though, and only one of those relates to my recent grumbles about YouTube Music: casting support.
The other problem being remedied for Chromebook users is access to offline playback. It’s an interesting way to word it given the recent launch of the YouTube Music PWA in the Play Store just for Chromebooks, making me think that offline playback in the future will work with this new PWA and not the standard Android app. After all, if that is what they were referring to, there would be no need to reference a future time frame. The Android version of YouTube Music has offline support already available.
Either way, it would seem that two of the biggest flaws with YouTube Music on the web – lacking cast support and offline playback for music – are both in the process of getting the attention they deserve. When these two issues are remedied, perhaps Google will go the route of making the YouTube Music PWA for Chromebooks the only option for Chrome OS the way they have with Google News, YouTube TV and Twitter. Time will tell, but if all the pieces of the experience are available in the PWA, why not?