Google Play Music will cease to exist later this year and will be replaced by YouTube Music. Fortunately, Google has announced a migration tool and it is now more widely available around the world.
If you’re wondering if you should use it, and exactly how it will work, this guide has you covered. In short, the tool should transfer all your data like uploaded songs, playlists, likes and I would recommend everyone to switch from Play Music to YouTube Music, but there are things to know about what it can and cannot do. Let’s take a closer look.
Before we delve into the process, please note that it may take some time for the library migration to be available for you. Since all of your data needs to be copied, Google is likely struggling with limited server capabilities, so it’s rolling out the tool in stages based on your location. You should see a popup or toast in Google Play Music when it arrives on your account and the company will send you an email.
Using the Android (or iOS) app
To get started with the migration, you need to install YouTube Music on your phone. Make sure it is at least version 3.65. If it’s still not available for you on the Play Store, you can get the latest version from APK Mirror .
If the tool has been launched to you, you should see a message on the app home screen, telling you that Play Music is leaving and that you can begin the migration. Tap the “Let’s Go” button and you’ll be taken to a screen that shows you in which order your items will be moved. If you are a Play Music subscriber, your subscription will also renew and the price will remain the same, even if you grandparents in the $ 7.99 plan or family subscription. When you are ready to start, tap “Transfer”. A banner will appear informing you that the migration is in progress and that you can explore YouTube Music now.
The tool will first import your recommendations so you can start listening to custom mixes on YouTube Music before the full transfer is done. You can tap a banner below the top bar to see how far your migration has progressed.
You’ll receive a notification and an email when the transfer is complete, which can take a few minutes or more days depending on the number of songs you’ve uploaded. When I did the switch myself, I noticed that some songs in some previous Play Music playlists were still greyed out and unavailable after getting the notification, but the problem resolved after a few days.
Using the web app
If you’d rather use your computer to kickstart the migration, go to music.youtube.com/transfer . Like the app, this website shows you what data it will transfer in which order. Click the “Transfer” button to get started. You can then explore the YouTube web app, and a banner will allow you to return to the transfer overview so you can see your progress – the process is basically the same as the Android app.
What if I continue to use Play Music after the switch?
If you continue to use Play Music after taking the initial step, don’t worry – you can sync your libraries as many times as you want by clicking or tapping your profile photo in the top right corner and going to settings, where it finds an option to re-launch the migration tool. This can be done both on the web and in the Android app.
Where are my uploads and stations?
YouTube Music organizes some things differently than Play Music. Your uploads are located in a separate section of the app, isolated from the platform’s streaming service appearance. When browsing your library or search results, you will notice that there are two tabs at the top, one for YT Music and one for uploads. It’s pretty explanatory, but you need to be aware of this if you can’t find some of the albums you thought you uploaded.
Stations aren’t part of YouTube Music, so convert all your stations into playlists. Their content is identical – the only difference is that you can actually see all the individual songs within a playlist, which you wouldn’t be able to with stations, at least without playing them. YouTube Music also has AI-powered, curated playlists that replace things like the new radio of Play Music or the station Feeling Lucky .
All your uploads and purchases will carry over, but since YouTube Music has different licensing agreements than Play Music, you may not find the same selection of songs available on Play Music’s streaming service. Google says these cases should be few and far between, and some songs that have disappeared from your Play Music library due to rights or licenses may eventually reappear in YouTube Music eventually.
Can I switch if I’m a free user?
Yes. YouTube Music allows you to play the uploaded songs in the background and you can download them. The broadcasting capacity is limited, however, as far as I know, you can’t ask an Assistant-equipped speaker to play uploaded songs, so you have to stream your music via the Android app.
I already use YouTube Music. Will my library be overwritten?
This is the situation I found myself in, and as far as I know, no data was lost when I made the switch. Instead, your libraries will be intelligently combined. I uploaded some albums to YouTube Music already in my Play Music library before migration and there were no duplicates. Instead, some identically identified playlists in the two services have been kept as separate lists.
What about podcasts?
Some people use Play Music to listen to podcasts, but YouTube Music doesn’t support that format. Instead, you can export episode progress and Google podcast subscriptions. Once the migration tool is implemented, you can visit podcasts.google.com/transfer to kick off the separate transfer.
While some people might want to have more granular control over which songs and playlists to transfer, the tool is as simple and easy to use as possible, which was Google’s goal. The YouTube Music team knows there are still some significant differences between the two services, so they wanted to make the transition as smooth and painless as possible.