YouTube Music was launched in May 2018, taking over the reins from Google Play Music as Google’s primary music player app. While YouTube Music was launched with the key advantage of being able to tap into the plethora of official music videos and unofficial remixes present on YouTube, it did lack several key features that affect its usability as a music player. Features like SD card support, new album sort options, and quality selection were promised in August 2018; Android Auto support was added in February 2019, the ability to play locally stored media finally came in May 2019, and the Android widget finally came in October 2019. And now, finally, YouTube Music is rolling out gapless playback support for albums on Android and web.
YouTube Music announced the feature in a press release:
We’re excited to announce gapless playback in YouTube Music. Now, when listening to an album on YouTube Music, each track will lead seamlessly into the next without a pause in between for a high quality, continuous listening experience. Listening to your favorite albums has never been better! This update is currently for our premium members only on Android or web, with iOS coming soon.
YouTube Music users on Android and web can finally transition between songs without a pause interrupting their listening experience. The catch here is that the feature is limited to premium members only, which is a shame. Keep in mind that the app still requires a premium membership for the basic feature of background playback as a simple music player, which is a shame for an app that comes pre-installed on Android 9+ devices. For paid customers, the app does have some neat features though, such as the ability to automatically download up to 500 songs (including a “Liked” playlist), which has served me very well for long flights — the Premium membership does have its own benefits.
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