Google continues to aggressively improve their Play Music app, having released several key updates over the last several weeks. While users are still waiting for full podcast integration (which might arrive later this month), Google introduced another interesting in-app feature in a recent update. The update keeps most of the core app features the same, but now includes the ability to search for music-related YouTube videos within the app.
It should be noted that video search isn’t entirely new for the Play Music app. Subscribers of Google’s All Access music streaming service have had the feature for some time now, but this new update makes it available to all users, regardless of subscription status. Users can now find YouTube video listings mixed in with all of their regular search results, and can then play video selections directly from the Play Music app. Just like all the other search listings, videos have their own category in the app.
When a user initiates a search query, they’ll need to scroll through all of the other categories in order to find the video entries. The video category (which is usually further down the list), initially consists of four video selections that closely match the terms of the search query. Like the other search categories, a “More” tab rests at the top right-hand corner of the category, and selecting it will bring up a screen containing additional video entries beyond the initial four. Once a selection is made, the app transforms into a landscape video player that closely resembles the playback interface for the current YouTube app.
While most of the playback elements remain the same (e.g. the red dot scrolling cursor or Play/Pause icons), the pop-up menu for adjusting playback resolution contains a surprisingly antiquated interface that doesn’t match Google’s Material Design guidelines. Additionally, other standard YouTube features like video flagging, playlist management, share functions, and Google Cardboard support are omitted from Play Music’s video interface. The playback screen does include a YouTube icon on the bottom right-hand corner that will transfer users to the same video in the standard YouTube app.
The new video features can be found in the most recent 6.4 update of the Play Music app, which is currently being pushed to all users.