YouTube Music And UMG Partner To Remaster 1,000 Oldies

The Oldies, the musical hits of days gone by, may be lost on this current generation but they won't be forgotten. To this end, YouTube Music and Universal Music Group (UMG) are partnering together to remaster 1,000 oldie videos.

At the Google Blog, YouTube made the announcement today, telling readers that it intends to remaster videos from 1,000 oldies, including songs taken from music artists such as Lady Gaga, Lionel Richie, Beastie Boys, Boyz II Men, Lady Antebellum, Maroon 5, Tom Petty, Smokey Robinson, and others. The remastering project will take place over the next year, meaning that there'll be a thousand remastered music videos at YouTube by the end of 2020.

Now the question comes down to,  "How will YouTube Music remaster the oldie videos?" The answer is, "from SD to HD," "SD" referring to "standard definition" and "HD" referring to "high definition." High-definition content comes only in 720p, meaning that viewers won't see these remastered oldies in Full HD (1080p) just yet. 720p is the minimum viewing standard for videos, games, and shows nowadays.

If you've ever looked at a number of videos at YouTube, some videos come in 240p, 360p, or 480p (some even in 540p). HD quality is not the greatest in the world, but the difference is noticeable. And when it comes to Android and iOS, the two most popular mobile operating systems in the world, 720p is the minimum viewing standard. Even budget-friendly devices on Android come in at around 720p these days, making the experience universal regardless of device.

YouTube intends to improve the quality of old music videos, many of which only allow for 480p viewing instead of the more contemporary 720p, 1080p, and 1440p standards. These old music videos often come out blurry and hard to see, with music whose audio is often poor as well (hard to hear or just weird-sounding).

According to YouTube Global Head of Label Relations, Stephen Bryan, YouTube intends to improve both video and audio while retaining the same URL, view-counts, and "likes" for these videos at YouTube. The experience will sound better and look better whether you're watching the remastered oldies on mobile, desktop, or your living room big screen.

Though YouTube Music and UMG have pledged to remaster 1,000 videos from SD to HD, it is the hope of every interested YouTuber that they will eventually remaster far more than 1,000 videos. There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of videos at YouTube and improving them all should be of significant priority.

To remaster all music videos, eventually, will in turn make the entire site better and bring more oldies fans to the service. Since YouTube Premium costs $11.99 monthly these days, perhaps remastering so many music videos will help customers see the rationale behind why they're paying for a service that has practically been free since Google purchased YouTube.

To celebrate the anniversary of some great songs, and to show its initial commitment to video remastering, YouTube has also released remastered videos for Tom Petty's "Free Fallin," released 30 years ago, Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" from 10 years ago, and the Beastie Boys' "Sabotage" from 25 years ago.

Though YouTube Music has partnered with UMG to make this video remastering project possible, a number of YouTube videos have already been remastered by YouTube video contributors. Back in April, Music Ally remastered Spice Girl videos "Wannabe" and "Who Do You Think You Are" in 4K on the music group's Vevo-branded YouTube channel, promising to remaster videos every week through the music group's now-four-pieces stadium tour last month. Last Fall, Don Hertzfeldt released an HD remaster of "Rejected" on YouTube.

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About the Author

Deidre Richardson

Staff News Writer
Deidre Richardson is a tech lover whose insatiable desire for all things tech has kept her in tech journalism some eight years now. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned BA degrees in both History and Music. Since graduating from Carolina in 2006, Richardson obtained a Master of Divinity degree and spent four years in postgraduate seminary studies. She's written five books since 2017 and all of them are available at Amazon. You can connect with Deidre Richardson on Facebook.