YouTube Music Question

Hello, All,

Before I begin, let me say that I'm not a fan of "gaming the system" to get freebies, especially free phone deals, which have been shared here on Nth from time to time. (As @Chelle and a few others have said, "That's why we can't have nice things.") But in this case, I would appreciate your wise counsel regarding a free trial offer.

Same as many of you, last year I transferred all of my music from the old Google Play Music app to its mandated replacement, YouTube Music. It's worked OK, but it has its limitations compared to the old platform.

One of the most annoying things is that unless you have a paid subscription, you can add to your playlists but can't download music. The other is that your phone has to be on (not sleeping) for the app to work.

So I am considering signing up for a one-month free trial on Premium. And that (finally) leads me to my question:

If you download music while on the Premium version, but switch back to the regular version before the trial is over, do you get to keep your downloaded music, or will it revert back to how it was before?

Thanks in advance for sharing your perspectives and suggestions!

When the migration happened, I did 2 things:
a Google TakeOut to download my content. (I didn't have much music there, because I'm generally opposed to having some other entity in control of content I've purchased, and because I have issues witrh MP3 audio anyway.)
Plus a migration to YouTube Music, mostly so that my 'owned' content would be backed up somewhere besides my PC.

But... I haven't really used YouTube Music. Are you saying that you can't download content you own, or that you can't download music that you don't own?

For content you have purchased, it seems like there should be an option to download it? Is there not?

I would also assume that if it's streaming content that you don't own, any downloaded content would be DRM controlled & disappear when you no longer subscribed-- but that's solely based on my expectations of the difference between content you own, and content you're 'borrowing'.

Thanks for your reply, @KentE! To answer your questions:

--I do have access to all the music I purchased (via Google Rewards credits) and transferred over during the transition, and at home it's no problem playing any of the songs on my playlist. But when I'm out driving and streaming via Bluetooth, only the songs I transferred over will play unless I pull over (no distracted driving here!), manually select the song I want, and hit play on the song I haven't downloaded. I find that annoying, but then again, you get what you pay for, or in my case, don't pay for.

--Anyway, that's why I was considering signing up, then cancelling before the 30-day free trial period ends. Guess it's worth a try.

Thanks for the description!

I've struggled a little with kind of similar problems since I have 'owned' music from several platforms, as well as ripped content.

My workaround has been to repurpose a now-obsolete phone (of which my stockpile seems to be growing, due to the changes in network requirements) as a cheap 'ipod' replacement, and load it with dowloaded 'owned' content and ripped content. On another site, I got recommendations for a basic music player app that allows building multiple playlists from a common pool of downloaded and/or ripped music. .

I'll be looking forward to tips from users who are more well-versed than I am for what you're hoping for!

Hadn't thought of that workaround -- thanks! I might just see what I can do with one of my "orphan" phones (purchased solely for swiping on CellNuvo "back in the day").

There's a bunch of apps out there for downloading stuff from Youtube. The one I use seems to be focused on videos. It's also a desktop-computer app. But I'm sure some of the others work on phones. Do you think they would work on Youtube Music?

If you can post a link to one of the songs in question, I'd be interested in trying my (the one I use) youtube-downloader app on it to see what happens.

Thanks for your reply! I don't have any saved music videos (and therefore, no links), just the songs that I purchased on Google Play Music and migrated over to YT Music last year.

Well... I wasn't asking for links to videos -- I was asking for links to (one of) the songs.
But I don't really know Youtube Music -- are the songs you have on Youtube Music accessible (e.g. by me) without your login/password?
For that matter, I'm assuming that you can access them from a web browser, where it's possible to grab a link to the song, after selecting it out of your collection. Can you actually access them from a web browser, or do you have to use an app?

I think what bsammon is suggesting is the use a a stream-capture program, that rips video content to your computer while viewing it. (Although the 'viewing' may be virtual.) bsammon is wondering whether that program will also capture a 'just audio' stream, and is offering to test it.

That is an interesting question! bsammon doesn't need account-level access to test this, but just a link that is playable for someone else.

I'm not sure that it's the solution that D_D is looking for, though. (I'm probably going to get this next part wrong....) If I understand correctly, there is already an official route for downloading owned music content from YouTube. But D_D is using YouTube Music's app (free tier) for playlist playback, and that playlist function doesn't work for owned content that hasn't been downloaded on the local playback device. Another complication is that YouTube Music apparently doesn't continue running once the phone goes into hibernation mode.

D_D, I'm not familiar with the YouTube Music app, or the descriptive terms they use for different functions. I do see this in the old email from Google Play Music announcing the transition:
"Radio and background play
Background play is only available to paid users of YouTube Music. However, the free version of the music app allows background play for your uploaded or purchased songs and streaming on smart devices with Google Assistant."

I'm wondering if Google Assistant might be a workaround for your situation? It wouldn't do much good for me, since I don't own enough content on YouTube Music to make using the app reasonable for me, and I wouldn't normally want to consume mobile data to listen to streamed content.

I don't have any links for any of my music -- it's all just part of my playlist on YT Music. And yes, the only way I can access the music is via YTM. But perhaps someone else (a more tech-oriented person than I) can assist with this.

You got it right, @KentE! The first paragraph quoted sums up my situation perfectly. But I may play around with Google Assistant to see if I can find a workaround.

Thanks to my sparse use of data, coupled with the option of carryover data if renewing a day early (thank you, Tello!), I've accumulated quite the stash of extra data that I don't mind using; I'd just rather not have to have the phone out while driving to avoid any distractions.