If you love watching music videos, live concert recordings or bedroom cover songs on YouTube, then YouTube Music deserves your attention. In fact, YouTube will show a “Switch to YouTube Music” button on some music videos that opens the song in the YouTube Music app – but not always.
On Android, there’s a trick that uses IntentService to push youtube.com links to YouTube Music – you just need to change the video URL a tiny bit. So, if you haven’t already, install YouTube Music and let’s hack.
Step 1: Copy the link
First, find a video in the standard YouTube app that you want to open in the YouTube Music app. Tap the share button below the video window to grab the video link.
You can either select the “Copy link” option and then paste it into your browser’s address bar, or share it with an app where you can edit the string. Google Keep is a particularly useful app for this process, but any app that lets you edit text will work just fine.
Step 2: Remix URL
Now that you have the link in your text editor or in your address bar, you need to edit it. Select the “youtu.be” part of the URL and replace it with “music.youtube.com/watch?v=” to convert it to YouTube Music URL. To make things easier, you can copy it from the code box below:
This trick works best on the desktop, where all you have to do is replace “www” with “music” in the address bar and hit enter and your browser will play the song in the web app.
Step 3: Open the link
If you changed the link in your browser’s URL bar, just hit enter and Android will open it in YouTube Music. Those who have used Google Keep will find that the app has converted the channel into a hyperlink you can tap to load the song into YouTube Music. Otherwise, just select the entire URL and Android will give you the option to open it in YouTube Music.
Note that while any YouTube link will open in the YouTube Music app if you do so, only videos categorized as music can be play in the YouTube Music app. Also, live videos do not load in YouTube Music when they are live streamed.
Still, it’s still a handy workaround when you want to listen to something new on your smartphone without adding it to your library. For example, a two-hour gig might interrupt the flow of a “Your Likes” mix. In other cases, finding a playlist to store a video for listening is just too much of a hassle.
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