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YouTube Music adds seamless switching between audio and music videos

Unsurprisingly, YouTube’s streaming service has always maintained a big focus on video. The latest YouTube Music feature adds seamless switching between songs and music videos.

Since launch, the now playing screen in YouTube Music has featured a toggle that turns on “audio mode.” If enabled, videos in your up next queue will only play audio, with a still used for cover art.

Imagine listening to a new track by your favorite artist in the YouTube Music app and having the ability to seamlessly switch over to watch the music video ⁠— no pauses, no interruptions, just a simple transition that keeps the music flowing.

When available, the top of the screen now features “song” and “video” tabs. Tapping the latter will instantly start playing the music video, with YouTube Music retaining your current playback position. Like before, videos are played in a portrait view by default with full access to controls below, and rotation available for fullscreen. Users can toggle back-and-forth during a song to both listen and watch a track.

That button appears on any song that has a corresponding video, with YouTube guaranteeing “perfectly time-matched over five million official music videos to their respective audio tracks.”

The app even takes care of “long introductions” by skipping those “other sounds” and starting at the actual song. With the old “audio mode” toggle removed from the top-right corner, Google has a “Don’t play music videos” option in settings. When “on,” videos will be switched to audio-only or album versions of songs.

YouTube Music’s new video switching is already rolling out, with the settings preference live on two devices we checked this morning. This feature requires a paid YouTube Music Premium or YouTube Premium subscription to access. It’s available on both the Android and iOS clients.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: