YouTube Music is finally opening up Chromecast support to everyone. Google Music is actively winding down this month, leaving YouTube Music as Google’s only music app. A major feature gap between the two services that we’ve been complaining about has been the restrictive Chromecast support. On Google Music, casting just worked for everyone. On YouTube Music, casting was restricted to people paying for the monthly streaming service. For the bring-your-own-music crowd, this meant if you wanted to cast music you own to speakers you own, there was no alternative but to subscribe to a streaming service you probably didn’t want.
As of today, though, Google tells us casting on YouTube Music should now work for everyone. Previously, when tapping the “cast” button, unsubscribed users would get a “subscribe to YouTube Premium” pop-up box, but now YouTube Music will starting blasting tunes to our speakers with no monthly fee.
The Google Music shutdown is already well underway. The service is scheduled to shut down worldwide in October, and last week Google turned off music uploads for everyone. That means that while you can still stream, you can’t upload new music to your account. So open casting support for YouTube Music is arriving just a few days late.
Google has been trying to whip YouTube Music into a solid replacement for Google Music, but it still has a long way to go. YouTube Music started supporting uploaded music in May with a pretty easy music-transition process, but the app lacks a lot of features. Downloading playlists for offline playback is still locked behind the monthly fee for streaming music, and so is Android Auto, which doesn’t make sense when you’re supplying the music. The app is also missing basic music player features like sorting songs, editing song information, and recreating Google Music’s clever playlists like “recently added.”
Over on the Google Music subreddit, user BloodyMess has been compiling an absolutely massive list of the community’s complaints. Google doesn’t seem like it is going to solve everyone’s gripes before the Google Music shutdown completes, but it is at least working on some of them.