YouTube Music gets local audio file browser with annoying limitations

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A photo of the YouTube Music notification player.

While you can already play your own locally stored music files using YouTube Music, you cannot do so from the app itself. Instead, you need to use a file browser app to access these files and then play them back.

This will change soon as Google will be integrating a file browser directly into YouTube Music, which will allow you to play your locally stored files without having to exit the app.

Photograph of Google Home Hub, Home Mini and Home side by side

You can listen to ad-supported YouTube Music for free on Google Home speakers

This new feature will bring YouTube Music closer to replacing Google Play Music, although it still has a long way to go before it achieves feature parity with this other older product.

Check out the screenshot below from MS advanced user which shows what the file browser will look like on the device:

A screenshot showing the upcoming addition of a device file browser in the YouTube Music app.

In the screenshot, you might notice the warning bar at the top. This statement lists the two main limitations on using YouTube Music to play your locally stored audio:

  • You cannot mix your local files with playlists created with YouTube content.
  • You cannot cast locally stored content through YouTube Music.

Both of these limitations are quite annoying, especially considering that Google Play Music doesn’t have the first one. For the second limitation, GPM allows you to upload your local tracks to the service and then easily stream those files – YouTube Music does not have such a feature.


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