YouTube Music app finally gets gapless music playback [Update: Live for everyone!]

The YouTube Music App
The YouTube Music App (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The YouTube Music app will now seamlessly play long albums without the pause that occurs in playback when switching tracks.
  • This is a server-side update that needs to be flipped by Google before you can get the full experience.
  • It's one more step toward YouTube Music being a viable Spotify or Apple Music replacement.

If you're a fan of bands that like to make albums sound like one giant song, Google's got your back with the latest update to the YouTube Music (opens in new tab) app. Bands like Tool or Pink Floyd are famous for creating long songs that are bridged over several different tracks and, while these tracks were able to seamlessly flow together on physical mediums or other music apps, YouTube Music's playback would always have a slight pause when changing tracks. That's because the app had always needed to stop audio playback of one song before continuing to the next, but a great new software trick allows

As of a server-side update that's slowly rolling out to customers, that annoying hitch in music playback no longer exists. Folks who use the YouTube Music app should soon find that their favorite LPs now flow together in ways they never have before on Google's newest music-playback app, and the effect is truly glorious when it kicks in.

Google initially rolled out the feature to select users nearly a month ago, and it has now confirmed that gapless playback is available for all YouTube Music Premium members starting today. If you subscribe to YouTube Music, the feature will be automatically enabled from now on.

This move is one of the many things Google needs to do before it will be able to convince users to switch over from Spotify or Apple Music (opens in new tab). Still, though, we're seeing signs of this happening slowly but surely, including YouTube Music being set as the default music player on all Android phones going forward.

8 things YouTube Music still needs one year in

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu
  • They went backwards by removing the Opus codec from the Xbox one app. Hopefully it's just a bug.
  • Yay? Still waiting for them to transfer music uploaded to GPM music and playlists.
  • Me too. Its taking way too long.
  • Thanks for sharing the information related to the Youtube Music app
  • I still don't have it and I'm on Premium. Of course I get YTM premium free with my $9.99 Google Play Music subscription. No big deal. And yes! I hope they light a fire under someone's ass to migrate our playlist over one day 🤣
  • I'm so tired of articles like these, every time YouTube Music is mentioned its like "Someday it will be able to catch up..." YouTube Music is already better than Google Play Music. Better, sleeker, less clunky UI, Music Videos. It's also on par with Spotify and Apple Music. It's just the music locker missing still, but big deal. Spotify and Apple don't even have that! Stop the negativity, YouTube Music has become my favorite service. Whoever writes all these articles obviously doesn't use the service. Google Play Music looks so ancient compared to this.
  • Had it for a bit on my phone...but I found it awkward, not user friendly at all...and in a sense utterly useless. Got rid of it soon hereafter. What exactly is the point of the YouTube music app when you can pretty much get the exact same function and service through the main app? With the music app you can't even go full screen unlike the main one...