Playlists are wonderful when they actually workSource: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

What you need to know

  • There's a playlist bug impacting a number of YouTube Music users on iOS and Android.
  • For some users, songs are randomly showing as unavailable in both playlists and albums.
  • This bug first started surfacing a week ago, and clearing downloads and app data does not fix the issue.
  • Google support is aware of the issue and engineers are working on a fix.

This has been a roller coaster week for YouTube Music users: first YouTube finally announced it was rolling out collaborative playlists a couple days ago, and then a playlist bug that initially reared its head a week ago came back and impacted a far larger number of users, making songs randomly appear unavailable in some playlists and albums (since albums are technically a sub-type of playlists in YouTube Music).

Is this happening to others? Happened a week later with 1 playlist, now it's with all of them from r/YoutubeMusic

You'd be forgiven if you saw this in a playlist and initially thought "Oh, great, the rights lapsed again; I'll need to go search and re-add all these songs", but no, this is something new and something a number of users are facing. The easy way for us to tell it's a new feature is that this is impacting both catalog songs and personally uploaded music at random.

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As mentioned, this bug first cropped up a week ago impacting a smaller number of users, and I did see this a week ago with some of my own. When that happened, I looked at the playlists in question, and found they were playlists that were set to Unlisted or Public. I set the playlists to Private, cleared the downloaded copy of the playlist and then re-launched the app and things were working again. However, I was only seeing this bug with personally-uploaded music on playlists that were shareable, but some users have reported issues even with playlists that were already private, so your mileage may vary.

Google is aware of the bug and working on a solution, but there's no timeline yet. This big came rather suddenly, and hopefully it will depart just as suddenly — and soon.

In the meantime, though, this bug is only impacting playlists on YouTube Music, so you can use the main YouTube app to listen to music while you wait for it to be fixed.