YouTube Music Key Is Live: How to Enable Background Playback, Download Tracks, & More

We recently showed you YouTube's new music streaming service, YouTube Music Key, with it's promise of ad-free music complete with background listening and offline play. Well, if you check your YouTube app, there's a good chance that Google flipped on the service for you.

Activate the Service

As a sneaky roll-out, there were a few things that got me to Music Key:

  1. I'm a subscriber to Google Play Music (formerly called All Access), which means that I automatically receive a subscription to Music Key.
  2. I entered the Music tab in the YouTube app and just happened to select a track that is covered by Music Key—most, but not all, tracks will be covered.
  3. I only received the notification for "background listening" when I put my phone to sleep.
(1) Lock screen notification. (2) Notification in YouTube app.

Again, unless you're a Google Play Music subscriber, you likely won't see any of this yet since Music Key is currently in beta, therefore "invite only" for the time being.

Go ahead and sign up for the waiting list here—the service will be $7.99/month during its introductory period, after which it'll jump to $9.99/month. Of course, you can sign up for Google Play Music right now for $9.99/month (with a 30-day free trial) to enjoy Music Key before the masses.

Adjust "Background & Offline" Settings

From the 3-dot menu on the top-left side of the YouTube app, enter the Setting and select the "Background & Offline" option.

Here is where you can adjust when background listening playback will occur, select the quality for videos, allow for downloading tracks only when connected to Wi-Fi, and check out how much device storage is available to you.

Watch, Listen, & Downlaod

Frankly, Music Key in conjunction with Google Play Music has provided me with a ridiculous amount of streaming and playback options for just about anything I want to hear—all for ten bucks a month! I can watch videos or just listen to the track, and if I really want to, save 'em to my device (as well as save tracks that aren't currently playing).

(1) Watch one video, save another. (2) Background listening in the lock screen, while playing games... wherever. (3) Offline downloading choices.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or hit us up on our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

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