How To: Make Any YouTube Link Open in the YouTube Music App

Make Any YouTube Link Open in the YouTube Music App

If you enjoy watching music videos, live concert recordings, or bedroom cover songs on YouTube, then YouTube Music is worth your consideration. In fact, YouTube will show a "Switch to YouTube Music" button on some music videos that opens the song in the YouTube Music app — but not always.

On Android, there's a neat trick that uses IntentService to push youtube.com links to YouTube Music — you just have to edit the video's URL a tiny bit. So, if you haven't done so already, install YouTube Music, and let's get to hacking.

Step 1: Copy the Link

First, find a video in the regular YouTube app that you want to open in the YouTube Music app. Tap the share button below the video window to grab the link for the video.

You can either select the "Copy Link" option and then paste it in your browser's address bar, or share it to an app where you can edit the string. Google Keep is a particularly useful app for this process, but any app that lets you edit text will work just fine.

Step 2: Remix the URL

Now that you have the link either in your text editor or your address bar, you'll need to edit it. Select the "youtu.be" portion of the URL and replace it with "music.youtube.com/watch?v=" to convert it to a YouTube Music URL. To make things easier, you can copy it from the code box below:

music.youtube.com/watch?v=

This trick works better on desktop, where all you have to do is replace "www" with "music" in the address bar and hit enter and your browser will serve up the song in the web app.

Step 3: Open the Link

If you edited the link in your browser's URL bar, just hit enter and Android will open it in YouTube Music. Those who used Google Keep will find that the app has converted the string to a hyperlink that you can tap to load the song in YouTube Music. Otherwise, just select the entire URL, and Android will give you the option to open it in YouTube Music.

Note that, while any YouTube link will open in the YouTube Music app if you do this, only videos that are classified as music are able to be played in the YouTube Music app. Also, live premier videos won't load in YouTube Music during their live premier.

(1) The process fulfilled. (2) During a live premier of a video, the music won't load... (3) ...but, after its premier has run its course, it works fine.

Nonetheless, it's still a handy workaround for when you want to listen to something new on your smartphone without adding it to your library. For instance, a two-hour concert can interrupt the flow of a "Your Likes" shuffle. In other instances, finding a playlist to stow a video for a listen is just too much trouble.

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Cover image and screenshots by Tommy Palladino/Gadget Hacks

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