Living in a country like Poland means that I frequently get the chance to experience Apple technologies and services long after the majority of the rest of the world. The last example I can easily offer up was Apple Pay which only arrived in Poland in June 2018, two and a half years after it was first launched.
Sometimes I hope that this delay gives me the chance to experience a technology from a different perspective. With eyes less clouded by the initial rush of hype and enthusiasm. In truth, that’s a story I tell myself to pass the time as I wait for new services to arrive.
What about Google Play Music All Access
I had been a Google Play Music All Access subscriber for a long time, in no small part because I couldn’t get Spotify when I lived in Ukraine but I could use Google Plays system to stream my uploaded library of music.
When Google initially announced that YouTube Red would be included, free of charge, for Google Play music subscribers, I was delighted.
A good music service along with ad free YouTube, what’s not to like?
Of course that didn’t happen. Well not for me. I waited and waited for YouTube Red to arrive but before it could, Google killed it and rebranded to YouTube Premium. This new service is not included with Google Play music but instead includes YouTube music, Google new music streaming services.
(Just for your information, Google Play Music is still around, as is Google Play Music All Access, the premium streaming service. I know, overlapping services and confusing names do not help.)
Even though I have tried other streaming services in the meantime (including Apple music and recently Spotify) I instantly subscribed to a family plan for YouTube Premium.
Why YouTube Premium?
There are three key features of YouTube Premium.
- Ad free YouTube (great when you have a kid)
- The ability to download videos (great when you travel)
- The ability to listen to videos when the screen is off (or the app is in the background)
Those three points together mean you can use YouTube like a podcast app. You find videos on good topics (that don’t really require the screen such as lectures or certain explainer videos) and watch in the background.
Plus you have a good music streaming service included for free too.
YouTube Music…rocks 🥁
I don’t see that much different between the many music streaming services. Certainly I can’t hear any difference in sound quality and so from that point on it comes down to app interface and the automatically created playlists.
In the past I have commented that I enjoyed how Apple Music played more music which I didn’t know (resulting in both great new discoveries and quickly pressing “skip”) where Google Play Music All Access seemed safer. Since then I can add that Spotify seems to recommend even more diverse music but does the best job so far.
YouTube music seems to have good playlists that I’ve enjoyed and it has recommended some music outside of my normal defaults. I think I need more time to really assess if this gets better over time or more repetitive.
Regardless, I much prefer the interface over the old Google Play Music interface but still prefer how Spotify looks.
Spotify is probably the best music streaming service, but YouTube seems good enough (so far).
Paying the local price isn’t always bad
Although it has taken a while to come to Poland, and I couldn’t use the service here even when my account was registered as British, there is one benefit.
I’m paying the local price for the plan.
Both Apple and Google offer local pricing which is cheaper than the pricing in the UK or US. For example, Apple Music costs $9.99 but only 19.99PLN (roughly $5). The tricky part is moving account country.
My Apple account has some subscriptions which were started at different times. To change to Poland I need to cancel them all, wait for them all to expire (meanwhile not using those services) and then switch country.
Luckily, I have no subscriptions or services with Google so this was a non-issue.
Problems with the family link
It hasn’t all been plain sailing. We’re still battling to set up the family link between my account and my wife’s. It seems to say our accounts are registered for different countries…but they are both registered in Poland.
We’re trying to get this resolved but setting up the link between our Apple accounts had no such issue. I know there are other issues connected to family sharing and Apple accounts, but this was not one.
I’m positive on YouTube Premium. It gives me a great music service AND removes ads from YouTube providing a complete new way to use the service (as a podcast service of content not found elsewhere). Thanks to living in a different country I’m paying less than I had been for other music streaming services too.
If there are interesting topics on YouTube you like to listen to but not really watch, plus you don’t care about your music service that much, it’s probably the choice for you. If you really care about music, you should probably go for Spotify.