YouTube Music is distinguished from other streaming services more so by its automated recommendations for what to listen to next. In the Up Next queue, this function is fantastic, but in the Home feed, it is simply unpleasant. From one refresh to the next, YouTube Music frequently changes the position of carousels, if not their whole design.
Every time you open the app, YouTube Music’s primary Home feed updates are dependent on context, such as location, time of day, and past played. This tab contains a number of carousels that are broadly divided between your listening history and suggestions (similar artists, suggested playlists, and new releases).
The latter contains Your favorites, Mixed for you, and Listen again. Recently, that last shelf was changed to display up to six items at once rather than just two, with smaller cover graphics. (Up to 20 items may show up here, though occasionally there are many fewer.) This configuration has been quite effective in increasing UI density and minimizing the amount of vertical scrolling required.
Since the rollout of that revamp, I’ve noticed that the Listen again carousel frequently occupies the top spot in my Home feed. YouTube Music feels more bright and customized because to the recent inclusion of a colorful background banner. It also starts audio faster than before, which is the fundamental goal of any streaming app.
But occasionally, the Listen again shelf gets placed second or third instead of first. This is true even though I’ve been using it a lot lately to begin songs. Its propensity to rank at the top just 90% of the time is really more aggravating than if it appeared more frequently.
My main beef with YouTube Music’s user interface is that there is no persistent shelf placement, which gives the impression that you don’t own the app. For anything as personal as a music collection, that is equally aggravating.
My ideal solution would be the ability to pin YouTube Music carousels that are specifically created for you and meant to display previous listening. People would undoubtedly like having rapid access to stuff they’ve specifically loved (Your favorites) or their individual supermixes (Mixed for you), while Speedy selections for quick radio production is another well-liked shelf.
In addition to allowing users to develop muscle memory for app navigation, pinning would address the issue of carousels occasionally going missing for days or even weeks at a time. For instance, the early release of the new Listen again carousel corresponded with Quick selections’ demise (though that shelf seems to have returned now). Your best bet if a shelf doesn’t show up in Home today is to keep refreshing.
Users’ ability to choose what appears in the main tab will have no effect on how they use the rest of the feed for discovery. Since YouTube Music still decides what shows up in those shelves, it frequently does a great job of presenting recent plays with tracks from your past.
The Library tab, however, will never be the default view you open to and misses out on the recommendations that I do occasionally desire, just not often or even most of the time. This is the counterargument.
Discovery and history have always been balanced in the YouTube Musics Home feed. Giving consumers the option to favor what they want would significantly improve the service’s personalization and reduce its reliance on algorithms.