YouTube Music just got a great free upgrade

Google's redesigned the radio features to give you much more control over your stations

YouTube Music
(Image credit: YouTube)

Google has started to roll out a big upgrade to one of the best music streamers, YouTube Music, that'll be music to your ears if you use the radio stations in the app. There's a new feature, Radio Builder, that enables you to create your own custom stations. If the rollout has reached you, it should be in the Your Music Tuner section of the iOS or Android app.

YouTube Music's new approach to radio is much more flexible and controllable than the radio in rivals such as Spotify or Apple Music. Rather than just pick one song or genre and have an algorithm do the rest, YouTube Music enables you to select up to 30 different artists when you create a station. 

What else does YouTube Music radio do?

The customisation doesn't stop there. You can specify whether the songs you hear are new to you or old favourites or a mix of the two, and you can also tell the app to limit your playlist to the artists you've selected or to open it up to other artists you might like. 

You can also tell the app how often you want to hear those artists, and apply filters – such as "pump-up", "deep cuts" and "downbeat" – to decide which of their tracks the station should play.

Once you've created your new station, you can save it to your radio in the app with the Add To Library button.

If all of this sounds familiar, that's because the features have been in testing since last year – but they've only become official parts of the app this week. There do appear to be some rough edges in the finished version, however: some reports say that the filtering can often produce playlists that don't contain any music if you're a little too prescriptive in what you want to hear. No doubt Google will continue to tweak the app in the coming months to fix those little niggles.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (