Earlier this year, before Google Play Music disappeared, I switched to YouTube Music to see if it had improved since the first time I tried it. It hadn’t been. Fast forward to today, and I still use YTM, albeit reluctantly. But even though I destroyed it as a pathetic streaming music service over the past semester, it recently got a killer feature that I love: the blends.
What are mixes on YouTube Music?
At the end of 2019, YouTube Music got Discovery Mix, New Release Mix, and Your Mix playlists. The idea was to offer personalized playlists geared towards musical discovery. “Mixed for You” playlists are an extension of Your Mix playlist, growing it from a single huge playlist to several more defined playlists. The Your Mix playlist is also available, but is now called “My Supermix”.
If you load YTM and scroll down the main page a bit, you will see the “Mixed for you” section. There are seven mix variations here, alongside the Supermix. In short, they are rotating stations / playlists that are specifically organized by your listening history.
Mine are broken down mostly by genre, although the overlap on some mixes is the best part. I mainly listen to rock, hard rock, metal, bluegrass, and rap (I’m eclectic, all of you) for fun, but I often throw ambient, electronic, and binaural beats into the mix while I’m working so i’m having trouble concentrating. Each mix plays on my listening history, each adopting a new genre or moving from one genre to another.
So, for example, My Mix 1 is made up of artists like Ghost (rock), TOOL (rock), The Dead South (bluegrass) and Gojira (metal). It’s a great mix that’s great for when I don’t know what I want to listen to. My Mix 2 is similar, but gets heavier with bands like The Devil Wears Prada (metal), Make Them Suffer (metal), Oh Sleeper (metal), and… well, you get the idea. This mix is as heavy as a tank and I love it.
From there, my mixes come and go through the different genres I listen to most often, with each playlist providing a slightly different vibe than the last. Mixes are great when you can’t decide what to listen to, but the Supermix is great when you can’t even choose between mixes – it’s basically a mix of all your mixes in one. If your listening tastes are like mine, there are certain transitions from song to song that will really kick your brain. I dig so hard.
Okay, but are they really good?
This type of automatic playlist retention is nothing new, of course. If you’ve used other music streaming services (like Spotify), you’ve probably come across something similar. And while I can’t tell you how the YouTube Music implementation compares to any other service, I can tell you that it’s really good.
Mix after Mix, YouTube Music just seems to nail my taste. Each is a… mix… of artists and songs that I know with a lot of things that I am not. I found all kinds of new leads thanks to YTM’s brilliant algorithms. And it’s not just me either – I’ve spoken to several people on Twitter who have told me the same thing.
Additionally, these playlists are dynamic (which is why I generally think of them as “stations” instead of straightforward playlists). By that I mean they are more like daily mixes – each mix rarely plays the same tracks day after day. It keeps things fresh and constantly introduces new artists and songs, so there is always something different.
I quickly criticized YouTube Music for being a lower quality service compared to other music apps – and even the one it replaced (Google Play Music) – so I’m glad I finally have a really great feature. here. After months of using YouTube Music and wishing it was better, this is a step in the right direction.
Mixed for You is available on the web and on the mobile app. Find out for yourself by clicking on the box below.