YouTube Music finally opens up Chromecast support to everyone. Google Play Music will be actively retired this month, making YouTube Music the only music app from Google. One major gap between the two services that we complained about was restrictive Chromecast support. At Google Music, casting only worked for everyone. At YouTube Music, casting was limited to people paying for the monthly streaming service. For the audience that brings music, it meant there was no choice but to subscribe to a streaming service that you probably didn't want if you wanted to cast music you own to speakers you own.
However, as of today, Google says that casting on YouTube Music should now work for everyone. Previously, unsubscribed users would get a Subscribe to YouTube Premium pop-up when they tap the Cast button. Now YouTube Music starts broadcasting music for our speakers with no monthly fee.
The Google Music shutdown is already in full swing. The service is slated to end worldwide in October, and last week Google turned off music uploading for everyone. This means that while you can still stream, you won't be able to upload new music to your account. So open casting support for YouTube Music comes just a few days late.
Google has tried to make YouTube Music a solid replacement for Google Music, but there is still a long way to go. YouTube Music started supporting uploaded music in May with a fairly simple music transition process, but the app lacks a lot of features. Downloading playlists for offline playback falls short of the monthly fee for streaming music, as does Android Auto, which doesn't make sense when it comes to serving the music. The app also lacks basic music player functions like sorting songs, editing song information and recreating Google Music's clever playlists like "Recently Added".
Over on the Google Music subreddit, user BloodyMess put together an absolutely extensive list of community complaints. Google doesn't seem to fix all of the issues until it completes the Google Music shutdown, but it works for at least some of them.