I’m a long time user of YouTube Music. I love that it’s able to reach in to the incredible library of electronic music that has been uploaded to YouTube over the past few decades. I also love that it allows users to upload their own music and have been starting to curate an uploaded library songs that aren’t available on streaming platforms. This feature has allowed me to slowly but surely upload old CDs which are precious to me (band demos, white labels etc). The beauty of it all is that I then have my entire library available to me wherever I am, even in the car via Android Auto. I love this!

Seemingly unrelated, our twins starting secondary school this year: I had naively hoped we would be able to hold out from giving them each a mobile phone until they were… well… in their twenties, we ultimately decided it was safer for everyone if they got one.

So now the twins have a mobile phone I’m suddenly struck by just how much advertising is thrown at them. Even YouTube Kids is full of it. So I decided to upgrade my personal YouTube premium subscription to a family plan, meaning no more ads for any of us.

I thought this would be a trivially easy upgrade, however, what I hadn’t bargained on was that Google does not allow GSuite accounts to purchase YouTube Music family subscriptions! A quick trawl on the internet confirmed this is an issue which has affected and frustrated many people.

So what to do?

Whilst I dearly wish Google would rectify this situation, it doesn’t look it’s something they’re interested in doing. So it’s down to me to figure out a solution. The most obvious one seemed to be to resurrect an old Gmail account I had held on to and to start using that.

But here’s the rub

The act of resurrecting my old GMail account was pretty straight forward, then setting up a Google family group and using the account to purchase the YouTube family subscription. However I then realised… my entire library, likes, playlists, uploaded songs weren’t accessible to me in the new account!

That’s ok I thought… Google will have thought of this and provided a migration path in a really simple user experience. It’ll be fine…

How wrong could I have been. It seems that migrating a music library between accounts is a gaping hole in Google’s user experience. What a disappointment.

ytmusicapi to the rescue

After a bit of digging, I discovered the ytmusicapi Python library, an “Unofficial API for YouTube Music”. After a quick read of the docs I was able to cobble a script together to migrate most of my library across from my old GSuite account to my GMail account. This has saved me a great deal of time and frustration so I’d like to say thanks to the sigma67 for taking the time to put it together 🙌.

To pay my thanks forward I thought I would share the code I’ve put together in case it helps anyone else migrate their accounts. You can find the migration code and instructions on how to use it in my eddgrant/youtube-music-account-migrator GitHub repository.

Feedback for Google

  • It would be nice if you stopped excluding G Suite legacy free edition accounts from various Google services. We’ve all now signed a disclaimer to say that we’re using the account for personal use only, so it is disappointing to have such a disjointed and complex user experience when using these accounts. You can do better than this!