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I just received an email notification that Google Play Music would be discontinued later this year, and instructing me to transfer my library over to YouTube Music (I haven't done this yet). I am possibly an atypical user — my entire Play Music library is music that I ripped from CDs and uploaded to my account. I also am often in places without reliable WiFi and I don't like to use data for streaming audio, so I prefer to have my entire library stored locally. To this end I have my entire Play Music library downloaded onto an external SD card on my phone.

Will I be able to do the same thing with YouTube Music? All of the information I have read online (for example official blog ) says that "paying members" will be able to download music for offline listening.

Does that mean that I won't be able to download my own music to my device without paying for the privilege?

EDITED TO ADD: A few people have asked, in the comments, why I even want to bother with a cloud-based music platform, if I plan on always having my music locally stored. This is a fair question, one I ought to have originally addressed! The reason is that it makes synchronization simple: every time I add a new song or album to my Play Music library (which I usually do from my home desktop computer) it is automatically available not only on my phone (where I can download it to keep available offline) and on my work desktop computer. Similarly if I create a playlist on one device it is automatically available on all of my other ones. Since Play Music is going away, my hope is that Youtube Music will be able to take its place -- otherwise I will have to start all over with a new platform, which I would prefer to avoid.

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I haven't tried this but according to Upload your music - YouTube Music Help, you can

You can play uploaded songs in the background, ad-free and offline - even if you are not currently a YouTube Music Premium subscriber.

(Emphasis added)

You would need to use a computer to upload (you cannot use YouTube Music mobile app). Once uploaded, you can view in the app. You can verify this by uploading a few songs

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