A (bad) workaround for under 13 not being able to play YouTube Music

Many moons ago I signed up for Google Play Music. Me, Maggie & Aerin had our playlists, all was right with the world, then the dark specter of YouTube Music (YT Music) came along, forced us to YouTube Music, and all of the sudden the playlists that used to play my babies to sleep suddenly stopped working.

Later playlist support was added back a few days before I otherwise would have cancelled and gone on to Spotify. Music was the only reason I am on the Google YT Music subscription. All seemed right with the world.

Along came Minecraft, and with that the requirement to get a Microsoft account. To get said account we needed email addresses, which I’d set up for the kids with Google and never used. Bam, back in with email addresses and a couple of old devices with Minecraft and Roblocks and both kids wanting their very own profiles – I set up voice match so the kids could have personalized Google Assistant access / I could finally change the default voice without both kids crying that they wanted lady google back.

So we did that and discovered a day or two later that when they would ask a Google Home / Google Nest Hub / whatever it’s being called this week in Google rebranding that they would get that their account cannot play YouTube Music (or videos if I remember correctly).

The workaround was to open the Home App, find a Home/Assistant/Nest speaker I wanted them to be able to use, and removed the linked accounts associated with them. At this point they could ask for a playlist, and as long as it was public it seems to play. If they ask that Google Home their name, it doesn’t know them. It’s a crappy solution, and if I didn’t have an abhorrent amount of Google Home speakers sitting about due to being a reviewer would be not much of a solution, but at least at the moment an 8 & 5yo don’t have requirements of personalization on devices other than Minecraft/Roblocks

So now Maggie’s speaker doesn’t know Maggie, Aerin’s speaker doesn’t know Aerin, and all is back to normal with the world with us streaming close to 20 hours of music a night.

I’m told I cannot change the age of the children to work around this, but that might be an option as well. This might have to do with the Child Online Privacy Act, or it might have to do with pedantry, not entirely sure.

Paul King

Paul King lives in Nashville Tennessee with his wife, two daughters and cats. He writes for Pocketables, theITBaby, and is an IT consultant along with doing tech support for a film production company.