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YouTube’s mobile apps and website have reopened auto-generated video comments created for music.

Those automatically generated music/song videos are officially known as “Art Tracks”. It “consists of a track and album art” to “ensure YouTube has a complete music catalog and appears in album playlists and search results.” The video player on mobile is square.

Currently, official music videos are only available when the label or artist invests (not insignificant) time and resources in their production. Art Tracks automates the creation of versions of recordings, even if they do not have a produced music video.

Around December 2020, YouTube officially announced that “comments on auto-generated artwork are disabled”. That policy remains unchanged today, but over the past few weeks people have regained the ability to leave comments on these auto-generated videos.

Some users really enjoyed talking about music on YouTube and were fascinated by the comment closure. It’s unclear if this return is permanent, with some pointing out how it could be related to recent changes and possibly unintended by Google. Politics would give it credibility, but until then, people accept returns.

Not being a moderator in those open comment sections is a minor issue, but there are definite upsides to driving engagement. This feature doesn’t exist in YouTube Music clients, but it would be an interesting idea to make the app more than just for consuming content. That would make YouTube Music almost a social network for music, a la iTunes Ping.

More on YouTube.

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