How to use YouTube as a music library on Linux with Magnesium

YouTube has dozens of videos going up on it every second of every day. As a result, it’s easy to find nearly anything you could ever want to watch or listen to on the platform, including your favorite songs. Since there’s so much music on the platform, it’s very easy to turn it into your music library, and many do this using YouTube’s playlist feature. However, did you know that you can install an app that will bring your favorite music on YouTube right to the desktop?

The app is called Magnesium, and with it, users can quickly load up and stream music playlists, as well as search for individual artists, songs, and more, effectively using YouTube as a music Library.

Note: due to YouTube’s ever-changing API, you may run into issues playing back music at times. Use at your own risk!

Install Magnesium

On Linux, there isn’t a unified release for the Magnesium player. Instead, if you’d like to use the Magnesium application, there are two ways to get it working, by installing the Snap package, or via the source code.

To get Magnesium working on your Linux PC, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, follow the instructions that correspond with your Linux operating system below.

Snap package

As it stands, the Snap release of Magnesium is the way to go for Linux. The reason for this is that the developer usually releases new features and codes here first. All other releases do get updates, but it seems it’s a bit slower.

To get the Magnesium Snap working, you must first enable Snapd on your Linux PC. For information on how to do that, please check this guide. Once you’re done setting up Snapd, use the snap install command to get Magnesium.

sudo snap install magnesium

Source code

The source code for Magnesium hasn’t seen an update since 2017. Still, the code is build-able and ready to go, and they even outline the specific dependencies and libraries you’ll need to get it running.

To start the source code installation, head here and learn how to get the dependencies working on your PC. When done, enter the commands below to build and install the program.

Note: the source code for Magnesium does work, but it’s considered out of date. If you can’t use the Snap release, be warned that it may not have the same feature-set.

cd ~/projects
git clone
cd magnesium
npm install

Run the app with:

cd ~/projects/magnesium
npm start

Use YouTube as a music library

Magnesium works with YouTube, so if you’d like to use it as your library, you’ll need to find some songs to listen to. To do this, head over to YouTube’s website. Once there, use it to create a new playlist filled with all of your favorite music.

Note: the Playlist loading feature of Magnesium sometimes doesn’t work correctly. If you find yourself having issues playing playlists, try loading up songs one-by-one instead.

After making a new playlist, access the “Library” section of YouTube, locate your song playlist and choose “View Full Playlist” to view it on YouTube. From there, copy the entire URL of the playlist to your Linux PC’s clipboard.

With the new playlist copied to the clipboard, open up Magnesium and let it start up. Once the app is up and running, it’ll say “nothing running” in the window. Find the playlist button and click on it with your mouse to gain access to the song loading area.

Note: can’t find the playlist button? It’s directly to the right of the X button in the UI.

Press Ctrl + V on the keyboard to paste the playlist into the Magnesium URL bar. It should then store your playlist in the app. Feel free to do this for as many YouTube playlists as you want.

To start the music playback, find the play button and click it. Want to remove a song? Click the playlist button and select the “X” icon next to each song you don’t want in the playlist.

Adding individual songs to Magnesium

Aside from handling YouTube playlists, Magnesium lets users add songs one-by-one to listen to. To do this, start by going to the YouTube website. From there, search for a song you’d like to add and copy the URL to your Linux PC’s clipboard.

With the URL in your clipboard, open up the Magnesium app and click on the playlist button to access the music loader area. Then, press Ctrl + V to paste in the URL. Be sure to repeat this process as many times as you’d like, to add in your favorite songs.

When all of your favorite YouTube songs are added to the Magnesium player, click the play button to start the playback. Remove songs by clicking “X.”

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