It’s hard to find an exact definition of what YouTube is, as there’s just so much different content to consume on the platform. One thing is for sure, though: YouTube is the place to find music and — more specifically — music videos. However, older videos often lack quality, and can sometimes only be found at odious 360p. Luckily, YouTube is looking to change that. The platform and Universal Music Group have just announced that they’ve remastered some iconic music videos of the past that seamlessly replace the old versions already online.
The collaborators have started offering over 100 music videos in this remastered video and audio quality, but they promise that there are more than 1,000 more to come, dribbling out week by week until we can hear and see the full upgraded catalog at the end of 2020. Below, you’ll find a few from the first batch:
Starting today, exclusively on YouTube, you’ll find more than 100 music videos in the highest available video and audio quality, including titles from Billy Idol, Beastie Boys, Boyz II Men, George Strait, Janet Jackson, Kiss, Lady Antebellum, Lady Gaga, Lionel Richie, Maroon 5, Meat Loaf, No Doubt/Gwen Stefani, Smokey Robinson, The Killers, Tom Petty and more!
Checking out some of the videos linked, the video quality doesn’t appear to be upgraded that much. Particularly, Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance still looks pretty blurred out, but I don’t have the originally uploaded video as a reference, so who knows what it looked like before the HD upgrade. Either way, the audio quality does appear to be pretty good.
Unfortunately, YouTube is creating a two-class system here. Your average Joe can’t remaster old videos and re-upload them without losing his original view numbers. I’d guess the platform fears bad actors replacing old videos altogether or being able to change their statements after the fact, especially considering the recent controversies revolving around the video network.