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The Amazon Echo is the key to making your home a smart home How Amazon Echo Can Make Your Home A Smart Home How Amazon Echo Can Make Your Home A Smart Home Smart home tech is still in its early days, but a new product from Amazon called "Echo" may help bring it into the mainstream. Read More . Some might say that Alexa is stupid Let's Face It: Amazon Echo's Alexa Is Stupid Let's Face It: Amazon Echo's Alexa Is Stupid There's no doubt voice-controlled assistants are the future, but is Alexa the solution? Perhaps not. In this article, I'm going to argue Alexa is actually rather stupid. Read More , but having one device that can dim your lights, update you with the latest news, and adjust your thermostat is pretty neat.

Even if you don’t have any other smart home gadgets, the Echo is a great music player. Whether you’ve got the full Echo or opted for the Dot or Tap Amazon Echo vs. Dot vs. Tap: What Are the Key Differences? Amazon Echo vs. Dot vs. Tap: What Are the Key Differences? One common complaint against Amazon Echo was that it had too many features and cost too much. Amazon's response to that? Releasing two variations with smaller price tags: the Tap and the Echo Dot. Read More , here are all the ways you can play music on your Alexa-enabled speaker.

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Amazon Music Options

Amazon offers two music options that have similar names but a few key differences. They both work with your Echo, so let’s break them down. Since your Amazon account is connected to your device, adding the services below to your account automatically sets up the Echo with them, too.

Prime Music

If you’re a Prime member, one of the many benefits available 6 Amazon Prime Benefits You Might Be Ignoring Right Now 6 Amazon Prime Benefits You Might Be Ignoring Right Now Scratch the surface. Amazon Prime has so many more benefits that people have forgotten about or simply don't realize exist. Read More to you is Prime Music. This is a limited music streaming service that includes around two million songs. That number pales in comparison to the 30 million that Spotify offers, but Prime Music is still worth a look Why You Should Give Amazon Prime Music a Second Chance Why You Should Give Amazon Prime Music a Second Chance There are several reasons why you might want to give Amazon Prime Music a second chance. It certainly deserves much more credit than it's currently getting. Read on to find out why. Read More .

While its selection is limited, Prime Music also lets you upload your own tracks to the Amazon cloud. Any music you buy from Amazon digital is automatically added to your account, so you can stream those albums to your Echo without any extra steps. Open the Amazon Music web interface and click Upload your music to your cloud library on the left side. This prompts you to download and install the Amazon Music app for Windows or Mac.

You can upload up to 250 of your own music tracks for free using this tool (digital purchases don’t count against the maximum). If you need more space you can up that limit to 250,000 songs for $25 per year. Visit your Amazon Music settings page and change your plan under Music Storage if you need. Once you add your tracks, they’re treated just like any other tunes that you’d stream from Prime Music.

To play Prime Music on your Echo, try these Alexa commands:

  • “Play the Top Pop station.”
  • “Play classical music.”
  • “Play U2 from the 80s.”
  • “Play the most popular Pearl Jam album.”
  • “Play Prime Music for dancing.”

Note that this benefit isn’t available to those who share a Prime membership with family members Save on Premium Subscriptions With These 9 Shareable Accounts Save on Premium Subscriptions With These 9 Shareable Accounts Premium subscription services are great, but the costs add up fast. Here are 9 services you can share to get the most for your money. Read More .

Music Unlimited

If Prime Music isn’t enough for you, the Music Unlimited plan is the solution Amazon Music Unlimited vs. Prime Music: What's the Difference? Amazon Music Unlimited vs. Prime Music: What's the Difference? Amazon recently unveiled a paid music product called Music Unlimited. How is it different from Prime Music? How much will it cost you? What will you get for your money? Read More . Music Unlimited “unlocks” tens of millions of songs on Amazon Music, including new releases. While Prime Music is a small sampling for Prime members, Music Unlimited aims to contend with Spotify and Apple Music Spotify vs. Apple Music vs. Amazon Music Unlimited: Which Is Best? Spotify vs. Apple Music vs. Amazon Music Unlimited: Which Is Best? With the introduction of Amazon Music Unlimited, this is a great time to subscribe to a music streaming services. In this article, we'll examine how Amazon's service compares to Spotify and Apple Music. Read More .

Music Unlimited costs $8 per month or $80 per year for Prime members (in addition to the cost of Prime). Interestingly, you can also subscribe to Music Unlimited for $4 per month if you only want to listen on your Echo. This plan only lets you listen on a single Echo device though, so it’s no good for multi-home setups.

Aside from the more expansive catalog, Music Unlimited basically stacks with the Amazon Music core. You’ll just need to decide whether the additional subscription is worth it for you. There’s a 30-day trial available that lets you ensure your favorite tunes are available.

Third-Party Services

Do you prefer another music service to Amazon’s offerings? No problem: your Echo can play music from several other sources.

Before you start listening to music from third-party services, you’ll need to connect your accounts. To get everything set up, open up the Alexa app on your phone or visit the web interface. Slide out the left sidebar and click Settings. Under the Accounts header, tap Music & Media.

As discussed earlier, the Amazon Music entry should already be connected to your Amazon account. You can link your Spotify, Pandora, and iHeartRadio accounts here. The Echo also supports TuneIn Radio, but you don’t have to sign in to use it. Note that using Spotify on your Echo requires a Premium subscription, which is totally worth it Is It Worth Upgrading to Spotify Premium? Is It Worth Upgrading to Spotify Premium? Spotify Free brings you tons of music at no cost, but are the extra features of Spotify Premium worth shelling out for? Let's find out... Read More .

Once you’re all signed in, tap the Choose default music services button at the bottom of the page. Here you can select your preferred service for both your music library and radio stations. That way, when you say “Alexa, play some music from Prince,” you don’t have to specify that you want to use Spotify every time.

Now you can tell your Echo to start playing music via voice commands. Try some of these, or check out the complete list of music voice commands for more:

  • “Play Beach Boys radio on Pandora.”
  • “Thumb up this song.”
  • “Skip this song.”
  • “Who is this artist?”
  • “Play jazz from Spotify.”
  • “Play the station WSSW.”

To review your stations and music on each of these services, open the left sidebar in the Alexa app and tap Music & Books. Tap a service and you can manage your music collection for each one. Of course, you can also use the dedicated apps for your phone, too.

Use Bluetooth for Everything Else

Aside from Kindle and Audible (which are obviously for books, not music), the list of officially Echo-compatible music services ends there. However, you can easily send your tunes from Google Play Music, Apple Music Spotify vs. Apple Music vs. Google Play Music: Which Is Best? Spotify vs. Apple Music vs. Google Play Music: Which Is Best? While there are lots of music streaming services around, there are three major ones that stand out above the others: Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music. But which is best? Read More , or anywhere else by using your Echo as a Bluetooth speaker.

It’s easy to do this: just say Alexa, pair and your Echo will start looking for Bluetooth devices to connect to. Pop open the Bluetooth options on your phone or computer How to Connect Your Cell Phone to PC Through Bluetooth How to Connect Your Cell Phone to PC Through Bluetooth Bluetooth is a short-range wireless technology. Most phones and computers have it. It's a great way to connect your devices and transfer files wirelessly. We'll show you how to set it up. Read More and look for Echo-XYZ to pair them. After this, play any audio from your device and you’ll hear it on your Echo.

Alexa now supports basic audio commands when acting as a Bluetooth speaker, so you can say Alexa, pause or Skip this song to control playback without lifting a finger. When you’re all done, just say Alexa, disconnect and the Echo will break the connection with that device.

What Do You Listen to Using Alexa?

The Echo allows you to steam music from pretty much any source you could want. Prime Music is a nice starting point if you don’t have the money to spend on another music subscription, and gives you a place to upload your own tracks, too. If you don’t want to use Amazon’s options, several great (and free) third-party services are available. Or just bypass all that and stream your music via Bluetooth.

Whatever your preference, you can get unlimited tunes playing on your Echo in just a few minutes. Which makes the Echo a worthy purchase for anyone who loves listening to music.

Hungry for more customization with Alexa? Check out the best creative uses for your Echo 7 Creative Uses for Amazon Echo and Alexa 7 Creative Uses for Amazon Echo and Alexa You’ve seen the ads starring Alec Baldwin, but you're still not sure what Amazon Echo does or whether you need one in your home. We’re about to find out. Read More .

Which methods do you use to play music on your Echo? Is there another service you like that we didn’t mention here? Please let us know how you use your Echo to listen to music in the comments below!

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  1. Steve Newbold
    March 17, 2017 at 8:10 am

    Plex is a great way of playing music you already own via Alexa, simply install the plex add in (and run plex media server on your local machine) and then say to Alexa "ask plex to play my music". Plex is free at its most basic level but a life time pass is very very cheap.

    March 17, 2017 at 3:36 am

    I would like Alexa to play my music for a set time..Such as "Alexa play easy listening for 1hour". Any ideas?