All the Ways to Play Music Using Your Amazon Echo and Alexa
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The Amazon Echo is a great cornerstone for turning your house into a smart home. Having one device that can dim your lights, update you with the latest news, and adjust your thermostat is pretty neat.

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But even if you don’t have any other smart home gadgets, the Echo makes a great music player. No matter which Echo device you have, here’s a guide covering all the ways to play music on Alexa.

Does the Amazon Echo Dot Play Music?

Before we begin, you might wonder if your Echo Dot can play music, since it’s not the full-sized Echo. The good news is that the Echo Dot, alongside all Amazon Echo devices A Comparison Guide to Amazon Echo Devices: Which One Is Best for You? A Comparison Guide to Amazon Echo Devices: Which One Is Best for You? Which Amazon Echo device is right for you? We compare the Plus, Dot, Tap, Show, Spot, Look, and Fire TV Cube to help you make up your mind. Read More like the Echo Spot and Echo Show, play music.

However, you should be aware that the Echo Dot only boasts a basic speaker, so the Dot isn’t great for playing music using Alexa. Thus, you’d be better off connecting your Echo Dot to another speaker for clearer playback. And here are the best Echo Dot speakers The Best Echo Dot Speaker for Music Lovers The Best Echo Dot Speaker for Music Lovers In this article, we recommend the best Echo Dot speakers to upgrade your listening experience. Read More available right now.

Amazon Music on Alexa

As of early 2019, Amazon has made a selection of free music on Alexa available to all Echo device owners. This allows you to access an ad-supported selection of playlists and radio stations for free on your Echo device. Just ask Alexa to start playing music.

If you don’t mind paying a bit, Amazon offers two additional music options. These 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 below services to your account automatically sets them up on the Echo, too.

Amazon Prime Music

Amazon Prime Music Player Web

Prime Music is one of Amazon Prime’s many benefits 10 Awesome Amazon Prime Benefits You've Probably Overlooked 10 Awesome Amazon Prime Benefits You've Probably Overlooked Free two-day shipping is just the beginning. Here are some notable Amazon Prime subscription benefits you may not know about. Read More . It’s a limited music streaming service that includes Alexa music stations and around two million songs. That number pales in comparison to the 30 million that Spotify offers, but Prime Music is still worth a look.

In addition to this collection, any music you buy from Amazon digitally is automatically added to your account. This lets you stream those albums to your Echo without any extra steps. Open the Amazon Music player web interface and you can have a look at what’s on offer. You can also install the Amazon Music player app for Windows or Mac if you like.

While Amazon Prime Music once let you upload your own tracks to the Amazon cloud, the company has discontinued this feature. You’re thus limited to Amazon’s selection of music with the service. You should also know that this benefit isn’t available to those who have a shared Prime membership through a family member.

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

  • “Play my music.”
  • “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.”

Amazon Music Unlimited and the Amazon Music Echo Plan

If Prime Music isn’t enough for you, Amazon Music Unlimited may be the solution. Music Unlimited “unlocks” tens of millions of songs on Amazon Music, including new releases. While Prime Music offers a small sampling for Prime members, Music Unlimited aims to compete with Spotify and Apple Music.

Music Unlimited costs $8/month or $79/year for Prime members (in addition to the cost of Prime). Non-Prime members pay $10/month. Interestingly, you can also subscribe to the Music Unlimited Echo Plan for $4/month if you only want to listen on your Echo device.

This plan only lets you listen on a single Echo unit though, so it’s no good if you want to listen across multiple devices. You should subscribe to the Individual Plan if you want to listen on more than one.

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.

Check out our guide to managing Amazon Music playlists How to Manage Your Amazon Music Playlists How to Manage Your Amazon Music Playlists This article is all about Amazon Music playlists. We'll show you how to create one, add songs to it, and share it on social media. Read More for more tips.

Third-Party Music Services for Amazon Echo

Do you prefer another music service to Amazon’s offerings for playing music on Alexa? No problem; your Echo can play your 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 Alexa web interface. Slide out the left sidebar and select Settings. Tap the Music category and you’ll see a page where you can connect your services.

As discussed earlier, the Amazon Music entry should already be connected to your Amazon account. You can link other accounts here, including:

  • Spotify (requires Premium)
  • Pandora
  • iHeartRadio
  • TuneIn (no sign-in required)
  • Apple Music
  • Deezer
  • SiriusXM
  • Tidal
  • Gimme
  • Vevo

Once you’re all signed in, tap the Default Services field 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 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 Alexa voice commands. Try some of these, or check out Amazon’s 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.”

Can Alexa Play Apple Music?

As mentioned above, yes, the Amazon Echo supports Apple Music. Simply follow the steps to link a new music service and select Apple Music when presented with the list. Enter your account credentials and you can set Apple Music as your default streaming service.

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 is limited to the above. However, you can easily send your tunes from Google Play Music or anywhere else by using your Echo as a Bluetooth speaker.

It’s easy to do this: just say Alexa, pair Bluetooth and your Echo will start looking for Bluetooth devices to connect to. Pop open the Bluetooth options on your phone or computer 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 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 end the connection with that device.

What If Alexa Won’t Play Music?

If Alexa won’t play your music, you should first reboot your Echo device by unplugging it for a few minutes and plugging it back in. This should clear up any temporary issues.

If this doesn’t work, and the trouble only occurs with one streaming service, head back to Settings > Music in the Alexa app. Remove and re-add the services you use and try again.

Enjoy Amazon Echo Music From Anywhere

The Amazon Echo allows you to stream 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. But if you don’t want to use Amazon’s options, several third-party services are available. Or just bypass all that and stream your music via Bluetooth.

Whatever your preference, you should be able to get unlimited tunes playing on your Echo device in just a few minutes. This makes the Amazon Echo a worthy purchase for anyone who loves listening to music.

Are you looking to get more out of Alexa? Check out some fun games you can play on an Amazon Echo 8 Fun Alexa Games You Can Play on an Amazon Echo 8 Fun Alexa Games You Can Play on an Amazon Echo There are a number of cool Alexa games you can play on your Amazon Echo. So there's no excuse to be bored at home ever again. Read More .

Explore more about: Alexa, Amazon Echo, Amazon Music, Amazon Music Unlimited, Bluetooth, Spotify, Streaming Music.

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  1. Cheryl Cole
    February 12, 2019 at 11:52 pm

    This is February 12, 2019, I've asked Alexa to play Country tunes. In amongst Country Tunes, there is always Xmas Songs! (not Xmas related)! I think Alexa requires updating!

    • Ben Stegner
      February 13, 2019 at 3:45 pm

      This probably has more to do with the music service you've selected than Alexa. When you say "play country tunes", it could be matching it with a playlist called "Country Christmas Tunes" or something. I have this issue with getting the Echo to play the right music on Spotify sometimes.

  2. Chris
    December 4, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    The article is incorrect that you can no longer upload songs to your Amazon Music Cloud storage account. For subscribers (who have been paying $25/year for music cloud storage), uploads are still allowed until early 2019. Also, all uploaded songs will still be available after early 2019. The major change is simply that you cannot upload additional songs.

    That said, that is a major issue, and for Alexa users who want to stream their own library, there is no great solution. There are workarounds, but no solutions.

    The net effect is to push people to subscribe to Amazon Music at a minimum of $8/month. Alternatively, and possibly more cheaply, one can switch to Google Home and use the free Google Music storage for streaming music. Quite a pain for Alexa households, particularly ones that have numerous devices used to stream music, but maybe better in the long run. Kudos to Amazon for potentially identifying a revenue stream and surreptitiously pushing people towards it. OTOH, as a loyal Amazon customer for 20 years, it is frustrating and maddening that cloud storage uploads are being disallowed starting in early 2019. Frustrating enough to push us to potentially switch to Google.

  3. Jacqueline Flores
    September 19, 2018 at 5:55 am

    Interesting Article! Alexa is considered a powerful stream music and media from popular streaming services.

  4. Buddhika Prabath
    April 11, 2018 at 4:44 am

    niser

  5. Buddhika Prabath
    April 11, 2018 at 4:44 am

    nise

  6. Jack
    March 11, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    I'm still waiting for Alexa to play nice with SONOS systems. I have a lot of music on my SONOS set the way I like and can't easily tell Alexa to access them.

  7. Ed Chamberlain
    January 22, 2018 at 9:28 pm

    I have thousands of songs on iTunes, and when I get into my car they play. Why can't I ask Alexa to play the songs stored in my devices? When I have two devices in my home that understand the spoken word, why do I have to find my phone, pick it up, and manually start the playback. It's all about prime, and other pay services. Why should I pay for content that I already own? And on another rant. I have an Amazon show that sits on the counter with a picture of my motorcycle on the display. What's the point of having a display that displays almost nothing. Can't watch a Youtube video, can't stream anything stored on my devices. It was a natural assumption when I bought the thing that it could display video content. Hopefully this changes before Alexa becomes obsolete.

  8. Barb
    January 21, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    How do I play an album or soundtrack from Amazon Music, starting with a particular song? For example, "Play the Hamilton soundtrack starting with Satisfied". Thanks!

  9. Hern
    January 7, 2018 at 9:03 am

    This is the best description I have found about Alexa music services. For example, information for prime music for people sharing prime benefit/shipping is clearly stated here instead of buried in amazon document.

    • Ben Stegner
      January 7, 2018 at 5:53 pm

      I'm so glad this helped you!

  10. Robert Hattersley
    July 11, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    Can i play music from my iPod through ALexi

    • Ben Stegner
      July 12, 2017 at 2:46 pm

      If you have an iPod Touch, you can play music on your Echo via Bluetooth. If it's an older iPod, you can use a 3.5mm headphone jack to connect it to the Echo Tap only. The Echo and Echo Dot don't have a line-in jack.

  11. Robert Hattersley
    July 11, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    Can you play music on your iPod through ALexi

  12. 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.

    • Barbara
      July 23, 2018 at 12:52 pm

      Somebody just told me about Plex as I'm irritated at the loss of Amazon Music storage feature. I installed it, enabled it in Alexa and discovered I can't seem to get Alexa to play specific music. So I can't listen to only songs by a single artist or just play one song. Am I missing something?

  13. GINA MCCONNEL
    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?

    • donc
      July 21, 2017 at 8:29 pm

      I do this all the time. Just say set sleep timer for 1 hour.

  14. likefunbutnot
    March 16, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    I own a couple thousand albums via Amazon and have claimed another 100 or so as Prime Member benefit. I also use Cloud Player Premium to fortify the my existing library with content from purchases outside Amazon.

    Amazon is mostly terrible at handling classical music, but so is everything else and moreover, I'd be paying for Prime regardless, so the $2/month for Cloud Player seems decidedly reasonable compared to the cost of Spotify or some other premium streaming service.

    • Ben Stegner
      April 2, 2017 at 5:14 pm

      That's smart. I think if you already own a ton of music like you do, then the small cost to upload it all is much better than paying to stream it.