All the Ways to Play Music Using Your Amazon Echo and Alexa
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The Amazon Echo is the key to making your home a smart home. Some might say that Alexa is stupid, but 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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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, here are all the ways you can play your music on your Alexa-enabled speaker.

Does the Amazon Echo Dot Play Music?

Before we begin, you might wonder if your Echo device can still play your music, even if you don’t have the standard Echo. The good news is that the Echo Dot, as well as other 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, all play music.

However, you should be aware that the Echo Dot is only a basic speaker, so the Dot isn’t great for playing music using Alexa. Which is why you’re best off connecting your Echo Dot to another speaker 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 for clearer playback, as we discuss below.

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.

Amazon Prime Music

One of the many Amazon Prime benefits 10 Awesome Amazon Prime Benefits You May Have Overlooked 10 Awesome Amazon Prime Benefits You May Have Overlooked Free two-day shipping is just the beginning. Here are some notable Amazon Prime subscription benefits you may not know about. Read More is Prime Music. This is 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.

Amazon Prime Music once let you upload your own tracks to the Amazon cloud, but the company has discontinued this feature. If you have uploaded any music to your Amazon music player in the past, you can access it until January 2019. After that, it will disappear.

Any music you buy from Amazon digitally is automatically added to your account, so you can stream those albums to your Echo without any extra steps. Open the Amazon Music player 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 player app for Windows or Mac.

Amazon Music Player

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.”

Note that this benefit isn’t available to those who share a Prime membership with family members.

Amazon Music Unlimited and the Amazon Music Echo Plan

If Prime Music isn’t enough for you, Amazon Music Unlimited may be the solution Amazon Music Unlimited vs. Prime Music: What's the Difference? Amazon Music Unlimited vs. Prime Music: What's the Difference? In this article, we take a look at Prime Music and Amazon Music Unlimited to help you determine which one is right for you. 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 compete with Spotify and Apple Music.

Music Unlimited costs $8/month or $79/year for Prime members (in addition to the cost of Prime). Interestingly, you can also subscribe to Music Unlimited’s 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 device 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 multiple devices.

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

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 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.

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.

amazon echo music books

Now you can tell your Echo to start playing music via Alexa 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.

Can Alexa Play Apple Music?

Though Apple Music is a popular music streaming service, Alexa doesn’t support it directly. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t use it at all. The best way to use Apple Music with your Echo is to connect it to your iPhone or Mac as a Bluetooth speaker. See below for instructions on how to do this.

If you’re looking for a native way to play Apple Music with a smart speaker, it’s no surprise that you probably shouldn’t look any further than Apple’s own. The HomePod comes packed with features that will make you want one 12 Apple HomePod Features That Will Make You Want One 12 Apple HomePod Features That Will Make You Want One Don't have a HomePod yet? We round up the coolest Apple HomePod features that will make you want to pick up the smart speaker. Read More .

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, 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 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 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 & Accounts > Music & Media in the Alexa app. Remove and re-add the main services you use and try again.

What Do You Listen to Using Alexa?

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

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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 .

Explore more about: Amazon, Amazon Echo, 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


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


  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?

    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.