The Amazon Echo offers solid speaker sound quality, but what are your music-listening options? Well, you can access your library or stream tunes via Amazon Music or listen to music and radio stations from third-party providers.
If you're an Amazon Prime subscriber, you can snag more than 2 million tunes from Amazon Music for free or upgrade to Amazon Music Unlimited for tens of millions of songs. You can also wirelessly stream music to your Alexa device from your mobile phone, tablet, or computer. Here's how to get started.
'Alexa, Listen to iHeartRadio'
To find music to play through your Echo, open the Alexa mobile app, which you should've already downloaded and used to set up your Alexa device. Tap on the hamburger icon (the three horizontal lines), and select "Music, Video, & Books."
Tap on the music service you wish to access.
If this is the first time you're trying to access a service through Alexa, the app asks you to link your Amazon account with the music service, in this case iHeartRadio.
Log into your account to link it to the Alexa app. Then return to the app.
You can then drill down to the various types of music or stations offered by the service to see what's available. If you find a piece of music, podcast, or radio station that you want to hear through your Alexa device, tap to play it through your device or ask Alexa to play it ("Alexa, play iHeartRadio.")
Stream From Your Phone Via Bluetooth
Position yourself and your mobile device near your Alexa device and say "Alexa, pair." Your Alexa device goes into pairing mode. On your mobile device, open the Bluetooth settings screen. Wait for your Alexa device to show up in the list of devices with which to pair. After it appears, tap on the name of your Alexa device.
Your mobile phone or tablet should then pair with and connect to your Alexa device. You'll see your Alexa device listed as connected. Alexa also announces the connection with your phone or tablet.
You can also connect via the Alexa app. Tap the hamburger icon and select Settings. Tap on the name of your Alexa device.
Tap on Bluetooth.
Tap on Pair a New Device.
Open Bluetooth on your phone or tablet. Wait for your Alexa device to appear and then tap on it to pair and connect it with your phone or tablet.
Now you can open the Music app or any other audio app on your mobile device and tap a tune, a podcast, an audio book, or another audio item to play. You should hear it through your Alexa device. You can then control the volume, the current track, and other audio items by using your mobile device or by talking to Alexa.
To disconnect your Alexa device from your mobile device, say "Alexa, disconnect from [name of device]." Alexa responds: "Now disconnected from [name of device]." To reconnect, say, "Alexa, connect to [name of device]." Alexa responds: "Searching. Now connected to [name of device]."
Amazon outlines which Echo devices support Bluetooth music and media streaming here.
Stream From a Computer
Okay, now you want to stream music from your computer to your Alexa device. Let's use a Windows 10 computer as an example. Open your browser and surf to your Amazon Alexa page. Sign in with your Amazon account and click on Settings.
Click on the name of your Alexa device.
Select Bluetooth and click on Pair a New Device.
Now open the Windows 10 Settings screen. Click on Devices.
Click on Bluetooth & other devices if it's not already selected. Click on Add Bluetooth or other device. Wait for your Alexa device to pop up and be paired. Click on the name of the device to connect it to your PC.
You should then see your Alexa device listed as connected, as Alexa also announces the connection.
Now you can play music from iTunes, Windows Media Player, or any other audio program and hear the sound piped through your Alexa device.
Upload Your Music to Amazon Music
If you have tunes stored in iTunes, Windows, or elsewhere, you can upload your own albums to Amazon Music and listen to them through your Echo or other Amazon device.
A Prime subscription provides free access to 2 million Amazon Music songs, plus a number of other benefits. If 2 million is not enough, you can jump up to 10 million songs with Amazon Music Unlimited. Prime members can upgrade for $7.99 a month or $79 per year for a family plan across multiple devices, or $3.99 a month for one person on a single Alexa device.
To upload your own music, download and install the Amazon Music app on your computer if you don't already have it. Open it and click "My Music."
Click on the button to "Upload Select Music."
A window pops up to ask if you want to upload specific songs or in bulk. Let's try one album, so click the button to "Select folder."
From the music library on your computer, drill down and select the album you want to upload. Click OK.
The album is then uploaded to Amazon Music.
After the album has successfully uploaded, click OK.
You can now ask Alexa to play one of the albums you just uploaded, and you should hear it on your Alexa device. By default, you can only upload 250 songs to your Amazon Music library. But if you shell out $24.99 a year to upgrade your Amazon Music storage plan, you can import up to 250,000 songs to your library.
For more, check out:
- Alexa, Tell Me Some Amazon Echo Tips
- The Best Amazon Alexa Skills
- Amazon's Highest-Rated Alexa Skills in Every Category
- Amazon Echo vs. Google Home
- Apple HomePod vs. Amazon Echo vs. Google Home