Music is how many of us get through our day. Whether it’s Rock, Rap, Latin, or Classical – music has the power to move us. But there’s nothing more annoying than when the music won’t play!
While listening to their music via the Amazon Echo, some Echo users have run into a couple of annoying playback issues. Sometimes the music pauses to buffer one too many times – or it just stops altogether! So what gives, and how can you fix it?
Amazon Echo and Music Playing Overview
The Amazon Echo has a lot of great uses. One way many people use it is for playing music. You can stream music via your Amazon Echo in a few different ways.
Streaming Via The Alexa App
First, you can stream music to your Echo via the Alexa app. In the Alexa app, you can connect to your favorite music streaming service via Skills. These Skills link your Amazon/Alexa account with the streaming service of your choice, such as Pandora, Prime Music, Spotify, Tidal, and others. This enables your content such as favorites and playlists to sync.
When it comes to Amazon Music, however, you don’t need to connect it via a Skill, since it’s an Amazon product.
Once you’ve connected the Skill, you can go to the Entertainment section of the Alexa app. You get there by pressing ‘Play’ at the bottom of the Alexa app home screen. The Entertainment section is where you’ll find your recently played music, as well as other options for music and podcasts.
At the bottom of the screen, you’ll even see examples of other music streaming services you can link to your Alexa app.
When you stream music via the Alexa app, you control songs and volume via the app or your Echo.
On the Echo Show, you can tap the Play/Pause as well as Next song buttons. With the classic Echo Dot, you can simply say, “Alexa, next song.”
Streaming Via Bluetooth And Aux Cables
You can also stream music to your Amazon Echo via Bluetooth. This option is great if you want to have all the controls at your fingertips and have a wider range of music selections. You would simply go into your Device’s Settings, then to Bluetooth. On that screen, you’ll see devices available for you to connect to via Bluetooth. Tap on the Echo of your choice, and your device will connect.
If your Echo isn’t visible, it may not be in pairing mode. Simply say, “Alexa, pair” for it to become visible to the device you’re trying to connect from.
Once connected, you’ll be able to control which station and song you listen to, as well as the volume. This option offers greater freedom when playing your music because now you have app-specific actions available to you like replaying a song or going back to the previous song.
Another slightly less popular way to play music via your Echo is an aux cable. This functions much like Bluetooth does, except that you’ll be using a wired connection versus a wireless one.
You’d simply connect an aux cable to the aux port on your Echo, as well as the aux port on your mobile device.
This can be a great option if you’re not too far from your Echo. But with aux cords available in lengths of even 12 feet, it’s definitely a viable option!
6 Common Music Streaming Problems and How To Fix Them
Streaming music to your Amazon Echo typically goes on without a hitch. But, unfortunately, problems streaming your favorite music or podcasts may sometimes occur. There are a few common, and then those not-so-common issues that can cause this to happen.
But, with every problem, there is (usually!) a relatively easy fix.
Poor Wi-Fi Signal
This is one of the most common reasons that your Echo has to keep buffering your music, or it stops altogether. A poor Wi-Fi signal makes it hard for your Echo to connect to the internet where it’s retrieving your music.
Checking on your Wi-Fi strength varies depending on which Echo you have. With an Echo Show, you can simply use the screen.
Go to Settings, then tap on the Wi-Fi section. On the next screen, you’ll see the network you’re currently connected to, as well as other available networks. Tap on the “i” next to the Wi-Fi network you’re connected to.
The next screen will tell you the strength of the Wi-Fi network.
For an Echo Dot, it’s a little trickier, as the Alexa app doesn’t readily display the strength of the network you’re connected to. If you want to see an indicator of Wi-Fi strength, you’d have to go into your Echo’s settings and go through the steps as if you’re changing your Wi-Fi.
To avoid the extra steps, instead, go into your mobile device’s settings, then to Wi-Fi. There, you’ll see an indication via the number of bars of how strong your signal is. Fewer bars mean a weaker signal.
If you’re using your Echo via Bluetooth or aux cable to listen to music, the internet or service on your mobile device may be the cause of your interrupted music. Check the strength of your Wi-Fi or mobile data. Switch Wi-Fi networks, if possible.
If switching networks isn’t possible, try reducing the number of devices using the particular Wi-Fi network. The more devices that are using the same network, the more the Wi-Fi signal has to spread its bandwidth, resulting in slower speeds. This can result in anything from distorted music, to your favorite song cutting out midway through.
Another issue that may affect playback has to do with Bluetooth. If you’re using your mobile device via Bluetooth to connect to your Echo, this may be a cause.
Bluetooth has an average range of 30 feet. However, this range can be affected by obstructions. The more obstructions in the way, the harder it will be for the signal to get through. Obstructions such as walls, as well as the ceiling or floor between floors in your home, can all act as barriers to Bluetooth signals. This results in interruptions to your music.
If you want to use your mobile device with Bluetooth, try to keep it line-of-sight. Meaning, you can practically see your Echo from your mobile device, and vice versa. Make sure the distance is less than 30 feet, with as few obstructions in the way as possible.
Once you’ve moved the devices closer to each other and reduced the distance, the signal should improve, and so should your music playback.
Some users describe this issue as being specific to certain music streaming services. Spotify, and to a lesser extent, Amazon Music are two of the main culprits. When using these streaming services, users have complained that their music stops every few songs, but eventually resumes.
If you want to see if this is the issue, try using another music streaming service such as Pandora or Apple Music, just to see if the music has the same interruption. If the interruptions stop, then the music service was the issue.
Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a solution to using Spotify that doesn’t involve interruptions – at least not yet. Your only other option would be to use your mobile device with your Echo via Bluetooth. A connection via Bluetooth or an aux cable evades the issue of interrupted music with Spotify and Amazon Music.
Alexa App Updates
Being the Alexa app is the brains behind the Echo, it’s important to check on any updates that the Alexa app may need. This may be able to fix some glitches that happen with music playback.
To see whether your app needs an update, you’ll need to go into your respective app store. For Android users, you’ll go to the Google Play Store. For Apple/iOs users, you’ll need to visit the App Store.
Once there, search for Alexa. When you pull up the app in the respective app store, if it needs to be updated, you’ll see the word “Update” towards the top of the page.
Alternatively, in the Google Play Store, you can also use the menu that pops out from the left side of the screen, then go to My Apps and Games. If the Alexa app needs to be updated, you’ll see it under Apps that need to be updated.
In the App Store, you can also go to your account icon in the top, right-hand corner of the screen. Once you tap on that, you’ll see apps that were recently updated, or need to be updated.
No matter which app store you use, make sure to keep the Alexa app up to date.
Problems with Skills
Skills may also need updating or may need to be uninstalled, then reinstalled. They may be experiencing issues that only a fresh install may fix.
If you want to see if the Skill is the problem by disabling, then enabling them again, you have two options. The first is through the Alexa app.
From the Alexa app home screen, go to More, then Skills and Games. On the next screen, go to the tab labeled “Your Skills”.
Then, tap on the Skill that you want to disable. On the next screen, tap on Disable Skill.
Force close everything, then reopen the Alexa app. Go back to Skills and Games, search for the Skill, and Enable it again.
You can also do this on Amazon.Com. Go to the Search bar, and hit the Alexa Skills category. Then search for the Skill that you’re looking for.
When you find it, click on the Skill. On the next screen, you can then choose to Disable the Skill.
Hardware Issues and Unresolved Glitches
Perhaps it’s your Echo itself that’s having issues. If that’s what’s happening, there may be little you can do in this case. Problems may arise due to some unresolved glitch or software bug. Perhaps a device update or Alexa app update will remedy these in the near future.
In cases like these, it may be best to reach out to Amazon for further assistance. In the worst case, you might need to buy a new Echo – or ask Amazon for a replacement, if it is still under warranty.
At the end of the day, we all want to be able to listen to our music uninterrupted. If your Echo isn’t letting you do that, you’re no doubt frustrated! But with some troubleshooting, you can get back on track to listening to your music, sans problems.