On 1st November 2022, Amazon announced an “upgrade” to Prime Music. Instead of giving you 2 million songs, instead they would give us 100 million songs. AWESOME, right? Well, not really. They nerfed a big feature: the ability to pick and choose songs or albums. Instead, everything on Prime Music is like Spotify Free: shuffle modes and random playlists.
The individual video timestamps are:
- 0:00 Intro
- 0:45 Example
- 1:30 Will Amazon Fix This?
- 1:55 Alternatives
- 2:27 Conclusion
Hello, I’m Tristan. Amazon just announced a major “upgrade” to Amazon Music: instead of having access to 2 million songs as part of Prime Music, you now get OVER 100 MILLION songs. Wow. But there’s a catch. It all boils down to three magical words: “in shuffle mode”.
Previously, without an Amazon Music Unlimited subscription, you could ask your Echo to play a certain song or artist. If that was part of the 2 million songs included with Prime Music, it would play it. Now, however, it… just won’t do that. “Shuffle mode” means that Prime Music is now Spotify Free: when you ask for a song, it will play a “similar playlist” instead. And if you’re REALLY lucky, that playlist MIGHT include the song you actually asked for.
Yesterday my wife asked our Echo Show to play Billy Ocean songs. Previously this would have played a handful of songs without issue. But now, it plays random artists – as part of the shuffle mode.
[Me] Alexa, play songs by Billy Ocean
[Echo] Shuffling Billy Ocean and similar artists, on Amazon Music other artists
They actually Rick rolled me! This “upgrade” has also broken loads of my own Alexa routines. For example, we have a bedtime routine that plays a specific song – one that I purchased the MP3 for, in-fact. But Amazon now refuses to play that song, instead playing some ‘deep sleep’ playlists “in shuffle mode”. Gee, thanks Amazon.
Now, it’s possible that some of these ARE actually bugs that Amazon will iron out, but I doubt things will improve much. Amazon clearly wants to push you to pay for a Music Unlimited subscription. If that wasn’t the case, they wouldn’t have spent months developing this new feature – all centering around “shuffle mode”. Taking away a bunch of features is an intentional strategy from Amazon, in my opinion.
So what alternatives do you have, without paying for a music subscription? Well, not many. Google broke their free music features a couple of years ago, as part of their YouTube Premium roll-out. You CAN try buying individual MP3s to play on your Echo, and a helpful Reddit thread shows how you can SORT OF play those songs… but this feature is quite hit and miss. I’ve also tried creating loads of little playlists with 1 or 2 songs, but Amazon then just fills them up with irrelevant songs when you try playing that playlist.
To wrap up, Amazon seems to have intentionally taken away some really basic features from Prime Music – which sucks. I refuse to pay for a music subscription, so I’m quite frustrated by this “upgrade”. I will keep an eye on workarounds and any bug fixes, and put a pinned comment with anything I find.
Until then, I hope you enjoyed this video – please click the like button if you did. Please also leave a comment with your thoughts on this “upgrade” by Amazon, and feel free to subscribe to my channel. Thank you!