One of the great things about having an Amazon Echo is being able to stream your favorite music while you’re…well, doing anything! From cooking to relaxing, to partying with your friends – music is always a great addition. So it stands to reason that you want your music to play continuously, without interruption.
It would be really annoying to have to continually ask Alexa, via your Echo, to play another song again and again in order to keep your music going. So, you might decide you want to create a queue so that the music doesn’t stop. But is this possible? Can you create a queue for Alexa to play through?
Unfortunately the short answer is “…maybe”, so let’s dive into some background on Amazon Echo and Amazon Music before drilling into the answer fully.
- There are multiple Amazon Music tiers: Amazon Music Free, Prime Music, Music Unlimited and Music Unlimited Family.
- After Amazon’s Prime Music changes in late 2022, queuing up music no longer works with Amazon Music Free or Prime Music.
- Amazon Music Unlimited does still allow for queuing up, though.
- You can still also use other music platforms, including Spotify and Pandora.
What is the Amazon Echo?
The Amazon Echo is Amazon’s own smart home hub that allows you to do a variety of things to get the most out of your smart home. It allows you to do a variety of things, such as connect your various smart home devices together.
The Amazon Echo comes in different versions such as the Echo Dot, Echo Dot Kids, and the Echo Show.
Newer versions of the Amazon Echo, such as the 4th generation Echo Dot, and 2nd and 3rd generation Echo Show 10 also act as Zigbee hubs. This gives you the ability to use Zigbee devices like Philips Hue and Innr, along with your Wi-Fi smart home devices.
Your Amazon Echo connects to the Alexa app via a Wi-Fi connection, giving you the ability to control how your Echo works and responds to you. The Alexa app is where you control the Echo’s various functions, settings, and routines. It’s also where you can set up your Echo with skills, or, the ability to connect to other services and devices you use.
This smart speaker is great for getting weather reports, traffic updates, recipes, and so much more. In addition, it’s also great for playing your favorite music.
Being that it’s connected to the Alexa app, the most oft-used music streaming service used for the Echo is Amazon Music. But just what is Amazon Music? And what other music streaming services are available?
Music Streaming Services and Your Echo
Many of us are familiar with the various music streaming services available today. There’s Pandora, Spotify, iHeartmusic, and even Amazon’s own Amazon Music.
These music streaming services, available at different price points, allow you to stream music from your favorite artists, albums, and genres. Most even give you access to a wide range of podcasts.
Many people who own an Amazon Echo make use of Amazon Music. However, recent changes have made the way Amazon Music works different – and frustrating! So what exactly changed?
About Amazon Music
Just like before, Amazon Music comes in three tiers. Each at different price points, and even more so than before, different features.
First, there’s Amazon Music Free, which, just as its name indicates is free. This level comes with a limited selection of songs that are only available on stations or Amazon-curated playlists. You can only play on one device at a time, and only SD-quality music is available.
Next, is Amazon Music Prime, which is included with a Prime membership, at no extra cost to you. Amazon recently expanded the music selection from 2 million to 100 million songs! Sounds great, right? In theory, yes. However, even though the selection is now much larger, it comes with the loss of one very important feature – the ability to choose what song you want to hear.
That’s right, you’re now at the mercy of whatever Amazon decides to play for you. You can now only shuffle-play songs like the song you want. You can’t even hear songs you’ve purchased! If you want to choose individual songs, you need to move up to the next tier.
The next and highest tier is Amazon Music Unlimited. You can get this in an Individual, Family, or Student plan. Prime members pay $8.99/month or $89/year. Subscribers that don’t have Amazon Prime pay $10.99/month. With this and the next option, you have the ability to choose individual songs, create queues and playlists.
Amazon Music Unlimited Family plans are $15.99/month, or $159/year for Prime members only. You can listen on up to six devices at a time, and your music choices are practically endless, as you now have access to over 90 million songs! It presents a great value to someone who relies on Amazon Music as their sole music streaming service.
If you have Amazon Music, or any other music streaming service, you most likely use your Echo to listen to it. No doubt you’d like to listen to music from your Echo uninterrupted – but is this possible?
Can You Queue Music to be Played on Your Echo?
Your Amazon Echo is capable of many things. Unfortunately, though, it does have some limitations. For example, if you’re listening to one song, and want to get it to play another specific song right after, you’re going to have to ask for it. There’s no way to create a queue in your Echo for it to play next.
In fact, even in the Alexa app, there is no direct way to create a queue of music to be played to your Echo. Fortunately, especially if you have Amazon Music, there are a few ways to play music continuously.
Though you have access to many streaming services, Amazon Music offers the most in terms of options for uninterrupted music play. When it comes to other music streaming services, the Alexa app only gives you the option to Browse stations and podcasts.
With the recent changes with Amazon Music, if you have any tier lower than Amazon Music Unlimited, creating a play queue won’t be an option. You’ll have to settle for choosing from their already-created playlists and stations.
If you have Amazon Music Unlimited, however, you can proceed to create a play queue.
Create a Play Queue on Amazon Music
One workaround is by going into your Alexa app, and then over to your Entertainment area where you’ll find any music apps you connected to Alexa. From there, you’ll select ‘Open App’:
In Amazon Music, you can go into the app and create a queue. To do this, first, you have to have a song playing already. Assuming you have Amazon Music Unlimited, you can proceed with creating your list.
After you’ve chosen your first song, you can hit the small minimize arrow in the top, left corner of your screen so that you can look for other music to add to your queue.
Once you’ve found the song you’re looking for, to add that song to your queue, you need to locate the three dots next to the song. Once you hit that, you’ll be presented with several options. You’ll then choose “Add to Queue” from the list.
Now, there’s a point to be made when searching for music. Sometimes when you search for music, you’ll see songs you previously searched for or listened to. You’ll also notice that those three dots aren’t present, which means if you click on that song, you’ll actually replace the song that’s currently playing, and lose your queue.
If you want that song in your queue, you’ll have to search for it again. An annoying extra step, but a necessary one nonetheless.
You can continue to add songs and albums to your queue until you’re done. Then, when you’re ready to play your queue, you will go to the small TV icon in the upper right corner of your screen.
From here, you can choose which Amazon device you’d like to listen from.
Press play, and enjoy!
Create a Play List
Another option for continuous music on your Amazon Echo is to create a playlist. The beauty of this is that you can actually save your playlist and modify or play it whenever you want. This is not the case with a queue, which is pretty much a one-and-done deal.
If you’re using Amazon Music Unlimited, you’d take similar steps as you would creating a queue, except here you would instead select Add to Playlist.
If you don’t have any playlists yet, you’ll be given the option to create one. If you already have one, or several, then you can just add it to whichever playlist you want.
Then, you can ask your Echo to play a specific playlist from Amazon Music, and voila! A curated playlist, just for you!
Listening to Stations
Now if you’re not looking for a specific song, you can always listen to a station. Stations are typically a compilation of music from one genre, time period, or artist. A station will keep playing, and most even allow you to skip songs if the song playing isn’t to your liking.
This option is available not only with Amazon Music, but other music providers you have connected to the Alexa app, such as Pandora, Spotify, iHeartmusic, and more.
You can even save your favorite stations to go back to later. To access this, you’d ask your Echo to play a specific station from a provider.
For example, “Alexa, play 90’s Alternative Radio on Pandora”. Your Echo will then begin to play your music. It’s important that you connect your Alexa app to any music providers you use for seamless operation.
Whether you’re in the mood for Smooth Jazz, or 90’s Alternative Rock (a personal fave!), there’s a station for everyone. The music will keep on playing.
Another option for playing music involves using an external source. Via Bluetooth, you can wirelessly connect your Echo to another device, such as your smartphone or tablet. In this way, you’d be using your Echo as a speaker for any music you have on your device, whether it’s a queue, playlist, or station.
You’d do this by first getting your Echo into pairing mode. Say, “Alexa, pair”, and your Echo will start searching for devices. It may say it hasn’t found anything, but will still be in pairing mode, and thereby be visible as an available device.
Then you can go to your tablet or smartphone’s Bluetooth settings, and you’ll see your Echo visible. From there, select your Echo, and it will pair with your device. Now you can play music from your device, and your Echo will be your speaker. Using a portable device for your music is actually very convenient for changing the song or station from across the room!
Let There Be Music!
Music is a highly important part of our lives. It can affect our mood and help us get through tough days. Because of this, we want to be able to play what we want to hear, when we want to hear it.
The Amazon Echo is a great way to play music, and even though you can’t set up a queue directly from the Echo, there are a few other options. These options such as Amazon Music, playlists, and other streaming services allow you to enjoy music your way, without interruption.