Amazon Music Adds Alexa Interaction to its MP3 Music Streaming Service

September 26 2017, 03:00
Claiming to be the "best of both worlds,", Amazon just announced that its Amazon Music service - that regrettably is still based on the officially discontinued highly compressed MP3 codec - is now integrated with the company's voice personal assistant, accessible directly from an updated app for iOS and Android. The service is available only in the US, UK, Germany and Austria, where Alexa is available (English and German) and allows Amazon Music users to shout for music wherever they go.

Alexa-powered devices were always able to control music streaming services following simple voice commands, as long as you don't try to say the name of your favorite band out loud. Try saying "Eximperituserqethhzebibsiptugakkathsulweliarzaxulum," which is actually a band's name (just google it), or ask for "Kajagoogoo," while working at the office - and you'll see what we mean. To make it convenient, Amazon has perfected a series of algorithms that avoid those embarrassing moments, by allowing to simply ask, "how's life in the Big Apple?" or "I feel Too Shy," instead of saying the actual name. Also, you can say "play that punk band from LA that I like," avoiding the problem of saying "play X." (FYI, we just made those up, but it should be easy to program an Alexa Skill to do that...)

Now, Amazon has completed the integration by actually building on what Alexa learned from existing users, to make its Amazon Music service more "attractive" - again, that is if you are OK with a service that's still MP3 based. Alexa is now available in the Amazon Music app on iOS and Android in the US, UK, Germany and Austria, leveraging "the power of natural language voice controls with a rich, visual app experience. Tens of millions of songs are now at the tip of your tongue as well as the tips of your fingers – wherever you go," Amazon claims.

To access Alexa within the Amazon Music app, users simply use the push-to-talk function within the Amazon Music app for iOS and Android on connected mobile devices and tablets. Users can ask for music based on genre, decade, mood, tempo, activity or even the lyrics if they can’t remember the name of a song (which is often the case...). Amazon provides a few amusing examples:
“Play the new song by Fifth Harmony,” and Alexa will play “He Like That.”
“Play Coldplay from the 2000s” and Alexa will play songs from the band’s first few albums.
“Play the song that goes ‘Banging on the ceiling, banging on the ceiling, keep it down,’” and Alexa will play “The Sky is a Neighborhood” from the band’s latest release, Concrete and Gold.
“Play pop music for lifting weights” and you will be served with Olivia Newton-John's "Let's Get Physical" - Oh the joy!

So, anyone living in those countries can join the fun by simply updating the Amazon Music app for iOS or Android, or try out Alexa controls for Amazon Music on Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show, Amazon Tap, or the Android-based Fire devices. And Amazon Prime clients can always "order the vinyl" if they really like the song that Alexa suggested.
related items