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Google Play Music may not be considered strategically sound and exceptionally creative like other music streaming platforms like Spotify or Apple Music, but it has slowly grown into a small and dedicated group of loyal users. Google Play Music lacks many important functions, such as social sharing, which is very present on Spotify, Amazon, and Apple Music. However, not all the data on Google Play Music is disappointing, as it offers users a locker for 50,000 songs.
Table of Contents
Play Google Play Music on Echo
Plex media server
In order for Plex to play your music files on an Amazon Echo, you will need a media server device that is always on and can run Plex Media Server. That can include a desktop computer (Windows, MacOS, or Linux), a NAS (network attached storage) box, or an Nvidia Shield TV. Currently, Plex does not support streaming to Alexa devices from Plex Cloud servers.
Streaming your music this way also has some limitations compared to Amazon Music and other services that don’t require the installation of an Alexa skill, like Spotify and Pandora:
- Whole house music is not supported, so you can listen to only one speaker at a time
- You can’t set Plex as the default streaming service, and you have to use a specific syntax (either “Alexa, ask Plex …” or “Alexa, tell Plex …”) to play your songs every time.
- Plex responses take slightly longer than Alexa’s built-in music services.
- Album art is not compatible with Echo Show.
To get access to streaming services through Alexa, you’ll need to connect each one first. There is a uniform way to link each service to your Echo device, through the Alexa app.
Yes, to link a service to your Echo and use most of the features the device offers, you will need to use the Alexa app. Essentially, the smartphone / tablet app is your Echo interface. You can find the Alexa app in your Google Play Store or your App Store, depending on whether you are using an Android or iOS device.
Download the app, log into your account, and then link the service. To do this, launch the Alexa app and navigate to the More menu, located in the lower right corner. Then navigate to Settings and scroll down until you get to Music and Podcasts. Amazon Music should already be linked to your Alexa app, along with a few other streaming services.
To add a new one, find and tap Link new service. On the next screen, you will see a list of supported streaming services. Find the one you want to use, tap on it, and select Enable for use on the next screen.
When you click ‘Enable to use’, Alexa will redirect you to a login page. Just log in with the same credentials you use for that streaming service. After doing so, an Alexa skill will be created. If you ever want to disconnect the music service, follow the same instructions but tap ‘Disable Skill’.
Apple has started to dive into the streaming markets and music is no exception. However, the interesting thing about this service is that it is not exclusive to Apple devices. There is an Android app available and you can find it as a link option for your Echo device within the Alexa app. Additionally, Windows, Chrome OS, Sonos, web browsers, HomePod, and CarPlay support this service, in addition to Apple devices.
There is no free subscription plan, although you do get a three-month trial, which is generous, to be fair. After that, you can choose between the individual membership and family membership plans. The family plan allows up to 6 people in a single iCloud Family Sharing space.
If you are an Apple enthusiast and don’t mind paying a monthly fee, link Apple Music to your Amazon Echo. Of course, go ahead and try the 3-month trial before purchasing.
Spotify is pretty much the king of music streaming. Sure, the competition is fierce, but Spotify is a brand that’s pretty close to becoming a regular noun. Ubiquity is one of its main results. You can access it through the web player, from a cross-platform desktop application, through a mobile application, even through game consoles, televisions, TV boxes, and smart watches.
The great thing about Spotify for desktop is that it is a music player as well as a streaming service. That means it can play MP3, MP4, and M4P files that you have on your computer.
Spotify for desktop will satisfy most of your music listening needs. Unfortunately, this feature is not available in the mobile app version or the web player. Also, the desktop application cannot play higher quality M4A files.
There are crisp lyrics and behind-the-scenes information for Spotify on Android and iOS. However, this does nothing for your experience with the Spotify Echo, as the Echo is a speaker without a visual interface.
Spotify comes with a free subscription, but it won’t allow you to link the service to your Echo device. Of course, you can stream audio from your phone and play music on Spotify for free, but this is somewhat tedious.
The premium and family plans aren’t too expensive though, and having such a great music streaming service on your Echo is surely worth it. Fifty million songs and brilliant playlist creation options make Spotify one of the best streaming services on the market.
Other ways to broadcast
Let’s say the music you want is simply not available in the Alexa app. You’re not completely out of luck with your streaming preference. Fortunately, Alexa can pair with your phone via Bluetooth (most models).
Some of the features aren’t the same, like the quick commands (“Alexa, play my amazing playlist on Spotify”), but you’ll be streaming in no time once you’ve successfully paired.
How to pair Bluetooth
If you want to get started, make sure your phone’s Bluetooth is turned on (and if you’re having trouble, turn on Wi-Fi too).
- Tap on ‘Devices’ at the bottom of the Alexa app and then tap on ‘Echo & Alexa’.
- Now, tap on the Echo you are trying to pair with.
- Now, tap on ‘Bluetooth Devices’.
The Alexa app will begin searching for a device to pair with. Once it appears on the list, just tap on it and confirm that you want to pair. Now when you start playing music from your phone, your Echo will act as a speaker.
When you’re done listening, just say “Alexa, disconnect.” And when you’re ready to sync again, just say “Alexa, connect Bluetooth to . “
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