We’re going to look at Amazon Prime Music, launched mid-June, 2014. This music streaming service is free to all Amazon Prime members. They’ve had music in the cloud for some time, but it was your music and you had to upload it, (that took time and bandwidth).
The new Amazon Prime Music has been upgraded. There are apps for the web, Android, iOS, etc. everything but Windows Phone (which I have). The apps actually have a nicer look than the web interface that I use when I’m logged into Amazon. I haven’t tried it out yet on my Kindle Fire, but I probably won’t use it there anyway. Since I’m at my desk all day, I’ll just stay logged into the website.
Components/Benefits of Amazon Prime Music
- Free – just another benefit of having an Amazon Prime membership
- Prime will search your hard drive and import your music
- Play music from iTunes on Amazon Prime Music
- Ability to download your music for portable playing (if you don’t want to stream)
- 1 Million songs in the Amazon Prime library (the newest songs are not immediately available-about a 6 month wait)
- Hundreds of playlists-big plus because I didn’t want to spend a lot of time building a playlist (I thought some of their playlists didn’t fit together very well, but you can adjust them)
- Other albums will be presented to you to listen for free (look for the ‘Prime’ tag beside them)
- No ads that play and no ads that pop up on your player
- Controls are at the bottom of your browser-it’s easy to skip, replay, stop or adjust volume
- Upgraded audio – I just noticed this on my player, but haven’t read anything on it. It’s probably the same thing other streaming music companies do
Here are some Instructions from Amazon. It’s pretty easy to figure out.
Note: To play Prime Music, you need to add it your music library first.
To find Prime-eligible music, and add it to your music library:
- In the Digital Music Store, you can browse or search for songs, albums, and playlists to find Prime Music. Prime-eligible music appears throughout the Digital Music Store with standard Prime badging.You can also filter your search to show only Prime titles, and then filter by artist, album, song, genre, or theme (for example, dance, workout, party, 80’s, etc.).
- Add the song, album, or playlist to your music library, by clicking + Add, + Add album to library, or + Add playlist to library.
- Search or browse in your music library on Kindle Fire HDX, iOS, PC, Mac, and the website to find your Prime Music, and then start playback.
Using Amazon Prime Player
The web player isn’t that glamorous, but it functions. The left column has playlists and recently listened to. The middle, and largest area, is filled with your current playlist and a list of songs. The right column tells you what you’re listening to and then shows other music or similar music for sale that you might want to buy – you can purchase singles or albums.
Scan through the playlists and click on one. For example, I looked at Easy Listening. When I clicked that, I was presented with many subsets of easy listening. When you click on a playlist, you then are asked to add it to your library. I noticed that when it was in my library, I could then click to start playing each song on that playlist. It’s rather confusing to me though, that I can click on a song and then see multiple choices of whether I want to add it to a playlist (maybe a list I already have?), delete it from that playlist, and several other things. So that’s something to figure out.
When a song is playing, you’ll see the song and artist name and over to the right there will be similar songs. Some are for sale and some are ‘Prime’ and you can add them to your playlist. That’s nice. I noticed you can search by artist or album. Some artists are missing. Frank Sinatra is a favorite of mine and he wasn’t there. Luckily, I’ve imported quite a few of my Sinatra albums. So don’t expect to find every artist there.
Amazon Web Interface Player
I installed the app for the web and it’s a lot nicer looking than the web interface. It does give you another open program on your computer, but that’s not a big deal. Here’s a glance at what it looks like.
Compared to Pandora
I’ve been using Pandora for years and it’s been OK, not crazy about it, but then I probably haven’t put in enough time to really tell it what I like. I have 5 or 6 ‘stations’ and rotate among them. I’ve noticed that the same songs are played over and over again. You can click the thumbs down or ‘put to sleep’, but they seem pretty repetitive. Since I use it as background filler noise, I tend not to notice it too much. Then you have the time-outs and the refreshing and the annoying ads that continually play on the screen. I will minimize it so I don’t have to see them and sometimes mute the most annoying of the ads. I’m not able to listen to my own music through their player, that’s a nice bonus over at Amazon.
I’m going to switch over to the Amazon Prime Music Player. I’ll have so much more variety and the ability to listen to my own music without any ads.