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Play music that you own on an Amazon Echo



Amazon from Alexa is becoming less hospitable to people who prefer to buy music instead of just signing up for a music subscription service such as Spotify.

Until recently, Amazon Music Storage was the best way to stream your personal music collection to Alexa devices – provided it was encoded as MP3 files. But last December, Amazon stopped supporting new uploads for the free service; it stopped accepting paid subscriptions a month later. In January 2019, Amazon completely closed the music storage, making your MP3 collection inaccessible on Echo devices, unless you purchased the songs directly from Amazon's digital store.

That does not mean that you no longer have options. To play your own MP3 & # 39; s (or music encoded in other formats, such as FLAC) on the Echo or other Alexa devices, you can still use Plex or My Media Server for Alexa, which allows you to play both songs can stream on which you have saved another device. Alternatively, with a service called My Pod, you can store some songs in Google Drive and open them with custom voice commands. These services are not as complete or as easy to use as Amazon Music, but at least they still give you access to your music collection with voice commands.

Here's how you can make the music play:

Option 1: Plex Media Server

If you want Plex to play your music files on an Amazon Echo, you need a media server device that is always on and Plex Media Server can execute. That can be a desktop computer (with Windows, MacOS or Linux), a NAS (storage in a network) or an Nvidia Shield TV. Plex does not currently support streaming to Alexa devices from Plex Cloud servers.

Streaming your music this way also has some limitations when compared to Amazon Music and other services that do not require Alexa skill, such as Spotify and Pandora:

  • Whole music becomes home not supported, so you can only listen on one speaker at a time
  • You cannot set Plex as the standard streaming service and you must use a specific syntax (either "Alexa, ask Plex …" or "Alexa, tell Plex … ") to play your songs every time.
  • Answers from Plex take a little longer than the built-in music services from Alexa.
  • Album covers are not supported on the Echo Show.

Still on board? To set up Plex for playing Alexa music:

1. Sign up for a free Plex account, which is required to use the service with Alexa.

2. Download Plex Media Server to the device where your music files are stored and follow the installation instructions. During this process you will be asked to specify the folder where your music is located.

3. Go to app.plex.tv to launch Plex from any phone, tablet or computer.

4. Select Settings in the left sidebar.

5. In the settings menu, select External access in the left sidebar, and then select Enable external access. (Plex says that this is not necessary if you use the latest media server software, but it still suggests it.)

  plexsettingsremoteaccess Jared Newman / TechHive

6. If you have not set your music folder during the installation, you will return to the main menu. In the Libraries section of the left sidebar, highlight Music, press the "…" icon, and then select Use the "Add Folders" menu to show Plex where your music files are located.

  plexeditmusic Jared Newman / TechHive [19659020] 7. Now that you've finished setting up Plex, install the Plex skill for Alexa either directly via the web or by searching for "Plex" in it Skills section of the Alexa mobile app.

  plexskill Jared Newman / TechHive

8. Log in to your Plex account and then press the "Authorize" button.

9. Say with your Alexa device " Alexa, ask Plex to change my server. " If you only have one server, Alexa will set it automatically. Otherwise, look for the list of server numbers and respond with the one you want to use.

Now you can use Plex to play your music collection on the Amazon Echo. The Plex support page has a list of voice commands that you can use, but here are some useful ones:

  • "Ask Plex to play music by [artist name]
  • " Tell Plex to play the album [album name] "(This usually only works if you do not also say the name of the artist.)
  • " Ask Plex to play the song [song name] ”
  • ” Tell Plex to shake the playlist "
  • " Ask Plex what I should listen to. "
  • " Ask Plex to play some music. "
  • " Ask Plex to throw some phat beats. "

You can also say" Next track "," Previous track "," Pause "," Play "and" Stop "without first saying" Plex ask ".

Option 2: My media for Alexa [19659038] Mentioned in this article

My media is similar to Plex because it requires a media server device to stream your music files to the Echo, and it also has some of the same limitations: streaming for the entire house is not supported, and you must use the specific "Ask My Media …" syntax to start listening.

But My Media has some advantages: it can index playlists from iTunes and play music by genre, and it does not have the Echo Show playback problems I have experienced with Plex. (However, it still does not support album art.)

The downside is that the service is not free like Plex, you can try it for seven days, but after that it costs $ 5 a year for a single media server and access to a maximum of two Ama Sun accounts, $ 10 per year for two media servers and five Amazon accounts, and $ 15 per year for five media servers and 25 Amazon accounts.

Here you can see how to set it:

1. Download My Media for Alexa, run the installation file and go through the installation process. (If you choose not to start the My Media for Alexa console after the installation is complete, locate it and launch it in your program list to continue setting up in your web browser.)

2. In the My Media for Alexa console, click the green Next button, log in to your Amazon account, and select Allow on the next page.

3. Select "No" when asked if you want to download sample media automatically.

4. Select Watch Folders in the left sidebar and then press the Add Folder button. Select the folder or folders where your numbers are stored.

  mymediaforalexa Jared Newman / TechHive

5. Install the My Media skill for Alexa directly via the Internet or by searching for & # 39; My Media & # 39; in the & # 39; Skills & # 39; Skills section from the Alexa mobile app.

6. Optional: To automatically share iTunes playlists with My Media for Alexa, open iTunes and go to Click on the Advanced tab and then select & # 39; XML library Share iTunes with other applications & # 39 ;. Return to the My Media console for Alexa, select & # 39; iTunes library & # 39; in the left sidebar and click & # 39; Index iTunes Library & # 39 ;. Choose the folder where your XML files are located (usually / Users / [username] / Music / iTunes on macOS and C: Users [username] Music iTunes on Windows). [19659002] Now you can use My Media to play songs on the Echo or other Alexa devices. Here are some examples of voice commands:

  • "Ask my media to play music through [artist]."
  • "Ask my media to play the [album] album from [artist]."
  • "Ask my media to play the song [song] from [artist]."
  • ”Ask my media to play my playlist.”
  • ”Ask my media for [genre] play music. "
  • " Ask my Media to play shuffle [on/off]. "
  • " Ask my media to play loop [on/off]. "

You can also say" Next song " , "Previous track", "Pause", "Play" and & # 39; Stop & # 39; without first & # 39; ask my media & # 39 ;.

Option 3: My pod

My pod is an easy way to play individual albums or playlists via Alexa using links to Google Drive folders with MP3 and AAC music files in it. (Dropbox and OneDrive links support is & # 39; experimental & # 39; but neither of them worked for me.) It also works with playlists on YouTube, although My Pod is not a great option to access your entire music collection, spa at least you don't have to set up a media server.

Here is how you set it:

1. Create a folder in Google Drive for the album or playlist you want to hear and upload your songs to it. (Note: My Pod only plays songs in alphabetical order. To change the order of songs, you must add track numbers to the beginning of your file names in each folder.)

  googledrivemusic Jared Newman / TechHive

2. Go to mypodapp.com and select Get started and log in with Amazon. Enter your account details and select "Allow" on the next page.

3. Under the Create Playlist heading, type the name of the playlist you want to speak to when using Alexa Voice Commands (such as "Funk" or "Indie Rock"), and then click Create.

  mypod1 Jared New Man / TechHive

4. In Google Drive, right-click the folder that contains the playlist you created, and then choose "Get shareable link". Copy the link to your clipboard.

  googledriveshareable Jared Newman / TechHive

5. Return to the My Pod Playlist page and paste the link into the "Full Link URL" field.

6. In the "Link tag / name" field you can use the same name as your playlist and then press Create Link. (Choose a separate name if you want to include multiple folders under one playlist. You can link additional folders under additional names after creating the first one.)

  mypod [1 9459017] Jared Newman / TechHive

7. Install the My Pod skill for Alexa directly via the Internet or by searching for "My Pod" in the Skills section of the Alexa mobile app. Then click "Allow" in the prompt that appears.

Now you can use My Pod to play any folder of songs that you have uploaded to Google Drive. Just say, "Alexa, ask my pod to play my playlist." You can then use "Next track", "Previous track", "Pause", "Play" and "Stop" to control playback, without saying "Ask My Pod" first.

The nuclear option: Goodbye, Alexa

If one of these things seems too much hassle, consider investing in a different speaker ecosystem instead. Google Home integrates nicely with Google Play Music, with which you can store up to 50,000 songs for free. Apple's HomePod supports iCloud music library, either through the Apple Music service of $ 10 per month or the iTunes Match service of $ 25 per year.

If you have already invested too much in Amazon's speaker ecosystem, you just have to get the best out of an unfortunate situation.

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