If you need a music streaming service and already have an Amazon Prime subscription, then Amazon Music Prime is a perk waiting to be explored. The Amazon Prime bonus feature offers over 2 million songs from Amazon’s global music catalog, no additional subscription required. The service is a good place to stream music and podcasts, but it’s clearly a stepping stone to the more robust Amazon Music Unlimited, as it lacks the premium service’s full 60 million song library.
What you get with Amazon Music Prime
Amazon Music Prime, a service included with an Amazon Prime subscription of $ 119 per year, just gives you a taste of what Amazon Music Unlimited has to offer. Having said that, it is similar in many ways. The Home section displays a list of podcasts, playlists, and streaming audio stations curated by Amazon. If you’ve listened to Amazon Music before, this section will contain a compact list of trending songs or podcasts, along with algorithmic suggestions. Next to Home is the Library section, a place that highlights your recent plays, created playlists, and previously downloaded songs. Amazon no longer allows you to upload your own MP3s to its servers, but if you have already done so, that music is still available for streaming.
As with many other music streaming services, Amazon Music Prime has a search bar that allows you to search for music and podcasts by artist / creator name, song / show title, or genre. Unfortunately, searching for Led Zeppelin tracks quickly reveals one of Amazon Music Prime’s biggest flaws: holes in the catalog. The service has a lot of Zeppelin tribute band content, but no music performed by true British rockers. You will need a premium service, like Amazon Music Unlimited or Spotify, for Zeppelin albums.
However, Amazon Music Prime is not a total wasteland. You can stream music from popular and underground artists, such as Bruno Mars and The Dirtbombs, respectively. Still, there are enough holes that you can say Music Prime is a limited version of Amazon Music Unlimited. The cynic in us tells us that this is little more than a pleasant and functional advertisement for its more capable big brother.
Amazon Music Prime vs. Amazon Music Unlimited
Both Music Prime and Music Unlimited offer ad-free listening experiences across multiple platforms, but they differ in price and library size. Amazon Music Prime is included in your $ 119 per year Prime membership and offers two million songs; Amazon Music Unlimited is a standalone music streaming service that offers more than 60 million tracks and offers a variety of pricing. Music Unlimited also offers an upgrade option for high-resolution, studio-quality sound.
If you don’t care much about music and just want to dive into it here and there, Music Prime is a decent option. That said, you’ll notice that some songs and albums require you to sign up for Amazon Music Unlimited at $ 9.99 per month to hear them. Subscribing to Amazon Music Unlimited makes the service replace Amazon Music Prime as an Amazon jukebox, so you don’t have to worry about running the wrong streaming service.
Amazon now offers a free music tier, Amazon Music Free, which doesn’t require a Prime or Music Unlimited membership. With it, you can listen to select and ad-supported playlists and thousands of stations through the web, Amazon Music mobile apps, Echo smart speakers, and FireTV devices. Some of the playlists include “Country Heat” and “Rap Rotation”. You cannot play music on demand with this free option because you can use a premium music streaming service, such as Amazon Music Unlimited, Spotify, or Tidal.
The listening experience
Amazon Music Prime comes with over 2,000 playlists and themed stations put together by the rather pretentious name collective known as Amazon’s Music Experts. We found some interesting collections, such as One Hit Wonders, Classical for Reading, and the oddly named 50 Great Epic Classic Rock Songs. Each playlist displays a list of tracks, the total playing time, and its curator. When you find a track or playlist that you like, you can quickly add the music to your music library (a section where your favorite tracks play) by clicking Add to Library.
Unfortunately, if you are looking for a LiveXLive type channel creation to broaden your musical horizons, you are out of luck. Amazon Music Prime lets you stream playlists and select singles and albums, but you can’t build a station around, say, a hot George Clinton track like you can with Amazon Music Unlimited.
In testing, the music playing to our ears through a pair of mid-range Audio-Technica headphones was crisp and satisfying. It wasn’t a tidal level of audio bliss, but most people won’t have a problem with the sound quality. The streams carry a bit rate of 256 Kbps. Amazon offers higher bit rate HD audio and music, but only for unlimited customers.
Although Music Prime no longer allows you to download digital audio files, all of your previously downloaded music resides in your account. Imported music and bookmarked Amazon Music Prime tracks exist as a single playlist in your music library. It’s not particularly good for the organization, but it’s not a breakup if you don’t mind the hodgepodge of content.
Music Prime, like Music Unlimited, is relatively straightforward. You don’t get the in-depth Tidal reporting and concert tickets or the excellent live radio from SiriusXM Internet Radio. In an era when music streaming services are trying to stand out in a crowded area, Music Prime could do more.
On the bright side, Music Prime is compatible with the Amazon Echo family of smart speakers, as well as FireTVs and Fire tablets. We commanded our Echo, using Alexa voice control technology, to start The greatest successes of the Jets, and he did so without a problem.
Amazon’s smart speakers also provide behind-the-scenes commentary, dubbed Side-by-Sides. For example, you can ask Alexa to “play side by side with OneRepublic” and Ryan Tedder comments on songs from the band’s latest album. The Chainsmokers, Jason Aldean, Lindsey Stirling, Norah Jones, and Kongos also provide Side-by-Side content.
Plus, you can use Alexa to search songs by lyrics, launch playlists, and search for songs that match your mood. It’s really cool to ask Alexa to play some happy, upbeat music and make the echo blow up the “Pop To Make You Feel Better” playlist. If your Amazon device has a screen, you’ll have an added bonus – lyrics.
Don’t expect a lot of non-audio content from Amazon Prime Music. There are a handful of comedy specials (in audio form), but no video or musical editorials. That said, Amazon Music Prime has a robust podcast catalog.
Amazon Prime subscribers who like This American Life, series, Where Questlove Supreme no need to venture elsewhere for these shows. Best of all, Amazon Music Prime offers exclusive and original podcasts hosted by notable celebrities, such as Jada Pinkett Smith, DJ Khaled, and Becky G. This is Amazon Music Prime’s first step to becoming so much more than music and comedy, a movement that is important in a highly competitive entertainment category.
Amazon offers music apps for the Android and iOS platforms that serve a dual function for Prime and Unlimited. If you are an Amazon Prime subscriber, you can access Music Prime; if you have subscribed to Music Unlimited, you can access this service. We tested the Android version on a Google Pixel XL smartphone and found that it closely duplicates the Music Prime browser experience. The app has lots of playlists, useful recommendations, and a music store for shopping. It also displays the lyrics.
Mobile apps differ from browser-based Music Prime in a significant way: you can use Amazon’s Alexa technology to search songs by lyrics or play tracks. For example, when we asked Alexa for music for dinner, she provided a relaxed, easy-to-listen playlist. Additionally, you can cache tracks on a mobile device for offline playback.
A top notch addition
In and of itself, Amazon Music Prime isn’t a huge selling point, but it’s yet another feature under the ever-expanding Prime subscription umbrella, especially if you pair it with Amazon hardware. If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber who just wants to listen to a few podcasts or tunes without incurring any extra charges or exploring other apps, Amazon Music Prime is a music streaming service worth checking out because you already pay for it. . Don’t expect a deep music catalog.
If, however, you want a feature-rich streaming service that offers live radio, weather updates, and great curated stations, PCMag Editors’ Choice chooses LiveXLive, SiriusXM Internet Radio, Spotify, and Tidal should be on top. from your list.