Amazon Music Unlimited is the Best Value for Streaming Music (But Nobody Knows It)
Amazon Music Unlimited launched in October 2016 as Amazon’s answer to the streaming music trend. Like Apple Music and Spotify, Amazon Music Unlimited allows you to stream millions of songs directly from the Internet.
The Amazon Music Unlimited Catalog is Just As Full as Spotify or Apple Music
Amazon boasts a vague “tens of millions of songs”, while Apple Music claims to have “30 million” in it’s catalog. On the surface, this seems like Amazon is trying to downplay their catalog size.
However, in my experience, everything I’ve wanted to play through Amazon Music Unlimited has been available.
The Amazon Music App is Not iTunes (and That’s a Great Thing)
I have a love/hate relationship with iTunes. I love that it’s where all of my music lives, and it’s already installed on my computer and phone.
But I actually hate iTunes. It’s slow and the user experience is clunky, at best. I hate how iTunes blurs the lines between my personal library and Apple Music, and I constantly find that I’m not able to play certain songs because iTunes logged me out.
Since Amazon Music Unlimited doesn’t intermingle with your personal music library, you will never get the annoying “You don’t have authorization to play this file on your computer” iTunes error. This is reason enough to consider ditching iTunes for Amazon.
What’s the Difference Between Amazon Music Unlimited, Spotify and Apple Music?
|Amazon Music Unlimited||Spotify||Apple Music|
|Catalog Size||"Millions of songs"||20 million songs||30 million songs|
|Price||$7.99/mo for Amazon Prime Members|
$9.99/mo for non-Prime Members
|Can Stream to Echo or Echo Dot?||Yes||Yes||No|
|Sound Quality||256 Kbps||320 Kbps||256 Kbps|
|Playlist and Radio Station Quality||Great||Decent||Low|
|Trial Period||30 days||30 days||3 months|
|Better Than iTunes?||Yes!||Yes!||No 🙁|
What’s the difference between Amazon Music Unlimited and Amazon Prime Music?
The difference between Amazon Prime Music and Amazon Music Unlimited is the number of songs.
Amazon Prime Music is included with your Amazon Prime account, and includes about two million songs. Amazon Music Unlimited is an additional $7.99/month and includes “tens of millions” of songs.
Alexa and Amazon Music Unlimited Work Great Together
Alexa makes it really easy to find and play music instantly.
If you want Thunderstruck, you simply say “Alexa, play Thunderstruck”. If you want to hear the entire Bruce Springsteen catalog, say “Alexa, shuffle songs by Bruce Springsteen”. These are only available with Amazon Music Unlimited.
But that’s not even the best part.
Amazon’s staff has categorized the music catalog so well, you can ask Alexa to help you find music.
Let’s say you’re not sure what you want to hear, but you know that it’s something fun from the 90’s.
Simply say “Alexa, play music from the nineties with a beat” and she’ll kick off a personalized playlist for you.
Even that’s not the best part. This is the best part.
Let’s say you’re in the mood for some classic rock, but you can’t quite remember the name of the song. It’s been stuck in your head for days, though.
Say “Alexa, play the song that goes ‘is this the real life is this just fantasy'” and she will start playing Bohemian Rhapsody.
Playing Amazon Music Unlimited on Your Laptop or Phone
You can listen to any of the songs, playlists or radio stations in the Amazon Music Unlimited catalog your computer by installing the Amazon Music app directly from Amazon.
The Amazon Music app is a great way to listen on your phone. You can install the app by visiting the iOS App Store, Google Play or the Amazon App Store.
Streaming Your Own Music on Echo
Amazon Music Unlimited gives you the ability to stream Amazon’s library of music. Included in that membership is the ability to upload 250 songs from your own library. Those songs are then available for streaming through Alexa or the Amazon Music app.
If you want to upload more than 250 songs, you’ll need to subscribe to an Amazon Music Subscription for $24.99.
Bottom Line: Do it.
Amazon Music Unlimited is just as good as Spotify or Apple Music, but at a lower cost. It’s app is polished, it works really well with Alexa, and it’s not iTunes.