How to play music you own on an Amazon Echo

Amazon’s Alexa is changing into much less hospitable to individuals who want to purchase music as a substitute of simply signing up for a music subscription service comparable to Spotify. 

Until not too long ago, Amazon Music Storage was one of the best ways to stream your private music assortment onto Alexa gadgets—offered it was encoded as MP3 information. But final December, Amazon stopped supporting new uploads for the free service; it stopped accepting paid subscriptions a month later. In January 2019, Amazon shut down Music Storage fully, rendering your MP3 assortment inaccessible on Echo gadgets except you bought the songs immediately by means of Amazon’s digital retailer.

That doesn’t imply you’re out of choices. To play your own MP3s (or music encoded in different codecs, comparable to FLAC) on the Echo or different Alexa gadgets, you can nonetheless use Plex or My Media Server for Alexa, each of which permit you to stream songs you’ve saved on one other gadget. Alternatively, a service referred to as My Pod lets you to stash some songs in Google Drive and entry them with customized voice instructions. These companies aren’t as full-featured or as straightforward to use as Amazon Music was, however at the least they nonetheless let you entry your music assortment with voice instructions.

Here’s how to preserve the music taking part in:

Option 1: Plex Media Server

To have Plex play your music information on an Amazon Echo, you’ll want a media server gadget that’s at all times on and might run Plex Media Server. That can embody a desktop pc (operating Windows, MacOS, or Linux), a NAS (network-attached storage) field, or an Nvidia Shield TV. Plex doesn’t at present assist streaming to Alexa gadgets from Plex Cloud servers.

Streaming your music this fashion additionally has some limitations in contrast to Amazon Music and different companies that don’t require putting in an Alexa talent, comparable to Spotify and Pandora:

  • Whole-home music is just not supported, so you can hear on just one speaker at a time
  • You can’t set Plex because the default streaming service, and you should use particular syntax (both “Alexa, ask Plex…” or “Alexa, tell Plex…”) to play your songs every time.
  • Responses from Plex take barely longer than Alexa’s built-in music companies.
  • Album artwork isn’t supported on the Echo Show.

Still on board? Here’s how to arrange Plex for Alexa music playback:

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’ll be prompted to specify the folder where your music is located.

3. Visit app.plex.television to launch Plex from any cellphone, pill, or pc.

4. In the left sidebar, choose Settings.

5. In the settings menu, choose Remote Access from the left sidebar, then choose Enable Remote Access. (Plex says this isn’t essential if you’re operating the newest media server software program, however nonetheless suggests it anyway.)

plexsettingsremoteaccess Jared Newman / TechHive

6. If you didn’t arrange your music folder…

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