Amazon Music

Fun fact you might not be aware of: Amazon has a really good music service. It's called, as you might expect, Amazon Music. And just like Apple Music or Google Play Music or Spotify or Pandora or whatever, it, uh, plays music. Lots and lots of music.

That's not really the exciting part. The real reason you might want to consider Amazon Music comes down to the options, and the myriad ways you could end up listening to it.

Let's dive in.

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Where to get started with Amazon Music

The quick links:

What are the different plans for Amazon Music?

Amazon has four plans for its music service. Here's how they break down.

  • Prime Music: This one is free. If you have Amazon Prime, you have Prime Music. It only has 2 million songs, so at some point you'll hit a wall if you try to listen to something a little more obscure. (Or not supported because lawyers and labels still control this sort of thing.) Prime Music is available on all devices.
  • Amazon Music Unlimited Individual Plan: This one runs $7.99 a month (or $79 a year) for Prime members, or $9.99 a month for everyone else. It opens up the library to tens of millions of songs.
  • Amazon Music Unlimited Echo Plan: This $3.99-a-month plan attaches to an Echo device and seems like a good deal at first. But keep in mind that it only works with a single Echo. If you have more than one, you'll need the Unlimited Individual plan.
  • Amazon Music Unlimited Family Plan: Family plans are great if you're trying to keep costs down and have more than one person who wants access to a streaming library. This one is $14.99 a month for everyone. Prime members can get a discount if they pay $149 yearly.

How can you listen to Amazon Music?

This is the cool part. Amazon is as good as anyone when it comes to options for listening to its music service. It's available on your phone or tablet, on Android or on iOS. It's on the web. It works with Google's Android Auto or Apple's CarPlay, so you can do things right while you're on your drive. You can listen on Sonos.

And of course, it's available on any Alexa-enabled device. (My personal favorite is the Echo Show, because you get song lyrics along with the music.)

Cool. What about Amazon Music bitrates and file formats?

Amazon streams music directly from the original vinyl, preserving both the fidelity and smoke of the original 1970s pressing and ...

OK. Amazon's pushing songs out as 256kbps MP3 files, encoded with a variable bitrate.

You also can import you own music — so long as it doesn't have DRM attached. You can upload the following formats: .mp3, .m4a, .wma, .oog, .wav, Apple Lossless, .aiff and .flac.

Plus, you can listen to music offline on Android, iOS or on Amazon's Fire tablets.

And as an added bonus ...

Amazon Music also has this really cool feature called Auto Rip. That's where a number of CDs and even vinyl records are automatically added to your Amazon Music digital library if you order the physical copy.

And if you're one of those crazy people (like us) who churns through way too many devices in a year, know this: While Amazon limits the number of devices you can have active on Amazon Music at any one time, it allows you to deactivate as many as you want, as often as you want.

You can keep on listening on any damn thing you want.

Amazon Music


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