We still haven’t seen confirmation of anyone getting the Fire TV software update expected to start trickling out this week, but Amazon isn’t wasting any time announcing the arrival of Amazon Music and FreeTime to the Fire TV. Both features, announced initially at the Fire TV reveal back in April, are now no longer listed as “Coming Soon” on the Fire TV product page.
Amazon Music on the Fire TV allows you streaming access to your entire music collection stored in Amazon’s CloudPlayer. This includes all the music you’ve purchased from Amazon, plus any music you’ve imported yourself. Amazon has changed the way music you’ve imported is handled. Music uploaded no longer counts toward your allotted Cloud Drive storage space. Music is now handled on a per song basis instead of by file size. You may upload 250 songs for free, or pay $24.99 per year to store up to 250,000 songs. Either way, your uploaded music does not use any of your Cloud Drive storage space. The new Amazon Music app on the Fire TV automatically displays song lyrics on screen in a karaoke fashion. Prime Music is notably missing from the new Amazon Music app on the Fire TV. Amazon has said Prime Music will be coming to the Fire TV later this year.
FreeTime finally brings the long awaited parental controls to the Fire TV. With FreeTime, parents can set both how long and what time of day their children may use the Fire TV. FreeTime doesn’t simply restrict access, but rather, it replaces the entire user interface with kid friendly menus and sections. Launching a bit later is a subscription service called FreeTime Unlimited which will bring free access to otherwise paid games and content. FreeTime Unlimited gives unlimited access to ebooks, movies, TV shows, educational apps and games aimed at 3-to-8-year-olds. FreeTime Unlimited costs $2.99 per child or $6.99 per family (up to six kids) per month for Prime members; $4.99 per child or $9.99 per family per month for non-Prime members.