An over-the-air update to the music section of the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick has started rolling out to devices. Interestingly, instead of updating the music section of the Fire TV launcher interface, the update empties the existing music section and places an icon in it which loads a standalone Amazon Music app. This new music app appears to be the way you’ll access Amazon Music through the upcoming redesigned Fire TV interface. So, instead of having a music section as part of the Fire Tv home screen, you’ll just load a music app instead. Here’s an in depth look of the new Amazon Music app.
Before we get into the new Amazon Music app itself, it’s worth noting that the app does not appear in the current Fire TV interface as a regular app, meaning you won’t find it in the Fire TV’s app section. Instead, the app icon only appears in the current Fire TV interface’s music section, which is now completely blank. If you exit out of the Amazon Music app while music is playing, a second panel appears in the Fire TV’s music section telling you what is currently playing. While it may seem strange that the music section is now just a placeholder for a single app icon, this is likely just a way to give customers access to the new app while devices are transitioned to the new interface. I suspect the new Amazon Music app will appear among all other apps in the new Fire TV interface.
Launching the Amazon Music app loads a familiar interface where you scroll vertically to get to different sections and horizontally to see different content. At the top are the four tabs for the four main areas of the app: BROWSE, RECENTS, MY MUSIC, and SEARCH. Note that the screenshots on this page are composed of multiple screens combined into one image. The actual app only shows one row of content at a time. I combined the various sections into larger images so you can see an entire tab at once instead of having to flip through dozens of screenshots.
The BROWSE tab is where you’ll find recommended, popular, and new music. If you’re a Prime member, or I suspect a subscriber of the upcoming premium music subscription service from Amazon, you’ll find albums, playlists and stations here that are available to you.
The RECENTS tab is the smallest section in the new music app. The first row lists all the music you’ve recently played, while the second row in this tab lists music that you’ve recently added to your library. Recently added music is separated into two lists where “Recently Added Songs” are songs you’ve added to your library from Prime music, and “Purchased songs” are songs you’ve recently purchased from Amazon.
As the name suggests, the MY MUSIC tab is where you’ll find all of the music in your personal library. You can browse through your music by artist, album, or genre. You’ll also find your playlists here, including the Prime playlists you’ve added to your library, which are listed as “Followed Playlists.” At the bottom is a list of all of the songs in your library in alphabetical order.
The last tab is the SEARCH tab where you can query Amazon’s vast music collection. Searches will bring up albums, songs, stations and playlists that match your search.
Selecting any album or list will bring up a simple interface where album art appears on the left and a list of tracks appear on the right. This looks to be the music screen of the new interface that appears in the new Fire TV Stick 2’s promotional video, where we got our first glimpse of the upcoming interface.
When you select to play a track, the Now Playing screen contains a full size image of the artist in the background with all other information overlaid on top. From what we know so far about the new Fire TV interface, this type of screen, where text is overlaid on a background image, seems to be a common theme. The Now Playing screen of the new Amazon Music app lists music lyrics in the upper right that are highlighted and scroll in sync with the music.
Most screens in the new music app will bring up more options if you press the menu button. On the Now Playing screen, for example, this is how you control shuffle, repeat, and looping options. From most other screens, you can press the menu button to bring up an option that takes you tot he Now Playing screen.
The new Amazon Music app for Fire TV devices is rolling out as a system app update. This means just the one app is being updated right now and not the device’s entire operating system. Over-the-air system app updates occur silently while the Fire TV is idle with no indication of the update taking place. There is no way to manually force the update, so you just have to be patient and your device will eventually receive the new Amazon Music app.