Amazon has announced that the entire Amazon Music library of over 100 million tracks is now free to stream ad-free for Prime members. That’s a massive increase from the 2 million tracks that Prime members had access to prior to this change. Before you go canceling your music subscriptions, the catch is that you can’t request songs individually, but must, instead, request artists, albums, or playlists in shuffle mode to hear the expanded library without an Amazon Music Unlimited subscription.
If you want to play a specific song at will, whether you’re a Prime member or not, you will still need an Amazon Music Unlimited subscription. Without one, selecting to play a specific album is probably the closest way to get a specific track to play, but even then the tracks in the album will play in a randomly shuffled order. You also won’t have access to HD tracks or spatial audio tracks without a premium subscription.
In addition to expanding the free music library for Prime members, Amazon is making select podcasts available ad-free, such as podcasts from CNN, ESPN, NPR, and The New York Times. There’s also a new Podcast Preview feature that will play “a short, digestible soundbite” of a podcast to help you decide if you want to play the episode. Think of it like a trailer for a podcast.
So to be clear, we’re actually losing the ability to directly play an older song that had previously been on an album included with the back catalog available to prime members? For example, I could always ask it to play Thunder Road, a popular cut from the 1975 album, Born to Run. No more?
Yep. All the old albums that I could easily select to play from beginning to end or individual tracks is now replaced with the ‘shuffle’ button. So really, they took away what little we had. I wouldnt mind too much if it simply shuffled the album tracks but after 2 or 3 tracks, it throws me into songs from a completely different artists. So really, its now turned into the free Spotify version.
Well that bites! I’ve been using iHeart for that purpose for years.
Does free Spotify offer commercial free music streaming?
With your subscription, yes.
Subscription? That doesn’t sound free.
Makes no sense to set the atomic level to select an album and then not play the whole album. I hope that’s a bug that they fix.
^Good question, I don’t want to have to listen to an artist’s entire album just to hear one song.
Is this why I haven’t been able to play “My Music” properly lately? I used to be able to ask “Alexa, Play the Album Dread Reaver by Abbath from My Library”, but now Alexa is doing crap like… “Here’s a station for Abbath on My Heart Radio” or… “I can’t find the Album Dread Reaver by Abbath”… super annoying. Note: I don’t subscribe to any of this subscription garbage and instead buy my music…
More than one caveat – no user playlists as it now just shuffles a play list of “similar music”; can’t request specific tracks or albums; limited number of skips per hour (6?); no ability to download tracks for offline playback; some users are reporting difficulty even playing tracks they had bought or previously uploaded etc. And all this a week before they put up the price of Prime.
There are an awful lot of unhappy Prime customers as a result of this ill considered change.
Guess that explains the difficulty I’ve been having trying to play my Playlists as well… this is bad news as the entire reason I buy my music from Amazon in the first place is so I can have it available to stream on my house full of Echos.
The bad news is that you can no longer request à la carte. The good news is we are letting you hunt for your own food but you can only eat what you catch. Thanks Jeff!
Does this works with stations? As that’s what I usually use.
Play breaking Benjamin station.
Also is this change in Canada?
ill just keep unlimted
Apple looks better by the minutr
I wish Amazon would do what Apple does with Siri and Apple Music. I mean? They kinda already do, but specifically? I’m talking about $4.99 for voice only, BUT accessible on ALL Alexa devices on an account. All Fire TV’s and Echos at the same time! Not just bound to one device. That doesn’t work for me.
Apple Music and Siri don’t have an equivalent 4.99 single device plan, only Amazon offer that. The Amazon Music Unlimited individual plan does what Apple does at the same, if not lower price
Incorrect. Apple has a Siri voice-only Apple Music plan that launched last December (for $4.99/month) that works on any Apple device on an account.
Ok, thanks, was unaware of that.
After 50+ years on this planet I have enough music (though still buying new tracks) so don’t need a subscription service. Just stream it from Plex or kodi (other media players are available).
If I need a random selection of tracks or hear new stuff, I can stream from one of the stations on TuneIn.
I’m a bit confused by the comments, as every song I asked Alexa to play it played, therefore you can still request just one individual song.
However, it doesn’t just play the one song now and stop, it plays similar music after.
Perhaps it’s rolling out differently to different people. I know for a fact that songs and albums that I’ve purchased with money… are not playing when I request to play them. This morning I requested a song, and it did play… but instead of saying “Playing Song Title from Your Library” it said “Playing Song Title from Amazon Music”… so Amazon is a mess right now.
I noticed in the news release that Amazon mentioned a bunch of podcasts that you can listen to via their music service, but they left mine out. Must be an unintentional oversight.
I know this is an older article but after trying a few days, this had become unusable for what I used to do. The shuffle mentioned includes absolute garbage songs and several times I used all 6 skips trying to get to my own music. Like I would reward them for totally screwing up what was a good product with a limited library. Hopefully somebody reports this to Amazon because now I’m considering cancelling prime altogether. I don’t buy as much, the recent shows suck and Walmart delivers for free also… Totally stupid change with no benefit.
For years I have used this service almost every day. I used it in a certain disciplined way. Now I cannot do that because now I have to listen to what they think I like and guess what? They are wrong. I have hardly used the service since they started imposing their will upon me. This stunt, in conjunction with the recently introduced instability to the Fire TV/Recast DVR combo, has convinced me to shop elsewhere and fall back to Amazon shopping when my wife makes me. That accounts for about 2% of my purchases. At least when I buy something at local big box stores I don’t have to worry about getting notifications that my items were delivered but they are sometimes nowhere to be found. Amazon is becoming less and less valuable to me at an accelerating pace. Prime is rapidly becoming Subprime!
My Amazon Prime membership used to give me access to most of the music I enjoyed. I could listen to a specific track, or a whole album in the correct order of tracks. Recently Alexa has started playing one or two shuffled tracks from the requested album and then music from “similar artists” which is not at all what I wanted. Now I plug my old iPod into Alexa and play my selection from hundreds of albums I have saved on my iTunes over the past 20 years. It works for me, but what a shame Amazon is alienating its customers, and I refuse to pay £100 per year for Prime Unlimited.
It is absolute trash. I literally bought all my music from Amazon strictly because of the fact that I could listen to it from any room in my house. I bought more than 10 Echo devices because of this. I bought Echo Ear Buds and Bose Headphones because they allowed me to play the music that I have purchased (paid money for) from Amazon on these devices. That was the only reason I bought these devices and bought music from Amazon. I bought music to put onto my children’s bedtime playlists so they could listen to their favorite songs when they went to bed… and now Amazon is like “here’s some random shit that may or may not have anything to do with what you paid for!”
Big F to the company that in my mind is going WAY downhill. Wish someone would take over their market share to be honest and I have nothing good to say about them anymore. They’ve started to ship returned merchandise as “New” lately as well… they won’t offer price adjustments to items that they literally shipped you the day they dropped by $10… they tell you to return the item when you receive it and re-buy it for the cheaper price. So now they’re shipping the same item back and forth 3 times instead of just giving you the $10 back. I feel ashamed to have helped put them in this position by spending my money there to be honest.