Amazon’s Alexa Cast lets you cast music to Alexa devices and groups

Amazon has introduced a new feature called Alexa Cast that, as you can probably guess, lets you cast music to Alexa devices. It is being rolled out in an update to the Amazon Music app for iOS and Android. Tapping the new casting icon in the app brings up a list of your Alexa devices as well as your Alexa groups as destinations for music. Control between the app and the device remains in sync and can be controlled through either the device or the app simultaneously.

Alexa Cast currently works with Amazon’s Echo line of smart speakers and third-party Alexa devices, but some Alexa devices, like Fire TVs are not supported. While the Amazon Music app is the only app that supports the feature, it’s easy to see how Alexa Cast can be expanded to work in other apps, like Spotify or Pandora, the same way Google Cast is widely supported. However, no such third-party app support or developer API has been announced.

It has always been possible to remotely control music playback on an Alexa device through the Alexa app, but it is a cumbersome experience at best. Using the Amazon Music app is much more intuitive. I wouldn’t be surprised if music control is eventually removed from the Alexa app entirely, as it would not be needed if Alexa Cast is widely adopted.

Unlike other casting protocols, you do not need to be on the same WiFi network as the Alexa device in order to cast music using Alexa Cast. Music playback on Alexa devices can be controlled within the Amazon Music app from anywhere. If you have multi-room audio groups configured for your Echo devices, you can also select the group as the music destination when using Alexa Cast.

Amazon Fire TV devices have had a difficult history with casting protocols. Older models supported Miracast mirroring, but that has been dropped with newer devices. Amazon introduced Amazon Fling on the Fire TV over 3 years ago to compete with Apple AirPlay and Google Cast, but adoption has been stagnant. With the massive success of Alexa, there’s real potential for Alexa Cast to turn into a universal casting protocol with widespread adoption across both Amazon and 3rd-party hardware and apps. As more Alexa devices with screens emerge, Alexa Cast could one day be extended to include video casting.

  1. Sean says:

    Finally. Hopefully it will include video as I still can’t get a reliable way to cast video from phone to firetv. All airplay apps have been a disappointment. Anyone know of an 100% fool proof app?

  2. Boudyka says:

    Limitation….only if you personally have Alexa devices and Amazon Music on your own account will this work and since in my Household, one person has the Amazon Music and but I have all the Echo’s registered its a bit of a bust….again. Spotify casting doesn’t care. Who’s device it is.

    The more you squeeze…etc. I just wish we had a one cast to rule them all…Oh we do its bluetooth.

    • Craig says:

      Yeah! This limitation is the biggest crock of crap I’ve ever seen in my life! And dollars to pesos? It’s arbitrary! Why couldn’t this just have been Amazon Fling to any device on the network? If they’re going to require accounts? Then they need to allow 5 different Adult accounts to be created and then family linked together and share everything from Amazon Movie/App purchases, Echo Connect and Alexa Cast between all devices. Until they do? Being in the Amazon ecosystem is an exercise in frustration and I’m madder than a wet hen crapping tacks! Now, I just have to continue using Spotify Connect until they figure it out! People have multiple Echos/FireTVs registered and personalized to multiple accounts throughout their houses!

  3. Michael says:

    This is not a good idea to let someone control the music in a home away from where they are. I can already see people playing random crap or porn audio to play jokes on others. Also, will this do away with chromecast from the Amazon Music App? Or will they possibly fix it so that it will play more than one song in a row? Amazon tech people have been unhelpful in fixing this issue for me. So I have to download all my Amazon music purchases and upload them to my Google Music to be able to cast them properly to my Vizio smart speaker. Even Pandora works on it, just dumb Amazon Music App. So when can I play random stuff to other people’s accounts I can log in to? This is crazy

  4. Tim says:

    This is a needed and appreciated step forward towards using the Alexa and Amazon Music combination as a whole-house music distribution platform. But I hope the current capabilities will be significantly augmented.

    For example, you can Alexa Cast from a generic android tablet using the Amazon Music app but not from a Fire HD 10? Another – it would great to be able to select multiple receiving devices to create ad-hoc groups, like you can with AirPlay. And it would also be great to be able to include non-Amazon devices in such ad-hoc groups, since Alexa still does not support third-party devices when setting up multi-room groups. Individual volume controls for each receiving device (again, like AirPlay) should also be implemented.

    The ability to have the casting device on a different network is actually useful. I have an outside seating area where Wi-Fi is atrocious to non-existent but my outside speakers (connected to a Eufy Genie for both Alexa and AirPlay) are very audible. I sat there last night and controlled the music using my iPhone and a cell signal. Very cool.

    I currently use My Media For Alexa to serve up my home server-based iTunes music collection when I don’t want to use AirPlay. I wish I could do something similar with Amazon Music.

    I am excited to see where this goes.

  5. Craig says:

    Alexa Cast:

    1. Alexa Cast sending should be allowed to any Amazon Echo or Fire TV device on the same network in the same home. Not account based or locked to one account. (Anything less than that? Is essentially fail.)
    2. FireOS Tablet support for Amazon Music casting via Alexa Cast should have been released at the same time as general Android availability.
    3. Alexa Cast receiving implemented into all currently sold Fire TV’s ASAP!
    4. Open Alexa Cast API to 3rd parties.
    5. Alexa Cast video support to replace DIAL on Prime Movies and opened up to PLEX devs.

    1. Amazon Household account linking for 5 adult accounts.
    2. Sharing Echo Connect between 5 adult accounts Echos and Fire TV’s.
    3. Amazon Movie PURCHASES shared between 5 adult accounts.
    4. Amazon App Store Purchases shared between 5 adult accounts.
    5. Alexa Cast shared between 5 adult accounts if not local network based.

  6. X says:

    How was the performance of older Miracast? I’d really like for all these vendors to converge in Single set of Casting protocols like Miracast; unfortunately which did not take of that well.

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