All The Alexa Music Commands You Should Know in a List
Voice commands for music | All Alexa music compatible services | Top Alexa Skills for Music and Radio | Multi-room commands | Genre Commands | and more...
Published: 19th Aug 2019
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b) Song ID
d) TED Talks
One of the most enjoyable aspects of bringing Alexa into your home is the ability to control your music by voice command. With this capable AI assistant, you can now say goodbye to the remote control and, just by speaking, optimize your music experience in countless other new ways.
Knowing the right Alexa commands for music will prove essential if you want to make the most of this opportunity. Alexa music voice commands cover every angle imaginable, from music choice, playback, volume and so much more.
Should you discover that whatever you want to do is not on the list of Alexa music commands, you can even create your very own music commands on Alexa.
To get started, let’s familiarise ourselves with the music services Alexa supports. With each one, we will learn the relevant Alexa voice commands for music control. We will then go on to learn about all other Alexa music commands that you need to optimize your experience.
Alexa Music Services
Amazon has its own native music services, Amazon Music Unlimited and Prime Music. Prime Music comes as a freebie for all Prime subscribers.
Amazon Music Unlimited Alexa Commands
Music Unlimited is a paid package that offers an extensive music library. It is also a major Alexa capability since it gives you more ways to control your music. With Amazon Music Unlimited, Alexa understands virtually all Alexa music commands.
The package gives you unrestricted access to 50 million+ songs. If you are a Prime member, the monthly fee is $7.99 while non-Prime members pay $9.99. One of the very first Alexa Music Unlimited commands you will need to learn is how to begin the subscription.
Some of the Alexa commands for Music Unlimited are not available on Prime Music or any other service. For instance, if a friend tells you about how awesome Adele’s new album is, you can just say:
If your music requirements are not very specific, you could say:
If you have forgotten the name of a track and/or the artist, simply say:
You can also ask for songs from a specific genre to suit your activity or mood. We will see more on this later.
In some places, you can enjoy 14 days of free Music Unlimited by saying:
After the free trial period, say:
That will earn you an extra 30 days extension of the free music. After this, the subscription will renew monthly.
Alexa Amazon Prime Music Commands
Amazon Prime Music differs from Unlimited in the sense it is a free service for all Prime users, who in turn pay $12.99 monthly for Prime services. Another major difference is that it has a slightly smaller selection of music.
But 2 million+ songs is still a lot more music than most of us can listen to exhaustively! If Prime Music is the service for you, here are some of the Alexa music commands Amazon Music you need to learn:
Amazon Music HD (New as of Sept 2019)
Amazon has announced the launch of a new music streaming tier under the banner Amazon Music HD. Launched on September 17, the service features lossless streams in CD quality for at least 50 million tracks (HD).
It also features millions of high-resolution, better-than-CD quality tracks under an Ultra HD package.
For Amazon Prime members, the service will be accessible at $12.99/£12.99 monthly and $14.99/£14.99 for Amazon customers. Current Amazon Music subscribers, on the other hand, will need to pay an extra $5 to access the high-quality music.
In order to understand the difference between the music we normally listen to on smart speakers and headphones, consider the following:
Regular music which has SD quality streams at only 320Kbps and is defined as lossy. Lossy simply means that some of the nuances and details in the original recording are often lost.
But with HD quality music, the streaming speed is 850Kbps, and this minimizes the loss of details. On the other hand, Ultra HD streams at a whopping 3,730Kbps which is the highest possible bit rate. This makes it completely lossless.
In order to access this high music quality, you would need data speed of at least 1.5Mbps on your internet connection. It would also require a device supporting 44.1KHz streaming (12 bit).
Fortunately, all Android and Apple smartphones launched after 2014 can support both HD and Ultra HD streaming.
The service is currently available in the US, UK, Japan and Germany. Existing Amazon Music subscribers, as well as new users, can enjoy a 90-day free trial period. After this, they will choose whether or not to sign up.
Alexa Commands for Music HD
Though Amazon is yet to announce them, we might soon get Alexa commands specifically geared towards the new service.
Third-Party Music Services on Amazon Alexa
You don’t have to limit your music selection to Amazon’s native platforms. There are several third-party music service providers with tons to offer. The most popular are Apple Music and Spotify Unlimited. Both of these charge monthly subscription fees of $9.99 and both boast music libraries of 30 million+ songs.
Spotify has the distinct benefit of linking you to the listening habits of your Facebook friends. Apple has also announced that by this fall, it will launch social sharing on its music service in iOS 11.
Amazon Music and Spotify are accessible on Echo devices, PCs, Macs, Fire, Android, and iOS devices. Spotify is also available on numerous other devices. Apple Music, on the other hand, is accessible on all Apple devices, Android devices, PCs, CarPlay automobiles as well as Sonos speakers.
On Apple, you can upload your own music for streaming but Amazon has discontinued this service and is terminating music storage too.
Now that we have an idea of how the different services compare, let's take a look at Alexa music commands for Spotify and Alexa Apple Music commands.
Alexa Music Commands for Spotify
Given all its unique advantages, it is little wonder that Spotify is by far one of the most popular music streaming services. It has over 71 million subscribers and the list is growing. If you are among these millions, you can access so much by using the right Alexa music commands for Spotify.
Here are some of the commands you might find useful:
These commands apply if you have set Spotify as your default service. If not, you will need to tell Alexa explicitly to play from Spotify. We will learn how to set a service as default below.
Note too that when you ask for a specific song, Alexa will play that song and then stop. But if you request an artist, she will play multiple songs. Similarly, when you ask for an album, she will play the entire album.
Another important point to note is that not all commands will work with ease on Spotify. For instance, when you request music to suit an activity or mood, she will look for playlists instead. Also, Alexa is not able to modify playlists on Spotify.
On these points, the use of Amazon native services may provide a more fluid experience.
Alexa Commands for Apple Music
It took a while but Alexa eventually learned how to play Apple Music on Amazon Echo devices using Apple music commands on Alexa. Support was rolled out in December last year.
All you have to do to access the feature is to link the service on your Alexa app. Once you do so, you’ll need a few Alexa Apple Music voice commands to get you started.
Here are some Alexa voice commands for Apple Music you will find invaluable:
Once again, to avoid having to say ‘Apple Music’ at the end of the command, you simply need to set the service as your default.
Note that Apple Music for Alexa is currently available only in the US, UK, Ireland, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand.
Linking Your Music Account to Alexa and Setting it as Default
Whether you are planning to use Spotify or Apple Music, you first need to link the service to your Amazon account. Only then will Alexa understand commands related to your service of choice.
You can either connect your accounts on the Alexa app or use the Alexa web interface. In case you are using the app, here is what you need to do:
As mentioned above, you do not have to mention the service every time you issue a command. To enable this, you have to select a default service. Here’s how:
Once you do so, you can easily select any song or artist without having to select a specific service. But if you would rather use a service that is not your default, you simply need to add the name of the service. That will work for all linked services.
To illustrate, you could say:
Or use one of the most popular Alexa voice commands on Amazon Music:
Radio-Like Streaming Services
There are several other streaming services accessible via Alexa. These include iHeartRadio, TuneIn and Pandora. All of these are radio-like services and therefore have limitations when it comes to playback and the selection of specific music.
Due to these limitations, the commands associated with the services are also limited. Here are some of them:
Most other commands have to do with adjusting the volume and controlling the equalizer among a few other features.
Alexa Commands for Apple Music on Sonos
While we’re still on Apple Music, it's great to note that Alexa support for the service recently expanded to Sonos speakers as well. Previously, Alexa users were limited to Amazon devices.
But on April 17th this year, Sonos announced that Sonos Beam and Sonos One users in the UK, US and Ireland would be able to control Apple Music on the devices using Alexa. To access the feature, they would need to add the Apple Music Skill to their Alexa apps and use the right Alexa music commands for the UK, US or Ireland.
They would also have to update to the latest version of the Sonos app and link their Apple Music account.
After doing this, they can now use various Alexa music control commands for the optimal musical experience. Here are some commands you can try out:
Alexa Music Commands for Sonos
The Alexa and Sonos integration are not limited to Apple Music. You can also use Alexa to play music from a streaming service using Sonos speakers.
To access this functionality, you first need to download the Alexa Skill for Sonos. Follow these steps:
To access voice-controlled music on Alexa using Sonos, you need to have one of the following streaming services linked to your account:
- Apple Music
- Amazon Music
- TuneIn Radio
Note that Alexa will by default select music from Amazon Music unless you set another service as default or specify your preferred service in your commands.
You cannot play Spotify Radio, Artist Radio or podcasts on Alexa. It is also not possible to play curated Spotify playlists without specifying that it’s a playlist. Additionally, you cannot play music to groups and there is no support for locally stored, offline music or adding a sleep timer.
Here are some useful commands you will need to make everything else work:
If you are using a service other than Amazon Music or any other default, you also need to specify the service name:
Alexa Echo Music Commands
So far, we have focused our attention on Alexa play music commands related to specific music streaming services. Now, we want to familiarize ourselves with the general Alexa music commands list.
These commands will give you complete control over various aspects of voice-controlled music. It would probably be a great idea to create a printable list of Alexa music commands once you are done with this comprehensive guide.
Let’s take a look at the various commands you can use to achieve specific objectives:
Alexa Commands for Music Volume
Adjusting music volume is now a breeze thanks to Alexa voice control. Consider some Alexa music volume commands you will need for this:
To make your command even more specific, try the following commands:
Alternatively, you can mute or unmute her using voice:
Best Music Commands for Alexa Playback
There’s a lot you can do with the right Alexa playback music commands. the most simple is:
And when you don't want any more, there are Alexa commands to stop music:
To start a playlist:
To sample different tracks within a playlist or album:
For navigation within a song:
To repeat or shuffle music:
Alexa Music playlist commands
Thanks to a new feature introduced at the close of 2018, Amazon Music users can converse with Alexa to find the perfect playlist for any situation.
In response to this command, Alexa will ask various follow-up questions to find out what you have in mind. For instance, she may want to find out if there is a specific tempo or genre you have in mind and if you want a playlist just for you.
After answering the required basics, Alexa will give you a brief preview consisting of playlist suggestions. You can choose any one of them or keep conversing with her to find the ideal fit. Based on the feature, Alexa can combine details of your listening habits and your responses to anticipate your musical needs.
Here are some additional Alexa Amazon Music playlist commands that will help you listen to your favourite playlist and/or modifying it:
Navigating Alexa’s Music Library
Depending on the music streaming service to which you subscribe, Alexa likely has access to more music than you can ever listen to in one lifetime. But how can you pick out the gems hiding in this treasure trove?
A great place to start is by getting acquainted with a few commands for navigating the library to find what you want.
When You Know What Music You Want to listen to
Alexa Music Genre Commands
You can also choose music by genre using this command:
Amazon’s database contains a wide range of genres to suit every listener’s needs. These include:
- Rap and hip hop
- New age
- Hard rock
- Easy listening
- Classical rock
- Children’s music
For example, the Alexa command for classical music could be:
Or, an Alexa commands for Christmas music could be:
Selecting Music by Mood and Activity
You can simply request for a type of music that seems to suit your mood or activity or narrow down further by specifying the genre. Alexa is said to have approximately 500 moods and activities programmed in. You can use these to play music to suit whatever you are up to.
The list is curated based on what users frequently request for specific moods or activities. Some of the moods that Alexa understands include:
- Feel good
And here are some of the activities that Alexa could support with a dose of music:
- Hooking up
- Working out
- Getting pumped up
- Chill out
- Waking up
You can use the following Alexa commands to play music based on mood or activity:
Here is how to combine, moods, activities, and genres:
Alexa Multi-Room Music Commands
Another great Alexa music feature is multi-room music. With the right Alexa multi-room music commands, you can stream music to the different Echo devices in your house.
There are some limitations which are important to note. Yes, you can play multiple streams at the same time using the different speakers in your house. For this feature to work, you need Amazon Music Unlimited. If you only have Amazon Prime Music, you can only play one stream at a time to all your speakers. Next, you will need to enable multi-room music and group the speakers you want to work together.
Here are some commands to try out once you have done that:
Moreover, you can start playback from any one of the speakers in a group and stop it from another.
Alexa Music Station Commands
Alexa Commands to Play Your Own Music
If you want Alexa to play your special playlist or play from your library, say:
Other useful commands for your music library include:
Alexa Commands to Play New Music
How to Play Music You Heard Recently
Commands for Playing Similar Music
Commands for Playing Favourite Music or Disliking Songs
If it gets particularly annoying, just say:
Commands for Getting Information on Music
Did you know you could find information about a song or an artist by asking Alexa? There is a huge database of information on music in her library. Here are some commands to help you access the info you want:
Commands for Choosing the Right Version of a Song
At times, you may request Alexa to play a tune, only for her to respond with the wrong version of it. Here is how to make things right:
Importantly, the next time you ask for the song title, Alexa will have learned your preference and will play your favourite version of it.
Commands for Setting a Music Alarm or Sleep Timer
If you would like your music to stop once you fall asleep or you want to wake up to the sound of your favourite tune, Alexa can help. Just ask:
Creating Your Own Music Commands for Alexa
There is no end to the list of preset commands for controlling your music via Alexa. But if there happens to be something you want to do but cannot find a command for it, you could create your own.
To do so, you simply need to create an Alexa routine by going to Settings>Routines>+ and then following these instructions:
You can use this to tell Alexa to play a specific song or playlist from a music streaming service for a specific duration on a specific device or multi-room group.
Additional Fun Alexa Music Commands
If you want Alexa to sing, say:
Alexa also has a list of songs from which you can make your choice. These include:
Top Alexa Skills for Music and Radio
One of the best ways to make Alexa even smarter than she is already is by using Alexa Skills. Alexa Skills are comparable to special tricks that the AI assistant can perform.
Developers use the Alexa Skills Kit to teach her new skills every day and as a result, the list is constantly growing. All you have to do to add a skill is to open the Alexa app and from the menu, select “Skills & Games.” Find the one you want, enable it and voila!
Here are some of the best Alexa Skills for controlling your music and radio:
Follow Your Favourite Artist
Among the most recent additions to the Skills library is the option of following specific artists on Amazon Music. By activating this skill, you will get an alert any time they release new music.
To follow an artist, say:
Using this feature, you can hear which song is coming up next. This comes in handy when you don’t want to follow along blindly as Alexa plays songs you don’t recognize.
To turn it on, say:
And when you have had enough, say:
Thanks to another skill, Alexa works seamlessly with TuneIn to make radio playback simple. All you have to do is ask Alexa for your radio service of choice. As long as it is available on the service, it will automatically start to play.
To open the skill, simply say:
Do you love listening to TED Talks? Well, there is an Alexa Skill specifically designed to simplify the experience. You can now explore the rich library by topic, speaker or any other criteria with a simple command.
Here are some of the commands that could come in handy:
Sleep and Relaxation
It could be that music and radio is not your cup of tea when it comes to snoozing off. Alexa can also play you ambient sounds to help you drift off. To get started, enable the Sleep Sounds Skills by saying:
Under this skill, there are more than 125 high-quality sounds that you can choose from. Here’s how to choose:
You can also enjoy random sounds by saying:
To navigate through the Sleep Sounds library, you can say:
If you have successfully got your baby to sleep using Sleep Sound and need Alexa to stop, tell her:
If you want to fall asleep to the sounds and have them stop automatically, say:
There are lots of other relaxing sounds to choose from, some of which have their own individual skills. Try the following commands to open them:
Alexa Music Quiz Commands
For all the music buffs out there, there is a fun game you can play using an Alexa music skill: Song Quiz. All you need to do is to correctly guess the artist and title of a song by just hearing it.
You can enjoy song trivia going as far back as 60 years depending on whether you like the classics or love to keep things new. Since Song Quiz keeps adding new songs, you can play it over and over while enjoying a fresh experience every time.
To get started, say:
MusicCast Alexa Commands
MusicCast refers to a multi-room audio system that is built into certain Yamaha systems. It makes use of your home Wi-Fi system and is usually controlled using a smartphone app.
Alexa currently has two sets of skills that work with the feature: MusicCast Smart Home and MusicCast Skill.
Use the MusicCast Smart Home Skill to standardize the commands you use most often. These could include volume control, power on and off as well as play, skip and pause.
For example, you could turn on the AV receiver in the bedroom by saying:
MusicCast Skill, on the other hand, goes beyond the basics to give you voice control over more advanced functions. For instance, it could allow you to link or unlink rooms, as well as give you direct access to favourites and playlists.
Using this skill requires a more complex command. To illustrate, you might say:
You need to phrase all your commands as above, telling Alexa to “ask MusicCast.”
It's possible to switch where the music is playing by giving an Alexa command. However, at present, only Spotify seems to support this. If you have been playing a song in the bedroom for instance and want it to follow you to the kitchen, say:
It will simply pick up from the speaker in the other room and continue flawlessly. Unfortunately, the feature is still unavailable on other services.
Alternatively, you could try using the Alexa app if you don’t have Spotify or you can’t seem to get the feature working. Open the app and it will tell you where your music is playing. Click on the music you want to move. On the pop-up that appears listing devices, select where you want to move your music.
How to create your own Alexa Music Skill
Did you know that you could create your own music skills on Alexa? All you need to do is provide the necessary information, configuration details and an endpoint for the code.
The skill code is a function of Amazon Web Services which will handle requests from the music API. It will also have the role of communicating with your music service cloud.
To create the skill, go to the Alexa Skills Kit Developer Console and if it’s your first time, you can follow the detailed steps outlined.
As you may have realized, the potential for Alexa music commands is simply limitless. Make the most from your favourite streaming service using the above comprehensive list of commands.