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Alexa and Amazon Music

  • 28 January 2018
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I'm an Amazon Prime customer so I have access to their Prime Music service, though it's not the unlimited version; which I understand to mean that a subset of the music in Amazon's catalog is included for streaming but not everything. My question is ... when I enable Alexa on the Sonos One, by default, the device is authorized by my Amazon account. Does that mean when I tell it, for example, "Alexa, play Jimi Hendrix", the only songs it will select are those which are free per my Prime account? In other words, can I be confident that Alexa won't select an artist's songs not included in my account and charge me for playing them?

My intent with enabling Alexa was to use it to play music from my personal library on my NAS, but learned on this community that this isn't an option (and I concur with the vast majority of comments that this a huge gap in the product's functionality). So if I'm going to bother using Alexa to play music, I don't want to find that Amazon has billed me for a lot of songs that it chose to play.
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Best answer by Keith N 30 January 2018, 03:34

Hi there, shawnc1959. Thanks for posting. Rest assured that your Sonos One will not incur any charges by signing you up for Amazon Music Unlimited. If Alexa can find the song with it's given credentials it will play it no problem. If the song is only available on Amazon Music Unlimited, you should only get a small preview of the song.

Additionally, Amazon Alexa cannot access your local library without the library being uploaded to Amazon Music. This is something from the Alexa side that we cannot avoid. Keep in mind, Amazon Music is currently in the process of phasing out their music uploading capabilities.
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Hi there, shawnc1959. Thanks for posting. Rest assured that your Sonos One will not incur any charges by signing you up for Amazon Music Unlimited. If Alexa can find the song with it's given credentials it will play it no problem. If the song is only available on Amazon Music Unlimited, you should only get a small preview of the song.

Additionally, Amazon Alexa cannot access your local library without the library being uploaded to Amazon Music. This is something from the Alexa side that we cannot avoid. Keep in mind, Amazon Music is currently in the process of phasing out their music uploading capabilities.
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Thanks for your response, Keith N. In retrospect, I guess I'm not surprised that Amazon would limit Alexa functionality with respect to local music libraries, as their reason for existing is to get you to buy stuff, including digital music. :-\ I have uploaded a fair amount of my library to Google Play (they haven't given any indication that they intend to do away with this ability), so I'll have to check whether I can configure my Play account with Alexa and make that the primary music source.
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At the moment, no, Alexa can not play music from a Google Play library. And I can confirm through experience that Alexa asks if you want to go unlimited if you ask for something that is only available that way.