How to Setup Apple Music on an Amazon Alexa Device
“Alexa, play something uplifting.” That’s all you need to say and your Echo device will choose a song from Apple Music and play it for you. But how do you set everything up to achieve one-command playback?
This article answers that question and gives you all the tips and tricks. Without much further ado, let’s jump right in.
Things to Know
Needless to say, you need an Apple Music subscription for this to work. You can get it on any Apple or Android device and subscribe via the Alexa app when you start the set-up.
Speaking of which, all the settings and syncing are done via the Alexa app. That is, you don’t need to set preferences and link the service to each individual speaker. This applies as long as you’re using the same Alexa/Amazon account for all your speakers.
In fact, all the Echo speakers you link to the account live under the same digital ecosystem. For example, you can do the set-up on the Echo Dot in your office, and the commands will apply to the Echo Show in your living room.
However, you need to link all your Echo devices to Alexa and use a multi-room music set-up. This write-up includes a quick guide on that as well.
Setting Up Apple Music via the Alexa App
As indicated, the device and service management for Echo speakers is done via the Alexa app. Regarding the following steps, we assume that you’re already logged into the app.
Here is how to set up Apple Music on your Alexa app:
- Once inside the Alexa app, tap on the three horizontal dots in the lower right corner of the screen. This action takes you to the More menu of the device.
- At the bottom of the pop-out menu on the left, tap on Settings for more actions.
- Tap on Music & Podcasts.
- Tap on the Apple Music.
- Tap on Enable to Use.
- A new window will open asking you to sign into your Apple Music account. Input your credentials.
After you’ve signed in to your Apple Music account, all you need to do is ask Alexa to play your favorite song, artist, playlist, or Podcast on Apple Music.
Set Apple Music as the Default
If you want Alexa to default to Apple Music, you can tweak the settings. Setting Apple Music as the default music service means you won’t have to specify which service you want Alexa to play. Here’s how to set Apple Music as the default:
- Head over to the Music and Podcasts option like we did above – More>Settings>Music & Podcasts.
- Tap on Default Services at the top.
- Tap Change next to each option.
- Now, select Apple Music in the pop-up that appears.
Now, when you ask Alexa to play music or a podcast, she’ll automatically respond with Apple Music.
Setting Up Amazon Echo Devices
Your smart speaker needs to be plugged in and powered on to initiate the set-up. If there’s an LED ring on the device, it glows orange when ready for set-up. The cute thing is that Alexa tells you to access the app to start.
Launch the Alexa app on your smartphone and verify your identity. You won’t be asked to do this every time you use the app.
- Tap on the More menu icon and choose “Add Device” – it should be the first option. Under “All Devices” select Amazon Echo, then choose the type of smart speaker you own.
Note: The app recognizes different generations of Echo smart speakers. Make sure to select the generation that corresponds to the device you have. Otherwise, you might not be able to complete the set-up.
- The Alexa app will search for your device and it should pop-up under Available Devices. If you have multiple smart speakers, choose the one that hasn’t already been set up.
Select your Wi-Fi network in the following window, then hit the Connect button. There’s a soothing chime when the connection is made, and the app tells you the process is complete.
You can add another external speaker to your Echo either via Bluetooth or AUX cable. Then, you need to tell Alexa where your Echo is (you’re naming it, in fact).
Again, you don’t need to take these steps right away, and your Echo is ready to use the moment Alexa informs you of the fact.
Setting Up Multi-Room Music Group
If you have a few Echo devices around the house, you can group them together. This allows for a more streamlined listening experience and better device management. Here’s how to do it:
- Launch the Alexa app and tap on the home icon at the bottom-right corner of the screen. Then, hit the plus icon in the upper-right corner and select Add Multi-Room Music Speakers.
Create a custom name for the group and tap Next to proceed.
- You’re now in the Define Group menu and you get to pick the devices which will constitute the group. Just tap on the Echos you’d like to include and hit Save.
Of course, the app informs you the group is ready, and you can now use it.
There’s no option to add Fire TV devices or Firesticks to the Multi-Room Music group. The Echo nearest you automatically picks up the command, but all the connected speakers play the tunes.
The key thing is that all the speakers within a group need to be on the same Wi-Fi network.
Now, your Amazon Echo (or Echos) and Apple Music are connected and ready to play. But there are still a few questions that might interest you.
How Do I Unlink My Apple Music Account from an Echo Device?
To Unlink an Apple Music account from an Echo, access the Alexa app and enter the More menu (three horizontal lines in the upper-left of the screen). Select Settings, then hit Music under Alexa Preferences.
Tap on Apple Music, select “Disable Skill,” and voila – you’ve unlinked the service. Sure, this will also remove Apple Music from the Default Service settings.
How Do I Start Playing Music?
As indicated, you start playing music by issuing commands to Alexa. You say: “Alexa, play [the song name].” You can also ask the system to play a specific genre or type of music, and it’s pretty good at determining what you’d like.
This applies if you set Apple Music as a default player, but what if you don’t? Then, you need to specify the music service you’d like to use. The command is “Alexa, play + song/artist name + from Apple Music.”
How Do I Play a Specific Playlist?
By now, it shouldn’t be too hard to guess how to play a specific playlist. Say: “Alexa play + the playlist name.” Again, if Apple Music isn’t set as a default player, you need to include the name of the service.
Alexa Having Trouble Playing? Try This
Your Wi-Fi network is the likely culprit – it can cause buffering that ultimately times out or fail to respond to a command altogether.
The first line of defense is to disconnect Wi-Fi-enabled devices you aren’t using at that moment. You may also need to consider relocating your Echo. Things like large metal objects, walls, and microwave ovens can be a source of interference.
It’s okay to keep your Echo closer to the floor or higher up on a shelf. Nonetheless, the key is to hook the smart speaker to the 5 GHz channel on your router. If you’re unsure which channel it is, check the router settings.
While you’re at it, feel free to restart or soft-reset your router and reconnect. Finally, if you have a firewall, the following ports need to be open:
Bonus Tip: If Alexa refuses to play a specific podcast, make sure the Explicit Language Filter is off.
Can I Also Stream My iTunes Library?
Yes, you can also stream your iTunes Library via Echo; just tell Alexa what you want to play. But you can also play the library without setting up Apple Music on your Echo.
Access the settings on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad and make sure Bluetooth is on. Now, instruct Alexa to connect to a new Bluetooth device and choose your Echo from the list. So that you know, Alexa will list all the available devices for you.
Now, when you stream from the iTunes Library, the sound will come out through your Echo. When you want to disconnect, just ask Alexa to do it for you.
Audio Binging It Is
Amazon Echo devices are affordable, versatile, and the sound is pretty decent. However, Alexa is the thing that makes them so attractive. And it won’t be wrong to assume that Alexa is one of the smartest virtual assistants currently available.
Besides Apple Music, do you use any other streaming platform? What is your favorite Alexa skill? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.