Users have gained another option for streaming music to their Windows 10 devices with the release of Amazon Music in the Microsoft Store. The app works with both Amazon Music Unlimited and Prime Music, giving customers many pricing options depending on how much music they want to listen to.
The app is available for Windows 10 for free but using the services requires a subscription. There are multiple pricing plans which are broken down in further detail in the review.
Amazon Music is both a streaming music service and a way to listen to songs you already own. You can login with your Amazon account and keep track of your playlists, browse music, and manage your library. The app also has an impressive lyrics feature that scrolls through text as the song plays. Because of this unique combinatin of both streaming music and playing local content, it's a very welcome replacement to anyone looking for a replacement for Groove Music.
I was nervous to try out Amazon Music because Amazon Video doesn't look great on the Xbox One in my opinion. It works and gives me access to the content I want to watch but the layout and navigation to find videos doesn't compare with other services. Fortunately, Amazon Music has a much easier interface to navigate and makes it easy to find music by genre, playlist, and stations. You can also purchase new music through Amazon.
The app performs well and has nice little touches such as a mini music player, but when it comes to committing to a music streaming service, you can't just look at an app on one platform, you have to look at the whole picture.
Amazon Music as a service
If you're going to subscribe to one of Amazon's music services, it's a given that you'll want to use it on other devices. Amazon's services are available on iOS, Android, and now Windows 10. They also obviously work well with Amazon's own Alexa-powered devices such as the Echo and Echo Dot as well as Fire TV. In fact, owning an Echo device gives you the option to get Amazon Unlimited music for only $3.99 per month, though that's restricted to just one Echo devices. Amazon's music services are notably not available on the Xbox One so if you want to stream music while gaming, you'll want to look elswhere.
But one of the biggest draws of Amazon Music is that you may already have access to ad-free music because of content you already pay for. Last year, I shared the keys to getting the most out of your Amazon Prime membership for our sibling site, Thrifter, and was surprised by how much you get with a membership.
If you already have Amazon Prime for watching videos or getting fast delivery, you can get Prime Music for free. That subscription "only" gets you access to over two million songs. Prime members also have an option to upgrade to Amazon Music Unlimited for $7.99 per month or to a family plan for up to six people for $14.99 per month or $149 per year. Amazon Music Unlimited gets you access to over ten million songs which creates a robust library.
If you aren't a prime member, you can get Amazon Music Unlimited for $9.99 per month, or get a family plan for $14.99 per month.
Whether you're a Prime member already or are considering becoming one, the inclusion of Amazon Music could be a deciding factor. The price we all pay for subscriptions adds up over time and if you love streaming music you're likely going to pay to do it for a long time, so saving each month makes a big difference.
I admit I'm not as music savvy as some of my friends but Amazon's collection of music is impressive and has songs ranging from the latest hits to older favorites. I imagine that for a lot of music lovers, they won't miss out on any of their favorite content if they switched over to one of Amazon's services.
A few holdups
Amazon Music Unlimted and Prime Music are very attractive options but they have just a few holdups that could prevent you from switching over or signing up. First, if you need to play music while gaming on your Xbox One, you're out of luck. Second, you may have a large set of playlists on another streaming service such as Spotify that you don't want to go through the hassle of rebuilding.
Finally, if sharing music with friends and playing pre-made playlists is a big part of your music experience, you'll have to look at what your friends use. Amazon Music has a ton of playlists and a share feature but similarly to the Xbox vs Playstation your decision is often shaped by what your friends have.
Amazon Music is another welcome addition to the Microsoft Store and is also an impressive music service. If you're an Amazon Prime member, you can get Prime Music at no additional cost or jump to Amazon Music Unlimited for a cheaper price than many of Amazon's compeitors.
There are some things holding it back but they mostly apply to people with specific hardware or that are already on another music service such as Spotify.
Amazon has a vast library of music and the ability to purchase content or stick to streaming. The app itself is also easy to use and navigate, making it easy to use the service without any learning curve.
- Vast library of music
- Multiple price tiers available
- Works with Amazon Alexa-powered devices
- Cheapest plan only covers one Amazon Echo
- Not available on Xbox One
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