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How to get the most out of your Amazon Music subscription

Your Amazon Music subscription offers more than music playback. Take advantage of its other available features to get the most out of it.
By
February 10, 2022
A picture of the Amazon Music HD mobile app "now playing" page on a Samsung Galaxy S10e.
The "now playing" window is plainly designed and easy to understand.

Amazon Music has plenty of tunes and podcasts available for you to enjoy through speakers, earbuds, and more. But to truly get the most out of your subscription, take advantage of its other features. These include different subscription levels, offline play, and many others. Let’s break down everything you need to know about Amazon Music.

What are the differences between Amazon Music subscriptions?

A picture of the Amazon Music HD desktop app.
Amazon Music desktop is just as easy to use as its mobile version.

Amazon Music offers three subscription levels. Choosing the right one for you depends on a few factors and how much you wish to spend. In general, here are some of the highlights of each.

What is Amazon Music Free?

The most basic subscription Amazon Music offers is the free version. At this level, you get access to thousands of stations and playlists. You don’t get individual songs, however. Advertisements also play during your listening experience, and there’s no offline playback. Amazon Music Free supports one device maximum. It’s best for those wishing to see what the service is like before buying.

What is Amazon Music Prime?

The next level up is an Amazon Music Prime subscription. You’ve got access to it if you already have Amazon Prime. Otherwise, you’ll need to sign up for Amazon Prime first. It provides over five million songs plus playlists and stations. No advertisements will interrupt your listening, and you can take advantage of offline playback at this level. However, there is still no access to HD and Ultra HD audio. Overall, this is a handy option for many people who already have an Amazon Prime subscription.

What is Amazon Music Unlimited?

Amazon Music Unlimited is the highest level subscription. You don’t need Amazon Prime to access it, but you will have to pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee. It provides access to every feature found in the lower levels, plus more. That includes HD, Ultra HD, and Spatial Audio playback. And if you sign up for a family plan, you get to use Amazon Music on up to six devices at once. That means multiple smart speakers, Bluetooth speakers, and others. Plus, you can use offline playback with Unlimited (unless you choose the Single Device plan, which is elligble only for the Echo or Fire TV).

On May 21, 2021, Amazon announced it would not charge extra for Amazon Music HD, keeping it competitive with Apple Music. Here’s a list of how much each Amazon Music plan costs:

Amazon Music FreeAmazon Music PrimeAmazon Music Unlimited
Individual Plan (non-Prime)
Amazon Music Free
Free
Amazon Music Prime
/
Amazon Music Unlimited
$9.99/month
Prime Individual Plan
Amazon Music Free
/
Amazon Music Prime
Included with your Prime membership
Amazon Music Unlimited
$7.99/month OR $79/year
Family Plan
Amazon Music Free
/
Amazon Music Prime
/
Amazon Music Unlimited
$14.99/month OR $149/year (requires a Prime membership)
Single Device Plan
Amazon Music Free
/
Amazon Music Prime
/
Amazon Music Unlimited
$3.99/month (HD, Ultra HD, and Spatial Audio not available)
Student Plan
Amazon Music Free
/
Amazon Music Prime
/
Amazon Music Unlimited
$4.99/month

How do you listen to your Amazon Music subscription offline?

A macro picture of the Amazon Music HD mobile app options menu.
Amazon Music Prime and Unlimited users can easily create playlists, download music, and view albums from the mobile app.

Signing up for Amazon Music Prime or Unlimited (except the Single Device plan) gives you access to offline play. The process is pretty simple after that:

  1. Tap the ellipsis (…) icon next to the song, album, or playlist you wish to download.
  2. Select “Download” in the menu that pops up.
  3. On desktop, you can drag and drop the content you want into the right-hand panel under the “Download” section.

You can manage your downloaded content in a few ways. In the Settings portion of Amazon Music, select “Download Settings” on Android or Desktop or “Download Audio Quality” on iOS to configure these options. On the desktop app, you’ll find where your music gets saved to your computer under “Music Management.”

How do you automatically add purchased content to Amazon Music?

Purchasing music through Amazon directly doesn’t always mean it gets added to your Amazon Music subscription. It’s easy to ensure that happens every time, however:

  1. Open Settings in Amazon Music.
  2. Select “Automatic Downloads” (Android) or “Auto-download Amazon Music purchases” (iOS).
  3. To update your collection manually, select “Refresh My Music” instead.

How do you use Amazon Music with Alexa?

The Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen) next to the Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen) for a size comparison.
You can make voice commands via the Echo Dot, for example, to play some music.

All Amazon Music subscription levels let you use Alexa on at least some devices, but the specifics vary. It’s pretty easy to use the Alexa voice assistant-enabled features:

  1. Ask your Alexa-enabled smart device to start Amazon Music.
  2. You can request a specific song, playlist, or podcast.
  3. Music identification is also available (explained in detail shortly).

How do you identify songs with Amazon Music?

Shazam might be the most famous music identification service, but Amazon Music lets you do it as well. Using your Amazon Music subscription on an Alexa-enabled device allows you to ask, “who sings this song?” or “what’s playing right now?” while you listen. Alexa also offers Song ID if you want to know the names of every song and artist. You’ll hear the song’s title and artist before each track plays after activating it until you switch this feature off. Simply say “Alexa, turn on Song ID” to use it.

How do you listen to HD, Ultra HD, or Spatial Audio content with Amazon Music?

A picture of the Amazon Music HD mobile app with the streaming quality information pulled up on a Samsung Galaxy S10e.
You get a live view of HD playback quality from the Amazon Music Unlimited desktop and mobile apps.

An Amazon Music Unlimited subscription (except the Single-Device plan) gives you access to HD (CD-quality audio) and Ultra HD music (up to 24 bit, 192kHz). Plus, you can listen to a select catalog of Spatial Audio mastered in Dolby Atmos and 360 Reality Audio. This used to cost extra, but it’s now part of the Unlimited package.

To access HD and Ultra HD music, use the mobile or desktop apps, an Echo device, Sonos speakers, or another supported device. The web player does not support HD or Ultra HD playback. Spatial Audio requires the iOS or Android app. You can cast from any source to select models of smart speakers, too.

The question of whether it’s worth it to use HD or Ultra HD playback is something else altogether. Amazon Music’s HD offerings are a good option, but Ultra HD is likely overkill. Spatial Audio is usually worth it if the tracks you want have it available. It requires compatible headphones, though.

How do you use the Amazon Music sleep timer?

Your Amazon Music subscription offers a sleep timer for people who like to doze off listening to their favorite tunes through their earbuds or Bluetooth speakers. It’s pretty easy to use, too:

  1. Open Settings in the Amazon Music app on iOS or Android.
  2. Select “Sleep Timer” and choose intervals of 15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes, after which playback will end.

How do you equalize audio in Amazon Music?

Amazon Music does not offer its own equalizer, unlike Spotify or Apple Music. It requires you to use a third-party solution. That could be the app included with your Bluetooth headphones or another option on mobile or desktop. Read our in-depth guide to accessing the EQ on your headphones for more information.

How do you view song lyrics with Amazon Music?

A screenshot of the Amazon Music web player showing the album art of Sophie Ellis-Bextor's "Murder on the Dance Floor" and the current lyrics from 1:10 in the song which read: "Hey, hey It's murder on the dancefloor / But you better not steal the moves / DJ, gonna burn this goddamn house right down / Oh I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know / There may be others / And so, and so, and so, and so, and so, and so..." In the background is the artist's face with colorful makeup on and a flower in her hair.
Amazon Music lets you view song lyrics, album art, and more information if it’s available.

Your Amazon Music subscription includes X-Ray mode to let you view song lyrics, album art, and more. Not every song in Amazon Music’s library has lyrics available, however. It’s pretty easy to use:

How do you view song lyrics on Amazon Music mobile?

On mobile, Tap the “X-Ray” button at the bottom of the screen when playing a song, and the lyrics should appear if they’re available, along with other information. If you’re using the service on PC, start playing some music and then click the name of the song near the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. The lyrics and other information will then appear, if available

How do you use Amazon Music Car Mode?

A subscription to Amazon Music also includes Car Mode as a part of the mobile app. That means the app only displays its core features and will sync up with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, or Echo Auto. To activate Car Mode in the mobile app:

  1. Tap the “Settings” gear icon near the top right-hand corner.
  2. Select Car Mode.
  3. To activate Waze integration, tap “Enable Waze integration.”

After enabling Car Mode, Amazon Music will let you select personalized playlists and radio stations, top albums, and recently played songs. Search functionality comes from asking Alexa or tapping the button on the screen.

A picture of the Amazon Music HD mobile app play queue page next to a Samsung Galaxy Plus case.
Amazon Music mobile lets you use voice commands in addition to tapping the screen, which is ideal for distraction-free driving.

Once you pick the right Amazon Music subscription level for you, be sure to take advantage of its many other features. Whether that’s offline playback or HD audio, you’ll get a lot more bang for your buck with a bit of exploration.

Frequently asked questions about Amazon Music

Transferring your playlists from one streaming service to the next requires you to download a third-party app like Soundiiz. You can read our article on how to transfer playlists from one service to another.

It requires very little effort and the third-party transfer service does almost all of the heavy lifting. All you really need to do is tell it what playlists you want to migrate over.

We have a whole guide on Spotify if you want to see all that the service has to offer, but what really differentiates Spotify from other streaming services like Amazon Music are its social features. Well, that, and the lack of high-resolution streaming.

You can read our Amazon Music vs Spotify breakdown, but if you want to know pricing, Amazon Music costs Unlimited costs $7.99/month for prime members or $9.99/month for non-Prime members. Spotify costs $9.99/month but it also has its Duo tier which lets you share the account with one other person for $12.99/month. Both services have a student tier for $4.99/month.