Although there’s something to be said for the convenience of streaming music services, there’s also something to be said for enjoying music from your personal collection, especially if it involves rare or obscure stuff not found on the streaming services. If you want to be able to access your personal music library online—for example, if you want to play it through the Amazon Echo—you can upload all your songs to Amazon Music for access anywhere.
Update: Unfortunately, Amazon is shutting this service down on January 15, 2018. But if you upload your music now, it will stay available for streaming until January 2019, so do it now!
Sure, you could get your personal music pumping through your Echo by pairing your phone with the Echo via Bluetooth, but you won’t get to control the music with your voice, which is the whole point of the Echo in the first place. For most people, Google Play is probably a better bet for uploading your music—since it’s free for 50,000 songs. But if you want integration with the Amazon Echo, you’ll have to go with Amazon’s music service.
Unfortunately, you’ll probably have to pay up for that privilege. Dveryone gets storage space for 250 songs free with their Amazon account, but if you want to upload more than 250 songs, you’ll need an Amazon Music Unlimited account ($7.99 a month for Prime members, $9.99 a month for everyone else). The Unlimited account not only gives you access to tens of millions of streaming songs, but it also boosts your personal storage limit from 250 to 250,000 songs.
That said, any music you’ve bought on Amazon does not count toward that storage. That doesn’t just apply to MP3s, either—many physical media purchases on Amazon are eligible for their “AutoRip” service. This means that even if you got a CD or vinyl record in the mail, a digital copy of that album was probably automatically added to your Amazon Music collection (whether you realized it or not) and does not count against your personal storage quota. To see all your purchased Amazon music (including the AutoRip uploads), simply log into your Amazon account and look under My Music > Purchased in Amazon Music. Any music you see here you don’t need upload.
Convinced? Here’s how to upload your music. First, swing by the Amazon Music App download page and click on “Download Desktop App” to download a copy of the Music uploader for your operating system.
Run the installer. Once the installation is complete and the installed application has auto run, plug in your Amazon credentials and sign in.
Once logged in you’ll see an iTunes-esque interface with suggested music and so on, as seen below, with a toolbar off to the right hand side.
There, you’ll find a subsection of the “Actions” menu labeled “Upload (Drag & drop here)” and “Upload (Select Music)”.
Both are perfectly valid ways to send music to your Amazon Music cloud storage. You can drop and drop music files onto the upper button or you can click the lower button and manually select files or entire folders to upload using your operating system’s file explorer. We’ll take advantage of the ease of drag and drop now to send a piece of music history, the Fraggle Rockin’ : A Collection box set to the cloud.
Once the upload process has started, you can click on the button again to view the progress of the upload.
Once the upload process is complete, your songs will now be accessible both through any Amazon Music app on any of your devices as well as (and most importantly) through Alexa. You can now go to any of your Alexa-enabled devices like your Echo and issue commands like “Alexa, play [uploaded album name]” or “Alexa, play [uploaded song name]” and she will spool up the song just as fluidly as she would from a streaming service with a bonus—the bonus being there’s no “now playing [song name] from Prime Music” before your personal music, the song just simply starts.
The music is immediately accessible too (no scanning or analysis required). We issued the command “Alexa, play the Doozer Knitting Song” immediately after the upload process was complete and the song spun up, complete with a matching confirmation card in our alexa.amazon.com dashboard:
At this point you’re ready to enjoy your personal music collection through your Echo and with the full power of Alexa-driven voice control. Simply repeat the simple uploading process to add more music to your Amazon Music account and enjoy.