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How to Play Apple Music on Alexa Devices: An In-Depth Guide

Streaming Apple Music to Alexa-enabled smart speakers and displays is an excellent way to enjoy lossless audio and spacious Dolby Atmos tracks through your home sound system. But getting it set up can be confusing if you‘ve never linked accounts between the two before.

In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll provide an expert look at the ins and outs of using Apple‘s streaming music service on Amazon‘s personal assistant devices. We‘ll cover:

  • Growth trends in adoption of voice assistants and smart speakers
  • Technical pros, cons, privacy considerations around Apple Music
  • Step-by-step instructions to connect via mobile and web apps
  • Alexa device buying considerations for audio quality
  • Tips for accessing Apple Music hands-free after linking
  • Troubleshooting and limitations to be aware of

So whether you are new to streaming music or a considering an audio equipment upgrade, read on for a deep dive into playing Apple Music tracks with Alexa!

The Rapid Rise of Smart Speakers and Voice Assistants

While streaming music services have been popular for years now, the advent of smart assistants and speakers has made the experience easier and more convenient than ever.

Industry analysis firm Futuresource estimates there are now over 440 million voice-assistant enabled devices worldwide as of Q3 2022. This includes smart speakers along with phones, tablets, PCs and more capable of voice interactions.

In particular, dedicated smart speaker sales saw 52% year-over-year growth globally through the first three quarters of 2022 as per Futuresource data. Amazon still holds the largest chunk of this market at around 28% share.

When looking specifically at Alexa-powered devices, industry research firm Strategy Analytics reports that Amazon maintains 33% global smart speaker share as of Q3 2022. This translates to 25 million Alexa device sales just in that most recent quarter!

The flexibility to access streaming music hands-free and with voice commands has been a major driver fueling smart speaker adoption over the past several years. And the ability to link platforms like the widely-used Apple Music with Amazon‘s assistant makes the value proposition that much stronger for consumers.

Next let‘s explore some of the technical pros and cons of Apple Music as a service…

Apple Music Pros and Cons

While Spotify tends to get a lot of the mainstream attention, Apple Music has several compelling features in its own right. Before diving into setup, here is a brief expert rundown of some key pros and notable limitations.


Massive and Inclusive Catalog – With over 100 million songs as of late 2022 spanning virtually every genre, Apple Music offers one of the most exhaustive libraries available amongst streaming platforms. From major label artists to independents and smaller bands, you‘ll have no shortage of options.

Lossless and Dolby Atmos Support – Apple Music subscribers can stream a substantial subset of the catalog in lossless CD-quality or hi-res audio, assuming compatible equipment. Lossless maintains full fidelity and clarity. Dolby Atmos adds special positional audio effects for extra spaciousness. Ideal for home theater systems or high-end headphones.

Integrates Well Across Apple Ecosystem – As you would expect, Apple Music interoperates seamlessly across iPhones, iPads, Macs and even Apple TV 4K with shared playlists, downloaded songs and the works. The Android and Alexa integrations work quite smoothly too however.

Very Competitive Pricing – At $10/month for an Individual plan or $15 for a Family plan sharing with up to 5 others, Apple Music hits a nice sweet spot on affordability. Discounted annual plans are also available for additional savings. Student and military discounts provide further value.


No Free Ad-Supported Listening Tier – Unlike Spotify which offers a basic free access level alongside paid premium plans, Apple Music requires a paid subscription to use the service at all. No way to sample the catalog or features for free before committing.

Privacy Record Not Spotless – While Apple positions privacy as a selling point, they have faced controversies around allegedly using personal Siri data for quality control. Be sure to monitor settings and permissions closely for any streaming service.

So in summary, Apple Music stands out for audio quality, ecosystem tie-ins, and reasonable pricing. Lack of an free tier and privacy questions are worth keeping in mind however.

With the basics covered, let‘s move on to actually linking an account…

Connect Apple Music via the Alexa Mobile App

Here is a step-by-step walkthrough including detailed screenshots for connecting Apple Music with Alexa using the official mobile app for Android or iOS:

Step 1: Download the Latest Alexa App

Make sure you have the most up-to-date version of the Alexa app from the Play Store or App Store. This will ensure compatibility with the latest Apple Music linkage features.

Alexa App on Google Play Store

Alexa App on Apple App Store

Step 2: Launch the App and Add Devices

Ensure any Echo speakers, displays or other Alexa-powered devices are fully set up on your WiFi network. The pairing process is quick and painless.

Managing devices in the Alexa app

Step 3: Navigate to Settings > Music & Podcasts

Use the "More" tab in the bottom toolbar to get to overall settings, then choose the "Music & Podcasts" subsection about halfway down the settings menu listing.

Locating the Music & Podcast Linking Section

Step 4: Select Link New Service

This section shows connected services and an option to "Link New Service" at the top. Tap this then locate Apple Music among providers.

Start linking a new music service

Step 5: Tap "Enable To Use"

Granting permission to use Apple Music with Alexa requires enabling a special skill. Just tap the "Enable To Use" button to proceed.

Enabling the Apple Music skill

Step 6: Sign Into Your Apple Music Account

Use your Apple ID and password to authenticate and link your personal paid Apple Music subscription account to Alexa.

Signing into your Apple Music account

Step 7: Start Enjoying Apple Music via Alexa!

With accounts successfully connected, you can now request songs, albums, playlists and more from your Apple Music library just through Alexa voice commands.

Some examples:

  • "Alexa, play today‘s hits playlist on Apple Music"
  • "Alexa, play album [name] by Taylor Swift from my Apple Music"
  • "Alexa, play some classical music playlists on Apple Music"

Step 8: Make Apple Music Your Default (Optional)

For seamless ongoing access without having to specify Apple Music each time, you can set it as your default music service for Alexa requests under Settings > Music & Podcasts > Default Services.

Setting Apple Music as your go-to music service

And that covers getting up and running from the mobile app! Next let‘s discuss linking via web as another option…

Connect Via the Alexa Website

In a pinch, you can also change default music services for Alexa through the Alexa web interface when the mobile app is not available:

Step 1: Navigate to the Alexa Website

You can find the main Alexa web app portal at or just search for "Alexa web app". Make sure you are signed into your Amazon account for access.

It works well in all major desktop browsers though has limited mobile support. I recommend a laptop or desktop computer.

Alexa Web App Landing Page

Step 2: Click Settings > Music & Media

Over on the left side navigation menu, find and click the Settings section. Then about halfway down look for the "Music & Media" subsection specifically.

Accessing the Music & Media settings area

Step 3: Choose Apple Music As Default

Here you can select Apple Music to use as your primary music library for playback on all synced Alexa devices. Hit save to confirm the changes.

Making Apple Music the default music backend

And that‘s the basics of getting up and running via the web! The mobile app does provide richer overall device management capabilities however.

Next let‘s discuss some key factors in choosing Alexa devices for great audio playback…

Buying an Alexa Device for Apple Music Listening

While Apple Music will work on any Alexa-enabled Echo speaker, display or appliance, sound quality can vary greatly across product lines. Here are some expert tips on getting the best listening experience:

Prioritize the Latest Generation – Amazon refreshes Echo products yearly, with each new lineup bringing audio performance improvements. Opt for the latest available models when possible even if paying a small premium over older generations.

Consider Higher-End Echos – The flagship premium Echo Studio with Dolby Atmos support will sound noticeably better than bargain models like the Echo Dot Kids. But even the latest standard Echo splits the difference nicely.

Add a Subwoofer – For full cinematic audio, pairing your chosen Echo with a powered subwoofer will dramatically improve bass response and immersiveness. The Echo Sub is the obvious integrated option but third-party subs work too.

Factor in Room Size – Larger spaces may require additional speakers or higher wattage models to sufficiently fill the environment compared to placing an Echo Dot in a small bedroom for example.

Enable Higher Bitrate Streaming – Under Music settings, switch from the default "Standard" quality up to "High" for 256 kbps streams or "Highest" for 850 kbps ultra HD streams to take advantage of Apple Music‘s lossless songs.

Here is a quick rundown of standout current Alexa models to consider for Apple Music:

Device Key Features Price
Echo Studio Five Dolby Atmos speakers
330W peak power
Ultra HD lossless streaming
Echo (4th Gen) 76mm woofer
Two tweeters
195 Watts total
Zigbee hub
Echo Dot (5th Gen) Improved 1.73" driver
Front-firing sound
Cloth mesh exterior

Investing in more advanced Echos can truly take Apple Music rocking, thoughsound quality has improved markedly even on entry dots.

Okay, you should now have Apple Music cleanly integrated with Alexa and playing beautifully on your gear of choice. Next I‘ll provide some pro tips for accessing and managing the service hands-free…

Tips for Using Apple Music with Alexa

Here are some expert recommendations for getting the most out of Apple Music through Alexa once you have accounts linked:

Create Alexa-Friendly Playlists – For complex artist names, albums or tracks, add songs to a playlist with a simple name for requests like "Alexa play my chill mix". Easier than trying to pronounce every intricate title.

Enable Explicit Filtering If Desired – Apple Music opens up access to virtually any content. If having young family members using the device, consider toggling on explicit filtering under Alexa app settings for a more radio-friendly experience.

Use Natural Language Flows – Alexa understands commands well beyond just triggering playlists. Try casual speech like "Alexa, I feel like listening to upbeat popular indie music on Apple Music." The assistant processes requests contextually.

Add Multi-Room if Applicable – If you have various Echos placed around your home, grouping them into multi-room sets allows Apple Music playback to be perfectly synchronized. Great for whole-house parties!

Check Out New Release Mixes – Every Friday, personalized mixes of fresh songs and albums are added automatically to Apple Music libraries. Just ask "Alexa, what are the latest releases on Apple Music" to discover new artists.

That covers key advice areas to improve your Apple Music Alexa usage! Now let‘s dig into troubleshooting and limitations…

Troubleshooting Tips and Current Limitations

While Siri and Alexa work well together for most core functionality, there are couple nuances and restrictions around playback, requests, and feeds worth noting:

Multi-User Support Issues – Only the primary account holder of an Echo device can currently link Apple Music even in a household with multiple people and profiles. Support for switching between accounts is limited.

No Access to Liked Songs or Other Personalization – You can request playlists or library content on Apple Music via Alexa, but don‘t have access to likes, recommendations or other personalized feeds. Siri has deeper integration.

playback Controls Partially Limited – While you can pause, resume or stop Apple Music playback through voice, next/previous track commands only work on tracks within specified playlists (not overall session history).

If running into connection issues, first make sure both the Alexa and Apple Music apps are fully updated. Also confirm your WiFi network is operating normally. Review account settings in both apps to verify correct linkage and troubleshoot from there based on any error messages provided.

Now that we‘ve covered a ton of ground around using Apple Music on Alexa, let‘s wrap up with some final thoughts…


I hope this guide served as definitive and in-depth resource for getting set up with Apple Music across your Alexa-powered devices. We covered key trends and rationale, technical service analysis, step-by-step linkage instructions, product buying considerations, usage tips and troubleshooting practices.

Feel free to reach out with any additional questions!