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10 Things You Need to Know About Amazon Music

Amazon has a new music streaming service, and it’s called Amazon Music. Here’s everything you need to know about the brand new service and how it works.

amazon music unlimited review

Table of Contents

Amazon Music Unlimited Review

Streaming music isn’t Amazon’s primary focus, so they’ve added Amazon Music Unlimited as an additional service to their Prime subscription. Keeping customers who have already adopted the Alexa way of life as their primary focus is key to Amazon’s success. As a result, Amazon is most appealing to households where Echo smart speakers and Fire TV streaming media players are already commonplace.

Though it has a smaller catalog than other big streamers, Amazon’s slightly lower price—at least compared to the resolution on offer—could be an attractive option for those who already have Prime.

With approximately 90 million tunes, Amazon Music Unlimited is on par with Apple Music and Tidal regarding the breadth and depth of their respective music libraries. No matter how obscure your tastes in punk, prog, or rock may be, you’re likely to find something that suits you.

For the most part, zoomers music streamers only listen to well-known artists like Billie Eilish and Lil Nas. Unfortunately, Amazon Music Unlimited isn’t very good at anticipating new releases and will only promote obnoxious pop and dance songs.

For all the enthusiasm Apple and Spotify put into podcasting, Amazon Music seems unconcerned, and even appears indifferent about securing exclusive content. Still, it does have an extensive podcast library to browse through.

Additionally, you can download tunes for use when you’re not connected to the internet. You can also use Alexa-powered smart speakers like the Amazon Echo Studio as a remote control with just a few voice signals.

In the end, many benefits come with using Amazon Music Unlimited as a streaming platform. As an essential tool for musicians who want to share their work, the platform also attracts an ever-expanding fan base and introduces innovative new features.

amazon music desktop
Photo by Windows Blog

Amazon Music Unlimited Specs 

Amazon claims that they provide access to over 90 million songs, and the homepage of Music Unlimited directs users to newly released music, music deemed “popular,” recommended music, and playlists.

Some users cannot pinpoint any apparent gaps in Amazon Music’s product lineup, and their search findings for lesser-known musical artists point to the company’s high success rate overall. After a slow start, the music video library has grown, but it’s not extensive yet.

You have the option to make purchases through Music Unlimited’s very own Digital Store, which is comparable to the ‘Digital Music’ section that can be found on the Amazon website. This feature is similar to the one that is available with Prime Video. 

Additionally, the user interface is dark, and the three primary tabs are labeled ‘Home,’ ‘Podcasts,’ and ‘Library.’ Your ‘Home’ page is laid out in horizontal rows that feature your most frequently played songs, playlists that were handpicked for you, tunes that you might enjoy based on what you’ve been listening to, and a variety of playlists that relate to specific.

With so much to choose from, it can be overwhelming. Because the desktop and mobile apps prioritize and arrange suggested content and playlists in slightly different ways, the user experience of the two types of apps can be somewhat inconsistent. 

One of the essential playlists you’ll use is “My Discovery Mix,” similar to Spotify’s “Discover Weekly.” It is a compilation of brand-new tracks handpicked based on your everyday music experience and the tunes you enjoy the most. 

However, it doesn’t have the same success rate as Spotify, and the recommendations seem to be a little older, so it’s not an excellent replacement for Spotify.

amazon music pricing

How Much Does Amazon Music Unlimited Cost? 

There are several different pricing tiers available for Amazon Music Unlimited. Individual accounts for non-Prime members cost $9.99 per month, while separate accounts for Prime subscribers cost $7.99 per month (or $79 if you subscribe for an entire year). 

Prime subscribers are the only ones who can purchase the Amazon Music Unlimited Family Plan, which costs $14.99 per month or $149 per year and is only available to those with a Prime membership. 

Amazon Music Unlimited for Students is a subscription service that costs $4.99 per month and is open to those enrolled full-time in an accredited college or university that awards degrees. To qualify, you must provide proof of enrollment through a platform called SheerID.

You are only allowed to stream from a single device at a time if you subscribe to the individual plan of Amazon Music Unlimited. You must subscribe to the Amazon Music Unlimited Family plan to listen from multiple devices simultaneously. This plan allows for a maximum of six gadgets to be used simultaneously.

Amazon Music Unlimited vs Amazon Prime Music 

Amazon Music Unlimited vs Amazon Prime Music 

Your Prime membership includes access to Amazon Music Prime for no additional cost. It features over a thousand playlists and stations and two million songs that Amazon’s in-house music experts have handpicked.

Whether studying late at night, working out in the morning, or just enjoying watching the stars in your backyard, Amazon Music Prime can help you find the perfect soundtrack to your activities. The most amazing part is you can get the music you love on all your favorite gadgets and listen to it offline even when you’re not connected to the internet.

Conversely, when you opt to sign up for Amazon Music Unlimited, aside from receiving all of the enticing features and capabilities of Amazon Music Prime, you also receive a great deal more. 

Amazon Music Unlimited provides users access to 75 million songs in high-definition (HD) lossless quality, millions of ultra-high definition (Ultra HD) tracks, and thousands of playlists and stations carefully curated by music industry professionals. Amazon also features the most recent albums of some of the most successful musicians working today. 

The extensive catalog offered by Amazon Music Unlimited enables you to delve deep into the back records of your favorite artists, enjoy the most recent and greatest hits, and investigate new musical categories and styles. Additionally, it provides users access to an expanding catalog of spatial audio content mastered in Dolby Atmos and 360 Reality Audio. 

amazon music competitors

Amazon Music vs. Competitors 

Let’s try to compare Amazon Music to four competitors.

spotify

Spotify

Compared to Spotify, Amazon Prime Music and Amazon Music Unlimited come close in terms of the music’s quality, music curation’s expertise, its streaming’s high quality, the building of the song library, the pricing, and the options for integration.

To begin, music streaming requests can be made through Amazon Music using the voice recognition functionality of Alexa. When you use Alexa with Amazon, you can search for songs according to the song’s artist, decade, mood, or lyrics. 

Alexa is supported by Spotify as well; however, the integration is not as robust, and the feature is more successfully implemented with Amazon Music. Customers who own an Echo can subscribe to Amazon Unlimited for $3.99 per month, a price difference between the two services. In addition, all you have to do to begin your free trial is ask your Alexa-supported device.

In addition, Amazon provides access to thousands of playlists carefully selected by music industry professionals and personalized streaming stations and live audio streams from which you can choose. Discover Weekly is an example of one of the algorithmically generated and expertly curated playlists on Spotify. This particular playlist is updated weekly on Mondays.

Last but not least, if you want to subscribe to Amazon’s Unlimited service, it will cost you $9.99 monthly. The premium version of Spotify can be subscribed to for the same price—$9.99 per month—as the standard version, so there is no significant price differential.

If, on the other hand, you are already a subscriber to Amazon Prime, you can get Amazon Prime Music, or you can upgrade to Unlimited for just $7.99, which represents savings. Free subscriptions and free trials are also available on both platforms.

tidal

Tidal

Tidal and Amazon Music are the music streaming services of choice for audiophiles and other music fans who are concerned with the quality of the audio of the music they listen to. Both services offer a better audio experience than competitors like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music using higher bitrates. 

Amazon Music HD is more affordable for most people, but Tidal has more songs and better sound quality. The included tracks should have the best audio experience thanks to the Masters Quality Authenticated audio. Still, Amazon Music Ultra HD offers a broader selection of channels at a higher rate than Tidal HiFi.

Whether you’re a student, first responder, or military member, you’ll save money with Amazon’s Prime or Tidal’s various pricing options. Amazon Prime members ($119 a year) save on Amazon Music HD and Ultra HD, while Tidal offers a broader range of discounts based on personal and professional work. 

If you want to listen to your favorite music, you can use Amazon Music and Tidal on iPhones, Androids, the web, desktops, and Apple TV.

Echo Studio, the highest fidelity smart speaker, is the best choice for listening to Amazon Music on smart speakers. There is limited support for Amazon Music HD on Google devices, but you can use it on other devices. 

As opposed to this, Tidal is compatible with a wide range of smart speakers, including Google Home, Nest, Sonos, and Echo. Tidal HiFi is a good option if you use intelligent speakers other than those from Amazon’s Echo family.

After comparing the two services’ respective music libraries, it was discovered that the music library available on Tidal HiFi is superior to that of Amazon Music HD. Hence, when experts compared Tidal and Amazon music, they were pleasantly surprised by the excellent sound quality of Tidal HiFi. In addition, Tidal is equipped with a function called “master quality recording.”

Besides that, Tidal HiFi provides access to a wide range of exclusive videos, which include documentary films, live concert streams, and music videos. Only your featured content will be available on Amazon Music streams, such as playlists, tunes, albums, and your favorite music channels.

See also: Tidal vs. Apple Music

qobuz

Qobuz

Qobuz provides its subscribers with multiple options for listening to music. As with Amazon Music’s user compatibility, Qobuz has an iOS and Android-specific mobile app, a Mac and Windows-specific desktop application, and a Web-based interface.

The interface of the streaming service is the same regardless of which access method you choose. Qobuz greets users with the “discover” tab, which showcases the most recent editorial content, new releases, and playlists. Compared to other services, the recommendations here aren’t as tailored to your preferences as those from Pandora or Spotify.

Additionally, genres are not taken into consideration when classifying categories or playlists. On the other hand, it is still possible to find them by using the search tab.

While other services like Spotify and Pandora do offer MP3 files, Qobuz is one of the few that does not. Rather than that, users can only listen to music in high definition (HD), with a quality standard of 16 bits and 44.1 kilohertz, equivalent to a CD. 

Users can subscribe to Studio Premier for the price of $14.99 per month with a commitment of one year to gain access to the extensive music library that contains more than 70 million songs.

On the other hand, the web interface and mobile app for Amazon Unlimited aren’t quite as user-friendly as those of Apple Music or Qobuz, but they’re still not terrible by any means. In contrast to Qobuz, its home page features stations and recommendations tailored to the user. With these, you’ll never run out of things to read or artists to discover.

The seamless integration with other Amazon products that are compatible with the Alexa voice assistant is one of the many strengths of Amazon Music HD. Hence, Amazon Music is ideal for those who enjoy listening to music while sleeping on the couch.

apple music

Apple Music

It’s no secret that Apple Music and Amazon Music have undergone significant transformations in the music streaming services. And these days, it’s possible to stream lossless music on Apple Music and enjoy spatial audio on Amazon Music Unlimited, both of which are now free on the streaming service’s premium tier.

At this point, Apple shows its actual class. During the initial setup of the Apple Music app, you will be prompted to select your preferred musical genres and artists. It is of great assistance concerning the selection of music and making recommendations. Additionally, adding new artists, playlists, and tracks to your library is a simple process. 

On the other hand, Amazon Music needs a little more time to get to know your preferences before making recommendations. An example is your favorite artists and bands from your playback history and seemingly random additions, pre-populated in the default ‘My Soundtrack’ station home page. Therefore, locating the most recent songs or tracks suitable to your musical tastes may be challenging.

When using an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or an Android phone or tablet, the Music app, which has a simple white interface and is pre-installed on all three devices, is the only way to access the Apple Music library.

There are tabs for listening to your music, browsing the Apple Music catalog, and discovering new radio stations. At the same time, the For You section offers personalized recommendations based on your previous listening habits.

A black-and-white interface distinguishes the Amazon Music app, which is available on iOS and Android. To find new music, playlists, and artists to listen to, use the Browse section, which is divided into categories. You can also use the Recents and My Music sections, which display recently accessed music and your saved music.

amazon music library and audio quality
Photo by Alphacolor on Unsplash

Music Library and Audio Quality 

Over 90 million songs and many stations are available in the Amazon Music Unlimited catalog. You’ll be able to use any Amazon Music Unlimited playlists you’ve created with Amazon Music Prime. You are free, of course, to make brand new ones as well.

Discovering and purchasing music is made simple with Music Unlimited’s user-friendly interface. You’ll find suggested albums and playlists based on your listening habits practically everywhere on the app’s layout. Thankfully, you won’t feel pressured or compelled to follow any of these suggestions. It’s going to be a benefit to you.

Although the Amazon Music service might not be the most innovative in terms of its operation and usability, it makes up for its shortcomings regarding the quality of the music it streams. Tracks of CD quality (16 bits with a sample rate of 44.1 kHz) are the industry standard and are referred to as HD by the company. Additionally, there is an increasing amount of high-resolution 24-bit content, which the company refers to as UHD.

You won’t need anything else if you’ve already got a good set of headphones for listening to music. Also, Amazon Music Unlimited strongly supports Dolby Atmos surround sound mixes, which is excellent news for the growing number of albums that feature Atmos sound.

amazon music unlimited review
Photo by Andres Urena on Unsplash

Amazon Music Unlimited HD 

After several tests or experimentations, audiophiles and experts said that they found Amazon Music HD an even better audio experience. But when Apple announced support for Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos, Amazon removed the extra $5 per month cost from the original plan.

To refresh your memory, lossless audio enables you to hear the total bit rate of recordings obtained from hi-res music sources than CDs. You can hear more accurately what the musicians and engineers had to work with when they recorded music, similar to Amazon Music HD audio quality. 

Amazon Music HD offers lossless High Definition (HD) music with a bit depth of 16 bits and a sample rate of 44.1 kilohertz. And over seven million songs are available to stream in Ultra HD on Amazon Music HD. 

In addition, you can stream Amazon Music HD through your web browser; however, for the best experience, you should download the desktop app or mobile app available for iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows. It is also incorporated into various home devices, such as loudspeakers, amplifiers, and soundbars, and encompasses all Amazon Echo products, Fire TV devices, and Sonos speakers. 

Although the desktop app isn’t as smooth as Spotify, Tidal, or Apple Music, the user experience is similar, thanks to a subtle dark gray and white color palette and playlist artwork showcased in full color across the screen.

With Amazon Music HD, you have the option of creating your playlists. Even if many of them aren’t tailored to your specific needs, they still generate helpful suggestions. Other sections include Albums for You, which included various music that we hadn’t previously heard but matched our interests. Afterward, you’ll get suggestions based on what you’ve already heard.

Consequently, the only drawback of the Amazon Unlimited HD algorithm is that it is less user-friendly than Spotify, which can be a hassle if you are looking for music you enjoy.

amazon music podcast
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Podcasts and Video 

Amazon Music Unlimited takes a page out of Spotify’s playback by providing users access to a sizable podcast library. Those who are already subscribed to Amazon Music Unlimited and enjoy watching shows such as Code Switch, Dolly Parton’s America, or WTF With Marc Maron no longer have to look elsewhere for those programs. 

Even better, Amazon Music Unlimited includes exclusive episodes of original podcasts hosted by notable celebrities like DJ Khaled, Becky G, Will Smith, and Dan Patrick, among others. It is another step that Amazon Music Unlimited is taking to maintain a level playing field with its rivals, particularly in the highly cutthroat entertainment sector.

Previous criticisms of Amazon Music Unlimited focused on the service’s lack of video content; therefore, it is gratifying to discover that the company has begun offering music videos in addition to its audio content. Music videos are categorized based on the musical genre they belong to and iconic artists.

amazon music player
Photo by Tyler Lastovich on Unsplash

Amazon Music Unlimited Mobile Apps 

An Amazon Music Unlimited app is available for Android and iOS operating systems. After putting the Android version through its paces on our mobile device, experts found that it accurately represented the Music Unlimited desktop application. 

The application features a vast number of playlists, as well as helpful recommendations and a music store where users can make purchases. Aside from searching for songs by lyrics, you can also use Amazon’s Alexa technology to listen to individual songs or playlists. 

amazon music review
Photo by Jesman fabio on Unsplash

Expert’s Rating 

Amazon Music gets an 8 out of 10 rating from the experts. According to several reviews collated by the experts and their experimentation, some are dissatisfied with the music recommendations. 

However, the service is straightforward and includes all of the features one would anticipate for the price. The recommendations aren’t as customized as those created by Apple Music or Spotify. 

As was previously mentioned, one of the advantages of using Amazon Music is that it is compatible with all Amazon devices and Alexa. In addition to providing high-resolution tracks and a selection of titles available in Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 Reality Audio, it is reasonably priced for customers of Amazon Prime.

The drawback of Amazon Music is that its X-Ray feature, which is an excellent addition to Prime Video, provides very little helpful information. Its free subscription gives limited options to the other services in the industry.

You might want to check this Amazon Music video review as well.

Our Verdict 

Before choosing a music streaming service to fulfill your music mantra, you may consider Amazon Music, which is unquestionably one of the incredible streaming platforms available today. It provides a user interface that is simple to navigate, a sizable music library, and a variety of subscription tiers, allowing you to personalize your listening experience to your exact preferences.

Additionally, Amazon Music is the best option for you if you’re a music lover. It differentiates itself from other services, which only provide streaming of a lower exper than this. It offers a very realistic listening experience, making anyone proud to have it in their possession.

It is the most reasonably priced high-resolution streaming service currently offered, coming in at just $7.99 per month for Prime members. Amazon Music Unlimited is still an excellent deal for people who don’t have Prime membership because it competes with Deezer’s pricing. It also undermines Tidal’s pricing options while providing a large amount of high-definition and ultra-high-definition content.

If you don’t care about the app’s aesthetics, Amazon Music Unlimited is an irresistible deal for anyone who appreciates audio experience above all else.

What do you think?

Written by Stephanne Alfaro

Stephanne Alfaro is a writer with a heart for R&B and Soul music. She appreciates underrated yet beautiful songs from independent artists and supports local artists through writing.

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