12
Jun
unnamed (1)

If you've been paying attention to the tech rumor mill as of late, you probably know that Amazon has been planning to buff up its Prime subscription service with a musical component. The web retail giant flipped the switch last night, and now Amazon MP3 is Amazon Music. If you already have a subscription to Amazon Prime (which offers free 2-day shipping and access to Netflix-style streaming TV and movies), then you're now subscribed to Prime Music, the service's premium competitor to Spotify and Google Music All Access.

2014-06-12 14.30.56 2014-06-12 14.40.44 2014-06-12 14.40.24

Along with a rebrand of the Amazon MP3 service (which pre-dates Google Music, by the way) the Amazon MP3/Cloud Player app has been replaced. The new app, "Amazon Music - Play & Download," is pretty similar to the old one, except that now a portion of the music that Amazon sells is instantly available for Prime members to stream or download. When you log into the app with a Prime-enabled account, some songs and albums will feature a +Add button in place of a price, adding the music to your personal collection. Prime members can stream an unlimited amount of music with no ads, though the selection of subscription songs and albums may be somewhat disappointing.

The app itself has been given a small visual refresh, keeping most of the orange-on-black visuals inherited from the Kindle and Amazon Appstore apps. Unfortunately, Amazon's Prime Music only has "over 1 million" songs in its streaming library, compared to "over 20 million" on competing services like Google, Spotify, Beats, and Rdio. A few quick searches of some of my more esoteric favorites reveals very little that can be accessed without paying extra. That comparatively small number of premium music means that Amazon Music Prime is more of a perk for existing Prime users than an actual incentive against its competitors.

2014-06-12 14.49.40 2014-06-12 14.50.20 2014-06-12 14.50.38

Prime Music probably won't sell subscriptions on its own, but as yet another feather in Amazon's digital media cap, it's serviceable enough. Amazon Music and Prime Music are also available on iOS, all the Kindle Fire devices, and the web. Amazon Prime is $99 a year, and includes access to Amazon Prime Music, Amazon Prime Instant Video, free two-day shipping on a variety of Amazon retail items, and a few other perks. At the moment Amazon Prime Music is available only in the United States.

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

    Nice try, Amazon, but I'll stick with All Access.

    • Daniel Marcus

      I'll stick with All Access myself, but for my parents (who already have Prime) this will be wonderful.

    • firesoul453

      As someone who didn't get all access for $8 and is not willing to pay $10 (and who already has prime) this is great.

    • mantra2

      Yeah the selection is horribly lacking.

  • Tony Byatt

    One step closer to a Prime Instant Video app...

    • Tuấn Ankh

      Been waiting for that since forever...

    • Anthony

      Nice wish.

  • David Li

    More than justifies the $20/yr increase in price. which is less than $2/ month

    • atlouiedog

      Unless of course you're not interested in the music service and still have to pay the fee. That's sort of the problem with services like Prime or Xbox Live when they increase the prices and justify that it's to pay for new features. If you don't care about those new features, it doesn't ease the bitterness of the price increase

      Of course I'm all for it even though I'm not a Prime subscriber. My rdio sub is running out soon and this might be enough to get me to join up because it's definitely added value for me.

      • ddpacino

        Should be tiers.

      • David Li

        Well the idea of prime is that it is a luxury service. If you can't afford something as cheap as $99 a year, you should probably be spending less. Heck some people spend over $99 a month on cell service. Prime will only lead you to spend more. Two-day shipping is pretty expensive and Amazon losses money off of Prime shipping so they can not have tiers. Their current "tier" would be the lowest. They make money off of Prime members because they shop at Amazon more, not because of the subscription fee.

      • jstew182

        Besides shipping, this is the first thing that has come to Prime that is convenient to use on Android...just wish Prime Video was an option to use.

      • firesoul453

        Well its hard to deny that even without it prime is well worth it.

        • atlouiedog

          Sure, if, like anything, you use it enough to make it worth it. I canceled my sub awhile ago, years before the price increase, just because I started ordering less and less from Amazon, and I don't really care if my 100 pack of razor blades comes in two days or in ten.

          • firesoul453

            ofcourse

  • Lupe Fiasco

    Whether you like Amazon or not this is indeed a truly welcome addition for Prime Members.

  • prestone1

    I love prime, it has paid for itself in so many ways, so many times.

  • http://www.binarytuberculosis.com BinaryTB

    This is pretty cool, but doesn't sound like it has a "radio" feature with songs streaming based on genre, other types of songs, etc. Like Pandora. Does anybody know? At work so I can't check.

    Already have Google Play All Access (still hate that name) and I find that I use the radio streaming more than the individual album/songs streaming.

    • si3ge

      i just downloaded to check for this. i dont see a radio generation option anywhere yet. you can look by "genre" but that just categorizes the music in your library as such. its kind of scary to look at cause everytime i click a song theres buttons all over the place to buy the songs/album even though i should have access through prime for free. theres only ONE prime button though. to me it looks like an app still in its early stages... no radio feature which is a no-brainer for any music service... somewhat scary layout that still shows pricetags all over the place... not a lot of content is even available.
      its a nice and welcome addition, im not complaining. but i am nowhere near sold on this as even a plan-b/fallback music player, much less a replacement for all access.

  • Milton P.

    More music for me Yay! Now I have Spotify (my GF uses that one) Google Music All Access and Amazon Prime Music, that's good news.

    Viva la competition!

  • bigray327

    Here's hoping they have more music than Prime has streamable movies.

  • rjyanj

    "This app is incompatible with all of your devices"

    LG Nexus 5
    Samsung Galaxy SIII
    Samsung Galaxy S

    Am I doing something wrong?

    • Blue Sun

      I just installed it to my LG Nexus 5 (AT&T).

      • rjyanj

        Must of been a quirk with the web version of the Play Store. I was eventually able to install through the Play app on my Nexus. Strange.

    • Jephri

      You are still rocking a galaxy s?

      • Nathan J

        He could have been rocking it a year ago. Google has a long memory. You can't remove devices; instead, they drop off 9 months to a year (reports vary) since Google last saw (i.e. synced with) your device. So my devices include my Nexus 7, my Galaxy S3... and a virtual machine I have of Jellybean that I used once. My Electrify dropped off somewhat recently (I bought the S3 last March).

  • TechWings

    I haven't used Amazon for music since All Access came out. But I am Prime member, so I checked it out. Didn't I read somewhere the music has to be older than six months in order to add it without purchasing? No bueno.

  • flight13

    They should have included the additional storage of my personal collection for free instead of keeping a separate yearly fee of $25. 250 song uploads on the free account is silly especially since their catalog for Prime Music is so small at the moment.

  • runderekrun

    Am I missing something or do you really have to add the track to your library before you can listen? If so the process for listening to music is: Search for a track, click add to library, click to go to your library, click to start the track. On spotify and Google All Access its just search then click play on the track.

  • evil_INDEED

    No interest in the Prime aspect, but the update to archaic Amazon MP3 app is welcome. It was literally an Eclair relic. It looks a lot nicer now and can *finally* stop music and close the app from the status bar (before you had to open the app, go to the now playing section, hit the 3-dot overflow and select "clear player").

  • Matthew Fry

    I'm surprised they're letting us use it on our non-Kindle devices. Anyway, this is definitely designed to be a checkbox on marketing materials.

    "Prime has,
    ✓ Free Shipping
    ✓ Movies
    ✓ Music
    ✓ that Kindle borrowing thing
    Give us money!"

    Not that I'm mad. More free music for all!

  • Godspoken

    ....Huh. I'm already a Prime guy. Going to have to try this out, wonder if it'll make me cancel my Play Music subscription. Darn, Prime gets better every year.

  • GigaCode

    I already have the amazon prime, so its not a bad offer for me.

  • nickmeister

    Enjoying the free prime music as we speak...pretty sweet

  • Nathan J

    I had Google Music All Access and I got it at the $7.99 price. But I had to cancel it due to low funds (IIRC this was last summer). When I first got it, I used it a lot. Listened to, I guess half a dozen albums in the first month. I'm not big on discovering new music. I love the music I have. Second month I tried real hard to justify keeping it. After that it was, "$7.99 a month is my Google bill, they provide so many awesome services for free including unlimited music." Couple months later I canceled it. It would be $9.99 a month for me to re-join, but it wasn't worth it at $7.99, so why would $9.99 get me back? LOL.

    For Amazon... I don't really care about their Prime Video since we use Netflix. I've been meaning to check out Prime Video, especially since they got some old HBO stuff. I never watched The Sopranos, for example. (I did watch Six Feet Under. Twice. It may not be the best show of all time, but it has the best ending of all time, so if you like TV drama at all, it really is a must-see.) We got Prime at the $80 price, and just in time, too. It was worth it at that price. I'm not sure it's worth $100. But we subbed right at tax time, so we'll probably re-up next year just because we can.

    Maybe Google should do something like Prime. An annual-recurring service that includes premium versions of all their products and services. A real Google experience like the opportunity to beta test apps and chat with the developers, provide input via something like a forum or private G+ community. I don't have all the ideas fleshed out because it just came to me, but I think yearly subs retain customers better than shorter terms. Especially lower, like Xbox Gold's $60 (though cheaper yearly subs can be found on sale) or LastPass's $12 (for a full year, yep). Though, I do have one idea. A Google phone, like a Nexus device, but super cheap (Moto G like) and you do all your calling via Google Voice over WiFi. Buy the phone and get a year of Google VIP with it. More Google Drive space, Google Music All Access, some kind of video package... That would be awesome.

  • yochanan

    Beware the try free for 30 days if you've ever had an Amazon Prime trial before (apparently I already did years ago). No confirmation whatsoever & they charged me $99. Cancelled immediately. I do not have 1-Click on, FYI.

  • Bob

    Can't install on my T-mobile Galaxy S5.

  • NunjaBusiness

    No landscape mode = lame for tablets.

  • Stuart

    Is this only available in the USA/Canada? I have a UK Amazon Prime account and don't see Prime music :-(

  • Jdwer

    I just found out that there is a website called Clippings.io for organizing all of the highlights for managing the Kindle notes and highlights you make on your Kindle. Best of all it's free, hope you enjoy.