Music Discovery (D):

  • Amazon has limited radio stations but they’re not bad. It learns your preferences similar to the way in which Pandora does it, allowing you to give a song a thumbs up or thumbs down.
  • The playlists are lacking. The human curation isn’t updated often and there’s no algorithmic curation unless you count their radio.
  • When browsing an artist’s songs, you get an unlimited list ranked by popularity, which is a nice feature.

Apps (D):

  • Amazon’s app setup is similar to Apple Music, but it’s more confusing than Apple’s, and you can’t see where the audio’s being played without an extra tap.
  • Inside the app, you can ask Alexa to find a song, and it’ll do so. However, I’m not sure when that would be useful considering you have a screen interface right in front of you.
  • There’s an extra step to add songs for offline listening instead of automatically adding it to your library.
  • There’s a “Stream only when on WiFi” button that’s helpful to preserve data.
  • Song lyrics show up in the app as a song plays.
  • The Mac and PC apps feel like they were put together haphazardly. Sometimes it doesn’t load.

Compatibility (C):

  • Amazon Music works best with Echo devices.
  • If you don’t know a song’s name, Alexa can find it if you say some of the lyrics. It’s a neat feature, but there are phone apps for that.
  • Even if you have very particular music tastes, Alexa will find you something to listen to.
  • You can AirPlay to HomePod, but it won’t work with Siri.
  • You can play Amazon Music inside the Sonos app.

Library (B-):

  • You can store as many songs as you’d like for offline listening on up to 10 devices.
  • You can’t upload your old songs to Amazon as you previously could. You can match your collection of songs with Amazon’s library. However, if there’s something Amazon doesn’t have, you’re out of luck.

Bonus (A+):

  • It’s only $8/month for Amazon Prime members.
  • The “Echo Plan” lets you play music only on Alexa devices for $4/month. This means you can’t create a library of music or listen in an app, but it’s a budget-conscious option.
  • Amazon Radio stations can be listened to for free (with ads).
  • There’s a free version called “Prime Music” that has 10 million songs that you can play for free on demand. (You have to be an Amazon Prime member).

Quick Review (TL;DR)

Discovery: They have limited radio stations and playlists with bad curation.
Apps: The phone app is similar to Apple but more confusing. The desktop version is bad.
Compatibility: It works best with Echo devices.
Library: You can’t upload your old songs to Amazon as you previously could.
Bonus: It’s only $8/month for Amazon Prime members or $4 for the "Echo Plan."

Who is this for?

Amazon Music Unlimited is best for you if you know what music you want to listen to and have Alexa devices. $4/month is a great value if you ONLY want music on your Echos. It's not for you if you want to discover new music, have a great interface, need to upload your own music, or need a desktop app.