Amazon’s Alexa is becoming less hospitable to people who prefer to buy music instead of just signing up for a music subscription service such as Spotify. 

Until recently, Amazon Music Storage was the best way to stream your personal music collection onto Alexa devices—provided it was encoded as MP3 files. But last December, Amazon stopped supporting new uploads for the free service; it stopped accepting paid subscriptions a month later. In January 2019, Amazon shut down Music Storage entirely, rendering your MP3 collection inaccessible on Echo devices unless you purchased the songs directly through Amazon’s digital store.

That doesn’t mean you’re out of options. To play your own MP3s (or music encoded in other formats, such as FLAC) on the Echo or other Alexa devices, you can still use Plex or My Media Server for Alexa, both of which allow you to stream songs you’ve stored on another device. Alternatively, a service called My Pod lets you to stash some songs in Google Drive and access them with custom voice commands. These services aren’t as full-featured or as easy to use as Amazon Music was, but at least they still let you access your music collection with voice commands.

Here’s how to keep the music playing:

Option 1: Plex Media Server

To have Plex play your music files on an Amazon Echo, you’ll need a media server device that is always on and can run Plex Media Server. That can include a desktop computer (running Windows, MacOS, or Linux), a NAS (network-attached storage) box, or an Nvidia Shield TV. Plex does not currently support streaming to Alexa devices from Plex Cloud servers.

Streaming your music this way also has some limitations compared to Amazon Music and other services that don’t require installing an Alexa skill, such as Spotify and Pandora:

  • Whole-home music is not supported, so you can listen on only one speaker at a time
  • You can’t set Plex as the default streaming service, and you must use specific syntax (either “Alexa, ask Plex…” or “Alexa, tell Plex…”) to play your songs each time.
  • Responses from Plex take slightly longer than Alexa’s built-in music services.
  • Album art isn’t supported on the Echo Show.

Still on board? Here’s how to set up Plex for Alexa music playback:

1. Sign up for a free Plex account, which is required to use the service with Alexa.



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