The Amazon Echo is an amazing device that is built around the playback of music. It does not store it's own audio files (such as with a microSD or SD card). Instead, the Echo is designed to access music either straight from the cloud or from another device via Bluetooth audio.
Alexa supports many streaming music services including Spotify Premium, Pandora, TuneIn, iHeartRadio as well as the Prime Music service and Amazon Music Unlimited. But what about the music you already own on your computer in MP3 format? Maybe you don't subscribe to a premium streaming service because you already own a lot of your own music in the form of MP3 files on your computer hard drive. You can play your MP3's on the Echo.
Listen to Your Music
There is a solution! You can upload your songs to Amazon Music and they will then be available for your use from Alexa. There is no charge for the basic service. As a bonus, you can also use Apps for both iOS and Android to listen to the music, when you are on the go.
You start by going download the Amazon Music Application which is available for both PC (Windows 7/8/10) and Mac (Yosemite, Mavericks, El Capitan).
This process is a little bit more than just a download, as you have to 'buy' it (for free) and go through the checkout process. You then go to your Amazon software locker to download it to your system. Once you have completed checkout, you will receive email instructions on where to download it from.
If you will be using it on both a Mac and PC, add both versions to the checkout basket at the same time. They are two different downloads, and two different (free) purchases.
You next need to install it, which is actually pretty simple. You'll need to enter your amazon account information (as your music is linked to this).
Adding the Music
Start the Application, and after it has completed loading, click on the cloud icon in the upper left hand corner.
Now, click on the hamburger menu in the upper left hand corner of the window (looks like three lines). Click on More and click on Upload Music to Cloud Library.
The main window will now be empty and it will say "Upload Music to your Cloud Library". It will look like this:
Now, use Windows Explorer or Mac Finder to show the folder on your computer of the MP3 files you wish to make available to Alexa. Once you have found them, it is just a matter of selecting the files (you can do more than one at a time) and dragging those files into the Amazon Music window.
Once you have selected all the MP3 files you wish to add to Amazon Music, it might take a while for the files to upload. When they have uploaded, you can now refer to them by name to play them. For example, "Alexa, play Dark Side of the Moon, by Pink Floyd". Alexa will find the song in your library and play it back. You can add the word album into your command, like "Alexa, play the album Dark Side of the Moon, by Pink Floyd" to get the entire album, rather than just a song.
Amazon places limitations on the number of songs you can upload. The default (and free) setting is limited to 250 songs. To get up to 250,000 songs it costs $24 per year.
As you can see, you can play your MP3's on the Echo. It is pretty cool to get your own music and make it available to Alexa. Unfortunately, there is a pretty low limit on the free level. The good news is that the paid level provides a large number of songs and is pretty inexpensive.
Let me know what you think. Was this useful? Do you have any interest in making your own MP3 files available on Alexa? Is it worth it or a bit too much work?