How To Play Free Music on the Echo Dot
The Echo Dot is Amazon’s inexpensive yet highly functional home automation device. Compatible with nearly every Alexa product and most other automation services (such as your security system, thermostat, lighting, etc.), this versatile and compact virtual assistant is perfect for anyone.
One of the most popular uses for the Echo Dot is a music control system. It’s truly empowering to be able to sit in any room of your house, have an urge to hear a song hit you, and just say “Hey Alexa! Play [that song I’ve been wanting to hear]” and it comes on two seconds later.
However, while Amazon would like it very much if you would get all your music through its premium services, the fact of the matter is that you can configure your Echo Dot to work with pretty much any music service out there, including Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play Music, and more.
There are a few different ways to get free music from your Echo Dot. You can link a free music service to your Dot through the Alexa app, you can play music from a linked device through your Dot, or you can play music in your own personal library through the Dot. I’ll show you how to set up each one of these.
Free Trials & Free Subscriptions
When you purchase your Echo Dot you may sign up for Amazon Music Unlimited. This service offers over 60 million songs for $9.99/mo. after a three month free trial. The music service also has a free option that offers limited listening capabilities. If you’re looking to test it out you definitely can and you won’t pay anything until the 90-day trial expires (you can cancel before this of course).
Most music subscription services offer a free trial for new users. As long as your email account is not already associated with the service, sign up for your free trial. You may find one that you really enjoy and keep the subscription.
Link a Third-Party Music Service to Your Echo Dot
As you might expect, your Echo Dot starts out with Amazon Music as the default music player. So, if you have a Prime membership, you might just leave it there because the music isn’t costing you anything aside from your Prime subscription costs.
However, if you don’t have Prime or prefer to use a different streaming service, then you’ll want to hook your Dot up to a better source of free music. There are several free services with built-in Alexa integration, including iHeartRadio, Pandora, and TuneIn. You can also link to the free tiers of Spotify or Apple Music as well.
- Open the Alexa app on your phone or computer.
- Select Settings->Music.
- Select Link New Service and select your chosen service from the list.
- Follow the wizard to add logins or set as default.
The ‘Link New Service’ feature includes many of the more popular music services but not all of them. If you can’t see the one you want to add, go back to Music and select Manage Services. You should be able to search for the service from there.
That’s all there is to it. Setting up your Echo Dot to use a third-party music service is as easy as following the four simple steps listed above.
Use a Linked Device to Play Free Music on Your Echo Dot
The other way to play free music on your Echo Dot is through a linked device such as a smartphone. You can pair your phone (or another Bluetooth-enabled device) to your Echo Dot via Bluetooth and use your Echo as a speaker for the music you’re streaming through your phone.
Pairing is very straightforward but requires the Alexa app installed onto the device. Just follow these steps to get started:
- Make sure Bluetooth is enabled on your phone.
- Open the Alexa app on your phone.
- Say ‘Alexa, pair’ out loud where Alexa on the Echo Dot can hear.
- Select the Echo Dot in the Bluetooth screen of your phone once detected and pair the two.
- Say “Alexa, connect” to link your phone and the Echo Dot.
- Play music from any source on your phone.
These six simple steps are all it takes to pair your Echo Dot to another Bluetooth-enabled device. For a better audio experience, here’s how to pair your Echo Dot with a Bluetooth speaker.
Play Your Own Music Through Your Echo Dot
If you have an extensive media library on your device, you can use Plex Media Server to organize it and to stream it anywhere in your home – including to your Echo Dot. We have a complete walkthrough of setting up Plex with the Amazon Echo.
Essentially, you install Plex onto a computer with all your media, set it up as a media center, and allow it to stream over WiFi. You then install the Plex app on your phone and join it to the same network, then add the Plex skill to Alexa.
Sign in to your Plex account using the skill and authorize it. Make sure your Echo Dot is on and listening and then say ‘Alexa, ask Plex to change my server’ so your server is detected and set as the default source.
You will need to use specific commands to play music from Plex. You need to add ‘Ask Plex to play…’ to your commands to get Alexa to play your music. Otherwise, the process is the same as using any other third-party service.
The Echo Dot is one of the more useful household tech items. Depending on the tech you already have you can play music, link to other speakers, set your thermostat, and even start your car.
Free music isn’t as difficult to come by as it once was. There’s no more waiting for hours and risking malware to download your favorite hits from Napster. Most music services give you the option to play free music with ads and limited skips so if you’re in it to save money these are a great solution for you!