Apple Music & Alexa: 7 Common Questions (Answered)

Amazon and Apple are both giants in the tech world. And, when it comes to their services and voice-activated technology, both brands have traditionally played with cards close to their chests.

If you use Alexa and are thinking about getting Apple Music, or vice versa, then you may be wondering how compatible they are.

In this article, we will delve into your questions and provide you with everything you need to know about Apple Music and Alexa’s relationship.

Is Alexa Compatible with Apple Music?

Alexa is a voice-enabled digital assistant whose system is one of the most popular for performing tasks without using your hands.

By just listening to voice commands, Alexa can, among other things, find and play music. 

Although the Alexa system currently has a sizable built-in music library, as Amazon Music is its default music provider, it is compatible with Apple Music and other music streaming services.

You can even set Apple Music to be the default music provider on your Alexa-enabled devices.

Any Apple Music user with a valid subscription and an Alexa-enabled device can ask Alexa to play songs, playlists, and more from Apple Music.

Do People Generally have Trouble Using Alexa with Apple Music?

Apple Music and Alexa function well together for the most part, but users have raised some concerns.

For example, some users have commented that Alexa is not playing content from Apple Music or Alexa not being able to access the iCloud Library, and so on.

Here are the most common concerns we found and some troubleshooting tips. 

Here’s why Alexa won’t connect to Apple Music:

  • The Alexa-enabled device is too far to hear your command.
  • The device version might be outdated.
  • Your Apple Music subscription may have expired.
  • The internet connection may be unstable.
  • Your Alexa device may need a reset to play music again.

Here are the solutions:

  • Restart your Alexa-enabled device as this may be a minor bug easily fixed by a quick restart, following these steps:
    1. Unplug your device from the power source.
    2. It will turn off and wait 5 minutes.
    3. Plug your device back into the power source.
  • Update the Alexa App using these steps:
    1. Open the ‘Play Store’ on your Android device or The ‘App Store’ on your iOS device.
    2. Use the Search Bar and look for ‘Alexa’
    3. You will see if Alexa needs an update.
    4. Tap on ‘Download’ or ‘Install’ to get the latest version.
  • Update your Apple Music App following these steps:

For iOS devices:

    1. Launch the ‘App Store’ on your device.
    2. Tap your profile icon at the top of the screen.
    3. Scroll to ‘Apple Music’
    4. Tap update next to update it.

For Android Devices:

    1. Launch the ‘Play Store’ on your device.
    2. Type ‘Apple Music’ into the search bar.
    3. Check if a new update is available. 
    4. Tap ‘Download’ to install the update.

Additionally, Apple Music doesn’t work when Alexa’s explicit content filtering is enabled. This is due to the fact that some music services forbid content filtering, so you should turn it off.

Here is the solution: You need to disable explicit filtering

  1. Launch the ‘Alexa’ app on your device.
  2. Tap on the three-lined Menu option, then select ‘Settings’
  3. Click on ‘Music & Podcasts’
  4. Scroll to ‘Explicit Language Filter’ and toggle it OFF.

Does Apple Music Work with Older Alexa Devices?

Apple Music is compatible with older Alexa devices, although we learned that it isn’t possible to play Apple Music via voice commands on older devices because Apple Music is not the built-in support.

You would need to connect Apple Music to the old devices via Bluetooth.

Here’s how to connect Apple Music to an older Alexa device:

To pair on an Android device:

  • Open ‘Settings’ on your phone.
  • Select ‘Bluetooth’.
  • Tap on ‘Scan’ to find available devices, and the Alexa device should appear here.
  • Select ‘Pair device’ and follow the prompts.

To pair on an iOS device:

    • Open ‘Settings’on your phone.
    • Select ‘Bluetooth’.
    • Tap on ‘More Info’.
    • Search for new devices, and the Alexa device should appear.
    • Follow the prompts to pair.

How Hard is it to Use Alexa with Apple Music?

Getting Apple Music to work with Alexa is a fairly simple process.

However, there are a few prerequisites that must be fulfilled first before you can be on your way.

You need:

  • An active Apple Music subscription.
  • An Alexa-enabled smart speaker, such as an Amazon Echo, or Sonos Speaker
  • A set-up Alexa app on your iOS or Android device.

Here’s how to set up your Apple Music with Alexa:

  1. Open the ‘Amazon Alexa’ app on your device.
  2. Select ‘More’ in the bottom right-hand corner, then tap on ‘Skills and Games’
  3. Click on the search icon in the top right-hand corner and type in ‘Apple Music’
  4. Select ‘Enable to Use’ option, then tap ‘Settings and Link Account’
  5. Follow the instructions on your screen to sign in with the same Apple ID you use for your Apple Music account.

If you don’t want to constantly say ‘Apple Music’ to get Alexa to play Apple Music, then you can set up Apple Music as your default music provider.

Here’s how to set Apple Music as Alexa’s default music service:

  • Launch the ‘Amazon Alexa’ app on your device.
  • In the bottom right-hand corner, tap on ‘More’
  • Select ‘Settings’ then scroll down to  ‘Music and Podcasts’ and confirm.
  • Click on ‘Default Setting’ and scroll to ‘Music’
  • Select ‘Apple Music’ and just like that, your default music provider is now Apple Music.

Can Apple Music be Down on Alexa Equipment?

There have unfortunately been numerous reports of Apple Music being down on Alexa. 

The most recent source of concern was the disappearance of the Apple Music skill for Alexa speakers from the app in the United States and other regions.

What this means is that when users asked their Echo speakers to play Apple Music, it could not process the command as the algorithm processes were mysteriously removed.

A spokesperson from Amazon confirmed that this was an issue that has since been fixed.

When Apple Music seems to not be functional on Alexa devices, there are ways to troubleshoot the problem.

Here’s how to troubleshoot when Apple Music is down on Alexa equipment:

Restart Your Apple Music App

This should be the first thing you do because the problem could be that the Apple Music app has a small glitch, and a restart can get things back on track.

Here are the steps to restarting Apple Music:

  1. For iPhone 8 and earlier devices, double-tap the home button.
  2. If you are using iPhone X and later devices, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and hold.
  3. On your screen will now appear your app switcher.
  4. Swipe up the Apple Music card and close it.
  5. Open the Apple Music app by tapping on its icon.

Unlink and Relink Apple Music from Alexa

This approach is quite similar to restarting your Alexa device. The purpose of this step is to restart the connection.

The Apple Music account must be deleted from your Alexa app, then relinked once again to reset the account. 

Follow these steps to unlink and relink Apple Music from Alexa:

    1. Open ‘Alexa’ on your phone and click on the ‘Menu’ option in the top left corner.         
    2. Click on ‘Settings’ then select ‘Music & Podcasts’
    3. Tap on ‘Apple Music’ from the menu and disable it.

This should safely unlink Apple Music from Alexa. 

    1. Now restart the Alexa device and the app to process the changes.
    2. Once the restart is done, open ‘Alexa’ again on your phone.
    3. Go to ‘Menu’ in the top left corner, then select ‘Settings’.
    4. Click on ‘Music & Podcasts’ then scroll to ‘Apple Music’.

There will be instructions that appear on your screen; follow them to relink Apple Music to Alexa.

After going through this procedure, there is a good possibility that the problem will be solved.

Please also check out our article with solutions to Echo Dot devices suddenly turning off.

Does Alexa play Apple Music lossless?

Apple Music has upgraded the quality of its sound to Lossless and Spatial Audio, which is similar to CD quality.

What is Lossless Audio?

Lossless is high-resolution audio. Apple’s Lossless streams use the Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) to offer more detail and information in a recording.

There are three levels of higher-resolution audio offered by Apple:

  1. CD Quality (16-bit/44Hz)
  2. Apple Music Lossless (24-bit/48.1Hz)
  3. Hi-Res Lossless (24-bit/192Hz)

The Amazon Echo supports Lossless technology, so you can use Alexa to play Apple Music in high-resolution audio.

Does Echo Dot work with Apple Music?

The Amazon Echo Dot is a smart speaker that incorporates the technology and functionality of the original Echo in a much smaller package. 

The Amazon Echo Dot is a small voice-activated device with no need for your hands. It can play music, control smart home devices, deliver messages, read messages, set alarms, and much more.

You can use these two methods to stream Apple Music on the Echo Dot:

  • Method 1: Play Apple Music with Alexa on the Echo Dot using the steps we provided to link your Apple Music app to Alexa.
  • Method 2: Stream Apple Music on the Echo Dot by Bluetooth pairing.

If you are also a Spotify user, Alexa and Echo Dot are compatible with Spotify


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