Not so long ago, Apple operated in a walled garden where it was tricky to use its services, like iTunes, however you wanted.
But times have changed, the walls are lower than they used to be, and now Apple Music can be used on a range of devices - even those made by companies considered rivals.
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Take Amazon for example. Its Alexa voice assistant immediately overtook Apple's Siri in the intelligence stakes when it hit the market, and the Echo smart speakers - while not packing the power of the Apple HomePod - have gathered up a commanding chunk of the market.
Then there's the Amazon Fire TV and TV Stick. These media-streaming devices offer a similar experience to Apple's own Apple TV.
And yet, Apple Music can now be played on both of these Amazon devices through Alexa, and once set up all you have to do is say: "Alexa, play Apple Music".
Here's how to get started:
- Open the Alexa smartphone app, or head to alexa.amazon.com
- Tap on the icon with three horizontal lines in the upper-left corner of the display
- Tap Settings
- Tap on Music, then Link New Service
- Select Apple Music (a newly-added option for the Alexa platform)
This will enable the Apple Music Alexa skill, so the service can be reached with a voice command. Next, you'll need to enter the your Apple ID email address and password, then tap on the Allow button to grant Alexa permission to interact with your Apple Music account.
That's it. You now have access to Apple Music via Alexa on any Amazon Echo smart speaker. But take note, this means non-Echo speakers with Alexa - like the Sonos One - do not currently work with Apple Music.
Now you can request tracks by saying phrases like: "Alexa, play David Bowie on Apple Music".
If you don't want to say "on Apple Music" every time, you can make this service the default used by Alexa for all music requests. To do this:
- Open the Alexa app and tap on the icon with three horizontal lines
- Tap Settings, then Music
- Navigate to Account Settings and tap Default Settings
- Tap on Apple Music to make that the default
Now you're all setup, you can ask Alexa to play any Apple Music content, including song and album names, artists, playlists, or the Beats 1 radio station operated by Apple.
To unlink Apple Music from Alexa:
- Open the Alexa app
- Tap on the icon with three horizontal lines
- Tap Settings
- Navigate to Alexa Preferences and tap Music
- Tap Apple Music, then Disable Skill
This all works in exactly the same way if you have an Amazon Fire TV device with Alexa, where you speak to the assistant via a microphone in the remote.
How to Use Amazon Alexa Enabled Devices www.youtube.com