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Smart Home

How to create Alexa playlists with your voice

A new feature of Alexa speakers lets you build playlists using nothing but your voice. Here's how.

Taylor Martin/CNET

Amazon's Alexa smart speakers excel at not only controlling your entire smart home or telling you when your Amazon orders are being delivered, but also the simple things, like streaming music.

However, with a voice-only interface comes limited control. Sometimes it's hard to play the exact version of the song you're looking for. Or, more importantly, with a voice-controlled speaker, it's not so easy to quickly throw together a playlist ($150 at Crutchfield) for your upcoming dinner party or workout session. Until now.

Back in February, Amazon rolled out a new feature to Alexa speakers that lets users create playlists with their voice. Here's how it works.

How to create a new playlist using your voice

Currently, creating a playlist by voice is only available for Amazon Music Unlimited ($3.99 to $14.99 per month subscription) and Prime Music (included with Amazon Prime membership) users. This means if Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, Deezer, Gimme Radio or SiriusXM is your default music streaming service, you won't be able to add songs to your playlists.

Unlike making a playlist from your phone or computer, you can't just select a bunch of songs and compile them into a playlist in a few clicks. Instead, you'll have to build it over time, as the songs play.

To start, you have to create a new playlist. To do this, say:

  • "Alexa, create a new playlist."
  • "Alexa, create an 'Easy Listening' playlist."
  • "Alexa, create a 'Friday Chill' playlist."
  • "Alexa, create a 'Workout' playlist."

You can begin adding songs to the playlists as songs play. If you hear a song you like, just say, "Alexa, add this song to my playlist," or "Alexa, add this song to my [playlist name] playlist." This is a great way to save songs that play on a station that you want to remember.

To see your playlists, open the Alexa app on (Android, iOS) or go to alexa.amazon.com. In the left menu, click Music, Video, & Books and select My Music Library. However, to manually build or edit your playlist, you'll have to go to music.amazon.com or use the Amazon Music app (Android, iOS).