If you use an Alexa speaker to stream music while you work, you might ask for some to help you focus. If you're having people over for dinner, you might cue up one of your own curated playlists.
, however, brings an important change to the way you can ask Alexa to play music. You can now request themed music for, ahem, certain activities without having to be very explicit about what you want to listen to. Here's how it works.
Music for activities
Usually, when you ask Alexa to play music, you have to be somewhat specific. You need some sort of idea of what you want the speaker to stream -- a specific song, album, artist, playlist, genre or era.
With the new way to request music, Amazon aims to augment this. You can now say, "Alexa, play music for working out." This is just one of 500 phrases that you can say. Here are some others:
- "Alexa, play baby-making music."
- "Alexa, play music for a party."
- "Alexa, play music for working."
- "Alexa, play music for cooking."
- "Alexa, play music for eating."
- "Alexa, play music for taking a bath."
- "Alexa, play music for a family sing along."
- "Alexa, play music for meditation."
- "Alexa, play music for the spa."
- "Alexa, play music for focus."
- "Alexa, play music for nap time."
- "Alexa, play music for driving."
- "Alexa, play music for dancing."
- "Alexa, play music for the beach."
- "Alexa, play music for gaming."
You can also get more specific by requesting a genre of music for an activity.
- "Alexa, play classical music for sleeping."
- "Alexa, play rap music for getting pumped."
- "Alexa, play country music for running."
- "Alexa, play rock music for working."
- "Alexa, play sexy jazz music."
The way these requests work -- and likely why some combinations don't -- is because all the results are tied to stations or playlists curated by Amazon's "music experts." So when you ask for "rap music for getting pumped," it cues up the Warm Up: Hip Hop playlist. But when you ask for "EDM music for getting pumped," it can't find anything to play.
Of course, there's also a catch. These activity requests only work with Amazon Prime Music (included with a Prime membership) and Amazon Music Unlimited, which costs $3.99 or £3.99 per month for owners of compatible Alexa devices. That means you'll have to continue using Spotify, for example, the way you always have with your Alexa speaker.
In order to request music for activities, you'll have to make sure your Android or iOS (or go to alexa.amazon.com) and go to Settings > Music & Media > Choose Default Music Services and tap the radio button next to Amazon Music.is set to Amazon Music. To do this, open the Amazon Alexa app on
Learn more about what you can do with Alexa with our.
Correction, Aug. 8: A previous version of this article stated there were more than 500 activities available to request by voice -- in fact there are 500 phrases or "utterances" that Alexa will understand.