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Audi adds Amazon Music streaming to in-car media services

The new integration is offered on certain 2017 and 2018 models.

2018 Audi Q5

Fewer and fewer people carry around copies of their music, as streaming services such as Amazon Music and Spotify have grown in popularity. Automakers are taking note, as evidenced by Audi's newest infotainment feature.

Audi announced this week that it has integrated Amazon Music into its MMI infotainment system. The integration is available for the following makes and models:

Even though it's app-based, which isn't ideal, it's better than FM.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

While you will be able to use the MMI system itself to play music from Amazon's library in the car, there's a required app component to this. You have to download the latest version of the Audi MMI Connect app for iOS or Android, connect to the in-vehicle Wi-Fi, log in, navigate through some menus and log in again with Amazon credentials. Only then will you be able to access Amazon Music in the car. 

Amazon Music includes Prime Music, which is free for Prime members, and Amazon Music Unlimited, which costs an extra $7.99 a month for Prime members, or $9.99 a month if you aren't a Prime subscriber. The Unlimited package gives you access 40 million songs, compared to Prime's 2 million.

App-based solutions are good, but not ideal. Now that cars more regularly feature built-in LTE connections, automakers have begun embedding apps directly into the infotainment system. Volvo, for example, lets you log in and access your Spotify account entirely through the infotainment system, no app required. Audi's Amazon integration requires additional steps, and thus, might be more confusing for less technologically inclined individuals.

While you don't need a subscription to Audi Connect to use either the app or the Amazon integration, it adds several other in-app, connected-car features like speed and curfew alerts, remote locking and unlocking and GPS-based car finding.