Amazon Echo, probably the easiest and simplest way to listen to music I have, had just completely shat itself and it’s so incredibly frustrating. I don’t understand why companies are so dead set on ruining every product they make (Oh wait, I do, something something endless growth bull shit, but that’s a rant for elsewhere). I don’t care for Ala-carte subscription based music at all. Artists general don’t get paid enough cut, and I like being able to listen to my music years to decades later, without paying monthly, endlessly. I still own every CD I have ever bought. Granted, I do buy some of my CDs used so the artist still gets nothing from that so I guess that’s mildly hypocritical. Here’s an article about the change.
My point is, I buy music digitally. Hell, I bought a couple of albums just last Friday for #BandCampFriday. I have literally hundreds of albums and thousands of trcks PURCHASED through Amazon Music. I’ve been buying music through Amazon for over a decade. More recently I shifted away a bit because I wanted to get FLAC options but when I can’t find FLAC I still buy from Amazon because the quality offered is still a pretty good MP3. This made the Echo and Alexa super great because I could just tell it, “Alexa, play Aurora from my library”, and it would play my tracks, or whatever artist or album I wanted.
I even have an echo hooked to my sound system down in the basement so it sounds better.
But this recent change. This isn’t even an option for music I have purchased. Like now, as I type this, I played my album, “A Different Kind of Human”. And it’s just randomly inserted some other random track in. It’s also playing the tracks out of order. I even tried playing it from the Alexa App on my phone. Maybe it works better in the Amazon Music app but I had to dump that because it kept asking EVERY SINGLE TIME I opened it to subscript to Music Unlimited.
Which is the goal with this new Shuffle Play idiocy. If you subscribe up, you can get all the old features back. Which I have no interest in. I own my music, and I already pay too much for Amazon Prime, which is going up AGAIN next year. I don’t even have it on Auto Renew anymore because it’s like $150/year now and twice as much as when I started subscribing. I really just want to pay $60/year or whatever for easier shipping. I don’t care about all this extra nonsense.
I wouldn’t even mind this annoying change as much if it just worked with music I’ve purchased, but it doesn’t.
Looking for some answers or suggestions on fixing this around the web says that a lot of people are upset about this. Not just because of situations like mine where you can’t listen to your own music, but because of things like custom routines and playlists being completely broken as well. A couple that stood out to me were people who had routines set up for their kids to go to sleep listening to particular songs using playlists and timers. Another was how it completely breaks soundtracks to musicals, and I imagine it breaks other similar content with a need for linear tracks that run together like Stand Up Comedy and Dance mixes.
It all feels incredibly poorly thought out and frankly, it doesn’t drive me to upgrade my subscription (which is the point) but makes me want to find a different smart speaker solution that works better with my local network shares. If I were going to subscribe to music, it would be Spotify or Tidal over Amazon.