Unsure which tune to queue up on your smart speaker? Not to worry — ask Alexa. Amazon today announced that its voice assistant is gaining a dialogue-driven Amazon Music search feature that lets you find new playlists through voice.
Saying “Alexa, help me find a playlist” or “Alexa, help me find a holiday playlist” gets Alexa asking few questions about genre, occasion, mood, and tempo. You’ll get a short preview of playlist suggestions and the choice of selecting one of them or adding criteria to refine your search.
Amazon says cues from your previous listening habits will inform its recommendations and that in the coming weeks you’ll be able to ask about popular new songs that appeal to your musical tastes.
“Customers will … be able to ask, ‘Alexa, recommend some new music’ to further help with discovery or simply, ‘Alexa, what should I play?’” Amazon said. “Alexa will be able to anticipate what customers are in the mood to hear and suggest relevant music or new releases tailored to them.”
The new features will be available on Echo devices and the Amazon Music app on iOS and Android in the U.S. Playlist recommendations go live this week, alongside improved music-matching algorithms.
Songs on Alexa-enabled speakers are now better tailored to individual tastes, the Seattle company says, so if you’re following a group or artist, it’ll likely be added to the queue. Alexa now considers play count, era, favorite genres, and other factors when you ask to hear a track, and you can tell Amazon’s voice assistant to never play a particular song again.
“Customers can now tell Alexa when they like, or dislike, any currently playing song, album, playlist, or station by saying phrases like ‘Alexa, I like this song’, ‘Alexa, this is my favorite’, or ‘Alexa, I don’t like this’,” Amazon said.
Today’s new music-centric Alexa feature follows the Music Skill API in October, which allows developers to stream songs from online services to Alexa devices and Amazon Echo speakers in the U.S. And November saw the debut of New Release Notifications, which lets you follow artists and receive notifications when new songs or records become available on Amazon Music.