Your Personal Music Collection On Amazon Echo Speakers
Many people have their own collection of (MP3) digital music files. Yes, you can tell Alexa to play music from your PC on Amazon Echo speakers. You may have hundreds or thousands of purchased audio files you have downloaded from Amazon music or any of the many online digital music marketplaces. Maybe you don’t want to pay a monthly fee for a streaming music service to pair with your Amazon Echo devices. How can you play the music files you already own on Amazon Echo speakers around your house? This is the question I arrived at after our house went from zero to six Amazon Echo’s in a short period of time.
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Bluetooth Connections Don’t Allow You To Tell Alexa Speakers What To Play
Many people start with the easiest method of playing music through their Echo speakers. You can easily connect any Bluetooth enabled device, including your phone and PC in order to play music through your Amazon Echo speakers. However you won’t be able to control the music by telling the Echo speaker (Alexa) what to play. Instead of telling Alexa to play a song you will need to manually play it from your Bluetooth connected device or pull up the Amazon Alexa app and talk to it. This takes away the joy of the hands free Amazon Echo experience. Another caveat to this method is that you will have to work within the distance limitations inherent to Bluetooth connections. Any other sounds that play through your phone will also play through the speaker. You might want to dedicate an old phone to this job. Use your old phone as a media player.
Plex Allows You To Tell Alexa To Play Music From your PC On Amazon Echo Speakers Throughout Your Home
This is my favorite way to achieve PC audio playback from my Alexa Echo speakers. After a little bit of work to set it up you can tell Alexa to play music from your PC just like you would ask Alexa to play songs from Amazon Music.
The caveat is that the PC you play the music from must be on in order to stream audio to the speakers. That might mean leaving it always on or turning it on before you ask Alexa to play music from Plex. If you have a home NAS server you will definitely want to add Plex to it. If you don’t have a NAS server you may find that Plex gives you one of several reason to dedicate a PC to this function. On the other hand if none of that interests you then just install Plex on your laptop or desktop.
It’s Actually Really Easy To Setup Plex
You can install the Plex application on many different operating systems including Windows, Mac, Linux, or FreeBSD. It can also be installed on NAS devices and Docker containers. You can find the install packages by visiting https://www.plex.tv/ and clicking on the download link at the top. It’s as simple as installing any other application. Then tell Plex where to find your music collection. Take a look at the Alexa Voice Commands for Plex Music to get an idea of how to control Plex with your voice.
Plex Offers More Than Just An Integration With Your Amazon Echo Devices
Once your media collection is available through Plex you can also access it from the Plex app on your Android or IOS phones as well as on Roku, Fire TV, Samsung TV, Xbox, Playstation, and through the web. It’s a really useful service.
If you have video and photo collections you could also make them available to Plex so that you can see them anywhere.
Plex offers a lot of functionality to their free members. Keep in mind there are specific features only available to Plex Pass paid members. But a subscription is not needed to enable you to tell Alexa to play music from your PC.
Once you have setup Plex on your PC you will need to know Alexa Voice Commands for Plex Music.
If you plan to use Bluetooth to stream your music files I highly suggest keeping your old phones for this task. I’ll explain why. Use Your Old Phone As A Media Player.
Shop for more Amazon Alexa devices to fill every room with sound from your Plex server. The Plex app can play separate audio streams to each of your Amazon Echo speakers.