The Gotchas of the Amazon Prime Music Service

Earlier today Amazon quietly released their long rumored streaming music service.


Amazon Prime Music is a free addition for Prime subscribers that gives them access to a streaming library of over 1 million songs and makes it available on multiple platforms including PC, Mac, iOS and Android.

I showed you around the service’s web based interface earlier but to be honest I jumped right in without really paying attention to some of the service restrictions.

Lets dive into some of the FAQ’s and other info about Amazon Music and find out what you can/can’t do with the service. Some make sense and some are good to know as you use the new service.

Amazon Prime Music Gotchas (Collected from Amazon Music Help & Customer Service pages)

  • Prime Music is not available to be exported or for use outside of the Amazon Music app.
  • Prime Music is not available for Amazon Mom or Amazon Student trial memberships, or for shared Prime accounts.
  • Due to licensing agreements, you must be located in the U.S. or Puerto Rico (with a billing address and payment method from the U.S. or Puerto Rico).
  • Occasionally, we may need to remove some songs or albums from the Prime Music catalog due to expired licensing agreements with the music labels.
  • If your Prime subscription expires, you’ll lose access to the Prime Music that you’ve added to your music library. You can still see the music listed, but it’s greyed out and won’t be available for playback. If the music is still available in the Prime Music catalog, you can regain access by re-activating your Prime subscription, or by purchasing it from the Digital Music Store.
  • If you haven’t connected online with your Amazon Music account in 30 days or more on the device, you’ll lose access to the Prime Music that you’ve downloaded to your device. You can still see the music listed, but it’s greyed out and won’t be available for playback, until you connect online again with your Amazon Music account.
  • Prime Music is available for streaming on only one device at a time, for each Amazon account.
  • Prime Music is available to download (for offline playback) to only four devices at a time, for each Amazon account.
  • The Turn on Show on Facebook feature needs to be turned on and off using the Facebook button on the Now Playing screen separately for each device on which you use Amazon Music .
  • The Amazon Music app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch is compatible with iOS 6 and above.
  • The Amazon Music app for Android is compatible with Android OS version 4.0 or higher.

Always good to read the details at some point so there are no surprises down the road while you are using the service.

14 thoughts on “The Gotchas of the Amazon Prime Music Service

  1. This has been a pain, as a mom with kids – I am the shopper and my husband is the tech support. Since Amazon now offers autorip for albums you purchase, it’s been quite easy but it’s like starting your library all over.
    I ended up telling the kids to play their music on the Kindles until he burns the physical CD to make it available on the MP3 players, with the old music. But with x-mas I found a great loophole – I can buy a CD to give as a gift and keep the autorip copy for the kids! $7 sale on Black Friday for both Ariana Grande albums, who = Cat from 2 kids shows, win win. Just as I was getting sick of this, too – yeah, I think they have my number :)

  2. I’ve tired of some of the music I both purchased or ‘added to my library’ as a prime selection. I have deleted it from my library on the cloud website, but for some reason the songs still show up on my phone app and they act badly … like as if a footprint was left or something … is there a way to get rid of these songs permanently? they are no longer listed on the ‘cloud’. and i dont see a delete option in this new phone app.

  3. Good unbiased article. I’ve been using it for about a month I say. None of this stuff is that big of a deal honestly. Yes the app’s not perfect and can get very frustrating (technology is made by non-perfect humans) but I can dl hundreds and hundreds of hours worth of music, in addition to watch movies and free 2 day shipping I think sometimes as humans born in the future, we take for granted how awesome things are. :D

    Excuse me if I’m wrong, but don’t most subscription based music services have similar “greying out” practices due to the program needing to confirm rights? And music licensing issues are a music industry thing. I don’t even understand being upset about not being able to share an account with people who didn’t pay + people always figure out a way around things

    I don’t work for Amazon or anything, they’re as evil as the next corporation. Just think they are being innovative in connecting so many marketing streams, am sure they are always trying to deliver a better product and can forgive imperfection. Just send them an e-mail if you’re having issues/complaints, at the least they’ll probably throw you a couple credits if they can’t fix it ;)

    • Steffani Hobbs July 25, 2014 at 4:33 PM -

      Thanks for the input, I am thinking about getting the Prime account. Is the music downloadable to an Itunes account. I don’t have much room left for any more apps, but I have room for more songs. I also use Apple TV. Would we be able to watch Amazon movies from Apple TV? Thanks for all of your input.


      • I know there are DRM restrictions for stuff you stream/download locally under Prime Music so I am not sure how that would impact using them in iTunes. Anything you purchase from Amazon as an MP3 can be used freely because it is DRM free.

  4. Thanks for this review. After reading the Gotcha’s, I am sorry I did the upgrade from Amazon MP3, and will be looking to dump my Amazon Prime Music account as soon as I find a cloud substitute. When I buy a song, it should remain mine for me to play anytime I want to, and not greyed out with no warning or refund offer. I wholeheartedly agree with your characterization of Gotcha’s, as the policy change is nefarious in that the loss of personal utility is not blatantly disclosed. And very few of us really takes the the time to read (let alone able to understand), all the terms and conditions written by lawyers of all our apps. Corporate America needs to start making money the fashion way … by earning it without trickery. Because of this, I have lost trust in Amazon, and will no longer give it the benefit of the doubt with close scrutiny.

    • You are completely misunderstanding, here. If you buy a song and download it, it will not be greyed out, and you should have access to play the mp3 on any music player. The greying out only applies to the music that you aren’t purchasing, that you get access to for free via Prime Music. These files require an up to date Prime subscription, and check licenses at least every 30 days.

  5. Strange, I purchased 8 songs (money) and purchased 55 other songs (Amazon Prime “free”) and was able to download them all to my computer yesterday. Today I can no longer seem to download songs to my computer from Amazon Prime. I receive the message “Currently Prime Music can only be enjoyed offline using our mobile app.” Wonder what is going on?

  6. Thank you. One more question. I’ve downloaded the Amazon Prime Music app to my PC, and when I try to download songs from my Amazon Prime Library the way you’re supposed to be able to – and they even have a setting that the songs will go into itunes on your computer, this message appears: “Currently prime music can only be enjoyed offline using our mobile apps”. Is this only happening to me or is Amazon engaged in false advertising when it indicates the prime music can be downloaded to your computer? Thanks for your help.

  7. After you’re done listening to Amazon prime music on your android phone, how do you turn it off? I only see a “pause” button, and no “stop” button and wonder whether it will eat phone memory even when you’re not listening. Thanks in advance for your help.

    • Frannie – thanks for the question but I am not sure. I just use Windows Phone and we do not have an app yet so I can not verify 100% how it turns off on the Android side.

      On my WP however, with Xbox Music when I pause it the app disappears from memory after a short period of time.

    • Pausing the song will in essence stop it from being heard. The song will retain its position until you either restart the phone or remove the app from the running processes but double clicking the home button and swiping up the app to close it.

      Hope that helps!

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