Published: Tue, December 12, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

Alexa music alarm wakes you up with news and tunes

If Amazon is going to make the Echo Spot a viable alarm clock, it needs to give the device better functionality than that 20-year-old clock radio sitting on your nightstand.

This new feature works with a number of music streaming services, including Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn, SiriusXM, and iHeartRadio.

The skill is freely available from Amazon, and anyone with an Alexa-enabled device just needs to ask her for the radio station or podcast that they want.

THE BBC has launched its official skill for Amazon Alexa, its "first full voice service for smart speakers". Amazon Music Unlimited also features a rich collection of personalized stations and playlists, all of them being hand-curated by Amazon Music's experts. You can also request to be woken up to music genres like rock, pop, 80s music and others, specific songs, or music from favorite artists. You can ask Alexa to wake you based on a mood (like "relaxing"), or find a wake-up song by reciting the lyrics.

The alarm feature also doesn't have to be configured every night. This functionality covers multiple music services, including the company's own Amazon Music app (if you're a subscriber).

Amazon announced it will ship its smart speaker Amazon Echo to another 28 countries, including Belgium and the Netherlands. The only exception is Fire TV, which doesn't support alarms because TVs are typically powered off at night.

The plans available are known as Echo (cheapest, with access to the Amazon Music Unlimited catalog on a single Echo Dot, Echo Plus, or Echo), Individual (one of up to 10 devices at a time), and Family (up to six household members sharing a subscription). And let's face it: even if you're just using Alexa on your phone, Amazon would rather be the one to start your day.

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