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Why Won’t Alexa Play Certain Songs?

Trying to listen to certain songs and having Alexa not play them can be a drag. You could be experiencing that problem for a few good reasons. 

If Alexa won’t play certain songs, it usually has to do with your Amazon Music subscription, another streaming service provider, a copyright protection right, a network issue, or some settings you’ve put in place. 

We’ll go through some of the problems that could cause Alexa not to play certain songs so that you can rectify the situation and hear your favorite tunes. 

Why Won’t Alexa Play Certain Songs?

The developer designed Alexa to work well with your streaming service and play songs effortlessly.

However, subscription problems, user errors, musical restrictions, and technical difficulty can cause it not to perform as expected. Fortunately, there is a solution to every problem as explained below. 

Read more: Why won’t Alexa skip songs?

How To Fix Alexa Not Playing Certain Songs?

To fix Alexa not playing certain songs, you need to first check your subscription and your settings. For example, if you’re using Amazon Music, the problem may be due to the membership you chose. Amazon Prime Music has a vast inventory of songs, but Amazon Music Unlimited offers many more options.

The song you want to listen to will not play if it’s only available to subscribers who pay for the Unlimited service. You can check by visiting Amazon Music and searching for the song.

You’ll see it appear if it’s available, and you’ll likely see an offer to sign up for the Unlimited service. That’s the cue that it isn’t playable otherwise. 

Read more: Why does Alexa make a crackling sound?

Explicit Music Filters

Sometimes, certain songs won’t play through Alexa because of the explicit music filter. Your filter may be turned on by default, or you might have activated it at some time in the past and forgotten about it.

To turn the filter off, you’ll need to open the Alexa app and go to “Settings” and then “Music.” You’ll then see the “Explicit Filter.” Slide the toggle switch to the left to turn it off, and then try to listen to your song again. 

Regional Problems

Check your location settings to ensure that there is no mixup between the Alexa service and the Amazon account. You should update both services to ensure that no interference occurs. 

Log into your Amazon account and look for where it says “Manage Your Content and Devices.” Go there and find the “Country/Region” settings to change your country. Change your country to the right one and click “Save” to save the settings. 

Now, you’ll open the Alexa app and tap “Devices” and then “Echo & Alexa.” Choose your device and check that its listed location is correct. Change it if it isn’t, and then try to listen to your song with Alexa again.  

How Do I Get Alexa To Play a Specific Song?

Getting Alexa to play a specific song is usually a simple process. To do so, you can wake Alexa by calling her name and then quoting the song of interest and the artist who performs it. For example, “Alexa, play Fine China by Chris Brown.” 

Alexa will quickly search the database of the streaming service you use, locate the desired song, and play it for you. She’ll even announce it before she plays it. 

Song Identification Issues

Problems may arise if you’re not specific with the artist or band, and the song’s name is common.

Alexa might return a list of songs by various artists, and then you’ll have to play your song manually or ask her again using the correct artist’s name. 

Google may be helpful if you don’t remember the name or artist of a song, but you remember a part of the melody.

You can use the search feature to ask Google what the song is. You’ll then have 15 seconds to sing or hum the song.

The program will do its best to return the name of the tune, the artist’s name, and a link to a video so that you can check to see if it’s the right song.

Once you know if the song’s a match, you can have Alexa play it for you anytime you get into the mood to hear it. 

Subscriptions and DRM Rights

If your song does not play, the problem may have something to do with your subscription or the DRM rights discussed previously. You may need to upgrade your Amazon Music account to one that allows that specific song to play.

However, if the song is completely unavailable, you’ll need to wait until the artist or label makes it available to the masses.

If you believe your problem is due to a slow internet connection and response time, you can always restart your device. 

Why Won’t Alexa Play a Specific Song From Spotify?

If your Alexa doesn’t play a specific song from Spotify, it may have something to do with the DRM rights. DRM stands for Digital Rights Management. The artists and labels sometimes create provisions for how people listen to their music.

Certain songs may only have contracts with some streaming service providers. So, you may not be able to use Alexa to play those songs using Spotify.

There isn’t much you can do about that except to sign up for that streaming service and then use Alexa to play the song from there. The other option is to wait, as song availability usually changes over time. 

Formatting Issues

The songs you’re trying to play may be in DRM-protected MP4 format. Perhaps you downloaded them from iTunes or a similar service. Spotify is unable to play DRM-protected songs in that format.

The only way to get around it is to purchase a software program that may be able to remove the DRM restrictions and convert your songs from MP4 format to WAV or MP3.

You can shop around to look for a program that will do it. MuConvert Apple Music Converter and MuConvert Spotify Music Converter are just examples of some programs you can use. 

Your Internet Connection Is Weak

Some of the songs you’re playing could also consist of larger files than many of the other ones. Spotify may have trouble playing those songs if your internet connection is weak.

If you’re trying to listen on a computer, you can close all the extra windows you have open, restart your computer, and reboot your modem and router.

If using a Wi-Fi connection, you can disconnect any additional devices from the Wi-Fi network. 

Using a VPN while you’re on Spotify can also cause issues with your connection and prevent certain songs from playing. In that case, you’ll need to disconnect from the VPN. 

The Content Has Regional Restrictions

The content you’re trying to play on Spotify may have regional restrictions on it. For example, it may be coded to only play in the UK, and you are in the United States. 

Your Subscription Doesn’t Allow It

Sometimes, users need to sign up for a specific Spotify plan to access all the songs. Therefore, a lack of a paid subscription may be the problem.

What you’d need to do for that is upgrade your Spotify account to a paid service that allows you to access the songs you desire.

Log out of Spotify and log back in once you’ve made your payment and try playing the song again.