We’ve all had the experience of listening to a playlist or radio station, having a song catch our attention but having no clue who the artist is. Amazon is hoping to help fix that problem. This week, the company rolled out a new feature for its Alexa voice assistant called Song ID that will call out the name of an artist and a song before playing it.
Alexa’s new feature is meant to help aid in music discovery. While you can quickly look at your screen on desktop or mobile to see what song has come up in your queue, it’s a little more difficult when you’re listening on a smart speaker. Typically, the songs just play uninterrupted and you can find yourself jamming out to a song that you’ve never heard of before. Amazon has a number of playlists on its Amazon Music streaming service that focus on new and upcoming artists and giving Alexa the ability to name drop them before a song starts could help introduce people to new music.
Users can enable the feature by saying “Alexa, turn on Song ID” (or “Alexa, turn off Song ID” if it starts to interrupt the flow of your favorite tunes). Once enabled, Alexa will drop in before a song starts and provide some quick information. The voice assistant will give you the artist and song title while you’re listening to a streaming radio station, playlist, or new releases. With Alexa shouting out the relevant information for you, you’ll at least have a chance of remembering the songs you like.
Amazon’s decision to infuse Alexa with song recognition tools apparently was influenced by how smart speaker owners have been using the voice assistant. The company claims Alexa receives “hundreds of thousands” of questions every day about music. Those questions include things like “Alexa, what song is this?” and “Alexa, who sings this song?” With the new Song ID feature, Alexa should be able to beat people to the punch and deliver the information before they have to ask.
The Song ID feature is already live in Amazon Music and works with Echo devices in the United States.