Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are at war for our ears, and as a result, they often one-up each other with features, like music alarms.
For instance, in December 2017, Amazon announced Alexa was updated to include support for music alarms. That means, instead of asking Alexa to set an alarm for you, you can request a song to get you out of bed in the morning. Not to be outdone by Amazon, Google announced in February 2018 that its assistant, Google Assistant, is adding support for the same thing. Here's how those music alarms work.
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How to set a music alarm with Alexa
- Ask Alexa to play an alarm with a song, genre, etc
- Available now for any Amazon Echo or Alexa device
Ask Alexa to play a music alarm
You can ask Amazon Alexa to play a specific song, playlist, artist, or genre as your alarm. The feature supports several music services, so it can pull alarm tones from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn, SiriusXM, and iHeartRadio. The feature will work on any Alexa-powered device, as well (not just Amazon Echo-branded smart speakers). The only exception is Fire TV, which doesn’t support alarms.
To set a music alarm, just say, “Alexa, wake me up at 7am to Adele" or “Alexa, wake me up to 70s music at 8am” or "Alexa, wake me up to 'Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’ at 5am". You can be as specific or as a vague as you like. Interestingly, Amazon said you can even set a music alarm by song lyrics, in the case that you don’t know the song’s title. But that only works with Amazon Music, however.
A music alarm also doesn’t have to be configured every night. If you wake up at the same time, you can ask Alexa to wake you up “every day” at a certain time. Simples. For more information on how to configure alarms with Alexa, check out Amazon Support.
Choose default music service in Alexa app
Note: This step is not required to play music alarms. It just specifies where Alexa should pull music alarms from.
If you need to set up your Echo or Amazon Alexa-enabled device first, check out Pocket-lint's handy guide about how to do that. Now, launch the Amazon Alexa app on your mobile device, then go to the menu, and select Settings. From there, scroll to the Accounts section, select Music and Media, and select Choose default music services. After you pick your preferred service, select Done.
When you choose a default music service, Alexa will always use it to play your music for alarms, streaming stations, and requests.
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How to set a music alarm with Google Assistant
- Ask Assistant to play an alarm with a song, artist, etc
- Rolling out now now for any Google Home device
Google Assistant to play a music alarm
Google Assistant is rolling out the ability to set alarms to music. Technically, before, you could store a song you wanted on your device and have that be used, but now, you can just tell Google Assistant. Say, “OK Google, set an alarm for 7am that plays Beyonce,” and it’ll wake you up. You can set a music alarm for any artist, song, or playlist. Assistant will pull from the music service you’ve set as your default.
So, if Spotify and Pandora are your defaults, Google Assistant will pull from there. For more information on how to configure alarms with Google Assistant, check out Google Assistant Support.
Choose default music service in Home app
Note: This step is not required to play music alarms. It just specifies where Assistant should pull music alarms from.
If you need to set up your Google Home first, check out Pocket-lint's handy guide about how to do that. Now, launch the Google Home app on your mobile device, then tap on the icon in the corner that looks like a TV and speaker, and locate your Google Home device that will be used as an alarm clock. From there, tap on the device’s three-dot menu icon, select Settings, and tap Music.
From here, you can select your default music service. Choose from one of the options listed under Your Music Services, or you can choose one from the More music services section. For Google Play Music and YouTube Red, your accounts are automatically connected when you sign into your Google Account in the Google Home app. For Spotify and Pandora, you will need to connect your accounts.
To connect your account, tap Link, then sign in, and complete the flow. Whichever music service you pick, Google Assistant will always play your music alarms from that service going forward.