How to make Amazon Echo default to Spotify or Pandora

The Amazon Echo lights up when it recognizes you are making a request.
It's easier than ever to get the Amazon Echo to play tracks from Spotify Premium.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Barking out a song request at my Amazon Echo smart speaker, then hearing the track magically start playing, makes me feel like I’m living in the future.

Unfortunately, that feeling evaporates when the song isn’t part of the relatively skimpy Amazon Prime Music catalog. If it’s not there, Amazon’s AI assistant Alexa queues up an annoying 30-second sample — and that makes me realize I’m living in the very buggy present.

Luckily, you can fix that. Here’s how to make Amazon Echo default to Spotify so you don’t get stuck with those annoying song and album previews.

Why Apple should buy Tidal (and why it shouldn’t) [Friday Night Fights]

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Tidal could be Apple Music's biggest rival later.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

When you have the kind of cash Apple has, the easiest way to take down the competition is to just buy it. That’s exactly what the Cupertino company is planning to do with Apple Music rival Tidal, according to a recent report.

FNF-bugBut would a Tidal takeover be a good move? Would Apple be using its money solely to wipe out a rival, or will Tidal’s talent and connections to the music industry be great for Apple Music?

Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight as we battle it out over the latest Apple acquisition rumor!

Apple hits back at Spotify’s ‘public attacks’

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Meet Spotify's new nav bar.
Apple isn't happy with Spotify's claims.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple’s legal team has issued a scathing response to Spotify following its “public attacks” earlier this week.

The music streaming service accused Apple of “causing grave harm to Spotify and its customers” after its App Store review team rejected a recent Spotify update for iOS.

Apple might buy struggling competitor Tidal

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Get your Beats 1 on anytime with on-demand style shows.
A Tidal acquisition would give Apple Music even more artist exclusives.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Jay Z and Apple might be joining forces.

Apple has dominated the jigga man’s streaming service, Tidal, ever since the launch of Apple Music one year ago, but a new report claims that the iPhone-maker is in exploratory talks to acquire the music streaming service.

Spotify accuses Apple of blocking app update

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Rap Genius is partnering with Spotify.
Apple is making it harder for Spotify to compete on iOS.
Photo: Spotify

Apple is allegedly stopping Spotify from competing with Apple Music by blocking the streaming service’s latest iOS app update from the App Store.

Spotify sent Apple’s general counsel Bruce Sewell a letter this week claiming that Cupertino is inflicting great harm on its streaming music competitor (and Spotify’s customers) by not allowing Spotify to use its own billing system for subscriptions.