By: Nick Gambino

While everyone is trying to find out why Alexa is creepily laughing out of the blue (Amazon says she mistakenly hears “Alexa, laugh.” Yeah, sure.), the digital assistant has just added another skill to her repertoire.

You can get Alexa to play a particular song you don’t quite remember the name of by asking her in more general terms. For example, you could say something like “Alexa, play that Bruno Mars song I was listening to last night,” or “Alexa, play that blues song I listened to while working out last week.” (Why are you listening to blues while working out, you weirdo?)

Alexa should be able to find the song you’re thinking of without the title, as long as your request doesn’t show up too many songs in response to your question. Though you can ask broader questions if you want to hear any familiar song. You can say “Alexa, play a song I haven’t heard in a while,” or “Alexa, play a DMX song I haven’t listened to recently” or even, “Alexa play smooth jazz that I used to listen to.”

The updates are part of an ongoing effort by Amazon to further integrate the voice assistant into your life, in a natural way. The more natural your request, the more likely it is you’ll use Alexa to get things done. Of course, the less you’re having to look at a screen on your smartphone or computer, the better. So, bring it on.

Lest you think the new feature is a generous offering to Echo users, it’s only accessible by those who are subscribed to Prime Music or Music Unlimited (the streaming service with more content that doesn’t require Prime). Yet another way the tech giant is trying to rope you into Amazon’s music streaming service.

Recent updates also included the ability to ask Alexa to play songs that match whatever activity you’re involved in (working out, cooking, canoodling…) as well as asking her to add a particular song to a playlist or even create a new playlist – again, less screen time.

Seeing as though I’m probably a day away from chucking my phone in the river, it’s nice to know there’s a smart solution for not looking at a screen. Hopefully they continue to add features until she’s able to read my daughter a bedtime story. #DadoftheYear


Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.