Wow! Garmin has got all the cylinders firing. Today’s announcement of support for Amazon Music places them WAY ahead of any other fitness provider, including Apple, for MUSIC. I’m running out of criticisms to make as Garmin are doing awesomely here, it seems a certainty to assume that compatibility for Google’s PLAY Music will follow soon and after that maybe even support for Apple’s music offering.
Me? I’m a Spotify user, so here is my experience in setting this up from scratch.
First up I got an Amazon Prime account, which I’d been meaning to for a while. As you can see getting PRIME will also give you Prime Music which is what you need to get the audio vibes cracking on Garmin. There is a premium music offering but you don’t need to get that.
Next up you need to install the Amazon Music CIQ app from the Connect IQ store on to your watch. It’s probably easiest to do that via the CIQ store app on your phone but via Garmin Express might work too. Check that you are linked to the internet via WiFi as well as having your earbuds paired and ready to go.
Next you need to go to the Amazon Music app on your watch to get your unique code. Just click on the blue icon as shown below and then manually enter it on Amazon’s site
Here’s where the problems and confusion might start. Some Amazon geo’s appear not to work and, even in the UK, you have to validate your Garmin music-enabled device on amazon.com/code. I’m assuming that you can enter the code into your Amazon app on your smartphone but I didn’t do it that way.
Providing you have an active PRIME account all should be good and you will get something like this (web version)
If you have previously played or bought music on Amazon then Amazon should have remembered that and be ready to transfer your playing/purchase history to your watch.
When I first tried this I had NEVER used Amazon Music so there was nothing in ‘MY MUSIC’ except an album from Tom Odell that, apparently, I had bought on CD at some point in the past. I think it was for a present, maybe. There are also various pre-canned Amazon playlists like “Top Songs”.
I installed the Amazon music player (desktop and smartphone) and played a few tracks elsewhere (off the watch). Adelle and then Cristina Perri appeared on the app and Jar of Hearts is a particularly nice song…if you like that sort of thing.
Sure enough, I’d say within a minute, I could then find Cristina on my Forerunner 945 along with Senorita from one of the Amazon playlists.
It’s important to remember at this point that you are NOT STREAMING music. You are downloading files and storing them on your watch via a streaming service. I’m assuming that if you take your smartphone with you when running you can download new content via that but, in that scenario, you might as well listen to music from your smartphone which has the potential for superior audio fidelity in any case with the right setup All music enabled sports watches I’ve seen only support relatively low-quality audio – it will likely sound perfectly fine to you and I but yoru friend with the huge speakers and a $10,000 HiFi will spot the difference.
- Amazon Music is available now in the Connect IQ™ store for Garmin customers with a Forerunner® 245 Music, Forerunner 645 Music, Forerunner 945, fēnix® 5 Plus series, vívoactive® 3 Music or MARQ™ series device. Assume it will work on the music-enabled version of the upcoming Vivoactive 4 and Fenix 6.
- The WiFi sync is VERY slow (I’ve got good mesh WiFi and a good internet connection). Spotify isn’t that slow so there is something wrong with the Amazon music service. There’ll be a technical excuse somewhere but, hey, Amazon…just fix it. If the excuse is better bitrate audio (blah blah) then, as I said earlier, it’s pointless as it’ll sound the same on a sports watch.
- I like the album art cover.
- Get used to this image folks….you’ll be seeing a lot of it. (Not our Liam…the other part)
The setup was clunky and the music download was slow. This will get sorted out over time but the most exciting things are that IT WORKS and that Garmin has access to yet another new and popular MUSIC service.