Amazon's Echo wireless speaker gets voice-controlled Prime Stations

Amazon has added Prime Stations to Echo, its wireless speaker-slash-personal assistant, perhaps in hopes that it would get more people to press the "Request an invitation" button. Prime Stations are the company's ad-free radio feeds -- basically playlists that bundle Prime Music's offerings based on artists and genres. The feature's been available for iOS and Android devices for a month or so, but since Echo is a voice-activated assistant, it comes with a bunch of spoken commands. You can, for instance, play a specific station by saying "Alexa (that's Echo's voice assistant name), play the Bruno Mars Prime Station."

To choose what to listen to, say "Alexa, next," "Alexa, pause/resume" or "Alexa, go back." If you don't know what's playing, simply ask "Alexa, what song is this?" And to personalize the station, say "Alexa, thumbs up/thumbs down" -- the assistant will learn what to play next time based on your ratings. In addition, the e-commerce giant is now sharing around 100 IFTTT recipes cooked up by users when the integration arrived earlier this month. As we said, though, Echo remains available via invite-only, and you'll have to spend some time on a waiting list before you can actually purchase one.