Out of all of the Black Friday deals, you're navigating, you probably are looking for smart speakers, smartphones, or smartwatches. Subscription services like streaming music and TV content may not be high on your radar right now, but they should be!

One of the best streaming deals going this weekend is for Amazon Music Unlimited, my favorite music service (even as an iOS user). New signups can get their first four months for just $1 cents, and Prime members get an additional $2/month off after that (or $8 per month). Compare that to $10 per month for Apple Music or Spotify, and you've got yourself a deal!

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Music anywhere

Amazon Music Unlimited: 4-month Membership

Amazon Music Unlimited is a streaming service that's accessible on tons of devices and features millions of songs that you can play on-demand or download to your device. It's entirely ad-free, too. The deal is for new users of the service only.

$0.99 $39.96 $39 off

So why do I like Amazon Music Unlimited so much? For me, it is all about the user experience, both in the app and through Alexa. I've always preferred the user interface of the Amazon Music app compared to other apps, and find it particularly easy to navigate. There are only four main navigation tabs at the bottom of the screen, which makes it really easy to find what you're looking for.

The Home tab is basically the app landing screen, where you can see albums, artists, and playlists that are featured, followed by new releases, top charts, your recently played music, and other recommendations. The Find tab is a general music search section but also has shortcuts for stations, playlists, top charts, and new releases. Oh, and it shows your recent searches in little bubbles at the top. I find this super-useful, as I often want to revisit something I looked up just the other day. The My Music section is the meat of the app and has navigation for recently played media, playlists, albums, artists, and more. Again, I really like that Amazon Music gives you so many options to access both the individual tracks and albums/playlists/artists you've recently played, and in chronological order. I really dislike that my other favorite service, Apple Music, doesn't support this in a meaningful way. Finally, we have an Alexa tab, which pulls up Amazon's smart voice assistant. Alexa is actually pretty accurate at finding the music I'm looking for if I can't remember exactly what it is called, or don't want to type it into the Find tab. Arguably this could be incorporated INTO the Find tab for simplicity, but it's obvious that Amazon wants to feature Alexa prominently here.

Once you play a track, the user interface is also really nice-looking in my opinion. The top half of the screen is occupied by the album artwork and the bottom half by play controls. If it is a song with lyrics, those lyrics will appear in the top half of the screen in real-time (a feature it had long before Apple Music). At the very bottom of the screen you have additional controls like repeat track, add to playlist, Alexa, cast to another device like an Echo speaker, Airplay 2 device, or Fire TV, and shuffle. The bottom of the screen also has a bit of a transparent layer to it, so you can kind of see the album artwork behind the controls. Finally, you can minimize the controls and continue navigating the app while listening, and you will still have mini controls at the bottom of the screen.

Amazon's curated music is not quite on par with Spotify or Apple Music, but it is getting better, and quickly. It features a My Soundtrack station that is constantly being updated based on your listening habits and preferences, and a My Discovery Mix playlist that is similar to the My New Music Mix on Apple Music.

Amazon Music Unlimited also has a bunch of original playlists like Control Alt Repeat (alternative) and Alexa's Most Requested that are updated weekly and are a lot of fun to listen to, and there are also originals like the Side by Side series which feature interview snippets with top artists interspersed with their favorite tracks. Oh, and right now they have a ton of great Thanksgiving and holiday playlists across the decades and genres. All-in-all a great catalog that continues to get even better.

If you aren't married to a particular streaming music service, and especially if you're an Amazon Prime member, then take a chance on this Black Friday special and try Amazon Music Unlimited. This iPhone listener can definitely vouch for it!

Cyber Monday!

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