Amazon's Alexa is getting some improvements with new intuitive controls intended to help users rediscover music they've listened to in the past. That includes new voice commands for listening to specific songs, so long as the user remembers at least some details about it, and for listening to a more randomized playlist. These changes appear to be hitting the server side of Alexa and have already been rolled out. That means users won't necessarily need to update anything to take advantages of the new feature and can likely start using it right now. The functionality will only be available in the U.S. and U.K. for now but will likely be rolled out in fairly short order to other regions where Alexa-enabled devices are available for purchase.
The best way to describe the rediscovery feature is as a tool to help users listen to songs they may not remember some of the details of. For example, a user could ask Alexa to "play that Green Day song" with a time-based qualifier. So, "Alexa, play me the Green Day song I heard a few weeks ago" should result in the playback of songs by the band Green Day, that were being listened to a few weeks back. Songs can be searched by genre too, though that may prove less helpful for those who only listen to a specific type of music, unless the user happens to remember the specific day they heard it last. In any case, the feature should make finding a specific tune a much simpler task. For more variety and less specific searches, Alexa can also be asked to simply play something a user has listened to before but hasn't heard in a while.
The most straightforward request in that vein is to simply say, "Alexa, play something I haven’t heard in a while." Amazon's A.I. will then compile a list of songs the user has listened to and use it to remind them of some of them. As with the other new search tool, users can also be more specific and make a more direct request for a set genre or artist. For those who may have been hoping for another fix entirely, this update doesn't appear to patch the creepy random laughter bug, though that fix is also on the way, as Amazon confirmed yesterday.