The Amazon Echo is kind of cool, but also kind of limited. Nevertheless, you can turn it into a learning machine with just a few steps. What you will need:

— Echo and Amazon account
— Access to your Amazon Music Library
— Podcast in MP3 format

Once you have your MP3 file ready to go, log into your Amazon account. Under your name if Your Account. There is a dropdown menu. Choose My Music Library. On the left you will see YOUR PLAYLISTS. Click on Create New Playlist. Enter a word or phrase for the playlist. When creating a playlist for Echo, I try to use simple, one syllable words. I use these: “source one”, “source two”. You can use whatever you want, but keeping it simple helps the Echo understand what you want.

Once you have a playlist created, click on “Upload your music to your cloud library”. On the bottom click on “select files”. Pick your file and upload.

After Amazon gets done processing and verifying, the word “Complete” will appear on the left of the line of your new addition.

Click on songs near the top. Your uploaded file may show as Unknown Album” in the Album column. Right click and pick “Edit Song Info.” Chang the album field something descriptive. Click OK. Right click on the new description and pick “Create Playlist from Selection”. Type in your new playlist name (eg, “source four”.

Then at the top you can verify your new MP3 file is associated with the new playlist by clicking on playlists at the top. Then click on your new playlist name.

You are ready to play the MP3 via Echo. Assuming you used my nomenclature, the command would be:

“Alexa, play playlist source four.” If you need to pause the playback, say “Alexa, pause”. To continue, “Alexa, continue”.

For the sake of simplicity, I associate only one MP3 file with a playlist.

I recently listened to “SEO for Freelance Writers” by Heather Lloyd-Martin this way. Typically I will want to listen more than once, so using the Echo is an easy way to do this. If you are working in the kitchen and your Echo is nearby, you can start the playback hands-free!