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Anyone using an Echo Dot?

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28 minutes ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

 

You certainly can request and get a specific song via the Echo devices.... But, you need to have an available music service/subscription that allows you to do that.

 

Amazon Music supports that for Amazon Prime members, either with a limited music library for regular subscribers, or with a full music library for those who pay monthly for Amazon Music. You can also do it with a Pandora account from the U.S. And I believe you also can do with via Spotify, But generally, you have to set up those service, i.e., link them to your Alexa device using either an Alexa skill or within the Alexa music player settings.

 

 

Here's where you need to set up those kinds of things, in the Alexa app Settings menu, and then under Music...

 

709520553_Screenshot_20190816-151311_AmazonAlexa.thumb.jpg.5ec2c43c4bcf5df521b1964cd6f7b5dc.jpg

 

 

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I have an Echo Dot. For me speaker quality is only good enough to listen to speech radio, and for that it is fine. I like that I can ask Alexa to play particular BBC radio podcasts - like the 6pm Radio 4 news - without having to put my glasses on or turn the light on at night. I like the alarm/timer function. I like that it can give me the weather forecast, and traffic information. But apart from that I dont use it much.

 

I also have Google Assistant on my phone, and I find that about as useful as the Dot except that the BBC has removed their content from Google Assistant and so even that doesn't work. Voice recognition is often quite poor and overall it certainly isn't good enough to entice me into buying a Google Home Mini.

 

I am annoyed that neither of these devices has proper DLNA support as in theory it should be entirely possible for either device to start particular music tracks playing from my NAS (PC) on my DLNA amp. But that function has been deliberately disabled.

 

I know that I could use the MyAlexaMedia controller mentioned, but that is an appalling kludge. The function should be built-in.

 

I am also annoyed that both devices stop responding to voice input very rapidly after just a very short pause. This makes them useless for note making, which is something I would sometimes like to do.

 

So I would say that both are very much a work in progress.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, losworld said:

I believe google assistant can do similar?

 

Here's a recent article that updates on Google Assistant/Google Home's music playing capabilities. It seems to say that I said above remains correct, in that you cannot play your own uploaded Google Play digital music thru a free Google Play account using Google Home unless the songs are part of a playlist you've created.

 

Quote

Google Home will not find and play audio within Google Play Music without a subscription, but it will play your saved playlists. If you have a playlist called ‘Summer 2018’, for example, you say “Okay Google, Play Summer 2018.”

 

However, there are other ways to play digital music for free using Google Home:
 

Quote

 

last summer Google added support for Deezer Premium and Spotify Free, and in April 2019 it added free (ad-supported) YouTube Music. You can now select these options within the Google Home app by clicking on the Account tab, then choosing Settings, Services, Music.

 

 

https://www.techadvisor.co.uk/how-to/digital-home/play-music-google-home-free-3659075/

 

AFAIK, not surprisingly....

--You can't play Amazon Music thru Google Home, and

--You can't play Google Music thru Alexa...

 

Edited by TallGuyJohninBKK

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45 minutes ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

 

You can play back basically any song in the world of digital music in a matter of 2 seconds just by asking for it by name?  You must be very talented!  :clap2:

 

He indicates "he's special".

 

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1 hour ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

 

You must be very talented!  :clap2:

Thank you, & you Sir, are to be commended for your powers of observation :wai:

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I have a Google Home speaker at home, which pretty much had been sitting on the shelf unused after I had originally set it up... So in the wake of this thread, I decided to sit down yesterday and try to resolve the problems I'd been having in getting it to work decently well, which I finally managed to do yesterday.

 

Verdict - For me, the Amazon Dot and Echo devices are a WHOLE LOT easier to set up and use compared to the various Google Home devices. I don't just mean the initial set-up, but the entire process of trying to get each respective device properly configured and connected to do the things a typical user might want to do.

 

For me, one of the problems with the Google devices is a goodly portion of their functionality appears related to opening up the Google account you set up the device with to all kinds of different Google account tracking and information recording elements -- which I usually try to keep turned off on my Google accounts. Because I don't need Google location tracking where I'm located, what I'm doing, what I'm buying, what I'm doing online, etc etc.

 

That, and, for me, the whole Google Home app interface is confusing and complicated, as it can emcompass different devices in your home, not just a Google Home speaker, but also things like Android TVs, Chromecast devices, etc. So once you get into the app, there are broad settings and then individual device specific settings, and even potentially multiple Google accounts on different devices. And it all gets to be a bit of a swamp, at least for me.

 

Lastly, in noodling around yesterday, I still found A LOT of Google Home device users complaining in 2019 that they still can't get their devices to play their own music that they've uploaded to their Google Play Music accounts, which ought to be one of the core functions of the device. Whereas in contrast, as I posted above, there's a $5 a year Amazon skill that allows Dot/Echo devices to stream by voice command all the music files stored on your home network. Even without all the other issues, the music playback issue would be the decider for me.

 

 

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