Amazon Echo, often shortened to Echo, is the smart speakers developed by Amazon. Echo devices connect to the voice-controlled intelligent personal assistant service Alexa, which will respond when a user says “Alexa”.
What can Echo do?
- PREMIUM SOUND: Rich, detailed sound that automatically adapts to any room. Supports lossless HD audio available on select streaming services such as Amazon Music HD.
- VOICE CONTROL YOUR MUSIC: Stream songs from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, SiriusXM, and more. HD requires a compatible music streaming service.
- SMART HOME HUB: Built-in hub to voice control compatible lights, locks, and sensors. Easily set up compatible Zigbee devices or select Ring Smart Lighting solar lights and bulbs.
- ALEXA IS READY TO HELP: Set timers, reminders, and alarms. Alexa answers questions like “Alexa, what time is it?”
- START YOUR ROUTINES WITH MOTION – Turn on compatible lights, play your Flash Briefing, or turn on the coffee maker when you walk into the room.
- FILL YOUR HOME WITH SOUND: With multi-room music, play synchronized music across Echo devices in different rooms. Or pair your Echo with compatible Fire TV devices to feel scenes come to life with home theater audio.
- CONNECT WITH OTHERS HANDS-FREE: Call friends and family who have the Alexa app or an Echo device. Instantly drop in on other rooms or announce to the whole house that dinner’s ready.
- PRIVACY CONTROLS: Designed to protect your privacy – Amazon is not in the business of selling your personal information to others. Built with multiple layers of privacy controls including a mic off button.
Setting up Echo Dot
About Music Streaming Services and Alexa
You can listen to supported music services with Alexa. Alexa can play music from other streaming services, which can be set as the default preference for your device. To see available services, go to the Alexa App.
Note: You must have an active subscription account with these music streaming services, either free or premium subscriptions, to be able to link and play through Alexa’s Echo Dot.
How to connect Spotify with Alexa
Note: To do this, you must have a Spotify account on your smart phone, either free Spotify or Premium account.
After enabled and link to, say, Spotify, you can start playing these streaming music services through Echo Dot, by saying to Alexa the following examples:
- “Alexa, play Elton John”
- “Alexa, play Gerry Rafferty’s City to City album”
- “Alexa, play 80’s Rock”
- “Alexa, play Contemporary Christian Rock”
or, if you already have your own playlist on Spotify, you can say:
- “Alexa, play My Playlist 5”
- “Alexa, play Simon’s Playlist”
Spotify also have a huge subscription base of podcasts, you can see the Spotify Podcast Chart to see some of the most popular Podcasts around.
If you are a regular listener to these Podcast, you can for example, get Alexa to stream the latest episodes of “The Daily” podcast from NY Time
- “Alexa, play Podcast The Daily” or
- “Alexa, play Podcast The Genius Life”, if you are a fan of Max Lugavare
How to Stream Live Radio Stations
Alexa also have TuneIn, the worldwide radio station service, as a default service. If you a premium account subscriptions, you can play any stations on the App, else you can only play the free stations available.
- “Alexa, play BBC World Service news”
- “Alexa, play ABC news”
- “Alexa, play BFM 89.9” to play the Malaysian Business FM station in KL
If your favourite radio stations are not available on TuneIn, try another service called “myTuner Radio”
myTuner Radio is one of the few thousand services that can be linked to Alexa via the Alexa Skills, following the following steps:
a) Enable myTuner Radio, on your Alexa App, on bottom right corner, “More” > “Skills & Games”
b) on the right hand top corner of DISCOVER ALEXA, search “myTuner Radio”
c) You can see myTuner Radio Ausralia on the search result list
d) click on it to enable and launch, then you are set to go
How to search for your radio station?
Go to their official website https://mytuner-radio.com/
Search for your favorite station according to country, e.g. https://mytuner-radio.com/radio/country/malaysia-stations
which give the list of available Malaysia Radio Stations on myTuner Radio, to stream your station, e.g.
”Alexa, ask myTuner Radio to play Fox News Radio”
What is Alexa Skills
Alexa Skills refer to the individual capabilities that can be performed by Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. These range from answering questions to controlling smart home devices and even playing games. While Alexa has many skills built into her core programming, there are countless skills that will need to be manually activated. Most of those are made by third-party developers.
You can see a full List of Alexa Skills here :
Here’s some interesting Alexa Skills
Other millions things you can do with Alexa
Better than a dictionary
Ask for the longest word in the English language and Alexa tells you that it’s pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, and then defines the term. Alexa can also spell supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, just in case you should ever need to write that word out.
- “Alexa how to spell Calligraphy?”