Amazon Echo - Siri thing from Amazon because their phone bombed


It’s easy. Go to your not downloaded music section of iTunes, download it…move the files to where ever you want. It is AAC files, but everything modern should play them.


I use Pandora a lot on the Echo. I dont use it for targeted songs though. I have a bunch of stations based on my favorite artists and just call for what I am in the mood for. Im rarely disappointed with the selection Pandora gives me. If I want something more focused I use Amazon Prime music ( the non pay version is still rather robust if youre on a budget ). I rarely use spotify so I wont miss it a bit.


Thanks @LeeAbe, that may have changed since I was last in the iTunes world. I’ll load it up and take a look, I don’t remember my iTunes password so it may take a bit.


For what it’s worth, it’s really nice. Spotify is strange in that it’s playlist based. They do have lists similar to Pandora’s subject/genre/group radios. They also have a song or artist based radio. But it’s much more akin to listening to the exact thing you want to hear. Want to hear the U2’s Joshua Tree album? Done. Want to hear that one song that is stuck in your head? Done. Want to create an exact playlist for the gym or to drive by? Done and done. No meandering radio like lists unless you truly want that. What that means though is that it’s less easy to remove something you hate from a playlist unless you clone it as yours and then do so. The issue with that is a lot of people (besides the Spotify staff) create and actively update playlists. So when you then make them yours and modify them, you don’t get the updates.

There are only a few groups/artists I’ve run into that aren’t yet on it, which is also nice.


Huh. I don’t really see this as an issue. If I want a curated, updated playlist, I go to one of the ones I follow. I don’t expect to be able to exclude things (other than by skipping a track), because the whole point is that I’m putting my choices in someone else’s hands. If I want specific tracks I know I’ll like, I load up one of my own playlists. If I want to discover new stuff (other than from, say, The Quietus or Kieron Gillen, who has freakishly similar tastes to me but is much more proactive in seeking new stuff out), I’ll put on Discover Weekly.

But 9 times out of 10 with Spotify I want to listen to a specific track, and it’s perfect for that.


I’m the same, honestly. Rarely do I worry about one or two tracks on a playlist that I don’t like, especially if I can skip any time, which the higher sub allows. I love it.

I’ve played with Discover Weekly and it’s not bad, but it’s mostly about your history of listening. So I get this mix of things I love, along with things my girlfriend played since it was either on the Amazon Echo or Google Home.

Come to think of it, I think it was someone on QT3 that got me into Spotify in the first place, Jason Cross.


Sure, though supposedly the algorithm weights things other than listening. And I find it generally* does a good job of identifying music I haven’t heard that I would like, based on what I listen to.

*It can’t seem to discern my taste in electronic music at all, but that’s a tiny fraction of my listening anyway.


I wonder if it takes into account playlists you save? However they do it, I’m pretty surprised at the results.


It is unfortunate that spotify is in trouble. I wasnt down on spotify, I just got what I was looking for from other sources and just used spotify rarely. I wont really miss it for that reason but Im not happy to see it go either, you can never have enough sources for good music.

As far as ITunes, screw Apple and their fucked software. A few updates ago, I lost half of my digital library on ITunes. It was still on my Ipod but I couldn’t copy it back to my computer. The last update was the last straw. It literally broke my computer. I finally had to do a full restore from boot to get it working again. I am not a fan of Apple and their barbed wired walled garden. I really like my Ipod but the bullshit software is just too much badness.


I was in their walled garden for a while. Three iPods and three iPhones over time, just for me. But the constant issue with dead devices and getting media from one item to the other (initially) was a pain, but as they opened things up a bit, there was still problems sometimes with accessing apps and media, as well as the overall poor experience of iTunes on Windows. I just finally got tired of all the bullshit, bought an Android phone and sailed off into the sunset, so to speak. Anyone who’s left Apple’s phone environment in the past remembers the issues with iMessage and not getting texts on your non-Apple phone from anyone in your contact list for quite some time.

If you’re in their garden, it’s not horrible. Especially so if you have a family and all use it. But as soon as you leave, you understand the issues with all those things that could have been standards and easily portable, but were not: media types, charger types, methods of accessing phone data, methods of porting media from walled-in devices to things outside of it, etc.

One of Apple’s biggest successes isn’t just their products or content delivery. It’s the sandtrap of getting you there and using things, only to realize it’s more convenient to stay there. “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”


Heres a great move by Amazon. They have added a setting in the Alexa app that allows your Echo Tap to be fully voice activated! This effectively makes the Tap a rechargeable portable Echo. Its nice that it is a setting because when youre on battery power, this option drains your battery a bit faster, so you can turn it off in the app, if your dont need voice activation active at that time.


I picked up a refurb first gen Philips Hue kit for super cheap this past week to see if these were worth further investing in. As it turns out… for my use case, not really. Nearly all of my fixtures are dual bulb and I don’t have a lot of freestanding lights. The bulbs are also surprisingly heavy so the bendable floor lamp I was hoping to throw a bulb in only points at the floor. Still for $30 it will be worth it to call up the lights before walking in at night. The Echo integration was flawless – my only point of concern is there’s half a dozen different ways to make all of this Smart home technology communicate and none of them seem to have particularly robust documentation or communities to turn to online.


Anyone know how to get Alexa to play Tom’s podcasts? I’ve tried different ways of asking without success.


“Alexa, play Quarter to Three Games Podcast”

Alexa streams the latest Games podcast.

“Alexa, next [track/chapter/episode]”

Alexa streams the next-most-recent podcast episode.

“Alexa, play previous [track/chapter/episode]”

Alexa plays a more recent episode than what’s currently playing.

And so on. It’s not very intuitive, but it works once you get used to it. (You also can’t seek within a track, so be careful about accidentally stopping it. “Pause” and “Resume” work.)


Those were just the voice controls. In the app, you can also go to Menu > Music & Books > TuneIn and search for “Quarter to Three”. Both channels are there and the control options are better.


I’m using a Fire Stick so I have to use the voice commands. Thank you for your help, good sir!


I think if you don’t have an Echo running you might be able to control the Fire Stick with the app? Not sure.


I’ve never tried to control my stick or my Fire TVs with the app, but all of them have Echo now. I should play around with that too!



Neither amazon nor google can set up an alarm with pandora or any music player.
Because no one ever wanted a clock radio.