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Thread: Integration with Alexa

  1. #1
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    Integration with Alexa

    The Echo is a neat device and really well suited to Podcasts, but at the moment support is limited to hacks with Bluetooth or Tune-in radio which has a limited selection of content. Besides I want to sync my listening between the Echo AND my Android device.

    Is it possible to add support for Alexa so that I could issue commands like "Alexa tell BeyondPod to SmartPlay" or "Alexa tell BeyondPod to play [categoryname]"?

  2. #2
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    I would like to second this suggestion, I have just received a new Echo and it would be really nice to see BeyondPod support integrated.

  3. #3
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    I'm not sure whether Alexa is even capable of controlling your Android device.

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    Quote Originally Posted by juwlz View Post
    I'm not sure whether Alexa is even capable of controlling your Android device.
    Thought I would take a while before responding just to see how things went with my new Echo.

    You are correct in that it's not directly capable of controlling your Android device, I think you can do it with a combination of Alexa + IFTTT, but I would not want that anyway.

    My thinking is that you would need to write an Alexa Skill that has access to our EpisodeSync data, and could use that to directly stream feeds. I would also think you could add this as an in-app paid option, perhaps needing the current BeyondPod unlock to access to basic features that can only play/pause/fwd/rev the current SmartPlay list and nothing else, and with the additional in-app purchase some extra controls (skip, mark played, delete etc). Of course Alexa would only be able to play anything that is available on-line, but it would simply be an additional device hooked into the EpisodeSync system.

    Does that make any sense?

  5. #5
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    Taomyn, I had the same thought as you.

    I just bought a Google Home, and use Beyondpod all the time with my chromecasts in the house. In the past I've casted from my phone to a network of CCA's, which worked ok but drains my battery. Now with the Google Home I can voice command and say "OK Google, Play Music on Google Play Music on All Speakers" (not redundant at all...) and it streams from the cloud to all of the networked chromecasts I have. This doesn't use any battery from my phone.

    I would love to have BeyondPod integration so I can tell it to play "Car Talk" from Beyondpod without ever touching my phone. You know...the only reason for having a voice controlled speaker.

    Is there any way to use the Google API to access a cloud sync account from your software? Very few apps can right now, I think it would get this app better visibility.

    I would gladly pay for a one time upgrade to allow this if required.

  6. #6
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    I've recently aquired an Amazon Dot too. I was actually surprised to find there wasn't a BeyondPod skill already.

    I would have expected it to have been streaming from the net and using (reading and writing) my EpisodeSync data.

    Add me to the list of people that would be happy to pay for extra functionality for the Dot on top of my BeyondPod key.

    Is there actually any interest from the developer on doing this?

    Cheers,
    Gold

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPx View Post
    Is it possible to add support for Alexa so that I could issue commands like "Alexa tell BeyondPod to SmartPlay" or "Alexa tell BeyondPod to play [categoryname]"?
    Actually, it'd be kinda cool to be able to say "Alexa, tell Beyondpod to play" and have it continue from where EpisodeSync has you last playing.

  8. #8
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    Since, as far as I know, neither Alexa nor Google Home can control an Android device, any Alexa or Google Home integration would have to wait until
    a) There is a web player for it to control (which is under development), and
    b) The web player integrates with EpisodeSync to keep the web player and BeyondPod for Android in sync.

    So far, the web player is simply that - a player, without subscriptions, let alone synchronisation.

    So Alexa control for something that doesn't exist yet is a fair way off.

    Julie
    Last edited by juwlz; 01-27-2017 at 02:14 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by juwlz View Post
    Since, as far as I know, neither Alexa nor Google Home can control an Android device, any Alexa or Google Home integration would have to wait until
    a) There is a web player for it to control (which is under development), and
    b) The web player integrates with EpisodeSync to keep the web player and BeyondPod for Android in sync.

    So far, the web player is simply that - a player, without subscriptions, let alone synchronisation.

    So Alexa control for something that doesn't exist yet is a fair way off.

    Julie
    You need to re-read #4/#6 as what you mention is not what we know to be possible - control of another device can be done e.g. Logitech Harmony, Hue etc., is not what I'd like to see. For Alexa a skill can easily amongst many things, play an online audio stream, gather data and act upon that information so I would hope there was a way to access the EpisodeSync data, then use that to obtain direct stream connections where possible i.e. have not be stored only on our devices.

    Forget about controlling our devices, treat Alexa/Home as a new device that BeyondPod can run on in some fashion and then integrate with the other apps via EpisodeSync.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taomyn View Post
    Forget about controlling our devices, treat Alexa/Home as a new device that BeyondPod can run on in some fashion and then integrate with the other apps via EpisodeSync.
    This is the key point that @juwiz appears to be missing.

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