Alexa's Inability to Play a Playlist - How Annoying Is That??!!??

  • 27 March 2019
  • 6 replies
  • 305 views

So I thought I would dip my toe in to this Alexa mularky. I only wanted the voice control over my Sonos system though as I really don't care for IA telling me what the weather is!!. I already had Sonos in every room of the house before the One was released so rather than buy any new units I thought I'd test it out with a £50 Echo Dot. I'm 'Old School', my music is mainly stored on a WD Cloud with many playlists setup in itunes and happily read by Sonos.

I discovered very quickly that Alexa can't recognize any of these play lists. What is the point of that!! Alexa is really only there to support streaming.

So my big beef (and I would be f***in' livid if I'd bought some Sonos One's) is that it should be made more obvious that Alexa can not access your personal music library - for me only £50 down the drain.

However - Why Alexa cannot see your music library through Sonos is a mystery - it only needs to be able to access your NAS in devices and can use the Sonos software to find playlist names.

Come on Amazon & Sonos get your sh** together here. There must be many, many frustrated Sonos users like me who cannot see the point of a half bake service. Why go to all the trouble of integrating the hardware into your speaker units only then to let it down by incomplete software. You need to work on full functionality through voice activation.

Oh and another thing - deletion of the Play 3 with no direct replacement - what business model decided that!!!

6 replies

It's a shame you are disappointed, but if it were really so simple to launch music from local libraries and playlists using Alexa only do you not think Sonos might have done it? Things generally look easy when you haven't a clue how they work. Alexa commands go via the Amazon cloud to the Sonos cloud and back to your system. It is fundamentally internet based which makes it hard (so I am given to understand) to work with locally stored tracks.

Once tracks are up and running, you can use Alexa to pause, restart, skip, change volume etc, so it isn't completely useless for local music.

I have read that it is possible to control local libraries using Alexa and IFTTT, but as I have no interest in doing so, I have not investigated further, and cannot promise I'm right about that.

As to the Play:3, it is interesting to learn that despite having no information about Sonos' plans, or past sales figures, or indeed any information at all, you know better than Sonos what their product range should be. Personally I cannot think of anywhere I would choose to use a Play:3 rather than a Play:1, Sonos One, pair of Play:1s or a Play:5. Of course, others may feel differently.
Hey. Just had my first play with IFTTT. Bit of set up, getting IFTTT app, linking to Alexa and Sonos, adding a playlist to Favourites using desktop app. I can now say 'Alexa, trigger Demo Playlist', and my Sonos plays that playlist on my Dining Room Sonos and any grouped speakers (my choice). It's a start, but no more. I may not have set it up optimally. I don't plan to pursue it for the moment but I expect much more is possible.
OK Nice I'll have a play with IFTTT see if I can progress further. If I can get one of my playlists to kick off with VA all will be forgiven. Thank you for your help.
OK good luck. This was my kick off point

https://ifttt.com/sonos
This was also useful. I'd be interested to hear how you get on

https://www.lifewire.com/use-ifttt-with-alexa-4159725

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