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Alexa welcomes Apple Music to Amazon Echo

  • 30 November 2018
  • 63 replies
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So on Dec 17th Apple Music will be available on Amazon Echo devices.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/baig/2018/11/30/alexa-welcomes-apple-music-amazon-echo/2151574002/

The question is; does this make Apple Music immediately available to those of us who use an Echo connected to Sonos. On Dec 17th will I be able to ask my Echo to play apple music on my Sonos ? Or will Sonos also need to "do something" to make this work ?
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Best answer by Keith N 30 November 2018, 21:06

Hello everyone and thanks for all the discussion about this. Rest assured, our team is always interested in helping you control the music service you love with voice. Nothing to share now, but stay tuned. We will share information directly on this post as soon as it is available.

Moderator Note: Apple Music can now be used with Alexa on your Sonos system. Read more here.
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63 replies

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my thoughts as soon as i heard! 🆒
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I do not have an eco, just sono's with alexa. Would like to know if this support will also come to them
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@Peteo, I suspect you're in a much better position. From what i've read Apple will be added as a Music Service and in Settings you will be able to select Apple as your default music service. So on your Sonos One or Beam it will just use Apple.

What I don't know is for those of us using a DOT or other Alexa to "connect" to a Sonos, whether the same will happen. I'm guessing so, but I don't know whether any update is required Sonos side before that will happen.
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Nice, that will work great for me. I have it set to Amazon music (non paid) right now but It only has a limited selection of music
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@Peteo, I suspect you're in a much better position. From what i've read Apple will be added as a Music Service and in Settings you will be able to select Apple as your default music service. So on your Sonos One or Beam it will just use Apple.

Hmm are you sure. I just read this:
To use the facility, users have to enable a new Apple Music skill in the Alexa app, followed by linking their account


Edit: from the exclusive usa today report:

"From the Amazon Alexa app on your phone, you can select Apple Music and link the account to an Echo, just as you might do via the app with Spotify or other streaming options. If you choose to make Apple Music the default music service, Alexa will play the song, artist or playlist of your choice upon request, or for that matter Apple’s Beats 1 radio, without your having to direct Alexa specifically to Apple Music. If Apple Music is not the default, you’d have to say, “Alexa play X on Apple Music.”
https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/baig/2018/11/30/alexa-welcomes-apple-music-amazon-echo/2151574002/

So it looks like Badger is correct
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The Sonos Speakers which have Alexa have a "baked in" version which sometimes has restrictions on the facilities available (e.g. Calling Facility does not work on the Sonos One). It would be good to know if Apple Music will be available via the Sonos Speakers that have Alexa, and also if it will be available in the UK!
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Yup. Pretty sure

"From the Amazon Alexa app on your phone, you can select Apple Music and link the account to an Echo, just as you might do via the app with Spotify or other streaming options. If you choose to make Apple Music the default music service, Alexa will play the song, artist or playlist of your choice upon request, or for that matter Apple’s Beats 1 radio, without your having to direct Alexa specifically to Apple Music. If Apple Music is not the default, you’d have to say, “Alexa play X on Apple Music.”"
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If you're referring to The Verge article, I believe they have the details wrong about using a Skill. The press release does not refer to a Skill. I suspect the author of The Verge article was guessing the way its enabled
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Update; well i'm wrong above. Numerous press releases refer to enabling a skill, which isn't typically how you enable music services so it's not clear. The USA article doesn't refer to a skill but instead refers to enabling the service like Spotify, which is enabled as a music Service. I guess we'll find out on the 17th.
Yes, something of this significance requires an official answer from Sonos, ASAP. Sonos is no longer a privately held company, it needs to realize that it can’t keep shareholders in the dark on things like this.
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More digging. I'm not an Amazon Skill developer (must look in to that!!), but it appears that with the new Music Skill API, it's possible that Music Skills and Music Services (in settings) are one and the same. For instance; I enabled Pandora as a Music Service and notice now that I also have a Pandora Skill installed (which I didn't add). Which suggests they are one and the same. If that is true, then when the Apple Music Skill is added it will be available under Music Services to be enabled as a Default service.
From my understanding, music requests through the Sonos Beam or One aren't much different from music requests from other Alexa enabled devices and echos. So I wouldn't expect it to work one way but not the other. I'd also guess that there are a few changes that Sonos would need to do on their side, but probably within the cloud only. I'd say Dec. 17 is a real possibility, by Jan 1 is likely, but I'm only speculating.

Personally, I find this partnership rather telling for the market in general. Amazon and Apple are competitors in music services and voice assistance, so why are they doing this? I would guess that sales of the Homepod are going as well as Apple would like, and Amazon does not like Google catching up with them on market share of smart speakers. Makes me wonder if something's going to be done with Siri/Alexa integration at a later date, similar to the Cortana/Alexa integration.
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From my understanding, music requests through the Sonos Beam or One aren't much different from music requests from other Alexa enabled devices and echos. So I wouldn't expect it to work one way but not the other. I'd also guess that there are a few changes that Sonos would need to do on their side, but probably within the cloud only. I'd say Dec. 17 is a real possibility, by Jan 1 is likely, but I'm only speculating.


Actually I think it would be amazon needing to make the change. As the request goes to amazon, which translates it down to a command that sonos API understands. This is why you can not just tell alexa to play a song and have it play on sonos with any music service. Alex needs to have the music services catalog so it can correctly translate to the sonos api.
If this is the case it might not launch right away with support for sonos
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Both Amazon and Apple maker their devices and services viable to tie you more tightly to them. Revenue for these is secondary to selling their main products to you. I don't think Amazon or Apple is concerned about revenue from music services as Pandora, Spotify, or Tidal. None of these have made money by the way or show any signs of doing so. I use Pandora and Apple Music so I'm pretty happy about this development. I think it will work with Sonos.
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Can we get @Sonos to reply to this thread and clue us in on whether we can now play Apple music using Alexa ?

Actually I think it would be amazon needing to make the change. As the request goes to amazon, which translates it down to a command that sonos API understands. This is why you can not just tell alexa to play a song and have it play on sonos with any music service. Alex needs to have the music services catalog so it can correctly translate to the sonos api.
If this is the case it might not launch right away with support for sonos


Well, I didn't mean to imply Amazon didn't have any changes to do on their side, just that Sonos could have a little bit to change on their side. But Amazon isn't actually using the Sonos API for Alexa, as I understand it. It goes something like this.

1 - User makes call on Alexa device
2 - device sends voice to Alexa cloud
3 - Alexa cloud processes request and makes call to Sonos cloud, using Alexa's APIs, not Sonos. You're correct that it's not a 'blind' request to Sonos. Alexa cloud won't send it to Sonos if it's not from a music service Alexa supports itself.
4 - Sonos cloud sends the request down to your Sonos speaker(s)
5 - Your speaker streams the music directly from the music service.

So, I'm imagining adding Apple service could very well work with no change from Sonos at all. It could also be that there is some minor tweaks, config data, some testing, to be done before they release to the public. Probably all done in the cloud. I'd even say that anything that might have been needed at the speaker firmware level was probably already done in the most recent update...but Sonos couldn't mention it then.

Can we get @Sonos to reply to this thread and clue us in on whether we can now play Apple music using Alexa ?

From what I've witness, Amazon has a habit of releasing features like this and not giving their partners like Sonos any heads up. I think this is what happened with Alexacast. So Sonos may have only recently found about it, and can't give much of an official statement till they know more about it. However, I can't think of a good reason why this won't happen with Sonos in a relatively short time frame.
Tidal was recently added to Alexa. I’m not a subscriber, so can’t tell if it automatically works on Sonos. Would be a good indicator if it does (or doesn’t). I don’t understand the official reticence from Sonos.
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I'm sure Sonos will say something...give them a minute as this just happened.
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Hello everyone and thanks for all the discussion about this. Rest assured, our team is always interested in helping you control the music service you love with voice. Nothing to share now, but stay tuned. We will share information directly on this post as soon as it is available.

Moderator Note: Apple Music can now be used with Alexa on your Sonos system. Read more here.
Thanks! So, Tidal has been available via Alexa for at least a week now. Does it work on Sonos via Alexa? There was never an official announcement about Alexa Cast either, a huge improvement for Amazon Music users. It works, better than Chromecast even, but not a peep from Sonos. Too busy tweeting about a Beastie Boys and colored speakers? :8
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Thanks! So, Tidal has been available via Alexa for at least a week now. Does it work on Sonos via Alexa? There was never an official announcement about Alexa Cast either, a huge improvement for Amazon Music users. It works, better than Chromecast even, but not a peep from Sonos. Too busy tweeting about a Beastie Boys and colored speakers? :8


Have you tried it?


Have you tried it?


Tidal? Can’t try it without a subscription. Alexa Cast? Yes, works very well. You’d think Sonos would be shouting it from the rooftops...
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I assumed you were interested because you use Tidal.
I had not heard of Alexa Cast so just read up on it.
Even though I have a Beam and four Sonos Ones I connect a Dot to them so I don't have to guess which features they will support...
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There was never an official announcement about Alexa Cast either, a huge improvement for Amazon Music users. It works, better than Chromecast even, but not a peep from Sonos. Too busy tweeting about a Beastie Boys and colored speakers? :8 I suppose if you are going to use an app to play music they would rather have you use the Sonos app to do this? (I guess they do promote airplay) So with alexa cast does it stream from your phone to the speaker like airplay or does it stream from the sono's it self?
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There is no indication of that these days. You can control Sonos speakers directly from the Tidal app or airplay from the Tidal app.
I think Sonos finally realized it was hurting sales to have to use the app for everything.
Airplay 2 does not always stream directly from your phone to the device.
For example HomePod siri voice commands will stream music from the music service via internet to the HomePod.