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BBC Radio not using Alexa preferred speakers

  • 28 September 2019
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I have the BBC skill set up in Alexa and if I ask Alexa to 'play BBC Radio 2' it plays from my Echo Spot rather than the SONOS speakers that I set up as my preferred speakers in Alexa groups. If I disable the BBC app, then Alexa gives me a message saying something abut the previously enabled app is disabled do I want to enable it. To make it work I have to say 'Alexa play BBC Radio 2 in the Sitting Room'.

If I say 'Alexa play Virgin Radio' (or any other radio station/music request) it plays through the SONOS speakers.

I know this might be more of an Alexa question than a SONOS question but I'm asking just in case any of you SONOS experts have come across this and know a fix!

Edit: I did do a search and found nothing, but now I've posted I see that this question has come up before although the answer is to do what I'm doing ie add 'in the sitting room' or 'from TuneIn' to the command, which isn't a really great solution.
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Best answer by mvosloo 28 September 2019, 17:04


If you don't include 'from TuneIn', then Alexa will default to the BBC Skill when requesting a BBC radio station which doesn't support the Preferred Speaker setting. You are correct in saying that this isn't a Sonos issue.


Its a bit ridiculous really but I did find a sort of solution by creating a routine in Alexa for those who might be interested:

Routine goes like this:

When this happens | Voice: Alexa, play radio two
Action | Play: BBC Radio 2 | From: TuneIn
From: Living Room Spot

The key is obviously to say Radio 2 not BBC Radio 2. As the Preferred speakers are SONOS speakers on the Living Room Spot, Radio 2 is played through them.
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Edit: I did do a search and found nothing, but now I've posted I see that this question has come up before although the answer is to do what I'm doing ie add 'in the sitting room' or 'from TuneIn' to the command, which isn't a really great solution.


If you don't include 'from TuneIn', then Alexa will default to the BBC Skill when requesting a BBC radio station which doesn't support the Preferred Speaker setting. You are correct in saying that this isn't a Sonos issue.
I have set up an Alexa routine. If I say 'Alexa, play BBC Four' the routine is set to play BBC Radio 4 from provider Tune In.
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If you don't include 'from TuneIn', then Alexa will default to the BBC Skill when requesting a BBC radio station which doesn't support the Preferred Speaker setting. You are correct in saying that this isn't a Sonos issue.


Its a bit ridiculous really but I did find a sort of solution by creating a routine in Alexa for those who might be interested:

Routine goes like this:

When this happens | Voice: Alexa, play radio two
Action | Play: BBC Radio 2 | From: TuneIn
From: Living Room Spot

The key is obviously to say Radio 2 not BBC Radio 2. As the Preferred speakers are SONOS speakers on the Living Room Spot, Radio 2 is played through them.
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I have set up an Alexa routine. If I say 'Alexa, play BBC Four' the routine is set to play BBC Radio 4 from provider Tune In.

You posted this as I typed my answer (great minds think alike or Fools seldom differ....)!

I have set up an Alexa routine. If I say 'Alexa, play BBC Four' the routine is set to play BBC Radio 4 from provider Tune In.You posted this as I typed my answer (great minds think alike or Fools seldom differ....)!

Definitely great minds. 🙂 You posted some useful additional detail, completely consistent with my set up.
Except this will all break on Monday when BBC pulls their channels off Tunein in the UK.... we’ll be back to square one...
Except this will all break on Monday when BBC pulls their channels off Tunein in the UK.... we’ll be back to square one...

just stumbled across was this problem this weekend. Is there any workaround to play bbc radio stations through Sonos via a voice command to Alexa? I used to say “Alexa play bbc radio 1 in the kitchen”

.... and it would. Now I get some nonsense station. Yet bbc radio 1 is still on tune in 🤯🤯
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There is a longer thread about this here https://en.community.sonos.com/music-services-and-sources-228994/bbc-tunein-6828704 that suggests to use IFTTT as a work-around

Changes from an Alexa perspective are discussed here https://uk.amazonforum.com/forums/devices/echo-alexa/524508-changes-for-bbc-listeners-tunein-not-supported

You can join the conversation with the BBC people responsible here https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/aboutthebbc/entries/ba37d6b5-59fd-470d-9da2-dec1b45b8bd5

or sign a petition here https://www.change.org/p/bbc-restore-bbc-radio-streams-to-tunein
BBC going from bad to worse.

You can get bbc stations to play through sonos speakers.  You need to download IFTTT to your phone. Then link your sonos and alexa to IFTTT . If you then go to the Sonos app and add radioplayer you can find the BBC radio stations from there and add them to my sonos.  Then  go to IFTTT tap get more and the + button. Tap THIS , Type in Amazon alexa. Tap "Say a specific phrase" type in your trigger phrase in the box that says what phrase. Then follow the boxes that come up. 

SOLVED - Thank you Derek123.   The IFTTT route works well and results in simpler commands as you can also pre-specify the destination Sonos speaker in the set-up. So simply ‘Alexa, trigger Radio Four’ connects directly to the kitchen speaker.  I have been trying to find a flexible solution for some time and the end result is exactly what is needed and I can forget about messing around with Google Home etc

My pleasure.  So glad it worked for you. 

 

Thank you Derrick123, now works as it should again. Took an hour to configure but got there in the end. A couple of additions which should help. I had no '+ button' but scrolled down to 'create your own' (for some reason searching for this doesn't work). When you are looking for an 'action' in the menu, search for Sonos, and click on 'play favourite', you then get to the menu you need. Sounds complicated, it is a bit but once done it makes sense!

Thanks Derrick. I have been demanding Radio 4 in vain for ages. Alexa would give me random rural radio stations and podcasts or tell me she could not find a station with that name! I will have to explore the possibilities of IFTTT further. 

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I came back to this to see if anyone had a solution and to my delight someone does. So another thanks to Derrick123 as this works for me although my wife says she refuses to use the word Trigger.…

And as someone else mentioned above, when selecting SONOS select Favourites to select BBC Radio 2 from Realplayer.

Bizarrely I still have TunedIn Radio 2 in my favourites and it still played… but I changed it to RealPlayer.

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I also didn’t like to use Trigger to get the BBC radio station to play so I worked out that I can use the IFTTT set up to create a routine within the Alexa app. I have created a routine that activates with’Alexa play Radio 2’ which runs the IFTTT routine to run BBC Radio 2 from Realplayer. The IFTTT routine shows as an option under Action when setting up the Alexa Routine and then from within that you can select any routine that you have created within IFTTT.

Having the same problem - if you have an Amazon Echo paired with an old Sonos Play 1 (using the echo to supply voice commands to the Sonos) then there’s no easy way to get it to play BBC stations via voice commands. Non-bbc work via TuneIn and it reroutes the audio to the Sonos properly. For BBC you have to say “Alexa listen to Radio 6 Music from BBC” which is cumbersome in itself, but also doesn’t respect the grouping that says you want it to play on Sonos rather than Echo. 

 

Whilst I could set up an individual voice command per speaker it would be nice - as with literally all other non-BBC radio stations - to have one command that works on all my devices whether they’re Alexa-enabled Sonos Ones or a pairing of Amazon Echo and Play 1. 

 

 

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Please see my consolidated instructions to resolve this: https://en.community.sonos.com/amazon-alexa-and-sonos-229102/step-by-step-guide-to-play-bbc-radio-station-via-voice-control-6834993

Please see my consolidated instructions to resolve this: https://en.community.sonos.com/amazon-alexa-and-sonos-229102/step-by-step-guide-to-play-bbc-radio-station-via-voice-control-6834993

Thank you UKMedia - I appreciate your help, though I will point out that even this way requires having a separate command per room which isn’t very “Alexa”. I just want things back the old way, the same command whether BBC or not, and playing on the speaker I’m stood in front of (or paired with) rather than having to call it out by name. I don’t think we have a solution for that yet. 

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It is possible to output to either a Specific room, an existing Sonos Group or all Rooms but I agree that this still doesn’t reflect the old functionality before the BBC pulled support for TuneIn via Voice.

Now it seems to work without having to specify the room, if you ask for “Radio [x] from BBC” and your groups are set up correctly 

Without “from BBC”… just plays on the Echo 

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