Answered

Problems with echo dot and sonos, also spotify?

  • 9 February 2018
  • 17 replies
  • 1143 views

Hi! I'm having some strange connectivity issues between my Echo Dot and my 3 sonos speakers, possibly involving spotify. Only some things play on some speakers at some times, and I can't figure out why.
Here's what's happening:
Echo Dot will accept commands to play named songs, bands, albums, or playlists from Amazon music OR Spotify music on my Sonos Connect.
Echo Dot will accept commands to play "music" on my Play3 and Play:1 but will NOT accept commands to play named songs, bands, albums or playlists on either one of them. This is true whether I have Spotify set as default music service or Amazon music set as default music service.
Example: If I say, "Alexa, play [bandname] on [Play:1], it will act as if I said "Alexa, play [bandname]" and just play on the dot. (yuck). But if I say, "Alexa, play music on [Play:1]", it will play an amazon music playlist that it picked for me on the sonos speaker.

Why can Spotify play on Sonos Connect but not elsewhere? Why will Alexa play random music on the Play1 and 3 but not specific music?
Music plays fine on all 3 speakers through the Sonos app and through the Spotify app.
I have tried other basic troubleshooting but definitely feel as if i've managed to get my wires crossed somehow.

Thanks for any advice!
icon

Best answer by UKMedia 12 February 2018, 19:25

There is some evidence that unusual room names have caused issues for some people when using voice control. If you change the room names in Sonos and then select 'Alexa App>Smart Home>Devices>Discover' can you retest.
View original

This topic has been closed for further comments. You can use the search bar to find a similar topic, or create a new one by clicking Create Topic at the top of the page.

17 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +20
This sounds like an Alexa linking issue. Can you try the steps I've listed in the Answer to this post and let us know how you get on:

https://en.community.sonos.com/amazon-alexa-and-sonos-229102/alexa-says-she-is-playing-on-kitchen-but-no-sound-comes-out-6800126/index1.html#post16201009
Thanks for your answer. This wasn't successful. I followed all the level 3 steps in your Answer and the same problem is still occurring. The Sonos Connect will accept commands to play anything (songs, albums, or playlists) from Echo Dot. The Sonos Play:1 and Play:3 will only accept commands to play "music" (as in, "Alexa, play music on [Play:1) and then it insists on playing "clean easy pop"). They won't play any specific artists.
Argh!!!!
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
If you open the Alexa App>Settings>History can you confirm that Alexa heard you correctly? Personally, I've never tried the command 'Alexa, Play music' but will now! 🙂 As a test, can you try 'Alexa, Play piano chill Playlist' and see if that works.
Hi! Yes, the app confirms she is hearing me ask for the sonos speaker. I can't get her to play named playlists either. Only when she picks the music!!!
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
Have you set Spotify as your default music source before the Playlist test?

Also can you logout of any other Spotify and Amazon apps and retest?
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Sounds like you may be trying to stream the same service to multiple individually named devices simultaneous that are not grouped_for example bedroom, living room or kitchen etc.) If so, you must end the session (via the Sonos App) on the initial device then you will be able to stream the service to another device. You must repeat the procedure each time you want to stream to a different device. However, you could stream Spotify to Bedroom and Amazon to Living room.
I ended all sessions, logged out of Spotify and logged back in and am still having the same results. The app shows she is hearing that I am asking for the sonos speaker in every request, but she will only play on it if I don't ask for specific music.
I also checked Spotify is default, and tried it with amazon as default, same result.
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
Did you check AjTrek1's suggestion? Also when you say you logged out of Spotify is that within the Sonos or Spotify
App?
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
OK.. The only other issue I might imagine is "naming" otherwise I suggest you submit a diagnostic to Sonos and post the reference ID in this forum. You say you have three (3) Sonos speakers. You also wrote that your commands are "Alexa, play [bandname] on [Play:1] and I must assume the same for the Play 3. Here are my final suggestions maybe they'll help:

1. You should name your speakers by Room (i.e. bedroom, kitchen etc.)
2. The naming convention has to match in both the Sonos App and the Alexa App.
3. What is the 3rd speaker or are you calling the Connect a speaker? Even so the Connect should be named as a room.
4. I can't verify this next comment as I've never had this situation but; I suspect that If you have two Play:1's for example and they are not named as individual rooms Sonos/Alexa most likely will not send the command to the specific speaker you want. Just my speculation...
5. Playlists should be saved as a favorite in the Sonos App in order for them to play on command
6. Asking for play by band name or album can be difficult as the command must be specific and sometimes it may be confusing. For example asking Alexa to play Black Sabbath may give mixed results as it's not only the band name; but also the name of one of their albums as well as a track on the same album. Get it :? LOL

I hope you get your issues resolved by the help you have received from the forum members. If not...submit the diagnostic 🙂.

Cheers!
Badge
As a test, can you try 'Alexa, Play piano chill Playlist' and see if that works.

To Help, I tried your suggestion and Alexa plays the playlist on my Sonos setup.

So its not a fault with Sonos or Alexa. Something wrong with setup.


Lovely playlist by the way. Now to add it to my favourites. Thanks.
Hi! I really appreciate the time you have taken to look into this. I still haven't been able to resolve it based on suggestions. To respond to AjTrek1's questions:
1. Each speaker (including the connect) has its own individual name. (They are actually named after my pets, not the room they are in, could that really make a difference?)
2.These names match in the Sonos app and in the Alexa app.
3. There are actually 4 sonos devices in my house: 2 play:1s, a play:3, and a connect attached to my own receiver/speakers.
4. just to reiterate, the 2 play:1s each have their own name that is different from each other.
5/6 that makes complete sense that the syntax of the command is very tricky. However what I find confusing is that the exact same command will have a different result so-- (where Jyn = Sonos Connect and Milhouse = Play:3)
Alexa, play The Mountain goats in Jyn // [answer]: Playing the Mountain Goats from Spotify in Jyn (success)
Alexa, play The Mountain goats in Milhouse // Playing the Mountain Goats from Spotify ... (plays on Echo Dot--even though when I look at app it shows that Alexa correctly heard the full command including sonos speaker name)
BUT
Alexa, play music in Milhouse // Here's something you might like, Relaxing Acoustic Pop, playing on Milhouse (so Alexa DOES understand the name of the speaker as Milhouse)

Can't get it to play Piano chill playlist sadly

I submitted a diagnostic just in case it is helpful.
confirmation number is: 8484616.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Thanks for the update, blackcatmax

Last question...Are all devices on a single network or are there range extenders involved, whole house networking via electrical or a mesh network like Google WiFi? If so there could be some incompatibility issues at play.

Almost forgot...exotic names may be confusing vs. the standards of bedroom, kitchen etc. For instance Jyn may sound like Den on occasion. I've found that Alexa prefers names that are distinct and not those that sound like XXXX; but is really XXXXX. If that makes sense?
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
There is some evidence that unusual room names have caused issues for some people when using voice control. If you change the room names in Sonos and then select 'Alexa App>Smart Home>Devices>Discover' can you retest.
Success! Thanks everyone. I changed the Play:3 'Milhouse" to "Dining Room" and it works consistently now. Interestingly, once I changed the Connect "Jyn" to "Family Room" it STOPPED working (after it had been reliable before) so I changed it back to "Jyn" and now it is good! So this doesn't fit with AjTrek's theory, but the end result is the same. I really appreciate the help in any case.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Glad you got it fixed.

Interestingly, once I changed the Connect "Jyn" to "Family Room" it STOPPED working (after it had been reliable before) so I changed it back to "Jyn" and now it is good! So this doesn't fit with AjTrek's theory, but the end result is the same. I really appreciate the help in any case.

OH...but it did fit my theory...regarding device naming. I only used Jyn as a possible example because it stuck out. As it turned out it was Milhouse that was the name bandit. Just a case of mistaken identity..you might say :8
Badge
If you want to change your second room, change it to family room and get Alexa to discover it. Glad you got going. Enjoy.