Each week, we take a look at new and important Alexa skills you might want to consider enabling for your Alexa device. Amazon continues to improve Alexa with its own updates, but skills are software components that allow Alexa users to extend functionality across all Alexa-enabled devices in use for very specific functions.
Alexa is available for Amazon devices Echo, Echo 2, Dot, Tap, Echo Spot, Echo Plus, Echo Show, Echo Look, Echo Connect, Dash Wand, Amazon Cloud Cam, Fire tablets, and Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Edition TVs, in the Music app, but also on iOS, Android, and the web with Reverb.ai.
This week’s skill: My Media
Description: My Media for Alexa lets you voice control and stream music from your home media collection to your Amazon Echo or Amazon Dot device.
Real world use: Though we stream just about every piece of music we listen to here using an Amazon Music Unlimited Family Plan, we do also have actual MP3 files sitting around on various devices. And, we have a lot of friends and family who are proud of their MP3 collections and they’ve been hard at work collecting the files over the years. So, this new skill, My Media, is actually a pretty awesome solution for delivering your own locally stored music over Alexa devices.
There’s a software piece you need to download from the creator’s web site that gets installed on a local computer. And, of course, for this to work, you have to designate a single computer in your home as “the media computer.” But, once you have it all setup, it works just as good as streaming from the cloud and you use the exact same voice commands to find and manage playback of your music. The skill tells Alexa where your local media server is located on your local network and pulls the music from there.
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