Author Topic: Alexa: Playing .pls music streaming files with My Pod  (Read 1105 times)

Alan E Hill

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Alexa: Playing .pls music streaming files with My Pod
« on: 04:18:53 | 01 April, 2018 »
One of the frustrations I had with Amazon Alexa was getting it to play .pls files, notably from my home network stream, Liquid Lounge - other fine streams are available.

@castalla put me on to My Pod, which seems to be designed, as its name suggests, to play podcasts which can't be found using Alexa's generic podcast player. Having said that, I can't see a way it can use an .rss playlist, but I use an podcast aggregator for listening in my car so I've not really tried it.

After adding My Pod as a skill, you need to register on its website using your Amazon account. There's an Amazon button to do this, so I assume it's secure... but who knows these days?

You put the url of the .pls file you want Alexa to play into My Pod's playlist creator and give it a name, save, etc.

Then it's a matter of saying, "Alexa, ask My Pod to play my STUFF playlist."

Now, for the most part it works pretty well, although if you have two or more My Pod playlists on My Pod, if one fails or is interrupted My Pod moves onto the next playlist. I've got used to the incredibly mellifluous music from LL being swapped with the operating radio stream from NJT's North Coast train line... Okay, I admit it... I'm a trainspotter!

So generally it works pretty well. The developer is quick on queries and suggestions.

Today, I'm taking delivery of an Echo Spot. I'll let you know how that goes.
Alan | That British Bloke Listening in Navarumsunk, NJ, USA, where all the women are strong, all the men good-looking, and all the children above average
Listening to LiquidLounge
Sangean WFR-20 / RCR-8 | Grace IR2600 | Alexa
dumnonia.us

Alan E Hill

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Re: Alexa: Playing .pls music streaming files with My Pod
« Reply #1 on: 02:59:16 | 02 July, 2018 »
I have been using a Spot for three months now, although the first one died after a couple of weeks or so, but was virtually instantly replaced by a successor which has worked perfectly since then.



Anyway, onto the My Pod skill - https://mypodapp.com/ - which I use to enable my various alexas to play music streamed from my music server.

At first it worked pretty well, but about a month or so ago it kept dropping the stream after only one or two tracks. At first I put this down to the Alexa/MyPod combination, however, on checking the Shoutcast log, the stream was being dropped when Shoutcast reported a "frame" synching error. Don't ask me... Other devices continued to cope and carried on playing.

Now my music library is largely composed of .flac and other lossless formats so Shoutcast DSP transcodes the stream into .mp3 for broadcast. The framing errors seemed to be associated with this process.

So as a fix I switched the stream from .mp3 to .aac and that seems to have fixed the issue, although I was reluctant to do this since it may mean older internet radio devices may not be able to play the stream.
Alan | That British Bloke Listening in Navarumsunk, NJ, USA, where all the women are strong, all the men good-looking, and all the children above average
Listening to LiquidLounge
Sangean WFR-20 / RCR-8 | Grace IR2600 | Alexa
dumnonia.us

Alan E Hill

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Re: Alexa: Playing .pls music streaming files with My Pod
« Reply #2 on: 05:00:13 | 01 January, 2019 »
Interesting development using MyPod to access my home radio, via Alexa.

Now, Alexa broadcasts an advertisement before connecting to LiquidLounge/MyPod...

I'm not certain if this is Amazon or the My Pod app. Since I'm paying for the My Pod app, I'm a little annoyed.

Hopefully, other connections aren't getting this...
Alan | That British Bloke Listening in Navarumsunk, NJ, USA, where all the women are strong, all the men good-looking, and all the children above average
Listening to LiquidLounge
Sangean WFR-20 / RCR-8 | Grace IR2600 | Alexa
dumnonia.us

Dogmatix

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Re: Alexa: Playing .pls music streaming files with My Pod
« Reply #3 on: 06:41:20 | 01 January, 2019 »
Just tuned in; no ads.
Radios in use: Roberts Stream 93i & SB1 (×2),  Revo Pixis RX, Hama DIT2010, IR110 & DIR3500, Technisat 520, Sangean WFR-29C.

Alan E Hill

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Re: Alexa: Playing .pls music streaming files with My Pod
« Reply #4 on: 02:39:46 | 03 January, 2019 »
Thanks for getting back...

I had changed my server settings to prioritise a particular stream (streamid_1=1) which seems to have given Amazon Alexa a means to intersperse ads into the stream. Incidentally, it also stripped tags from the tracks.

Strange... However, it's fixed now.

Alan | That British Bloke Listening in Navarumsunk, NJ, USA, where all the women are strong, all the men good-looking, and all the children above average
Listening to LiquidLounge
Sangean WFR-20 / RCR-8 | Grace IR2600 | Alexa
dumnonia.us

 

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