Alexa now lets you play music with smart home Routines

Amazon has a new music feature for Alexa Routines: the automated sets of linked smart home actions that you can start from Echo speakers with timers or voice commands. For example, you can assign the phrase "Alexa, good morning" to a routine that gradually illuminates the lights, opens the tones of the windows and turn on the coffee machine if you already have all the prerequisite equipment. Now you can further enhance the mood with the music by automatically playing your favorite artist, playlist or podcast from the Alexa compatible speaker of your choice. Fortunately, you can also control the volume, because you almost certainly do not want to hear the news of the morning read at the same decibel level as the party the night before.






Example of an Alexa Routine.
Image: Thomas Ricker / The Verge

Supported music services include Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, Deezer and TuneIn. No, Apple Music is not on the list.

I just retouched my "Alexa, good morning" routine to set the volume to 1 (out of 10) before my Echo Dot re-read my weather forecast and the Flash report (which is set up for headlines). Techmeme). Then, when all the news is over, play my Discover Weekly playlist on Spotify through the Sonos speakers in my living room. It's important to note that the routine tells Spotify to use "random mode" so it does not listen to the same songs every morning (Spotify updates the Discover Weekly playlist every Monday). I tried this with Spotify's daily playlists, but Alexa does not recognize them for some frustrating reason.

If you have an Echo device and are not yet using Routines, you should be: they are one of the easiest ways to unlock the potential of a smart home, even if you only have some Hue bulbs. You can get more information on how to configure Alexa Routines here.