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  1. #291
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncameron View Post
    Yes; sorry if it wasn't clear - I have Michael Herger's Spotty Plugin for LMS, as well as the Spotty Controller Alexa Skills App for my Echo Dot. I don't know of they are 'related' but they work well together.

    I can say 'Alexa, ask Spotty Controller to play my Sunday Playlist on Lounge' - Lounge being one of my defined Squeezeboxes.
    Or 'Alexa, ask Spotty Controller to play Eric Clapton on Shuffle in Office'

    Neil
    Spotty Controller looks like it might be worth trying. Thanks for the heads up.

    Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk

  2. #292
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncameron View Post
    ...I can select which music to be played, stop and start and skip tracks, alter volume, change Playlists and transfer current music from player to player and then to the Echo Dot and even to my iPad and back again all with voice commands.
    The only thing I can't currently do is synchronise players by voice; will you be adding that to your Skill App?
    You could use the group players plugin and create the synced players there and then use Alexa no? Unless you need Spotify connect for this then I guess not.
    Last edited by grimmace92; 2018-12-27 at 13:55.

  3. #293
    Senior Member meep's Avatar
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    Happy New Year!

    A quick update, just pasting a post I made on the alpha test portal;

    I finally found the time over the Christmas break to get back into the project. A lot of the time actually went into re-familiarisation with the code but I managed to make a good deal of progress on a few fronts.

    The good news is that playlists and favourites are now, at last, working! I have a few last tweaks to do but I expect to release a new version by this weekend, all going well. As previously noted, an LMS plugin update is required. At some point in the next few days, the skill will stop working and notify you that a plugin update is ready.

    The bad news is that Amazon continue to fail to release capabilities to non-US skills. Approximately 18 months ago, they released a suite of functionality that would be of huge benefit to our little project: built-in recognition of song titles, music artist names etc. Unfortunately, these capabilities are available only to US skills and, 18 months later, have not been made available universally.

    It's important to me to maintain a single code-base for the skill across all supported regions. I really don't want users in different countries to have different capabilities and certainly don't want to be maintaining multiple versions. (getting one done is hard enough!!).

    I therefore need to work with functionality common across all locales. This results in some compromises. For example, in working on the favourite / playlist / track / artist title, I can use functionality that's very good at picking up names (eg 'Hootie & The Blowfish'), but I cannot combine that functionality for multi-slot inputs.

    Therefore, users cannot say 'Alexa, ask Squeeze Box to load playlist Some Really Odd Name on player Kitchen'. Instead, users must first select the device/player, then load the content. It becomes a multi-step process rather than a natural single command.

    Anyway, enough ranting. The upshot is that the next Alpha is imminent and that means we're a step closer to Public Beta, Yay!

    (Note, if you've already been in touch regarding Beta participation either via PM here on the forums or via direct e-mail, I have not forgotten you and will reach out when Beta is ready)




    ALEXA LMS SKILL: http://www.hab-tunes.com | Twitter: #habtunes
    Personal HA BLOG: http://mediaserver8.blogspot.com

    Squeezebox x2 | Squeezebox Radio x 2 | Squeezebox Duet x2

  4. #294
    Senior Member meep's Avatar
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    Hi again.

    just wanted to share this very quick & dirty demo of new favourites and playlists functionality in forthcoming Alpha v0.2.1.3



    ALEXA LMS SKILL: http://www.hab-tunes.com | Twitter: #habtunes
    Personal HA BLOG: http://mediaserver8.blogspot.com

    Squeezebox x2 | Squeezebox Radio x 2 | Squeezebox Duet x2

  5. #295
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    Quote Originally Posted by meep View Post
    Those B*std*rds at Amazon keep racing on making new languages available and adding features for US skills, but completely fail to extend those features to the other languages. There's a slot type available for US skills that make searching for album, artist and track titles a breeze. (Amazon, after all, have all this info from their product and music databases). However, they have for over 12 months now failed to make this available to other languages. I know as soon as I roll my own, they will come out with it but c'est la vie, as they say.
    Welcome back Meep!

    FWIW I've spoken in person to two (Amazon) Alexa dev advocates (or similar) here in London and the response has not been encouraging. The first told me to call him some time to chat about the issue (I didn't bother) and the second a month ago explained that basically Alexa teams and builds are entirely independent across countries, so the fact that it's been in the US beta for this long but nowhere else is not promising.

    He also said, don't worry too much about what built-in intents and in particular their slots can and can't hold and that home-made slot types with lots of data are not far off. This implied (to me at least) that they results from the Music*Intent slots haven't been as stellar as perhaps I'd imagined they were, but then I haven't bothered trying to build a US skill to find out.

  6. #296
    Senior Member meep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickb View Post
    Welcome back Meep!

    FWIW I've spoken in person to two (Amazon) Alexa dev advocates (or similar) here in London and the response has not been encouraging. The first told me to call him some time to chat about the issue (I didn't bother) and the second a month ago explained that basically Alexa teams and builds are entirely independent across countries, so the fact that it's been in the US beta for this long but nowhere else is not promising.

    He also said, don't worry too much about what built-in intents and in particular their slots can and can't hold and that home-made slot types with lots of data are not far off. This implied (to me at least) that they results from the Music*Intent slots haven't been as stellar as perhaps I'd imagined they were, but then I haven't bothered trying to build a US skill to find out.
    Hi @nickb

    Thanks for the insights. Interesting.

    As it happens, I'm using the (relatively) new AMAZON.SearchQuery slot and it's excellent at picking up odd track and band names ('Hootie and the Blowfish' is my current test and Alexa picks that up perfectly).

    However, it's one step up, two steps back. It turns out you cannot combine a SearchQuery slot with a custom slot. So I cannot implement a natural phrase like;

    'Alexa, ask Squeeze Box to play my playlist Seventies Classics in the Kitchen'
    As I cannot include the device name / location slot along with the SqearchQuery slot. I understand why, but it's frustrating :-(


    ALEXA LMS SKILL: http://www.hab-tunes.com | Twitter: #habtunes
    Personal HA BLOG: http://mediaserver8.blogspot.com

    Squeezebox x2 | Squeezebox Radio x 2 | Squeezebox Duet x2

  7. #297
    Senior Member meep's Avatar
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    Alpha v0.2.1.3

    Quick update

    Alpha v0.2.1.3 was released over the weekend and the test volunteers are currently picking it apart for bugs. Main new feature is the ability to list and load favorites and playlists. Users can now also adjust volume by 'a bit'.

    After squashing a few bugs arising and adding a couple of minor new features, we'll be moving on to what will hopefully be the final Alpha which will include the ability to search for and play tracks/albums/artsists/genres by name.

    Once that's done, I'll be in touch with everyone who wanted to be part of Beta to get some serious testing done.

    Here are the latest release notes for those following along. More anon....


    Version 0.2.1.3 (5th January 2019)

    • Fixed an issue with apostrophes in device names tripping up name saving to DB (skill)
    • Fixed an issue with the skill failing to respond to an unknown command (skill)
    • Updated phrasing of long welcome message (skill)
    • Added playlist and favorite listing and loading commands (skill/plugin)
    • Added support for 'Play in' and 'Play on' to the play command (skill)
    • Added support for qualified volume changes (turn it up <a little | a lot>)
    • Implemented GameEngine to better extend listening after Alexa reads long lists of devices etc (skill)
    • Added support for 'Cancel', 'Quit', 'Exit', 'Nothing', 'That's All' to exit listening mode (skill)
    • Disabled streaming as it was flaky, cumbersome and problematic (skill)
    • Change IP detection to ipecho.net
    • Added server monitor status to plugin settings page
    • Minor text & layout changes in plugin settings UI
    • Website Revamp (website)
    • Bumped the version number

    Known Issues:

    • For users with echo devices on a different subnet to their LMS, you may need to issue 2x commands before shortcuts will work (one for skill to figure out it can't reach the LMS directly and one for it to default back to retrieving the workaround file from hab-tunes.com. Also, saving plugin settings will reset you back to trying to access local files
    • Users should respond to Alexa prompts with known commands only. Polite 'yes' and 'no' are not yet supported.
    • Still some translations missing for our DE users
    • Reserved keywords (eg 'Play') don't work when tagged on to invocation commands
    • The feedback for loading playlists & favourites is exceptionally verbose to aid with debugging. This will be shortened considerably in the next version.,
    Last edited by meep; 2019-01-08 at 07:21. Reason: typos


    ALEXA LMS SKILL: http://www.hab-tunes.com | Twitter: #habtunes
    Personal HA BLOG: http://mediaserver8.blogspot.com

    Squeezebox x2 | Squeezebox Radio x 2 | Squeezebox Duet x2

  8. #298
    Senior Member meep's Avatar
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    Lots of people reaching out to be involved in the beta. Many thanks all. I'm kind of staggered by the strength of the SB community.

    I think I've responded to everyone who's got in touch either recently, or some time back. It will likely be Feb. when we get to Beta as we need to finish out Alpha, get the beta programme set up, finish up documentation, get the website in order and probably 101 other things that I haven't thought about. I also have couple of other projects, a day job and a business trip at the end of the month that is going to get in the way (any SB / HA users in Auckland want to meet up for a beer?)


    ALEXA LMS SKILL: http://www.hab-tunes.com | Twitter: #habtunes
    Personal HA BLOG: http://mediaserver8.blogspot.com

    Squeezebox x2 | Squeezebox Radio x 2 | Squeezebox Duet x2

  9. #299
    Senior Member pkfox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meep View Post
    Lots of people reaching out to be involved in the beta. Many thanks all. I'm kind of staggered by the strength of the SB community.

    I think I've responded to everyone who's got in touch either recently, or some time back. It will likely be Feb. when we get to Beta as we need to finish out Alpha, get the beta programme set up, finish up documentation, get the website in order and probably 101 other things that I haven't thought about. I also have couple of other projects, a day job and a business trip at the end of the month that is going to get in the way (any SB / HA users in Auckland want to meet up for a beer?)
    Hi meep, I registered an interest way back but haven't heard from you other than this post - I'm still interested ��
    We can't stop here this is bat country. RIP Hunter S Thompson.

    Intel NUC i5 Debian 16gb RAM 1TB SSD -> LMS -> Chord Qutest DAC / Cambridge Audio CXN V2 -> Meridian 551 -> Monitor Audio Gold -> Me

  10. #300
    Senior Member meep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pkfox View Post
    Hi meep, I registered an interest way back but haven't heard from you other than this post - I'm still interested ��
    Thanks for the heads up. I found your PM there which was not only unanswered, but unread. Shame on me. Now rectified.


    ALEXA LMS SKILL: http://www.hab-tunes.com | Twitter: #habtunes
    Personal HA BLOG: http://mediaserver8.blogspot.com

    Squeezebox x2 | Squeezebox Radio x 2 | Squeezebox Duet x2

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