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  1. #961
    Senior Member philchillbill's Avatar
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    Relaxed Voice Model

    Amazon just certified version 4.4 of MediaServer which brings much better usability through shorter commands.

    For most commands to play/stream an album or a song/track, the {Artist} tag can be omitted as it's now optional rather than required. Your library will be searched with just the album/title to see if there is a match. If there is and it is also unambiguous (i.e. all matches show the same artist) then it plays without further input from you. If there is either no match or a multiple-artist match, Alexa will ask you for the missing artist name. For the avoidance of doubt, you may specify the artist at the outset if you like - it's just not a forced requirement any longer.

    Commands that used to queue up lots of 'repeats' across your library (e.g. 'Play the song Run Like Hell by Pink Floyd') now queue fewer variants. When you ask to play a particular song, only one version of each variation like (Live), (Deluxe), (Remastered), (2008) etc. will be queued for playback. Meaning that if you have exactly the same track contained on several albums and compilations, you don't queue multiple versions of exactly the same track.

    The command to check through the latest 100 additions to your library for a particular artist now takes the name of a matched album rather than an ordinal number to play it.

    The online Example Commands and the A-Z reference have been edited to reflect all of this.

    Enjoy !

  2. #962
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    Artist names

    Hi philchillbill

    Recently if I ask MediaServer to play something by for example 'Steely Dan' Alexa replies "Apparently you do not have any songs by Steely Dan in your library".
    If I then ask MediaServer to play something by 'Steely' then a selection of Steely Dan songs do play.
    If I ask to play something by an artist with a one word name for example 'Texas' a selection of songs play but if I ask to play 'Fairport Convention' I get the "Apparently you do not have any songs by Fairport Convention in your library" reply again. If I then say play something by "Fairport" the songs play.

    Sorry to say I'm not sure when this started happening as I've not been using Alexa for a while

    I'm running the latest 8.2 nightly on PCP 7.01, any help appreciated.

    Playing an album and omitting the artist name works great and when the "play something by" does work the fact that the songs get shuffled is really good, thanks.

  3. #963
    Senior Member philchillbill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gegen View Post
    Hi philchillbill

    Recently if I ask MediaServer to play something by for example 'Steely Dan' Alexa replies "Apparently you do not have any songs by Steely Dan in your library".
    If I then ask MediaServer to play something by 'Steely' then a selection of Steely Dan songs do play.
    If I ask to play something by an artist with a one word name for example 'Texas' a selection of songs play but if I ask to play 'Fairport Convention' I get the "Apparently you do not have any songs by Fairport Convention in your library" reply again. If I then say play something by "Fairport" the songs play.

    Sorry to say I'm not sure when this started happening as I've not been using Alexa for a while

    I'm running the latest 8.2 nightly on PCP 7.01, any help appreciated.

    Playing an album and omitting the artist name works great and when the "play something by" does work the fact that the songs get shuffled is really good, thanks.
    What Alexa locale are you on (UK or US)? Do you have the 'Full Text Search' plugin installed and active?

    EDIT: I've added a warning message about the need for the search plugin to the skill's response. I can reproduce the issue when the plugin is disabled and it indeed goes away with the plugin active. The search in ['artists', ] matches but then a subsequent search of ['songs', ] fails, which makes no sense. I have already flagged this as weird LMS behaviour in https://forums.slimdevices.com/showt...gs-via-jsonrpc but nobody understood me
    Last edited by philchillbill; 2021-06-29 at 01:40.

  4. #964
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    Quote Originally Posted by philchillbill View Post
    What Alexa locale are you on (UK or US)? Do you have the 'Full Text Search' plugin installed and active?

    EDIT: I've added a warning message about the need for the search plugin to the skill's response. I can reproduce the issue when the plugin is disabled and it indeed goes away with the plugin active. The search in ['artists', ] matches but then a subsequent search of ['songs', ] fails, which makes no sense. I have already flagged this as weird LMS behaviour in https://forums.slimdevices.com/showt...gs-via-jsonrpc but nobody understood me
    Hi, thanks for the reply I'm in the UK and don't have 'Full Text Search' installed.
    I'll install it and do a rescan and report back. Thanks

  5. #965
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    Quote Originally Posted by philchillbill View Post
    What Alexa locale are you on (UK or US)? Do you have the 'Full Text Search' plugin installed and active?

    EDIT: I've added a warning message about the need for the search plugin to the skill's response. I can reproduce the issue when the plugin is disabled and it indeed goes away with the plugin active. The search in ['artists', ] matches but then a subsequent search of ['songs', ] fails, which makes no sense. I have already flagged this as weird LMS behaviour in https://forums.slimdevices.com/showt...gs-via-jsonrpc but nobody understood me
    Thanks philchillbill, as you said installing 'Full Text Search' fixes the issue.

    (I had assumed a full rescan was also needed).

  6. #966
    Senior Member philchillbill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gegen View Post
    Thanks philchillbill, as you said installing 'Full Text Search' fixes the issue.

    (I had assumed a full rescan was also needed).
    Good to hear.

    I've just now modified the code to use a fallback which would at least play tracks where the artist in question matched the artist_id when the plugin is missing. This would miss collaborations between that artist and others (those have a different artist_id) but it's better than not playing anything at all. You still hear a recommendation to install the plugin.

    Thanks for finding this corner case as it's a worthwhile inclusion in the code to flag it.

    p.s. I don't think a rescan was actually necessary but it does no harm for sure.

  7. #967
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    Quote Originally Posted by philchillbill View Post
    Good to hear.

    I've just now modified the code to use a fallback which would at least play tracks where the artist in question matched the artist_id when the plugin is missing. This would miss collaborations between that artist and others (those have a different artist_id) but it's better than not playing anything at all. You still hear a recommendation to install the plugin.

    Thanks for finding this corner case as it's a worthwhile inclusion in the code to flag it.

    p.s. I don't think a rescan was actually necessary but it does no harm for sure.
    Thanks again for the help

  8. #968
    Senior Member philchillbill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gegen;
    Thanks again for the help
    In the log, I saw you having difficulty matching artist names Cerrone and Deadmau5. That's down to the difficulty in mapping how some words are spoken versus how they are spelled. We'd need a plugin with Double Metaphone to get that to work

  9. #969
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    Quote Originally Posted by philchillbill View Post
    In the log, I saw you having difficulty matching artist names Cerrone and Deadmau5. That's down to the difficulty in mapping how some words are spoken versus how they are spelled. We'd need a plugin with Double Metaphone to get that to work
    Sounds complicated!

  10. #970
    Senior Member philchillbill's Avatar
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    If you ask to play or stream an album/compilation/single and you get the album name correct but the artist wrong, the skill always pointed out who the correct artist was and offered to play it anyway via a yes/no. Provided there was only one artist match - if there were matches for >1 artists, you were just told the artist/album combo you asked for could not be found and that was it. You had to scratch your head and rethink who it was who has that album... ?

    A small change just implemented means that if the number of artist matches is >1 but <6, the names of those artists are mentioned in the response so as to jog your memory. The upper limit is there to prevent you hearing a list of 50 artists read out when you ask for an album called 'Greatest Hits' or 'Live' because that defeats the purpose of a hint.

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