Amazon Echo Dot

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gerrynag
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Amazon Echo Dot

Postby gerrynag » Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:38 pm

I have been thinking about buying an Amazon Echo Dot to use mainly with my Sonos sound system, but also possibly with other applications. Looked on the Amazon ES site and found that they don't sell them in Spain. I can of course get it from Amazon.co.uk, but wanted to know if there are any problems with using it in Spain. I have seen on other forums that people have suggested using a UK address when registering it, as apparently Amazon limit some of the features if you specify a Spanish address. I wondered if anyone had any experience with using them over here and if there are likely to be any problems.

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Re: Amazon Echo Dot

Postby ajtg1952 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:28 pm

I got one for Christmas and set it up in my Daughter's house in Scotland. All worked okay and I downloaded the controlling application to my phone. Came home and it would do nothing. Wouldn't even connect to my WiFi. Now I know nothing about computers but by some good luck I got it working, in a fashion. The application stopped working saying most of the facilities were not available in my country.

Eventually got the application loaded onto my laptop but it's not great. I get the radio on it, the weather and a few lists. It won't access my music or anything else for that matter. I'm sure they're will be ways round this but they will no doubt be beyond me.

But it's a bit of fun and at least Alexa says goodnight to me!

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Re: Amazon Echo Dot

Postby TorreDelAguila » Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:36 pm

Just remember that these are essentially eavesdropping devices, feeding back your commands to Amazon's servers. Expected, I suppose, for them to collect data on who-asks-what, but they're also listening to (and videoing, for those models with cameras) everything going on in their vicinity, including sounds/conversation in nearby rooms.

No, I'm not paranoid, just alerting to what these devices are designed to do. In a sense, Big Brother has arrived, and we're being asked to pay for it - £200 in the case of the video version.
Last edited by TorreDelAguila on Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Amazon Echo Dot

Postby gerrynag » Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:45 pm

Difficult for the Echo Dot to video anything back, as it hasn't a camera. Anyway, I am aware of it's capabilities and really just want an answer to my query, rather than get into a discussion about data harvesting by Amazon.

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Re: Amazon Echo Dot

Postby markwilding » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:05 pm

I have an echo and I think it’s brilliant. I use my UK Amazon account. The reason you need a UK address is because it needs to know where you are for all the functions to work properly. For example, if you ask it the weather, it will tell me the weather in SW19 so I need to ask it specifically What’s the weather In Bilbao? The sort of function that don’t work are to order take aways or taxis for obvious reasons nor will it work directions to somewhere because there are no Apps to do this in Spain yet.

Music has to be linked to either a Amazon account, your music needs to be uploaded to the Amazon cloud, or Spotify, which I use.
I simply ask it the play an album, a playlist or a song and it plays. Tell it to connect and it connects through blutooth to my main system for bettet quality sound. The same with the radio, there are various apps but if I ask it to play BBC radios 2or 4, it plays through the BBC’s dedicated app. It’s also possible to ask it to play catch-up and podcasts but this is new and I haven’t tried it out yet.
I even make voice activated telephone calls to my wife’s mobile who has the app installed on her phone, control the lamps in the living room as well as the nest thermostat. In the USA there are more functions which I hope will come to the UK soon such as voice controlling the Fire Tv and phone calls to any mobile or landline even when they don’t have the app.

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Re: Amazon Echo Dot

Postby gerrynag » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:17 pm

Thanks Mark, that is very helpful. Are you saying that it can only play your own music if it is stored in the Amazon Cloud ? My music is stored on my NAS and my phone and I play it on the SONOS speakers using the SONOS app on my phone, so ideally I want to use Alexa to control it instead of the app.

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Re: Amazon Echo Dot

Postby markwilding » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:28 pm

I does work with Sonos but as far as I know you would still need to subscribe to Amazon music or Spotify. As I already had an account with Spotify, for me it was relatively seamless.
A quick look on Sonos’ web site seems to confirm this.

https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/ ... a-on-sonos

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Re: Amazon Echo Dot

Postby gerrynag » Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:01 pm

Thanks again Mark. I had read that SONOS web page previously, but hadn't taken on board that the Echo could only play those music services, had assumed that it could also play locally stored music. Have now done further research and confirmed that you can't play music unless it is one of those supported music services. As I don't want to subscribe to Spotify Premium or pay for the privilege for storing my music in the cloud, guess I will have to give the Echo a miss.

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Re: Amazon Echo Dot

Postby ajtg1952 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:09 pm

I did like your reaction to the comment about Alexa listening to your every word. I hope she does; I need instant response to what time it is, or what is on my To Do list for tomorrow. Thankfully I'm not precious and I don't really care what she is recording!

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Re: Amazon Echo Dot

Postby Superplonk » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:34 am

The latest version of the app allows you to enter a Spanish address, so asking for a weather report gets you the local version straight away. I don't think it's worth bothering with unless you have a UK account with Prime for the music, though. Otherwise it works perfectly.

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Re: Amazon Echo Dot

Postby markwilding » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:22 pm

Thanks for that. I have changed it and it works fine apart from pronouncing my the name of my neighbourhood a bit strange.

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Re: Amazon Echo Dot

Postby AkoAko » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:01 pm

We have had an echo dot for about 6 weeks and think its a brilliant piece of kid and its uses seem to be endless . Re Music through Alexa , if you only want to listen to your own music collection you can do this for free through PLEX , you can upload literally thousands of music files .

The one simple thing we do with ours is to switch on our electric blanket if were not going to be home until really late so we can get home and not have to wait for an hour while the bed warms up , you do need a wireless switch but they are not expensive , ours cost €30 for 2 and uses one of the most popular apps .

Alexa does learn as you use it more , my wife is not English and her pronunciation is very different from mine but it now recognizes us both and even commands that are not scripted .

I see someone mentioned local weather forecast in Spain , we found it will only give the closest city which for us is 100km away and not much help so have to stick to google webpages .

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Re: Amazon Echo Dot

Postby probe » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:55 pm

Its brilliant with Philips Hue light bulbs as well - "Alexa, Lights on, Lights 20%, bedroom on etc". You do need to purchase a Hue Bridge though.

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Re: Amazon Echo Dot

Postby markwilding » Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:41 am

AkoAko wrote:We have had an echo dot for about 6 weeks and think its a brilliant piece of kit and its uses seem to be endless .

I have an echo and the sound is good enough to listen to the radio in the kitchen or bathroom. Nothing is perfect and one thing that lets it down is its lack of portability. My solution to this was to buy a rechargeable cradle, which does the job.

Ideally though, I would like to have another one sitting permanantly upstairs but I don't want the big Echo and a dot would be more convenient. However, I've heard the sound isn't great. Do you always listen to yours through a blutooth speaker or do you think the sound is good enough to listen to the radio and can it be charged and moved around the house without it being plugged in?
Last edited by markwilding on Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:45 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Amazon Echo Dot

Postby AkoAko » Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:38 pm

The sound quality is not bad but i understand not as good as the larger echo which has more internal speakers , we just tell it to play the local radio station and its on in the background . Its also good that you can adjust volume by voice command . Bluetooth is easy to set up if you want to but better quality speakers . Before we had the dot we would have local radio station playing through the tablet and i would say the Dot is better .

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Re: Amazon Echo Dot

Postby dxf » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:59 am

ajtg1952 wrote:I got one for Christmas and set it up in my Daughter's house in Scotland. All worked okay and I downloaded the controlling application to my phone. Came home and it would do nothing. Wouldn't even connect to my WiFi. Now I know nothing about computers but by some good luck I got it working, in a fashion. The application stopped working saying most of the facilities were not available in my country.

Eventually got the application loaded onto my laptop but it's not great. I get the radio on it, the weather and a few lists. It won't access my music or anything else for that matter. I'm sure they're will be ways round this but they will no doubt be beyond me.

But it's a bit of fun and at least Alexa says goodnight to me!


Hola

I have a friend with one and if their IPTV streaming box is on and working, then Alexa won't work; there seems to be interference with the router

Davexf


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