Amazon Echo

I can think of nothing worse, another pointless gadget like an Apple Watch, that will be outdated and in the bin in a year's time. Why would anyone want to say 'Alexa, play Ed Sheeran from Spotify'? What's wrong with looking on the iPad? Alexa, turn up the lights. Can people not get up off their lardy arses and press a switch?  Have people not heard of calendars that hang on the wall in the kitchen?

Of course, I sound like a Luddite, but rather that than someone who cannot do anything without saying 'Alexa' first. 

Mr. HH, I fear you've missed the point completely. It's all about people being able to advertise to everyone else in the near vicinity what they are doing in real time - like Twitter, but without the added lag and inconvenience of having to type something and hoping their massive 'following' will read it in time.

Alexa, I'm having a poo and the paper's run out. What do I do?

A post on the Hifi forum that since installing an Echo and the equally pointless Hue hub, the NDX keeps conking out caused a wry smile. Sometimes, in fact usually, simple is good. All this wifi stuff everywhere is bound to interact and when the unnecessary stuff starts to destroy the music then something has got out of hand. But then, I'm not a techy type, and I can see how it appeals to those who are. 

jon honeyball posted:

Echo. Interesting. Curious. Clever. Signs of things to come?

Jon - I think its great - but I love this sort of stuff anyway - the natural language speech recognition used on the system really is very impressive.. and what I like increasingly with this new tech is that they have API's  to allow those who want to to write programs to control them.. now if only Naim would publish an API we could have our Echo's controlling our Naim... swiping tablets and pressing buttons is just so passé 

The voice controlled music streaming, web radio playback, and home automation is  very effective...

"A post on the Hifi forum that since installing an Echo and the equally pointless Hue hub, the NDX keeps conking out caused a wry smile." Then that NDX is broken. QED.

"now if only Naim would publish an API we could have our Echo's controlling our Naim"

It would be nice, for sure. And put them as a stakeholder in working in this emerging eco system. Arguably more important for Muso/QB than for NDS. Clearly no point on NDX, cos that doesnt work apparantly....

Mine arrived on Wednesday. So far it is good as a voice controlled radio. With the move to DAB and Internet Radio I have been pissed off with how difficult it gas been to select/change stations, I can now simply say "Alexa play Planet Rock". It would be good if it can link up with my Nest heating controls but I don't think Google and Amazon will ever play nicely together.

Hungryhalibut posted:

Alexa, I'm having a poo and the paper's run out. What do I do?

An amusing angle to all this is that my younger daughter is called Alexa, although when we chose her name, Jeff Bezos hadn't yet thought of Amazon, let alone Echo. She is not amused when I make jokes about it - so mostly I don't ......

best

David

It depends, of course, on how loud the music is.  The Echo is supposed to be quite good at sorting out voice commands from background sound.  Not, though, at my listening levels. So yes, a gap in the music is necessary.

Is an Echo necessary?  Of course not. Useful?  For certain values of 'useful'.  Fun?  To an extent.  Interesting?  Yes, definitely. I haven't really explored it yet, but it's quite nice to say "Alexa, what's today's news?" and get various news articles from a (my) selection of news sites.  Of course, I could stroll over to the nearest radio, turn it on, find the appropriate stations and hope that they are reading out the news at the moment - or wander over to the PC and open various news sites, and read the news myself. I wouldn't be able to do anything else at the same time, of course.  Asking for the weather in Oxford tomorrow is as easy as that.  Or I could move to the computer, open Google, type in a search for Weather, find an appropriate web-site, find Oxford, figure out where tomorrow's synopsis is, which would work too.  "Alexa, play me some blues" works.  Or I could turn on my Android pad, start the Naim app, select Asset, go to Genre and select blues.  As for getting up off my lardy arse (I need to work on that, don't have one available at the moment) - perhaps we should all throw out our remote controls?

Obviously not for everyone, but nothing is.  Similarly for the Philips Hue (and similar gadgets).  Nice to be able to change the brightness and the colour to suit the mood.  Unnecessary, of course, but pleasant.

Have to say we have several Amazon Echo devices and we love them. We use them to check weather, traffic, set alarms and reminders, play news on the radio, order an uber  etc. I will also hook it up to Nest and to Radio Ra for home automation over time. This is definitely the beginning of a long path of innovation and speaking commands becomes intuitive quite quickly. 

As soon as Unitiqute arrives, it will be paired with that for bedroom commands. I have thought about getting my nephew to write some code to be able to get the Echo to do basic Naim commands but right now that looks complicated. One day! 

Anyway, to the skeptics, for us anyway, it is a great device,

David

 

 

Almost certain that it is the Echo that is causing my NDX to lose connection.  It is very intermittent, but so far it only happens when the Echo is on, and hasn't done while it is off.  

So now have to figure out what to do with the Echo...  I have a paperweight already.

I have put a switch between the EoM wallwart and the NDX (and the Phillips Hue is connected to it to).  Seems to be different, though not fixed.  The music stops sometimes (hard to say whether it is worse or better - there is no consistency that I can detect).  However, it seems to get things back together more quickly - though still not good because it does not start where it left off.  

Also now the NDX seems to lose network connection completely, and the only solution seems to be to turn it off and on again.  I will try moving the mdeia PC to the switch and see what happens then.

Tried running Wireshark on the PC, but it showed nothing odd - though I don't really know how to use it at its best.

Too many stone floors for that to work here, I'm afraid.  The only sensible way would be to run the cable out of the building and along the outside wall.  Might be able to hide it, if I do it while SWMBO isn't home.  However, I suspect that EoM isn't too bad here - ours is the only house on this bit of transmission wire (we have our own transformer on a pole just outside the house).

So far, I have put in a switch on the NDX side of the wallwart.  Some improvement, I think, though that is hard to be sure of because the problem is so intermittent.  Later, I put a Cinammon etherneet between the switch and the NDX, just out of curiousity.  I have now moved the PC acting as a media server (using Asset) onto the same switch, so this is now not needing the EoM.  It will take time to find out whether this has cured the problem...

Hungryhalibut posted:

OMG, it's worse than I realised. The idea of Amazon Dash to reorder loo roll is just wonderful though. 

I've tried that. They didn't deliver it for a day and then left it on the doorstep (because I was obviously still on the loo). I'm still stuck there with no paper to hand. Even Alexa is now pointedly ignoring me. Somebody please help me.

Beachcomber posted:

Too many stone floors for that to work here, I'm afraid.  The only sensible way would be to run the cable out of the building and along the outside wall.  Might be able to hide it, if I do it while SWMBO isn't home.  However, I suspect that EoM isn't too bad here - ours is the only house on this bit of transmission wire (we have our own transformer on a pole just outside the house).

I have similar issues with tiled and wood floors so I had the cable run along an outside wall where it is reasonably well hidden.

Beachcomber posted:

PeterJ, I tried sending you the Andrex puppies but it seems that they want to move into Paint.

Thanks, the puppies did arrive but, unfortunately, destroyed the loo rolls on the doorstep. Looks like I'm stuck here until Amazon start drone delivery.

last night's listening was interrupted again twice by the NDX initialising input, despite it and the media PC being on the same side of the switch.  So that wasn't a successful cure.  Not sure what else to try.  I don't see what the problem is, really.  The Echo is on its own wallwart (effectively - that's where the WiFi extender is).  The NDX and PC are not using EoM to communicate.  The PC is feeding a Logitech Squeezebox Touch elsewhere in the house over EoM but that should be trivial.  I shall turn the Echo off for a couple of days again to see whether it still happens.

Beachcomber posted:

last night's listening was interrupted again twice by the NDX initialising input, despite it and the media PC being on the same side of the switch.  So that wasn't a successful cure.  Not sure what else to try.  I don't see what the problem is, really.  The Echo is on its own wallwart (effectively - that's where the WiFi extender is).  The NDX and PC are not using EoM to communicate.  The PC is feeding a Logitech Squeezebox Touch elsewhere in the house over EoM but that should be trivial.  I shall turn the Echo off for a couple of days again to see whether it still happens.

I might be wrong, but I would imagine that running EoM could pollute your entire mains, not just devices directly attached to it. 

I'm not sure how it would do that - certainly the Naim power supplies would remove the (small) voltages injected onto the mains, given that, AIUI, that voltage is about 1 volt at between 2 and 50 MHz.  It doesn't make it through the mains transformers.  I don't think that the transformers would work efficiently at that frequency - and even if they did then the 1 volt would come out at about 0.17 volt, if that.  In any case I expect that any effects it might have on other equipment is rather less than the effects of the freezer or fridge motors, or fans or other noisy equipment.  

But I'm not sure what is causing the problem.  It could be that for some reason the NDX is losing contact with the main router, and dropping its IP address - the main router is quite a distance away, and that goes through the EoM.  It shouldn't really matter if it can't find the router, though - it's been given an IP address, and the switch should be routing the data just between the NDX and the PC, without going to the router at all. 

 

Steve

Likes (1)
GregW
×
×
×
×