Prime Day 2018 – Echo Palooza

Prime Day 2018, It came and it left so swiftly, it was longer than 24 hours though.. started around 3pm EST.. there were traffic jams, the amazon servers were crashing.. not too many ECS’s were going online ūüėČ

I bought a few Amazon Echos for a steal! 40-50% off on the Echo and the Echo Dots, the 2-device bundle for the Echo was 40% off and 2-device bundle for Echo Dots came to 50% off.

Amazon Echo that I got came the next day. It’s the model that includes a decent speaker so you can listen to music, news and other voice based responses.

Amazon Echo Dot is the smaller version without the big speaker music focused but has all the other goodness of an Alexa system.

I got a total of 8 alexa enabled device 4 Echos and 4 Echo Dots (2 for gifting purposes) and the rest would go in around all of my house, here’s a list of where these alexa enabled devices would go:

  1.  Master bedroom 1x Echo
  2. Family room 1x Echo
  3. Kids room 1x Echo Dot connected to Sound Blaster Airwave speaker via bluetooth
  4. Basement workshop 1x Echo
  5. Basement office: 1x Echo Dot connected to speakers via Aux
  6. Living Room 1x Echo
  7. Library Bose Soundtouch 20 speaker via Wifi to Alexa

The above setup leaves some speakers that work with AirPlay and Also cover areas where I have no speakers yet.

Now since I already worked pretty hard to get AirPlay enabled speakers around the house to use with iTunes on the desktop (in the basement or library). I’m able to play music through out the house using AirPlay enabled speakers with Apple Music subscription in most of the rooms I’ve mentioned above so lets list those out.

  1. Master bedroom: Sound Blaster Roar Pro bluetooth speaker connected to AirPlay receiver via 3.5mm aux cable
  2. Family room iHome iW1 Airplay speaker (8 hour battery)
  3. Basement workshop: iHome iW1 Airplay speaker (8 hour battery)
  4. Kids room: Sound Blaster Air Wave bluetooth speaker connected to AirPlay receiver via 3.5mm aux cable
  5. Kitchen: iHome iW2 Airplay speaker
  6. Library: Bose SoundTouch 20 Series II (wifi enabled + airplay via receiver)
  7. Basement Office: Logitech Z2300 connect to a desktop with iTunes.

When setting up Alexa it was fun adding skills (not really) since the “app” is simply pulling up a mobile web page to walk through and add skills. Then I realized that I’m not able to connect Alexa to the Apple Music service, nor will it detect Wifi speakers unless they had software update to work with Alexa protocol, for example the Bose SoundTouch speaker was easily added to Alexa via the Bose skill. So does that mean that Apple needs to create an Airplay or Apple Music skill?

Anyhow due to this reason, I’m going to test the Alexa speakers for a few days and see how effective it is in controlling my smart home.

Reading up around the internet there’s a few services available that’ll let me connect my iTunes library to Alexa via a skill, but again they all require that I have a service running on my desktop that enables it as a living library for Alexa to read and play from.

Thanks for reading! feel free to leave a comment below or reach out to me via Twitter @superjunaid.