Alexa and podcasts
Among the many skills and options offered by the Amazon Echo or any other Alexa-compatible device, Amazon’s voice assistant, is the ability to play podcasts. A capacity that not all users of one of these speakers squeeze in their day to day. And that podcasts have been gaining a lot of presence on a multitude of platforms such as Spotify, Audible, Podimo, etc.
In the case of Alexa, one of the advantages it offers is that thanks to the skills you can access practically all these services. So the catalog of available podcasts that you could reproduce is extremely wide. Something that, for example, other smart speakers like Apple’s HomePod cannot say which is limited to those found on Apple Podcasts.
Therefore, taking advantage of this ability if you have a device with Alexa can be highly recommended. Because there are podcasts of all kinds, for all topics and we don’t need to tell you much more about how convenient they can be to keep you informed of topics you like, entertained in those moments of leisure or to learn things while doing day-to-day activities that prevent you, for example reading a book.
What podcast services can Alexa play
Without going into the multitude of skills created by individual projects, the services that officially offer the possibility of listening to podcasts through the speakers with Alexa are the following:
- Amazon Music
- Apple Podcasts
- Pocket Casts
- Tune In
If you search among the Alexa skills Sure, you will find many other skills that give access to certain podcasts, but it is really the first five options that should interest you. Those that range from Amazon’s own with its Amazon Music to Spotify and Podium.
You already know that these skills are very easy to install, you just have to go to the Alexa application on your mobile phone, in the Skills section, find the one that interests you and then install it. Either ask the assistant through a voice command or go to the web and your devices will be updated with this ability.
How to set up the top podcast services with Alexa
As we have said before, unless they are paid podcasts or they have exclusivity with a particular platform, by configuring the main podcast services you have more than enough. And that translates into having Apple Podcasts and Spotify basically, although with Amazon Music you also have access to a large catalog of podcasts.
About the configuration process, this is basically the same in each and every one of them. The step by step would be the following:
- Open the Alexa app on your mobile device
- In the Skills section, find and install Apple Podcasts and Spotify if you don’t have them yet
- Hit the allow button for the Skill to install
- Then click on configuration and there you will have to enter the access data of your account to said service
- Once logged in, your smart speaker with Alexa will be ready to start playing any available content, in this case any podcast from the catalog.
Once you have the different services you want to use installed, the next step would be to establish the one you want to use by default. To do this, again you have to go to the Alexa application.
- Launch the Alexa app on your smartphone
- Tap on the More options
- Now go to Settings and access it
- In this new screen you will see different options, look for Music and Podcast to access it
- Default services will appear on the first line, tap there
- You just have to select the service you want to use by default for music, for the reproduction of artists and genres as well as podcasts
This default setting does not affect the ability to choose another service. The only consideration you should have is that you will have to use voice command to determine where you want Alexa to look to play the podcast you are requesting. For example, if you have Apple Podcasts configured by default and you want to use Amazon Music, the command will be: “Alexa, play NBAmaniacs podcasts on Amazon Music.” And so it is with the rest, you could even do it with music in case you have several services also available.
Commands for listening to podcasts
Now that you have all the services that interest you configured and knowing that you will be able to listen to any podcasts that really interest you, the next step you must take is related to the voice commands that you can tell Alexa.
This is not difficult to learn, because basically they are the same as you would use for music in case you have a service such as Spotify or Apple Music configured on par with Amazon Music that goes by default.
Some Alexa commands when playing podcasts are of the type:
- «Alexa, open Spotify and play [nombre del podcast]»
- «Alexa, play [nombre del podcast] on Apple Music »
- «Alexa, put yesterday’s episode of [nombre del podcast]»
- “Alexa, go forward / backward X minutes”
To these commands are added the classic controls to pause, skip, move forward or backward, etc., which can also be used with music. So it is very easy to enjoy podcasts with full control from your device with Alexa. In addition, if you do not finish an episode, when you resume it, it will do so at the exact point where you left off unless you specify that you want to listen to a previous, more recent chapter or from the beginning the one in which you stayed.