Play Alexa Audio Routines on Sonos

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Alexa now allows for routines that start audio playback. So for example you can say “Alexa, start the radio” and it’ll start playing your favorite radio station from TuneIn on your Alexa. (You can’t use play radio for some reason)

Sadly, by default, the interface doesn’t allow you to execute these commands on a Sonos One or redirect the audio to a Sonos speaker.

But there’s a workaround:

If you want to play a certain radio channel on the Sonos in the kitchen: start by creating a new routine in the Alexa app:

  1. Set an Alexa trigger, eg “start the radio”
  2. Add a Music action
  3. Type out the name of the channel or track you want to play and set the source. For radio, it’s TuneIn
  4. Append the sentence “in the kitchen”, to redirect the chosen music to the Sonos speaker in the kitchen.

The screenshots above will probably explain it better. 

Complexity

This shows the main difference between Apple Siri/HomeKit and Alexa. Alexa allows for these kind of hacks. But it makes for a frustrating experience because the advanced features don’t always work as expected.

Siri is locked and doesn’t allow these kind of workarounds. But the basic audio features Apple promises do work right out of the box.

It’s iOS stable and closed vs Android tweakable but unstable all over again.

Change the title of iCloud Photo Library Memories

Yesterday I got a notification for a memory from three years ago called Kris's Birthday. iCloud Photos had somehow found out that it was Kris's birthday yesterday, and that he and I were at the same event on his birthday a few years ago.

I really like these kind of memories and alerts. They're timely, often bring back events I had forgotten about, and the photo selection is quite good.

Only, this time, the event itself had nothing to do with the fact that it was my friend's birthday. And I couldn't find a way to change the memory's title within iOS Photos.

Thanks to @joshducharme, that's now been solved:

How to change a Memory

CAT 6E

Next week we’re moving apartments. The new place is a bit smaller than our current one, but has an extra room for #thelittleone and this time: a working hot water installation. 

To my surprise the new apartment (we’re renting) has CAT 6E Ethernet installed in the living room and both bedrooms. I know it’s 2018 and wireless is basically the default for any home installation these days, but some decent wired endpoints across the house make placing WiFi access points that cover every spot of the house a breeze. 

One problem: even though cables were installed in the apartment and every room has some nice patch ports next to the power plugs, in the utility room all Ethernet cables were unfinished and just hanging there.  (the owner didn’t even know what they were)

So today I spent part of the morning terminating all cables, connecting them to a switch and checking cable stability afterwards.

I used to do this at the office on a regular basis but it’s been a while now since I touched a cable so —with a bit of shame— I had to resort to a schematic on Google to remember the color code. And.. have a 50% chance I choose the same schema as the electrician. 

Luckily all went well and I terminated all cables without any issues.  

Up next: installing WiFi, adding my home server and start rebuilding HomeKit. And move all our stuff.. 

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