Alexa Podcasts

Today’s how-to guide is for Alexa podcasts. While you may be aware that Alexa has access to your Audible library and is also able to read Kindle titles that support text to speech, you might not know that Alexa can also stream your favorite podcasts.

Getting Started With Alexa Podcasts

At the time of writing this how-to guide, the following skills can be used to play podcasts on your Alexa devices:

  • AnyPod
  • Apple Podcasts
  • Pocket Casts
  • Spotify
  • TuneIn

By default, TuneIn is the preferred method of listening to podcasts. If you want to change the default, (so you don’t have to manually add each podcast title to the chosen skill) here’s how:

  1. After following the instructions below for one of the other skills, go to Settings > Default Services.
  2. Under Account Settings, choose Default Services.
  3. Here you’ll be able to choose a default podcast player from whatever streaming services that you have linked to your account.
  4. Choose your preferred streaming provider.

Note: You can only have one default, although you can use any number of methods to stream podcasts, the others will just be manual, not automatic.

Playing Podcasts with AnyPod

AnyPod is a robust skill choice for Alexa which has more options than the standard. To enable the skill, just say “Alexa, enable AnyPod skill.” Its voice search capabilities are much faster than TuneIn, which wasn’t intended to be used for podcasts.

AnyPod allows you to subscribe to podcasts, listen to your subscriptions and will figure out which episode is right for you to listen to next automatically. It is also easy to navigate content with voice commands.

Playing Podcasts with Apple Podcasts

  1. Open the Alexa app and select Skills & Games from the menu.
  2. Search for “Apple Podcasts.”
  3. Enable the Skill.
  4. You will be prompted to link your Apple ID.

Playing Podcasts with Pocket Cast

AnyPod isn’t the only third-party player available either. Pocket Cast is also available for download in the Alexa Skills Store. Once you create an account and sync it to your Alexa, you’ll be able to access your podcasts. All you have to do is talk to any Alexa device. Like AnyPod, Pocket Cast can keep up with your progress, similar to how Alexa works with Audible.

Playing Podcasts with Spotify

Spotify makes it easier because there is no separate skill you have to enable. All you need to do is link to your Spotify account. If you’ve already done this, then all you have to do is request podcasts as you would a playlist, album or song. However, be aware that even if Spotify is your default music streaming app, that doesn’t mean it’s your podcast default. Use the instructions above to make that change, if desired.

Playing Podcasts with TuneIn

As stated previously, this is Alexa’s podcast default. Its selection of content is decent, but you may prefer one of the skills above to access a greater variety of content.

To use TuneIn to listen to podcasts, go to the Music & Books section of the app menu and select TuneIn to explore its content. Scroll to the Podcasts section to find podcasts to listen to and subscribe to, similar to the process used by the other skills.

Adding Alexa Podcasts to Routines

Once connected, you can add Alexa podcasts to your routines. Adding a podcast to a routine means that you’ll be able to use one single command (routine) to control your smart home and play podcasts automatically.

At this time, if you want to use podcasts in a routine, you must do so via the TuneIn skill. This is slightly annoying if TuneIn is not your preferred method of listening to podcasts. But until Amazon opens up the Routines feature to other developers, that’s all you’ve got. (If you’re going to use Routines, do not change your default podcast provider).

  1. Add a new Routine and choose the voice command you’ll use to initiate it.
  2. Go to Music and enter the name of the podcast you want to listen to, choosing TuneIn as the provider.
  3. Save the Routine.
  4. Add any other skill to the Routine you’d like to execute with the same command, like dimming the lights or changing their color or perhaps raise or lower the temperature of the room.
  5. Save the Routine.

Now, when you give Alexa the command, she’ll play your podcast, turn down the lights and warm up the room all at the same time.

There you have it. Another way for Alexa to assist you merely with the power of your voice. Happy listening!

Buying an Amazon Echo Device

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