• Alexa for Squeezebox

    Breathing new life into your LMS.
    Add Alexa voice control to your Squeezeboxes.
    .

    Learn More See it in action
  • Currently in Alpha

    We're almost feature complete.
    Beta opening soon...

    LearnMore
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Built for Alexa

Built for Alexa

All the power of Alexa, all the flexibility of Squeezebox! A custom skill facilitates voice control for transport, content selection
Built for SqueezBox

Built for SqueezBox

Squeezebox is an amazingly flexible and resilient platform. Our custom plugin links to Alexa to add voice control.
Built for Simplicity

Built for Simplicity

An LMS plugin linked to an Alexa skill. Simple. Easy. Effective.
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Monday, May 20, 2019

Alexa for Squeezebox

These days, it seems that voice assistants are everywhere. In stand-alone devices, in a/v equipment, in household appliances, cars and more. Beyond a gimmick, voice applications are evolving to a point where they are approaching usefulness.

But what about legacy technology? Squeezebox was a great platform. There's still plenty about and there's a healthy second-hand market. The LMS is still viable and supported by a great community. 

The Hab-Tunes project seeks to breath new life into older technology by integrating voice control. The first such endeavor is Alexa for Squeezebox - an Alexa skill and LMS plugin that allows you control your Squeezebox by voice.

 

Simple

Comprising a standard Alexa skill and LMS plugin, it's familiar and easy to install, configure and use.

 
 

Secure

With https used when available, and no need for open ports locally, Alexa for Squeezebox helps keep the ner-do-wells at bay.

 
 

Robust

Developed over 2 years, with over 50 testers from around the world, Alexa for Squeezebox is stable and reliable.

 
 

Responsive

With ongoing maintenance and feature additions, you can shape the direction and request functionality you'd like to see.

 

The ambition is to add Alexa voice control to the LMS
and Squeezebox platform in a simple and intuitive way.
Find out more about the design philosophy, or dive right in. Learn More

Get Started

It's All About the Music


 

Simplicity and Flexibility.
All the hallmarks of Squeezebox - Now with added voice control.

Volunteer Testers


1

Extensive Alpha phase is ending, with Squeezebox users from around the world contribuiting time and ideas.

Ready for the World


 

With German localisation well advanced, Alexa for Squeezebox can be ported to any supported Alexa language.

Recent Blog Posts

Verifying Alexa

Working through the Alexa Skill code in node-red, I discovered that there are fairly onerous requirements for verifying the origination of skill requests from Amazon. I looked at a few options but the easiest seems to be node-red-contrib-alexa-verifier which is a wrap of the JS alexa-verifier.

Initially, this doesn't seem to do much but when I attempt to pass a faked call to the skill code from postman, it's rejected with a 401 unauthorized status and a helpful description of the reason. This is good news as it's another hurdle down on the road to eventual certification.

 

 

 

New ASK built-in commands

Amazon have announced the release of a developer preview of a slew of new built-in commands for Alexa skills. These commands are intended to help developers by providing multiple variants of commands through a single inclusion in the skill. This lessens the burden of having to predict all the possible ways a user might say something. Included in the release are a bunch of intents around music including commands relating to playlists, artists, tracks and more.

These have significant implications for the squeezebox Alexa skill and I'll need to review them in detail. However, they're developer preview at the moment and therefore subject to change. Also, it looks like they're available for US skills only right now (I'm developing on the European platform). This won't hinder my plan to get an initial release out to testers to see how well the skill/LMS comms is working but is something I'll likely want to include in when I start building out the full command set.

 

 

 

Development/Test Portal Set Up

I had intended using Basecamp for project management and testing co-ordination as it's a platform I'm familiar with. They seem, however, to have dispensed with their free tier and, as I'm trying to keep costs at a minimum, I had to look for an alternative. I opted to try Teamwork.com for the project. It seems to do a lot of things well and, critically, has a free plan that supports 2x projects and unlimited users. I'm in the process of sending out invites to those who offered to help with testing so we can have a central point of communications.

Tasks List Growing

Not much development this week, but we do have the teamwork project portal up and running and a number of volunteers signed up to help with testing etc., which is great. I've been through the project-related threads on forums.slimdevices.com and extracted all the community suggestions and feature requests. These, along with some outstanding internal tasks, have been set up in the portal so there's now a consolidated list of to-dos to be tackled.

I'm hoping to make significant progress this weekend with a view towards getting an initial version to testers next week for the purpose of testing skill<->LMS communications efficiencies. The aim is to get this locked down in the coming two weeks which will then allow me tackle the bulk of the actual skill implementation over the Christmas break.

Device Names

This is the up-to-date list of device names built into the skill. The idea is to include standard Squeezebox names, standard room names and a few specific names potential users might have. It's not absolutely necessary to have every potential name included here as the skill implements fuzzy text search using levenshtein distance to determine the match scoring of the spoken device name. In initial testing, it's pretty good at finding the correct named device.

Read more ...

Get Involved

Right now, site membership at Hab-Tunes.com is open. However, membership does not accrue any benefits. Participants in the ongoing closed alpha need to be members, and those who will participate in the forthcoming Beta cycle will also require membership.
Details on how to get involved can be found here