Amazon know us so well. The company has finally introduced a new feature that allows music to be played over multiple Echo devices at one time. So, now the Echo can actually be used as a practical home speaker system.
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That's one small step for Amazon, one giant leap for mankind.
The new "multi-room music" feature allows users with more than one Echo to control where the music is being played or sync it across a group of Echo devices using voice commands. You can tell Alexa to "play my music" in a specific room, upstairs or downstairs, or have her play it everywhere. And, of course, you can still tell her to play your favorite artist or give her other music-related commands.
People who use third-party speakers with the Echo Dot will find the update particularly useful, because they can now be synced with other Alexa-enabled speakers. It works with some (not all) of the music services support by Echo — Amazon Music, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and Pandora for now, and support for Spotify and SiriusXM is "coming soon," according to Amazon.
Amazon also introduced the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) multi-room music SDK, which will allow device makers to integrate with the new music feature. Once enabled on devices, users can stream their music across Echo and other AVS devices simultaneously — meaning, you'll be able to play music on multiple Echos and standalone speakers at the same time. The SDK won't be available until early next year, but a sign-up form is available now.
Also, a new Connected Speaker API lets companies like Bose, Sonos, Sound United, and Samsung build Alexa capabilities into their speakers. That means you could use an Echo and ask Alexa to play your music on your Bose system instead.
Not bad, Amazon. Not bad.