All Alexa devices can now remotely control music playback on Echo devices

While the new ability to synchronize music playback across multiple Echo devices is getting most of the attention today, Alexa has also gained another very powerful new feature that is going mostly unnoticed. You can now remotely control music playback on Echo devices using any Alexa device. Without having to do any kind of setup, you can ask Alexa on any device to start, stop, or change the music being played on specific Amazon Echos, Echo Dots, and Echo Shows that you own.

By simply adding “…on [ECHO NAME]” to the end of any music request made through an Alexa-enabled device, you can remotely control music playback on a specific Echo device. The name used is the name you’ve configured for the Echo device through the Alexa app. So if you have an Echo in your kitchen called “Kitchen Echo,” for example, you can say “Alexa, play rock music on Kitchen Echo” to any Alexa-enabled device and music will begin playing in the kitchen.

The Alexa device you speak to does not need to be one of Amazon’s Echo speakers. It can be any Alexa-enabled device, including the Amazon Fire TV voice remote, Dash Wand, and Amazon Shopping app on a mobile phone. While the device you make the request through does not need to be an Echo device, the one where music will be playing does, so you cannot ask to remotely control music playing on the Fire TV or Fire TV Stick.

In addition to starting music, you can also control its playback. Issuing a command like “Alexa, stop music on Kitchen Echo” is supported. You can also ask to skip tracks remotely or repeat a song.

The feature also works with other music services and is not limited to Amazon Music. Commands like “Alexa, play my pop station from Pandora on Kitchen Echo” is supported. You can even remotely thumbs up/down tracks by saying “Alexa, thumbs up on Kitchen Echo.

Update

This features actually does work with the Amazon Tap as well, so you can use any Alexa device to remotely begin playing music on a Tap.

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10 comments
  1. Big John says:

    I assume the Alexa device has to be on the same WiFi network as Echo speaker? If not, I foresee having a lot of fun with this feature.

    • AFTVnews says:

      Actually, you can remotely control music through Alexa in the Amazon Shopping app when you’re not on WiFi, so it doesn’t seem like the devices need to be on the same network.

  2. cheryl jones says:

    This is cool. I asked big echo to play a song on echo dot and then i used the dash wand to pause and volume control the song on echo dot. thanks for letting us know.

  3. Erin says:

    I also thought this was new and got downvoted so hard on Reddit I deleted the post. People were telling me it’s been available for a while. Maybe some folks had it in a test phase earlier, so they thought it was an old capability?

  4. Scott says:

    Does this apply to the Tap as well? Would actually be really helpful if I could use my ftv voice remote to control music on tap.

    • AFTVnews says:

      I assumed it didn’t work on the Tap because multi-room audio does not work on the Tap, but I just tested it and it does work for the Tap. I asked Alexa through the Dash Wand to play something on my Tap and it worked perfectly.

  5. Paul says:

    I take it this feature and also the call functions are not available for uk owners?

  6. Goodhur says:

    I hope they eventually add firetv to audio groups. This is something that bugs about Chromecast as well. A firetv hooked up to a firetv is left out of the multiroom goodness.

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