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.”
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.