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Anyone here got Amazon Echo Plus, Alexa?

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Martin King 205/04/2018 08:30:32
602 forum posts
219 photos

Hi all,

Heard one of these at a friends house recently and my missus loves her music.

Thinking about getting her one, but wonder how useful it is for other stuff, certainly seems a popular toy!.

Does anyone here have one? If so what are their impressions of it please?

Cheers,

Martin

Tony - CHUK05/04/2018 08:47:24
18 forum posts

Hi Martin,

I use the Google Home Mini, cost me £34.00 on offer and it is wonderful. I use it on a daily basis! It helps that I also have Spotify, the music player, and they work wonderfully together. You can ask to play music (Hey Google, play music) and she will pick up from where you left off, or you can be more specific and ask to play a specific play list, song, artist or even radio station. As well as ask questions, such as the other day I had one hand covered in glue and the other holding some pieces of wood together, I asked what time my local B&M closed I instantly had the reply without having to stop what I was doing!

So in my opinion, well worth the money, especially for a music lover.

Hope this helps,

All the best,

Tony

FMES05/04/2018 09:43:41
598 forum posts
2 photos

Anything digital isn't for a music lover, its simply a tool for for stopping you from getting up off your backside.

Look on ebay and see how many second hand ones are for sale.

And don't forget - it eavesdrops!

Regards

Lofty

Ketan Swali05/04/2018 09:59:08
1107 forum posts
91 photos

I was given an Amazon Echo on my birthday. Initially it was a lot of fun. Later on, it would just come on by itself and say something random. Creepy. So, I have turned it off.

Ketan at ARC.

John Haine05/04/2018 10:00:04
2590 forum posts
133 photos

They don't make money from selling you these things, they make money from the data they collect about you. Are you willing to have an AI listening in your home?

I'm becoming a paranoid Android in my old age, but with the latest Facebook news caution is advisable.

Ketan Swali05/04/2018 10:05:40
1107 forum posts
91 photos

Well, the Echo tries to make money from you indirectly. If you ask it a question, for example meaning of something, it does sometimes suggest an Amazon shopping partner, and if you connected it to your Amazon account, then you could order the thing you asked about. So, in my case i didn't give it any of this information at time of set-up, but it still keeps suggesting shopping partners.

Ketan at ARC.

IanT05/04/2018 10:06:53
1297 forum posts
132 photos

Lofty - if I installed a "bugging device" in my home I'd be seriously concerned about the Health & Safety issues.

After all, I was well aware of the potential for serious ear-ache before I got married - but some young Amazon employee might accidentally have their hearing damaged without the in-built protection that only years of selective listening can give you.....

IanT

Samsaranda05/04/2018 10:20:43
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776 forum posts
5 photos

I agree with the comments posted, yes it is a listening device and you will be surprised how many “random” adverts will appear on your media connection. I have an Alexa, given as a present by my daughter and yes you can be quietly watching the tv and Alexa will come out with some random utterance which means nothing, yes spooky. These days it is impossible to avoid being under “surveillance” from a number of directions, how many of us have loyalty cards, Nectar etc. these perform a similar surveillance of our lifestyle habits and all this data is collated. Impossible to avoid being spied on unless you go totally ‘off grid’ which is nigh on impossible, so if you want one then get one.

Dave W

Roger Provins 205/04/2018 10:38:14
341 forum posts

The paranoid should first read this

There are also many other web articles on the subject to soothe your nerves. wink

Maybe you should also check up on what your maid is doing when you're not about.

 

Roger (who has two Alexas!)

Edited By Roger Provins 2 on 05/04/2018 10:40:24

Bazyle05/04/2018 13:25:09
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4676 forum posts
186 photos

I nearly got one when a colleague over ordered and had an extra. But I checked and my 3yr old Android tablet was not updatable to the version that was essential even for activating the thing.
Then the streamed radio will use up your download allocation and may impact other services if you have a poor connection so you are much better off using a regular radio.
Other streamed music only works if you pay a lot for the service or have lots of adverts.
The home automation functions only work with a few designated high end (expensive) devices.

Unfortunately more devices will connect to the internet and use this technology (voice activation) for control. Soon your TV will not come with a remote just a microphone (tenth the cost of a remote) which will be advertised as a special advanced feature upping the price. In fact it will then know precisely your viewing habits and streamed TV services already insert targeted advertising on a per user basis.

Roger Provins 205/04/2018 15:15:09
341 forum posts

I guess it all depends on what sort of internet connection and provider one has. No download limit on my 100Mb broadband service, plays more or less anything I tell it to - by genre, artist or track. Shuffled and endlessly if so required. Hundreds of radio stations, albums and countless free apps. Home automation has quite a few available devices and the number is growing. Control is either by voice or touch screen. Sure there is some extra paid for stuff but there's nearly always a free alternative.

When on the internet if I'm going to get advertising anyway I'd much rather it was targeted at stuff that I may conceivably be interested in than just random ads.

Roger

Martin King 205/04/2018 17:08:27
602 forum posts
219 photos

OK, Thanks!

What about sound quality? Not looking for some super HiFi just pleasant listening quality. It apparently has an aux audio out so is there any point in getting a decent external speaker of better quality perhaps? If so, any suggestions please.

I cannot see myself (or us) getting paranoid about someone somewhere listening , if thats all they have to do I pity them having to listen to us two banging on about this or that!

Cheers, Martin

Roger Provins 205/04/2018 17:51:18
341 forum posts

I just plugged the aux out into my "HiFi" amp - sounds great to me and others who have heard it. But no doubt audiophiles would find fault.wink

donkey05/04/2018 20:06:15
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69 forum posts
5 photos

I have the google home mini. I think it is great I use it for radio streaming. just say "ok google play radio 2" other stations are available. it controls the heating via a hive hub, turns on wifi plugs by voice command and you can ask it questions that can save you logging in and finding out the hard way. they can and will be able to do many more things especially if you have google on your mobile phone as it knows when you are close to home and can turn up the heating for you when getting close or turn on an outside light when you are near to aid night time trips from the car. just check out the ifttt app. it stands for if that then this, and can link devices by logical operators. ie if it is 3 degrees in the room then turn on the heating or if you are close to home turn on the kettle and the hall light or just the kettle if it is daylight hours.I love it

brian

Gordon W06/04/2018 09:38:24
2011 forum posts

I find all this very strange, and a bit surreal. I don't have a broadband service to support any of these systems so it's just for interest. Voice operated devices don't seem to recognise my accent so gave up years ago. There is no wonder that the population is getting obese if walking to a light switch is to much. I have a radio in most rooms so can just switch on if wanted, ok I have to move my arm and a finger. Please note I'm not knocking these devices, or the users, just bemused.

daveb06/04/2018 09:46:47
606 forum posts
10 photos

I think I would pass on gadgets that make random noises. We had a cat toy some years ago, a ball, when it was moved it screamed 'Here kitty kitty', not amusing when it finds it's way into your bedroom and does it's thing at 3AM.

Roger Provins 206/04/2018 09:48:34
341 forum posts

If you had broadband you'd find there is much more to them than using them to listen to a radio station or making cat noises. wink

Edited By Roger Provins 2 on 06/04/2018 09:49:44

Farmboy06/04/2018 10:00:33
116 forum posts
8 photos

Most 'advances' in technology lately seem to involve somebody inventing something and then desperately trying to invent a 'need' for it. The saddest part is that they nearly always manage to convince the masses they can't live without the latest gadget frown

On the other hand, you can't imagine the time and energy I've saved since I fitted my new bathroom cabinet with its self-closing doors, it was such a chore having to close those doors every time I opened them in the past devil

donkey06/04/2018 12:35:58
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69 forum posts
5 photos

I am not saying they save time and energy but if you were disabled in any way they could be a godsend. a great use of technology. they should get better and with more uses added all the time.

who would have thought that most people would need a mobile phone a few years ago. now they are a great device to keep on you. and they get better all the time.

brian

Roger Provins 206/04/2018 22:39:43
341 forum posts

Long time since I've had a mobile. Had them from my works, right from their beginning when they were like bricks, but since retiring have no need.. Cant say I miss not having one. Anyway Alexa is a much better toy wink

Edited By Roger Provins 2 on 06/04/2018 22:41:14

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