How To Play Music from YouTube on Amazon Echo

How To Play Music from YouTube on Amazon Echo

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Amazon Echo devices can do many things to make your life easier. But ultimately it is their ability to stream and play the music that makes them desirable in many households. But while the device offers support for playing music services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and of course Amazon’s own subscription service, Google and YouTube Music are left out in the cold. Fortunately, you’re not limited to using supported services with Alexa and your Echo, so if you’re ready to play YouTube music in your Echo, here’s how to do it.

Guide: How To Play Music from YouTube on the Amazon Echo

The Amazon Echo already has a very large selection of built-in music play options that work right out of the box. The Echo can play Amazon Prime Music, Amazon Music Unlimited, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and many other services. However, the Echo also has the ability to play music from other sources via Bluetooth, including YouTube. YouTube, of course, has other types of audio content than music, such as podcasts.

Play music from YouTube on the Amazon Echo

Many people enjoy listening to music on YouTube instead of the apps and services designed specifically for music. YouTube is free and has countless millions of songs and playlists from new artists, mainstream acts, superstars, and musicians from the past.

If a song or piece was ever recorded, it’s likely available on YouTube. However, YouTube (owned by Google) is a competitor to Amazon’s own music services, such as Amazon Music. For that reason, the Echo doesn’t natively support music playback that can only be found on YouTube.

Due to this limitation, you must pair your Echo with an external device via Bluetooth to play music from YouTube. You can use almost any Bluetooth device with an internet connection. For this walkthrough, I will be using my smartphone.

For this to work, you need a working Amazon Echo or Echo Dot and a Bluetooth device with an internet connection. Here is how to set up your Echo to play music and other content available on YouTube:

  1. To turn on Bluetooth on your connected device.
  2. Say “Alexa, connect to my phone or other devices you want to connect.
  3. Follow the instructions to pair the Echo with your device.
  4. Open the YouTube app on your device (or in the device’s web browser) and play the music or whatever you want to play on YouTube.
  5. The sound will now come through your Echo’s speaker.

Unfortunately, you can’t control YouTube via the Echo the way you can control Pandora or Spotify or Amazon Music, but you can control the Echo portion of the equation. You can stop, pause, turn the volume up or lower, but that’s about it. These commands will not affect your connected device streaming the YouTube content. That device (in my case my iPhone) will continue to play no matter what the Echo does. The only thing you can control is to play the audio stream through the Echo from your device.

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Add skill to Alexa to play YouTube from your Echo

If you’re not happy with this (I would be), there are other approaches you can take to automate the process, making it a more seamless experience. While Amazon is unlikely to add direct YouTube playback support to the Echo or Echo Dot anytime soon, there are third parties that use the Amazon Echo skill toolkit that has playback functionality enabled. The Amazon Skills Kit allows developers to create and publish skills for Alexa that users can then install to extend the functionality of the Amazon Echo.

Alexa YouTube Skills Kit

The most complete-featured and actively developed Alexa skill that can play YouTube audio streams is called Alexa-YouTube, and during installation, it is a fairly complicated process, it is well documented and works fine once completed.

Here’s an overview of the process of adding the YouTube skill to your Echo:

  • Go to the Alexa Console.
  • Register as an Amazon Developer if you haven’t already.
  • Once you complete registration and are signed in to Alexa Developer, select Alexa Skills Kit from the Alexa drop-down list.
  • Click Create Skill.
  • Then name your skill and select the default language.
  • Then select it Customization“Fashion model.
  • Then select Provide your own.
  • Enter n Skill Call Name, these are two words you use to summon the skill.
  • In the menu on the left, click JSON editor.
  • Delete everything in the text box.
  • In another browser tab, load and copy the code from GitHub. This is for the English version; use InteractionModel_fr.json, InteractionModel_it.json, InteractionModel_de.json, or InteractionModel_es.json for French, Italian, German, or Spanish respectively.
  • Paste the code into its JSON editor text box.
  • Click Save model on the top.
  • Click on “Interfaces” in the menu on the left, and enable the Sound player and Video app.
  • Click Save Interfaces.
  • Click on “Endpoint” in the menu on the left, and select “AWS Lambda ARN”. Under “Default region”, you must enter the region code for wherever you are. If you are in the EU, use “arn: aws: lambda: eu-west-1: 175548706300: function: YouTube”. If you are in Asia use “arn: aws: lambda: ap-northeast-1: 175548706300: function: YouTube”. For the United States (east) use “arn: aws: lambda: ap-northeast-1: 175548706300: function: YouTube” and for the United States (west) “arn: aws: lambda: us-west-2: 175548706300: function: YouTube ”.
  • Click Save endpoints.
  • Click Rights at the very bottom on the left.
  • To turn on the Read lists and Write lists.
  • Click on “Custom” in the menu on the left and check out the Skill Builder Checklist on the left side. Each item should be green, although you may have to wait a few minutes for the build model to be completed.
  • Click at the top of this page Test.
  • Change the Test is disabled for this skill, from Development.

Now you are ready to go. Your Echo will now respond to voice commands to play YouTube directly as if it were one of the built-in features from Alexa.

If your Echo says it can’t find supported skills in response to a YouTube command, try starting with “Alexa, open YouTube.” That should initialize the stream correctly.

Voice Commands for YouTube Skills

Alexa-YouTube supports a strong subset of the normal voice commands. Here is the basic list of supported commands.

  • To play a specific song video, name the video. For example, “Alexa, ask YouTube to play Rocket Man”.
  • Likewise, for a playlist, “Alexa, ask YouTube to play the All My Pop Favorites playlist”.
  • For a channel, use “Alexa, ask YouTube to play channel VanossGaming”.
  • You can say “shuffle” instead of “play” for channels and playlists.
  • The standard commands for “next”, “previous”, “restart”, “pause” and “resume” all work.
  • You can ask what song is playing with “Alexa, ask YouTube what song is playing”.
  • You can skip forward or backward with “Alexa, ask YouTube to skip forward / backward / skip forward [time amount]”.
  • If you only want to play one video, say “Alexa, ask YouTube to play one video of the Beatles”.
  • You can turn autoplay on or off with “Alexa, ask YouTube to turn on autoplay / turn off autoplay”.
  • You may wonder how far you are in the video with “Alexa, ask YouTube what’s the timestamp?”
  • If you want access to YouTube’s built-in find similar music feature, say “Alexa, ask YouTube to play more like this”.

Note that the Alexa-YouTube skill will occasionally play an ad that supports the skill’s developer. It’s a small price to pay for an utterly awesome addition to the Alexa skill toolbox.

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Alexa music commands

Here’s a list of some of the most important music commands you can use right out of the box with your Echo. All of them work with the built-in music apps and some work with the Alexa-YouTube skill.

Core Alexa Music Commands:

  • “Alexa, Shuffle” turns on Shuffle mode.
  • Alexa, stop shuffle? Will turn off Shuffle Mode
  • “Alexa Stop” or “Alexa Pause” will stop or pause the song.
  • Alexa, Play
  • “Alexa, resume.”
  • Alexa is playing some music.
  • “Alexa, play what’s popular in Canada.”
  • Alexa, play songs that look like the nineties.
  • Alexa, turn it up! “
  • “Alexa, turn it down!”
  • Alexa, stop.
  • “Alexa, keep going.”
  • “Alexa, skip” will skip the current track.

Alexa music service commands

You can also instruct Alexa to work with music services as well as Amazon Prime Music or Music Unlimited. The Spotify commands may require Spotify Premium to work, but may work in all situations. I have the premium so they all work for me so I couldn’t test them properly.

Some commands are:

  • “Alexa, play song, album, artist.”
  • Alexa, play emotion or type of music.
  • “Alexa, play channel name.”
  • Alexa, playlist name.
  • Alexa, create a Prime Playlist.
  • Alexa, play through Prime Music.
  • “Play music from // from Spotify.”
  • Alexa, connect to Spotify.
  • Alexa, play genre from Spotify.
  • “Alexa, show me Prime Music songs, playlists, and genres.”
  • “Alexa, who is this band’s lead singer?”
  • Alexa, block explicit songs.
  • Alexa, stop blocking explicit numbers.
  • Alexa, add song, album, artist to playlist name.
  • Alexa, create a playlist.

The bottom line is that you can play music from YouTube on the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot. You can do it almost instantly with a Bluetooth device, or you can do it very well by adding a skill to Alexa.

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How To Play Music from YouTube on the Amazon Echo: benefits

  • The How To Play Music from YouTube on the Amazon Echo tutorial is free.
  • This guide already helps so many users follow up with interest in a timely manner.
  • The price of the How To Play Music from YouTube on the Amazon Echo guide is free.

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Tutorial summary of How To Play Music from YouTube on the Amazon Echo

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What is actual time in which this method complete?

The time to complete the How To Play Music from YouTube on the Amazon Echo tutorial is 10+ minutes.

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Mobile Phones

What are the supported Operating system?

Android or iOS

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