Spaffnerds Alexa Skill - How To Use The Skill



  • Overview

    Spaffnerds.com provides an Alexa skill that lets you listen to Spafford's shows on your Alexa enabled device.

    You can find the skill located here: https://smile.amazon.com/Peace-Of-Software-SpaffNerds-com-Player/dp/B07P4MN24V

    Video Walkthroughs

    Installation

    SpaffNerds.com Audio Player Alexa Skill Installation Howto – 01:50
    — Spaffnerds

    Usage

    Note: This walks you through this documentation but you may find just reading what's below and trying it out to be faster than watching me ramble... It's up to you, YMMV.
    Spaffnerds.com Alexa Audio Player User Guide – 09:01
    — Spaffnerds

    A Note On This Documentation:

    If you see a word in the docs that looks like this:

    {keyword}
    

    that word is a keyword and has other options that you can say. The docs will cover what other words you can use to make sure it's clear.

    Quick Start

    Here are some key phrases that will get you started:

    Alexa, ask spaffnerds.com to play a {show}
    Alexa, ask spaffnerds.com to play a {soundboard} from {2014}
    Alexa, ask spaffnerds.com to play {December 31, 2018} 
    

    Playing Shows

    At present, Spaffnerds.com can only play shows which are available on Archive.org. We hope to add content from additional sources in the future.

    Play Any Show (Quick Start)

    Alexa can ask Spaffnerds.com to choose a show at random and then play it for you.

    Just say:

    Alexa, ask spaffnerds.com to play a {show}
    

    This is the most basic functionality and Spaffnerds.com will choose a show at random and Alexa will play it for you.

    Play the latest show

    Alexa can ask spaffnerds.com to play the latest show. Just say:

    Alexa, ask spaffnerds.com to play the latest show
    

    Spaffnerds will respond with the latest show that has a setlist, this mirrors what's displayed on the homepage of spaffnerds.com. If there is no recording which can be played, Alexa will notify you and ask you if you'd like to play the most recent show which has a recording. You can say:

    Yes
    

    or

    No
    

    If you say "yes" spaffnerds.com will find the latest show with a playable recording and Alexa will announce what show it is and begin playing. If you say "no", then no change in your playing music will be made.

    Play a show by common date description

    Alexa understands natural language references to dates. You can have Alexa ask spaffnerds to play a show from "Last saturday" and Alexa will convert that into a specific date. Just say

    Alexa, ask spaffnerds.com to play the show from last saturday
    

    or

    Alexa, ask spaffnerds.com to play the show from this past monday
    

    Alexa will convert your request into a date, and spaffnerds.com will lookup the show from that date and pass it to Alexa for playback if there is a recording available.

    Specify a Recording Type

    Alexa can ask Spaffnerds.com to play shows with different types of recordings.

    • show: Searches from all shows with a recording that can be played.
    • soundboard: Refines the search to only include shows with a soundboard that can be played.

    These words can be used interchangably as the last part of a request. For example, Alexa can ask spaffnerds.com to play a random soundboard recording. Just say:

    Alexa, ask spaffnerds.com to play a {soundboard}
    

    Spaffnerds.com will then search the spaffbase and find a show with a soundboard and Alexa will play it for you.

    Choose a Show By Date

    Alexa can ask spaffnerds.com to play a show from a given year, month, or even day.

    Choose a show in a given year

    Alexa can ask spaffnerds.com to play a random show from a specific year.

    Alexa, ask spaffnerds.com to play a {show} from {2018}
    

    or

    Alexa, ask spaffnerds.com to play a {soundboard} from {2015}
    

    Choose a show in a given month (of a year)

    Alexa can ask spaffnerds.com to play a random show from a specific month (in a year).

    Alexa, ask spaffnerds.com to play a {show} from {November}, {2017}.
    

    or

    Alexa, ask spaffnerds.com to play a {soundboard} from {December}, {2014}.
    

    Choose a show by date

    You can access this in a single command by saying

    Alexa, ask spaffnerds.com to play {December 31, 2018}
    

    Controlling Playback

    Alexa natively provides audio player controls. You can have Alexa stop/pause, resume, and skip to the next/previous track without talking to spaffnerds.com. This is standard for all audio playing on Alexa enabled devices. The following commands are available

    • Pause
    • Stop
    • Resume
    • Play
    • Previous
    • Next

    Each behaves as you would expect it to.

    Skip to a specific track

    Alexa can ask spaffnerds.com to jump to a track by track number. Just say:

    Alexa, ask spaffnerds.com to play track {3}.
    

    Pause/Resume Details

    Alexa will remember that you were listening to a show on spaffnerds.com even long after you've told it to stop or pause. As long as you haven't played other music or rebooted your Alexa device, you should be able to simply say:

    Alexa, play
    

    or

    Alexa, resume
    

    And the last show you were listening to will resume playback from where you left off.

    If you've started other audio, or rebooted your device, you can say

    Alexa, ask spaffnerds.com to resume
    

    And the last show you were listening to will resume playback from where you left off.

    Changing Devices

    If you have more than one Alexa enabled device, you can change which device you're listening on by using the pause/resume function. Let's say you have an Echo Dot in your office and your dining room.

    In the office you start playing a show:

    Alexa, ask spaffnerds.com to play a {show}.
    

    Then you want to go cook dinner, so you pause playback in the office:

    Alexa, pause
    

    and head into the kitchen. In the kitchen you say:

    Alexa, ask spaffnerds.com to resume playback
    

    Spaffnerds.com tells Alexa to start playing the show that you were listening to from the place you left off.

    Getting Information From Spaffnerds.Com

    Spaffnerds.com knows what you're currently listening to and can tell Alexa about it.

    Currently Playing

    If you forget what's playing Alexa can ask spaffnerds.com to tell you. Just say:

    Alexa, ask spaffnerds.com what's playing.
    

    Alexa will then read the track name, date, venue, city and state of the currently playling track/show.

    Currently playing song

    If you want to know what song is playing you can have Alexa ask spaffnerds.com to tell you. Just say:

    Alexa, ask spaffnerds.com what song is playing
    

    or

    Alexa, ask spaffnerds.com what's this song 
    

    Alexa will read the name of the track that's playing.

    Currently playling show

    If you want to know what show is playing you can ask spaffnerds.com to tell you

    Alexa, ask spaffnerds.com what show is playing
    

    Alexa will respond with the date/venue/city/state of the show that is playing.

    Playlist of the show

    If you want to jump to a track, but don't know what number it is, or if you just want to hear the playlist, you can ask spaffnerds to read it to you.

    Alexa, ask spaffnerds.com to read me the playlist
    

    Alexa will then read off each track with the track number and the song title. You do not need to wait for the whole playlist to be read in order to ask for a song to be played. Just interrupt Alexa and ask for the track you want by track number. For example:

    Alexa, ask spaffnerds.com to play track {5}
    

    Alexa will then stop reading the playlist, read back the track number and song title that you requested, then begin playing that song.

    Limitations

    Multiple Alexa Devices on the Same Account

    Spaffnerds.com uses an anonymous ID to remember what you were listening to so that you can resume playback. That ID is associated to your Alexa Account, not an individual device. The advantage of this is that you can easily change rooms/devices on which you're listening. The disadvantage is that you won't be able to listen on two devices at the same time.

    For example, imagine you and your partner are in two different rooms each with an Alexa enabled device. You say:

    Alexa, ask spaffnerds.com to play {December, 31, 2018}
    

    A minute later, your partner, in the other room, says:

    Alexa, ask spaffnerds.com to play {November, 16, 2018}
    

    Spaffnerds.com will now queue up 2018-11-16 for both devices. When the song you are listening to ends you will resume 2018-11-16 from wherever your partner is in the show. Things will be unpredictable after that point.


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