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Amazon Echo Club
#1  tubemonkey 01-02-2015, 07:20 PM
Amazon Echo Club -- updated Oct 2020

This will be our home for almost all things Echo and Alexa. There's a thread in the Audiobook Forum for discussions related to its use as an audiobook player --> Amazon Echo

Alexa Help
Social / Deals / other
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Comparisons
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Current Echo Devices --> retail | released | lowest | warranty (1-yr, unless noted)

other Echo Devices

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Discontinued -- updated Oct 2020

Speaker Specs -- updated Oct 2020

Display Resolution -- updated Oct 2020
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#2  tubemonkey 01-02-2015, 07:37 PM
What is your primary use for the Echo?

For me, it's music and audiobooks. With only three apps onboard so far -- Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, TuneIn Radio -- the music selections are quite good. Audiobook playback is very weak without dedicated apps like Audible and OverDrive. Hopefully, that changes in the near future.

Right now, I'm listening to Grieg - 100 Supreme Classical Masterpieces via Amazon Music. He's one of my top three composers. The other two are Mozart and Tchaikovsky. Earlier today, I was listening to The Planets by Holst via Prime Music.
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#3  pidgeon92 01-02-2015, 08:32 PM
Quote tubemonkey
What is your primary use for the Echo?
Does waiting for my invitation to purchase count?
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#4  jemc 01-02-2015, 09:46 PM
I've had mine for two days. For something that for me has the potential in becoming a 'drawer toy', I like it.

Not sure if I have a primary use in mind for it but I do find it useful. On command music & radio is an obvious plus. I didn't realize how much free stuff (that I like) is on Amazon. Also pairing it to my various iDevices has allowed me access to several years of purchased favorites all available for the asking (thanks Alexa!). Did I mention how much I like the voice command?

Also there are the little things I find useful - on demand weather info for wherever, basic cooking math and a hands free timer! I'm still exploring its linguistic limits - posing questions in a way that doesn't generate a Bing search in my Echo app is still a bit frustrating. It also upon occasion generates hilarious results. A couple of sessions of voice training has been helpful in Alexa understanding my particular way of pronouncing English.

All in all I'm quite happy with it and look forward to where the device's functions are taken by Amazon.

tubemonkey: great music choices! I haven't listened to The Planets since I sold my LP collection a few years back. Now in one of my playlists!
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#5  Hamlet53 01-02-2015, 09:48 PM
First I've heard of this. I put in my request as a Prime member. My interest will drop considerably if I can't get the Prime offer.
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#6  Oh, Why Not? 01-03-2015, 03:28 PM
Tubemonkey: Thank you for setting up the two new Echo threads!
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#7  KimberlyFDR 01-03-2015, 05:51 PM
Quote tubemonkey
What is your primary use for the Echo?
I use it mainly for streaming music (in the evening / weekends) and checking the weather (in the morning). I have it set up so that I can access it from anywhere in the house, and Alexa can hear me from upstairs or down, so it's great to just make a request and have it happen.

I've used the grocery list once, which was seamless and wonderful for making up the Christmas cooking ingredients list. Never used the to-do list, though. I'm thinking about loading up some podfic in my Amazon library to see how it does with that. Periodically I'll get my news brief over dinner or when I'm making coffee in the mornings, but music is the number one use.
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#8  DreamWriter 01-03-2015, 08:46 PM
I received my Echo late yesterday afternoon, and I've been busy playing with Alexa.

Here are my initial observations and tips:

I had to adjust European ebook prices to conform with the new VAT-inclusive pricing law that went into effect January 1st. Alexa helped by converting Euros and GBPs into US dollars! For example, if I say "Alexa, convert three point nine nine Euros," she responds: "Three Euros and ninety-nine cents is four dollars and eighty-one cents." Off by two cents, but close enough.

Prime stations aren't directly supported yet, so to get around that, I use bluetooth on my Fire HD 6 to play the station on Echo. First, I say, "Alexa, pair." I then turn on bluetooth on the tablet. Next, I go to Fire's music app and play the station. I can control Echo's volume by saying "Alexa, volume up/down," but other Echo voice control functions don't work in this mode. When I'm ready to stop, I disconnect bluetooth on the tablet.

I've used Alexa to check the weather ("Alexa, weather"), listen to news ("Alexa, news"), set a timer, and asked movie trivia questions. I will try the shopping list soon.

I'll be using Echo mostly to play music. Alexa understands when I verbally request a specific album, song, artist, or playlist in my Prime library. She complies with some TuneIn verbal requests: Radio Paradise, Grateful Dead Radio, Hawaiian Rainbow, and Tiki Bar Radio. Other TuneIn stations will not play unless I choose them in the Echo app. I haven't tried iHeartRadio yet.

We watched a Prime video last night (sent to TV via HDMI from my Fire HD 6) and used Echo as a speaker (connected via bluetooth). Picture and words may be out of sync if Echo's too far away, but it worked fine for us.

Overall, I'm VERY happy with the Echo! It seems well built, and music quality is excellent for a $99 speaker. I look forward to additional features that will be added in the future!
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#9  DreamWriter 01-04-2015, 05:08 PM
I like that you don't have to use the wake word (Alexa or Amazon) when you speak into the remote!
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#10  jemc 01-04-2015, 07:24 PM
Has anyone figured out how to get more than a sentence or two response from a Wikipedia query?

Note to Amazon: A "Wiki:more info" command would be nice.
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