We all love to relax to the music Alexa plays on its radio as soon as we command it. But not every time are we fortunate enough to have Alexa just ready to play our music.
Sometimes Alexa’s radio stops working completely, and you can’t figure out why or how. It is for such times that you need to read all the fixing methods on this issue and make sure you are ready to have your Alexa up and running as soon as possible!
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How to Set up Radio on Alexa
Alexa can instantly connect to thousands of radio stations around the world. All you have to do is set it up right through the Alexa app.
First, check your app store for updates to the Alexa app to make sure you’re using the most recent version.
The next and most important step in setting up your Alexa device is to install the skill(s) that will let it play radio stations.
Open the Alexa app, tap “More” on the home screen, and then tap “Skills & Games.”
Look under “Feature Categories” for “Music & Audio,” and then type “radio” into the search bar.
Your search will give you a list of radio tuning skills, such as TuneIn, MyTunerRadio, and radio.com. Click “Enable to Use” next to the skill(s) you want to use to turn it on.
Ask Alexa to play a specific radio station using the radio skill that you just turned on.
No matter how you command Alexa, it only seems to open the “Amazon Music” application alone
Usually, when you want to open a particular skill and play music from that skill in Alexa, you simply say, “Alexa, play music on ‘skill name’” and wait for the application to load. However, this command will sometimes not work, and Alexa only opens the “Amazon Music” application.
Using the Alexa skills kit developer console
First, you sign in to the console and then click your skill name. Then click on the test tab to ensure that the toggle to the top left of your page says, “test is enabled for this skill” if it says, “test is disabled for this skill,” click on the toggle for more options to enable it.
You can also use the enable skill command in the ASK command line interface for the same result.
In cases where you need to link your skill to an account, you’ll have to do that by opening the Alexa app and the Skills tab within the skills and games tab on the main menu. Then you will arrive at a list of all the skills downloaded onto your Alexa, scroll till you find the one you are looking for, and tap on “enable” if the skill is already enabled, you will see only “disable” written.
To use the skill, you must know exactly what to call it. An invocation name is a word you use to command Alexa to utilize a certain skill. If you wish to check, invoke, or change an invocation name, you can do so through the developer console or the ASK CLI.
Alexa says “I’m having trouble contacting…” or “something went wrong”
Sometimes, voice commands may result in replies such as “I’m having trouble contacting…” or “Something went wrong” in such cases, you can use the following fixing methods:
- Check if your Alexa skill has the “Alexa skill kit trigger.”
- Verify if your internet connection is proper
- Check if your Alexa is working properly by powering it OFF and then ON again.
- Verify and make sure that your skill to play the radio returns the correct response to the “Get playable content” request. Sometimes, you may need to uncover errors and use the validation tests to do the same through the developer console or the Validate command in the ASK CLI.
- Sometimes, the distribution information in your skill might be missing. You can set it through the ASK developer console by selecting the particular skill, selecting the distribution page within the skill and clicking the “Save and continue” button, and scrolling till you reach the end, where you will find the question, “where would you like this skill to be available?” Only select the US in the list and deselect all other countries for it to work.
- If, in lambda configuration, you used skill ID, make sure that you input the correct Skill ID.
Alexa has announced what will be playing but immediately switched to “I’m sorry, something went wrong”
At times when Alexa announces what will be played after you say, “Alexa, play music on, ‘skill name’” but then immediately says “something went wrong,” this generally means that your command has gotten the “Get playable content” request, but it fails to receive the valid response to the “initiate response” request. This can be solved “ASK validate” command in your ASK CLI to evaluate your skill’s response and correct any errors.
Alexa announces what will be played but immediately says, “ I’m having trouble playing the music”
In this case, your device successfully received the “Get playable content” request and the “initiate response” request. In such cases, it is generally the machine’s fault for reading the URL correctly. Try pasting it on any browser to see if your song plays or not.
You are not sure that your skill is definitely receiving requests from Alexa all the time
If you need to verify whether or not Alexa is sending Music skill API requests to your skill, make sure your skill sends all logs to the Cloud watch. Now check these logs on Cloud watch and verify your data.
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Your skill is receiving requests for content that you did not wish for
Sometimes, when you give the command, “Alexa, play <name>” it might result in the content you did not intend. This is because your command was rather ambiguous, and Alexa failed to ascertain what exactly it was that you wanted to be played. For example, saying “Alexa play <name>” could mean you are asking for a movie, album, song, or ebook to be played with the same name. To avoid this, switch to more specific commands such as “Alexa, play the ‘album’ <name>” so that you can get exactly what you ask for.
Sometimes, even if you use such specific commands, you can still get mixed responses from Alexa on what exactly you need to be played. In such cases, first, open the Alexa app and check the command history for the following solutions that can be useful:
- Check if the text in history matches exactly what you intended to command Alexa for. If the text doesn’t match, use alternate names for the same command to get better results. Have other people say the same command to understand what alternate names would work best.
- In case the text in history matches the words you have commanded, the problem might be that your commands are still ambiguous. For example, content types such as “album”, “songs”, and “radio” could all have similar or same names that could potentially confuse your Alexa. Words such as “Alexa, play rick’s playlist” could make Alexa think you are commanding it to play a playlist by rick, an album called rick’s playlist, or a playlist called rick’s playlist. Being more specific about your music will help you get better results.
- Depending on your catalog size, Alexa might simply not recognize the voice command you are giving. In such cases, try giving the command a higher popularity score to help Alexa learn more commands and teach the same to your skill so that you can also include such commands in your catalog.
Good old network failure
While the above solutions are all various possibilities with your fixing methods, sometimes, it just might be that your network isn’t working. The problem could be with your Alexa, Wi-Fi router, or ISP provider. If it is your Alexa, simply disconnect your Alexa from the internet and wait for a minute or two before connecting again. You might even try turning OFF your device for a minute or more and then restarting it again.
Repeat the above process with your router if it is your router. Simply disconnect it from the power supply and wait a minute to power your Wi-Fi router again. This will reset the power cycle of your Wi-Fi router and clear your bugs.
And if the problem persists, check your other devices, such as your laptop, mobile device, and others, to see if they are receiving internet through your Wi-Fi router. If they are not, the problem lies with your ISP; report the same to your internet company and wait for them to come and resolve it.
When none of these work
If none of the above solutions work for your Alexa, the only thing you can do is contact amazon’s customer service and request their help to resolve your issue.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Does Alexa have free radio?
Alexa can listen to the radio if she has the right skill.
All Alexa skills are free, so there is no extra cost to use any Alexa device to listen to the radio.
Unlike music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, whose ad-free premium versions require a subscription, radio stations let you listen to music for free.
Can Alexa play Internet radio?
Internet radio is different from AM or FM radio in that it is a digital audio service that is broadcast and streamed over the internet.
Worldwide FM, Pandora Radio, and FIP are some of the best-known internet radio stations.
The Internet radio can be streamed on a web browser or media player on a computer, smartphone, or tablet, but you could also use an Alexa smart speaker to listen.
Like FM and AM radio stations, you can use the Alexa app to turn on certain skills that let you listen to internet radio stations.
Radio apps like myTuner, Simple Radio, and TuneIn all have databases with thousands of analog and digital radio stations.
To play an internet radio station on your Alexa device, you’ll first need to see if the station you want to listen to has a radio skill that supports it.
Once you find the right radio skill in the Alexa app and turn it on, your Alexa device will be ready to stream the internet radio station you want.
Which Radio Stations Can You Get On Alexa?
If you enable the right skills, Alexa can play almost any radio station in the world from your home.
You can ask Alexa to play a certain radio station by saying “Alexa, play…” and then the name, frequency, or call letters of the station.
Here are some of the most popular radio skills that will help Alexa add more AM, FM, and digital radio stations to her list:
- MyTuner Radio
- Simple Radio
- BBC Sounds
- Radio Paradise
- Radio Fun Time
- Radio Anchor
- TED Talks
- My Radio
Your radio streaming can be interrupted in many ways depending on what went wrong with the skill you are using. However, there are also several ways to fix it; if need be, you can simply use a different skill for the same results. Whatever the problem, Amazon’s customer support would be more than willing to help you fix the problem and ensure that your listening experience is back to being uninterrupted.