Aside from smartphones, families nowadays have smart homes. They are very popular, especially for young people because of the convenience it gives. You can command devices at your home by just using your voice! You don’t need to worry about malfunctioning batteries and finding remote controls.
Examples of smart homes are Google Home and Alexa. They can determine the owner of the voice that commands them. Every answer that they give depends on the owner of the voice that they hear. There are various commands to provide to your smart home, but one of the most common is, “Alexa, play some music!”.
But the question is, can Alexa access the songs you have collected on your NAS or hard drive? The years spent collecting your favorite songs may be wasted. If you have a smart home AI available, it is better to play music from your hard drive than subscribing to a known music provider.
Even if millions of songs are available on that platform, not all are there. Your old, favorite song may not be present there, and you can only play it from your NAS drive.
There are different ways to let Amazon Alexa access your hard drive and play your songs using the Amazon Echo or other Alexa-compatible speakers. Media servers like Plex and My Media for Amazon allow you to play songs stored on your other devices.
How Can Alexa Play Music from Your NAS Drive?
There are four main options for your Amazon Alexa to play music from your hard drive: Plex Media Server, My Media for Alexa, My Pod, and OurJukeBox.
1. Plex Media Server
Using your Amazon Echo speakers, allow Plex to play your music files. You will need a computer that runs Windows, Linux, or macOS and a NAS drive or network-attached storage drive, or an Nvidia Shield TV. When playing your music this way, remember a few things:
- Only one speaker can play the song performed by Plex at a time.
- It is necessary to give commands to Alexa whenever you want to play a song, and Plex cannot be used to switch songs.
- Plex takes longer to respond than Amazon Alexa’s music player.
- Album art not shown on the screen
2. My Media for Alexa
This program requires a media server device to stream the music files with your Amazon Echo. Similar to Plex, it also has restrictions such as not all speakers can play the song streamed on My Media. You also need to follow a specific syntax when giving your command to Alexa. Another one of its cons is that it is not free compared to Plex.
You need to avail of its $5 annual subscription after trying it for free on its first seven days if you have one media server and two Amazon accounts. You need to pay $10 and $15, respectively, for two servers and five Amazon accounts and five servers and 25 different Amazon accounts. Some of its advantages over Plex are:
- My Media can index iTunes playlists.
- It can search and play music by its genre.
- It does not have any playback issues compared to Plex.
3. My Pod
A simple way compared to the first two options is by using My Pod. From Google Drive links of folders, you can play albums or playlists in the MP3 or AAC format through Alexa. Youtube playlists also apply here. My Pod is not recommendable if you want to play all of your songs, but it does not need any media servers to stream on.
OurJukeBox allows Alexa to play any music on your computer or NAS drive connected to a home network using DLNA. DLNA or Digital Living Network Allied compatible devices can stream video, view audio, and hear music to each other as long as they are connected to a network.
With OurJukeBox, you can search any song by its title, genre, year, singer, and many more criteria. Just say a specific category about the song to Alexa, and it will search for it.
If none of these options work, say, “Alexa, pair Bluetooth”! After hearing this command, your Amazon Echo will look for nearby Bluetooth devices to connect to. Connect your phone or computer to it and play any music that you want. Alexa can do basic playlist configuration like pausing or skipping a song.
Tips in When Playing Music Using Alexa
One of Alexa’s specialties is playing and streaming music in your whole house. It gives convenience to people who want to play music throughout your home. With just one voice command, you have the power to play music through your Amazon Echo speakers. Here are a few tips when using Alexa to stream your music at home.
1. Create Playlists
With Amazon’s new Alexa feature, you can make playlists. The songs you can add on a playlist should come from Amazon music. If you have your songs on your computer or through other music platforms, you need to make one manually. Just say, “Alexa, create a playlist” or create a named one.
2. Play with Multiple Speakers
You can set Alexa to play music with multiple speakers at the same time. You can set this through the Alexa app then go to settings then multi-room music. Using those settings, make a group for the speakers that you want to play the music you want. Command Alexa to play music using the group name you assigned the speakers.
3. Play Music from your Hard Drive
If you do not subscribe to any music streaming platforms, you can play music from your computer or phone. Say, “Alexa, pair Bluetooth” or “Alexa, Bluetooth” so Alexa can find nearby Bluetooth devices. Alexa can now play any song stored on your computer or your phone.
4. Use Alexa Music Skills
Besides music-streaming services, there is something called Alexa music skills. With Alexa’s music skills, you can play different kinds of music, depending on your mood. Bathing music, massage music, classical music, traditional music, and even radio music.