October 12, 2017Satish Iyer
Customers love to access music and books on their Alexa-enabled products. As Rohit Prasad, head scientist for Amazon Alexa, recently told WIRED, "Music is integral to Alexa. In a way, it exemplifies everything great about voice interfaces. You just ask for something, and Alexa finds it for you."
As part of the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) team, we are always looking for ways to make it easier for developers to build delightful Alexa experiences into their products, and our development tools are a testimony to that commitment.
Designing music experiences with different Music Service Providers (MSP) requires many careful considerations, such as choosing the right media player to support all the required codec and container formats, implementing the streaming protocol, managing the playback, implementing user authentication and authorization, managing device-level priorities, and reporting the usage back to the MSP.
In August this year, we introduced the AVS Device SDK to simplify the experience of integrating Alexa into your connected product. The AVS Device SDK provides C++-based libraries that enable your device to process audio inputs and triggers, establish persistent connections with AVS, and handle all Alexa interactions. We are now expanding MSP support by the SDK to include TuneIn, Pandora, SiriusXM, and Amazon Music. In addition, the SDK also supports Audible and Kindle Books, and new capability agents to control playback, parse playlists, and manage alerts. We are streamlining the design choices for AVS developers building streaming media devices by providing a new PlaylistParser library leveraged by the AudioPlayer interface, and the MediaPlayer library to support streaming of music and books.
Make sure you have the AVS Device SDK v1.1 or higher before you begin. Follow the instructions in our Raspberry Pi Quick Start Guide to run the sample app included with the SDK. The entire process takes approximately one hour.
Once the sample app is up and running, just say “Alexa, play today’s hits from TuneIn radio.” Sit back and enjoy!
To learn how an AVS device accesses the service, read the tech docs on the AudioPlayer and PlaybackController interfaces. To learn how the SDK implements this, read the SDK documentation.
We have a few more enhancements, such as Named Timers and Reminders and Settings capability agent, in the updated SDK v1.1 release. Check out our GitHub page to learn more. You can also visit our webpage for more resources.
AVS enables developers to integrate Alexa directly into their products, bringing the convenience of voice control to any connected device. AVS provides developers with access to a suite of resources to quickly and easily build Alexa-enabled products, including APIs, hardware development kits, software development kits, and documentation. Through AVS, device makers can add a new intelligent interface to their products and offer customers access to a growing number of Alexa features, smart home integrations, and skills. Just ask, and Alexa will respond. Visit the AVS Developer Portal to get started.
Have questions? Visit us on the AVS Forum to speak with one of our experts.