As I was finalizing this week’s episode of the Observed Tech PODCAST, show number 289, I was asked on Twitter by a listener exactly what to ask Alexa in order to listen to the show on one of Amazon’s devices.

It is a great question and the timing was perfect as I was already planning on doing some clean up and verifying that this was easy to do.

Unfortunately, it is not straight forward. Despite having the podcast listed in iHeartRadio, Spotify, iTunes, and even Google Podcasts, just asking Alexa to “Play the Observed Tech Podcast” does not result in the latest show being played. I do have an Amazon Skill for Observed Tech but it is a Flash Briefing skill and so unless it is your only item in the Flash Briefing, it is also not the best option for lisening to the show via Alexa.

After some research, I have found a solution for making it very easy to hear the latest episode of Observed Tech on your Alexa enabled device. In fact, this seems like the best solution for listening to all the podcasts you want to have available via Alexa.

The solution is an Alexa skill called AnyPod.

Your first step is to ask Alexa to set the skill up for you.

“Alexa, enable AnyPod Skill”

Once the skill is setup just use the following string of commands to play and manage your favorite podcasts. Of course, all of these examples are for Observed Tech, but you just substitute your favorite shows name for other options after you listen to and subscribe to Observed Tech of course!

  • Say “Alexa, open AnyPod”. After the greeting, say “Play The Observed Tech Podcast”
  • “Alexa, ask AnyPod to ​play “Observed Tech Podcast”
  • When a podcast is playing, you can say “Alexa, Next” or “Alexa, Previous” to play the next or previous episode.
  • If you want to skip ahead, you can say “Alexa, ask AnyPod to fast forward 2 minutes”
  • If you want to go back, you can say “Alexa, ask AnyPod to rewind 30 seconds”

You can also subscribe and list your subscriptions on AnyPod:

  • “Alexa, ask AnyPod to subscribe to the “Observed Tech Podcast””
  • If you have subscribed to more than one podcast with AnyPod you can list all of them by asking “Alexa, ask AnyPod ​what are my subscriptions​” 

There are all kinds of management commands that you can read about in the AnyPod Manual (Direct Download, PDF).

By far, this is the best way to pull together your podcast listening on your Alexa enabled devices. In addition, I am glad to finally have a solution for Observed Tech to make listening on these devices so much easier.

I have included some screenshots below to show interactions with the AnyPod skill on my Samsung Gaalxy S9+.

Enjoy and thanks for listening.

AnyPod Amazon Skill Screenshots

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