Page 1 of 3

Amazon Echo - General Conference Audio Library?

Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:07 am
by ldssmudge
Is there a way that the church could create a "music library" type of site for General Conference and other addresses where you can have a Skill for the Amazon Echo (maybe Siri and OK Google devices too) to play the audio from the library? Much like it does for Pandora, Spotify, and Amazon Music for music now.

"General Conference" being the Skill's key word...

I'm envisioning, "Alexa, play a talk from the most recent General Conference" & it would select one randomly & play the audio. Or, you could say a speaker's name & it would play a random talk from them ("Alexa, play a talk by President Uchtdorf from General Conference"). Or even reference the title, or conference session/year, topic, "a recent talk by...", or whatever, and it would be streamed on the Echo device.

"Alexa, play President Uchtdorf's talk about Grace from General Conference", and it plays [The Gift of Grace] from April 2015 (or, if multiple talks on Grace, it can give a list to choose from).
"Alexa, play a talk on Tithing from General Conference" - gives a list, or starts playing one at random.
"Alexa, play the talk by President Monson from the 2010 Priesthood session of General Conference" - and it plays it.

Etc., etc.

I don't know how to make Alexa search audio from a web site (lds.org - https://www.lds.org/search?lang=eng&dom ... .+Uchtdorf), but I think it can interact with web services if that can be developed to search through the vast archive of conference audio.

Could also be used for BYU devotionals, Women's Conference, etc., etc.

Just a thought I had since I just got an Echo recently, and this is one thing I'd love to be able to do on it.

Re: Amazon Echo - General Conference Audio Library?

Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:29 pm
by sbradshaw
Can Amazon Echo interact with a music/audio library on iTunes or other music programs?

Re: Amazon Echo - General Conference Audio Library?

Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:57 am
by ldssmudge
It won't do iTunes right now. It does work with TuneIn, iHeartRadio, Pandora, Spotify (premium), and Amazon Music & Prime right now. And it can play Audio Books from Audible.

However, you can write Skills that can interact with independent web services though, so if a web service was created for the audio already available through lds.org website, it might be able to interact with it. I'm not a programmer, but I've read up on it some. I'm betting if a programmer read up on it, it could be done.

Re: Amazon Echo - General Conference Audio Library?

Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:18 am
by scgallafent
The Alexa API for audio clips is currently limited to 90 seconds at 48 kbps. The bit rate limitation would be workable for general conference talks. The duration would be an issue.

Re: Amazon Echo - General Conference Audio Library?

Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 12:11 pm
by ldssmudge
Yeah, I've read that too. Is there a way to make some agreement with Amazon to get around that limitation? They probably did that for licensing/copywrite issues & such (don't want just anyone to be able to play anything). But if it were an officially sanctioned Church "skill"...

Or, could you make a non-iTunes podcast that could be accessible through TuneIn or something (it can play full podcast sessions there)? Maybe make each talk a different entry in the podcast?

I'm just trying to think of a way is all...

Re: Amazon Echo - General Conference Audio Library?

Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 12:44 pm
by russellhltn
scgallafent wrote:The Alexa API for audio clips is currently limited to 90 seconds at 48 kbps. The bit rate limitation would be workable for general conference talks. The duration would be an issue.

I think the operative word here is "clip". Since the device claims to be able to play music, even playlists, it's obviously capable of playing for a longer period of time.

Honestly, I don't see the church spending any resources in doing this - but some member learning Alexa development might give it a try.

Re: Amazon Echo - General Conference Audio Library?

Posted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:03 pm
by thattolleyguy
Amazon just release the API for streaming audio today. I think an alexa enabled gospel library is an awesome project. I've started on my own implementation and if anyone is interested in helping I can upload the code to github.

I do have one question. Is there an https location for the CDN content? Alexa services will only play audio from an https stream. I'm currently hosting a few conference talks on S3 to test my implementation but we could turn on https for the CDN, that would be super helpful.

Re: Amazon Echo - General Conference Audio Library?

Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 11:50 am
by ldssmudge
thattolleyguy - I was just going to come here & post that they had released the streaming API too! Glad you saw it. I'm not a developer & never done any Alexa skills, but please keep me updated as to your progress on your skill (gsmudge-at-gmail). I would be happy to be a tester for it, or anything I could to help. I think a Gospel Library (would probably need official permission from the Church to use the audio), or even just publicly available General Conference talks only, would be a great Alexa skill for many!! Thank you!
If anyone from the Church is still paying attention to this thread, I'm not positive, but it might be that permission would be required to use the audio. But I think this is the next big thing for the Gospel Library tools the Church puts out. Amazon Echo, the upcoming Google Home, and other devices are going to be the next big thing & I think you should jump on it with maybe something official.

Re: Amazon Echo - General Conference Audio Library?

Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 3:01 pm
by GordonChil
I have a scriptures skill written for this. But I had been holding off until I have the ability to stream the audio. So naturally, I'm curious about permissions for using the lds radio content. I don't plan on charging anything for this skill, but I don't want to do anything without permission. Nice to see multiple people considering this. :)

Code: Select all

curl -X "GET" "http://tech.lds.org/radio?action=lds.radio.scriptures.books.chapters.query&apiversion=2.0&format=json&bookID=45" \
   -H "Accept: application/json"

Re: Amazon Echo - General Conference Audio Library?

Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:02 am
by ldssmudge
There is a "The Scriptures" skill someone put out early that uses the Alexa voice to do the text-to-voice thing for a chapter, or even a single verse. It works pretty well (as does just having her read the Book of Mormon from my Kindle library) - but the pronunciations are a bit off (Nefi instead of Nephi, etc.). It would be interesting if you could get the Bruce Lindsay readings verse-by-verse to work. Say, "Alexa, read 3rd Nephi 11 verse 8", and you get Bruce Lindsay's voice reading just that verse.

I was more looking for General Conference talks to work so I could listen to past talks while working around the house. Or they would be good for putting you to sleep as well. :)