First of all, shout out to the Pocket Casts team who worked with Amazon to allow me to install this in Ireland, which wasn't initially possible.
This is a nice addition to the Pocket Casts family, and it works fairly well for a first go. It's great to be able to get out the car where I was listening to a podcast, walk into the house, and ask Alexa to keep playing exactly where I left off.
- Fails to recognise the names of some podcasts I'm subscribed to... e.g. I just can't get it to understand "Mac OS Ken" at all, even though it'll offer it to me when I ask for a recommendation.
- If you ask it to play a podcast, it'll always play the newest episode. For many podcasts, I want to play the oldest unplayed episode. Would be nice if it either asked which I wanted, or if there were specific "play the oldest episode of" / "play the newest episode of" commands.
- There's no voice command to skip to the next chapter, or even skip ahead.
- While my Echo is playing a podcast, the Alexa app doesn't seem to recognise that's happening, so I can't use the skip controls there either, or adjust the volume -- tells me volume change is unavailable because no audio is playing.
- No way to play at increased speeds like you can in the apps. I understand why that may never be possible, but if you're used to it, listening at normal speed is almost literally painful.
- It can be a bit chatty when you ask it to do something:
Me: Alexa, ask Pocket Casts to resume playing
Alexa: Do you want to keep playing Accidental Tech Podcast?
Alexa: Ok, playing 315 1.0 Was Just Speed...
Would rather it just resumed playing straight away without asking, at least if I have the Echo device set to Brief mode. (No idea if there's an API to detect that, though.)
- It's fairly moot as I have the Pocket Casts app on all my devices anyway, but asking the Alexa app to play a podcast doesn't work. It responds correctly, but never plays the episode.
Overall, good first effort and looking forward to it getting even better.
Get this Skill
By enabling, this skill can be accessed on all your available Alexa devices.
Free to Enable