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Old 07-01-2015, 08:42 AM   #21
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Living in the hinterland, my internet is through Hughesnet, so my data is severely limited. Anyone have some idea of how much data you use to stream music? This sounds like a good alternative to Sirius in the home with a lot more functionality, but I don't think I would want to pay for more bandwidth.
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Old 07-01-2015, 08:54 AM   #22
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I love Amazon, both as a customer and an investor (up 50.3% since my purchase!!). But, do I trust them? Maybe not as much. And, can Echo be hacked by someone else? I certainly wouldn't bet against that. So, while admittedly cool ( I like the shopping list feature), I think I will err on the side of caution and take a pass on Echo. But, as a stockholder, I encourage the rest of you to buy at least one of these!


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Old 07-01-2015, 08:55 AM   #23
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Hmmm. Good question, This Google search might help answer it.

Also this:

How Much Data Does Your Streaming Music App Eat Up?

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The amount of data your service chews up depends on the quality settings. For Beats Music, Spotify, and Google Play Music, a high-quality stream maxes out at 320kbps. (Not all tracks are available at that high quality, but most are.)

Pandora is the only big mainstream service we could find that doesn't offer 320kbps streams. In fact, on mobile it maxes out at 64kbps. Lower quality streams obviously use way less data.

So what does that mean in terms of your data plan? 320kbps rate translates to 2.40 MB per minute of audio or 115.2 MB per hour. So if you were to stream music for an entire eight hour work day, you'd burn through nearly 1 GB. If you have a 2GB cap like I do, then this is not an advisable splurge!

Here's a breakdown of a number of the most popular services.
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:22 AM   #24
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Hmmm. Good question, This Google search might help answer it.

Also this:

How Much Data Does Your Streaming Music App Eat Up?
Thanks RonBoyd, I should have thought of that. I am limited to 5 GB per month. That puts this option way out of my range.
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:24 AM   #25
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Look, we truly are living in a brave new world. It is right to ask these questions about Echo. But you need to also be aware of where else you are being recorded. It is just about everywhere now -- especially visually. I don't like the fact that there are now facial recognition programs that can know when you are in a certain Big Box store's parking lot, for example. Yes, they know it is YOU.
I have my reservations as well. However, it's a double edged sword offering real benefits and real concerns, brave new world indeed.
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Old 02-13-2016, 02:35 AM   #26
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Anyone else care to share their experiences or provide an update? Particularly interested what you use this for.
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Old 02-13-2016, 08:58 AM   #27
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Anyone else care to share their experiences or provide an update? Particularly interested what you use this for.
Shopping list, to-do list, notes, etc. It is so much easier to say "Alexa, shopping list <item>" then it is to write it on a notepad on the refrigerator... not to mention that it is then on my smartphone also.

It is a lot easier to say "Alexa. How many ounces in a kilogram?," than to Google it.

It is so easy to say "Alexa. Set timer for 30 minutes."

I don't use it to listen to music (I have too many other sources for that) but I do periodically ask it to read me the news "flash brief." That's pretty handy.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head but it doesn't really do justice to answering the question.
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Old 02-13-2016, 09:18 AM   #28
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It looks interesting but, if I'm in my home and I want to listen to music I want it to sound great. A speaker that small is incapable of producing good bass sound. I don't care about the voice control.
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Old 02-13-2016, 09:58 AM   #29
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Shopping list, to-do list, notes, etc. It is so much easier to say "Alexa, shopping list <item>" then it is to write it on a notepad on the refrigerator... not to mention that it is then on my smartphone also.

It is a lot easier to say "Alexa. How many ounces in a kilogram?," than to Google it.

It is so easy to say "Alexa. Set timer for 30 minutes."

I don't use it to listen to music (I have too many other sources for that) but I do periodically ask it to read me the news "flash brief." That's pretty handy.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head but it doesn't really do justice to answering the question.

Is the "news flash" local news or national?
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Old 02-13-2016, 10:05 AM   #30
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Shopping list, to-do list, notes, etc. It is so much easier to say "Alexa, shopping list <item>" then it is to write it on a notepad on the refrigerator... not to mention that it is then on my smartphone also.

It is a lot easier to say "Alexa. How many ounces in a kilogram?," than to Google it.

It is so easy to say "Alexa. Set timer for 30 minutes."

I don't use it to listen to music (I have too many other sources for that) but I do periodically ask it to read me the news "flash brief." That's pretty handy.
The "Moto" app on my phone manages all of that stuff. You need to align a note taking app on the phone first, though. But the ounces in kg, timer, and what's happening in the news are all there. You can ask it a plain language question and if it's a reasonably sane question, it will often read you a line from wikipedia or something. I don't know if you can have it play a specific radio station, but I just said "Hey, Internet machine, play songs from The Beatles" and it did. You can also say "call DW" or "text timmy". It will also automatically read text messages to you when it detects that your're driving.
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Old 02-13-2016, 10:16 AM   #31
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Is the "news flash" local news or national?
National. It is from NPR and what is heard on the hour on public radio. (I think so anyway.)
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Old 02-13-2016, 10:27 AM   #32
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The "Moto" app on my phone manages all of that stuff. You need to align a note taking app on the phone first, though. But the ounces in kg, timer, and what's happening in the news are all there. You can ask it a plain language question and if it's a reasonably sane question, it will often read you a line from wikipedia or something. I don't know if you can have it play a specific radio station, but I just said "Hey, Internet machine, play songs from The Beatles" and it did. You can also say "call DW" or "text timmy". It will also automatically read text messages to you when it detects that your're driving.
Yes, that is all true but... you have to dig the phone out to do it.

Yes, it will play specific radio stations. I said, "Alexa, play WWOZ" and Alexa said "Playing WWOZ from Tunein." And it play WWOZ (New Orleans). I did the same for KUVO and it tuned into the same station that was playing on my (Internet) Radio.

I said, "Alexa, play Beatles." and Alexa said, "Shuffling the Beatles from Prime music" and then played "Revolution." And to be honest, the sound is actually pretty good... with fairly decent bass.

It did poorly, however, when I asked it to call home... seems it is not a telephone.

It also did poorly with "Alexa, explain its vs it's."
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Old 02-13-2016, 10:32 AM   #33
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How timely! Found this article this morning: https://www.yahoo.com/tech/amazon-ec...697691702.html
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Old 02-13-2016, 10:43 AM   #34
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How timely! Found this article this morning: https://www.yahoo.com/tech/amazon-ec...697691702.html
Oh, yeah! I forgot about "If This Than That" (https://ifttt.com/). I do use Echo to change the setting on our Nest. I didn't even think about using Echo to manipulate the Harmony Remote but it was kind obvious when pointed out. IFTT can program Echo to communicate with any Internet/WiFi/Bluetooth connected device.
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Old 02-13-2016, 10:53 AM   #35
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I do have one kwibble with Echo. The Remote device suddenly quit soon after it arrived. When I called Amazon, the person who answered seemed to imply that it was a known issue and normal. He told me that he would replace it but were out of stock. He said he would put it on my "Wish list" and refund $30 immediately. I asked him to "back order" it. He said he couldn't do that... nor could I. Now four months later, it is still "unavailable" and in reading the customer "reviews," I find that folks are upset that Echo no longer comes with the remote (or not being shipped with it... I'm not sure).


Very disappointing. The Remote was quite handy while it lasted.
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Old 02-13-2016, 11:38 AM   #36
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I saw the echo in action at a friend's house and was impressed. I later found that I could do almost everything that they showed me on my Android phone. I now talk to my phone a lot more than I used to. DW is getting jealous.
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Old 02-13-2016, 11:39 AM   #37
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Depending on your cell phone provider, you can stream music for free. You can even use it as a hotspot to save data charges from your internet provider.
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Old 02-13-2016, 11:46 AM   #38
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When I first heard about this, I thought it sounded kind of cool. But, on second thought, the fact that this thing is listening to whatever is said in my home 24/7 kind of creeps me out. You have no idea what is being recorded / stored online and how that data might eventually be used. I think privacy is already almost non-existent without placing an always-on microphone in my living room with no idea of who is listening.


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Yup. That's the main reason I did not get one when it was offered at 99. In all other respects it sounds very useful.
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Old 02-13-2016, 03:10 PM   #39
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This sounds great for some people, but not me.

Because I live alone, I think I'd feel like a blithering idiot or nutcase calling out grand verbal orders for internet searches. to echo throughout my empty home, when instead I could simply type search requests into the computer.

I don't often listen to music. When I do, I am happier listening to it on Youtube, because I get ideas there as well as availability.

I might like "set timer for 30 minutes", but I can do that on my iPhone or use my timer. Besides, that's not enough reason to spend money on the Echo. Hey, I just saved $180 to spend on other goodies!
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Old 02-13-2016, 04:24 PM   #40
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Not much has changed since I posted earlier. We've had it for 9 months now. We like it... for the kitchen.

Perfect kitchen companion. No hands needed. Shopping lists. Music. Q&A. The speaker is not hi-fi, but it is enough for our kitchen and very casual listening. The shopping list is great, in that both DW and can shop and handle the list independently.
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