Plex and Alexa: will multiroom play be supported?

alexa
voice-control

#1

Now that Alexa finally has the option to play music to groups of Alexa devices, or selectively on individual Alexa devices
eg:
Alexa play music everywhere... will play on all Alexa devices in the group everywhere
and
Alexa play music on living room... will play on the Alexa device named living room even if the command is spoken to on another Aexa device

When it comes to Plex and playing files locally stored on my media server, that functionality is not available and that's quite understandable as its brand new on Alexa itself.

Plex will only play files on the Alexa device the command is spoken to like
Alexa tell Plex to play song xyz or Alexa tell Plex playlist xyz
Those functionalities are already fantastic. A lifesaver for all Alexa users who do not want to be locked in into what Amazon allows you to do.

Scripting facilities with the Alexa app, called routines, are still very basic.

Here's what I want to do. I've set up a multiroom system with a few Alexa devices. One of my Echo Dots is close to my computer that runs the Plex server as well. I've written a batch job that plays sound files based on date and time. These sound files are actual Alexa commands that I recorded with the free program Audacity.

That way, based on date and time, the batch job issues Alexa commands via the computers loudspeakers to the Alexa device that sits nearby and listens.

Sadly this will not work with music played by Plex.

My question: is the multiroom function in the pipeline for Plex development? Or even better... the option to tell Plex to which Alexa device it should stream to?

eg:
Alexa tell Plex playlist xyz everywhere (a group of Alexa devices with that name)
or
Alexa tell Plex to play song xyz everyhwere
or
Alexa tell Plex to play song xyz on living room (name of the Alexa device in the living room)

I'm sure that this would be a useful addition to the Plex server.

Thank you


#2

I was wondering the same myself - like you I guessed it was some way off as its brand new to the Alexa but be interested if it's already on the radar for the developers


#3

I may be wrong, but my understanding is that getting music to play on echo devices is the challenge. It's so great that Plex added this. Adding playback to device groups appears to be a minor addition to the skill.

Please add device group playback to the Plex Alexa skill.

Thanks


#4

Marcel try home assistant hass.io to set up your automation. I would love to tell plex to play music everywhere.


#5

+1 for this feature. would be really nice when nobody home to use all my attached speakers in the house to play music from plex


#6

+1 from me too. We have a couple of Sonos speakers and whilst it will happily play Amazon Music etc via any speaker, asking plex to play in a room will result in just the echo dot playing. It would be great to be able to get it to play to whatever named speaker was requested :smile:


#7

+1 - I would love to see this as well.


#8

I’d love to see this too!


#9

+1 I’d love to see this, too!


#10

+1 - loving that I can take advantage of my local music collection again but being able to play it via the Music groups would be 1 of 2 features I am eagerly awaiting. My other ask which I’ll take up via another post, it it would be nice for plex to display the track info via the Echo show. instead of just “Now Playing - Plex”.


#11

I’ll look at the API and see if 3rd party skills can take advantage of the functionality. No promises on if/when we’d ship anything but I’ll see if it’s possible.


#12
  • 1 for this feature. Alexa or no Alexa, multi-room is now a key feature.

I have been setting up Plex for myself and friends (all have subsequently purchased Plex Passes) and a very common request is the ability to group PMP’s (Raspberry Pi 2B or 3B + HifiBerry or Allo sound cards) for simultaneous sound output. Previously I did such setups with Chromecast audio pucks which do multi-room pretty weel but the Pi & good quality DAC is so much better.

News / forecasts on such a capability would also be great!


#13

The multi-room audio feature isn’t available to 3rd party skills yet. If it becomes available we’ll see what we can do to support it.


#14

Dear Plex Employee vanstinator. Thank you for looking into this. I’d like to draw your attention to the fact that iHeartRadio and Pandora, which are non-Amazon third party services, do actually have a multi-room broadcast facility. Given that I now have seven Alexa devices installed and two of those connected to hifi systems, its just plain fun to say
“Alexa play my smoothjazz station from Pandora on the everywhere group” and my house is flooded with Jazz in every room.
Or “Alexa, play Island 98.5 from iHeartRadio on the everywhere group” and within seconds the Hawaii station brings sunshine into all my rooms. everywhere group is of course the multi-room in which I grouped all my Echo devices with the Alexa app.
By the way, just tried that… it is also possible to tell Alexa to play a Pandora station on a different Echo device than the one spoken to.
So, I am fairly confident that Plex can possibly achieve the same functionalities as well.
You may know that Amazon now has added the possibility to set alarms with Pandora and IHeartRadio.
Example: “Alexa set alarm for 7 am pandora smoothjazz station”
Thus the alarm bell is replaced with the music played through Pandora.
Wouldn’t it be really cool to be able to say
“Alexa set alarm for 7 am and tell Plex playlist good morning”.
That would of course require Amazon to cooperate with you to include Plex into the alarm routines.
Should that not be possible, may I suggest including a scripting facilty into the Plex software; starting with the basic step to start playing files from the plex server either to a multi-room group or an individual echo device, based on events triggered by date or time or other criteria.
If my understanding of how Alexa works is correct, this should open a lot of new possibilities. Let me explain how I see this. Alexa listens to instructions, streams the sound to the Amazon servers where the data are analyzed by the AI and an appropriate message or data stream sent to the skill which shall execute the appropriate task.
If that is indeed so, to apply scripting facilities to Plex, one would basically need to emulate instructions sent by Alexa to the Plex skill, thus substituting Alexa by a command issued from within Plex scripting. That way Plex would be both integrated and independent of the Alexa service, assuming of course that the Plex stream could still be stopped through an Alexa voice command.
Possibilities are endless in private and public settings. An event on a motion sensor could trigger a Plex scripting command through IFTTT which would lead to a sound file being played either in a multi-room setting or to an individual Echo device. This may be an interesting addition to Plex as it wouldn’t be limited to the Amazon universe.
Forum readers, please comment with your thoughts.

Anyway, once again I want to thank the Plex team for the great work that has been done so far.
Sincerely
Marcel


#15

I would love to elaborate a little bit further why I would love to see multi-room broadcasting and scripting integrated into Plex. Right now, as I have all these Echos set up, I would love to use them as part of my security system. Let’s say a burglar triggers an event though a motion sensor which links to Plex through IFTTT and Plex scripting starts to play a sound file of a lady desperately calling for help. Two of my Echos are in fact Echo Plus set at volume level 7. That would scare any burglar away immediately. Sirens don’t do the job anymore but a screaming lady will. As to motion sensors, I am referring to the Philips Hue Motion Sensor which is compatible with the Echo Plus hub. Just an example. Sure there are many other, more pleasant, scenarios where this would be useful. By the way, as we obviously have the Alexa app on our smart-phones, such an event would also trigger a message to the smart-phone through the Alexa system. And it doesn’t have to be a screaming lady, it can be any sound-file, dogs barking, anything…


#16

I would also love to see the feature. I am a huge fan of Plex I use it on my smart TV and Other devices. I would love multi room through Plex. I am a software developer but unfortunately I haven’t any knowledge on making skills … But it sounds fun… Anyway I agree with everyone else on here Multiroom Plex would be amazing :slight_smile:


#17

3rd party skills cannot currently take advantage of this. If that changes we’ll re-evaluate. Pandora and iHeartRadio are 1st party skills. Anything that can be set as a default music source is 1st party. Anything that isn’t is 3rd party. 1st party gets access to deeper integrations than we have available to us.


#18

Didn’t know that. Thank you Plex Employee for that info.


#19

You’re welcome :slight_smile:


#20

+3. but i think we need to make sure we sumbit to amazon it sounds to ensure proper priority is set for the enhancemant. anyone have the url? in the mean time i will shuffle stream individal rooms.