• Alexa for Squeezebox

    Breathing new life into your LMS.
    Add Alexa voice control to your Squeezeboxes.

    Learn More See it in action
  • Currently in Alpha

    We're almost feature complete.
    Beta opening soon...

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Built for Alexa

Built for Alexa

All the power of Alexa, all the flexibility of Squeezebox! A custom skill facilitates voice control for transport, content selection
Built for SqueezBox

Built for SqueezBox

Squeezebox is an amazingly flexible and resilient platform. Our custom plugin links to Alexa to add voice control.
Built for Simplicity

Built for Simplicity

An LMS plugin linked to an Alexa skill. Simple. Easy. Effective.
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Thursday, April 09, 2020

Alexa for Squeezebox

These days, it seems that voice assistants are everywhere. In stand-alone devices, in a/v equipment, in household appliances, cars and more. Beyond a gimmick, voice applications are evolving to a point where they are approaching usefulness.

But what about legacy technology? Squeezebox was a great platform. There's still plenty about and there's a healthy second-hand market. The LMS is still viable and supported by a great community. 

The Hab-Tunes project seeks to breath new life into older technology by integrating voice control. The first such endeavor is Alexa for Squeezebox - an Alexa skill and LMS plugin that allows you control your Squeezebox by voice.



Comprising a standard Alexa skill and LMS plugin, it's familiar and easy to install, configure and use.



With https used when available, and no need for open ports locally, Alexa for Squeezebox helps keep the ner-do-wells at bay.



Developed over 2 years, with over 50 testers from around the world, Alexa for Squeezebox is stable and reliable.



With ongoing maintenance and feature additions, you can shape the direction and request functionality you'd like to see.


The ambition is to add Alexa voice control to the LMS
and Squeezebox platform in a simple and intuitive way.
Find out more about the design philosophy, or dive right in. Learn More

Get Started

It's All About the Music


Simplicity and Flexibility.
All the hallmarks of Squeezebox - Now with added voice control.

Volunteer Testers


Extensive Alpha phase is ending, with Squeezebox users from around the world contribuiting time and ideas.

Ready for the World


With German localisation well advanced, Alexa for Squeezebox can be ported to any supported Alexa language.

Recent Blog Posts

While v 0.1.4 didn't see much change in terms of new functionality, it was a major shift towards a final skill infrastructure in that it saw migration to an amazon EC2 instance for the main skill logic. The update went very smoothly. Despite a little hiccup caused by bad planning for the transition on my part, there were hardly any issues arising from the 13 testers who adopted this version.

As part of the rollout, the current limited command set was optimised, particularly the play/pause commands which benefitted from fewer interactions between the skill and the LMS plugin resulting in an approximate 33% improvement in overall skill response times for these commands.

However, there's still a significant geographic discrepancy in that users in western Europe enjoy measured skill response times less than 1s whereas those in the US are averaging 4s and Australian users often endure 6s or more while awaiting responses. This is explained of course by the selection of western Europe as the EC2 host instance (as the skill developer, I can enjoy the luxury of choosing a location close to home!). This si something I'll need to address in the future though.

There are a few approaches to this. In the first instance, I can gauge the location of users and move the skill logic to an EC2 instance in a closer region to the majority of users. The other option would be to duplicate the skill logic across two or more regions. Indeed, Amazon allows for this in the skill set-up where separate endpoints can be set for EU and US users. However, long term, there will be a cost penalty and we're going to have to wait and see if we can cover the required fees for two EC2 instances from any revenue that might be generated.

In researching this aspect, I came across this really useful comparison of transfer speeds between Amazon regions. I think if I was going for a second EC2 instance, California would provide the best average speeds for both US and Australia.

v0.1.5 is now underway and the main focus is implementing a test workaround for the requirement to have an open port on the client side. My initial plan was to use MQTT but this would have required considerable setup on both the server and client sides. Discussions on forums.slimdevices.com led me to consider WebSockets instead and it turns out these are trivial to set up on node-red so that end is already done. On the LMS plug-in side, there's a lot of additional work required, extra libraries etc. but progress is steady there as well.

The plan is to first of all replace the initial http 'command ready' transactions from the skill. This will remove the need for the open port and http call from skill to LMS that kicks off each command. Once that's shown to work in v0.1.5 testing, I'll look at integrating web sockets even further so that the entire transaction is conducted across them. This should also be faster overall.




Get Involved

Right now, site membership at Hab-Tunes.com is open. However, membership does not accrue any benefits. Participants in the ongoing closed alpha need to be members, and those who will participate in the forthcoming Beta cycle will also require membership.
Details on how to get involved can be found here