Smart speaker and smart home industry are growing by millions every month. And there is a good reason why. It has become so easy to control devices using your own voice. No more lost remotes, dead batteries or other issues. Smart homes like Google Home and Amazon Alexa actually recognize who is asking a question. Thanks to that, a smart speaker can reply to you with a tailored answer. What is on my shopping list. How long will it take to get to work? Or please play my favorite music! Smart speakers learn from you in order to give a user a better user experience every time. The most often used feature of smart speakers is actual music playback. In paragraphs below you will find out, why should you choose to play music from local music collection and how to do it.
Why would I play music from a NAS?
It is very tempting to simply subscribe to one of the most popular music streaming providers. All of them cost very similar price a month, which usually is 10$ or 10£ a month. You have millions of songs available to stream whenever you like and wherever you are. But millions do not mean all. You may like local bands or simply music which is not available on streaming giants. Or you prefer buying songs rather than renting them. You may have collected a number of albums and you don’t want to pay for something you already own. Good news is – you don’t have to. If you own a network drive, your smart speaker can access it with just few configuration steps. You will experience the same service as from paid solutions but free of charge.
If you prefer to have a subscription and ability to access all music from the cloud- these are most popular providers:
Offers you free service as long as you are happy to choose only artist or genre, but not a particular song.
Music subscription service for Google Home- usually free first few months.
Music subscription service for Alexa- usually free first few months.
What do I need to stream my local MP3 music on my Alexa speaker?
In order to play your local MP3 collection, you will need any of new Synology NAS models, Alexa (Echo PLus etc.) speaker and few minutes of configuring.
For just music streaming I would suggest DS118 as a 1 drive solution (max 10TB), DS218j for dual drive solution (will provide an uninterrupted service even if one hard drive dies) or 418j – 4 drive solution for people with a massive music collection.
Which NAS should I choose for Alexa MP3 streaming?
- DS118 https://www.span.com/product/Synology-DiskStation-NAS-DS118-1-Bay-UK-POWER-ONLY-~62539
- DS218j https://www.span.com/product/Synology-DiskStation-NAS-DS218j-2-Bay-512MB-RAM-~62475
- DS418j https://www.span.com/product/Synology-DiskStation-NAS-DS418j-4-Bay-1GB-RAM-~61992
How can I make Alexa stream music from a NAS using my phone as a remote control (cast)?
Once you have DS Audio app installed on your phone- you can browse through the albums on your NAS. You have to click on Cast button to connect to your wifi or regular wired network speaker using DLAN standard. Then every time you change songs, your phone will ac as a remote control. It will tell speaker what songs to play from your NAS device.
How can I make Alexa stream music from a NAS using my phone connected over Bluetooth?
You can connect to your Google home or Amazon Alexa using Bluetooth. In this case, any music you are streaming from a NAS to your phone will be played using Bluetooth connection. This requires your phone to be connected to a speaker and act as a middle device responsible for all streaming. Unlike a remote scenario described before. This might result in your battery going dead a bit quicker than usual.
To pair your phone and smart speaker say: [wake word], pair.
These are the commands you can use with Alexa for Bluetooth playback control:
For skipping among tracks in an album or playlist:
How can I make Alexa stream music from a NAS using voice command?
Set up account linking on Amazon Alexa
What voice commands can I use to control music streaming on alexa?
During the playback, you can also control the Alexa device with the following voice commands:
More info: https://www.synology.com/en-uk/knowledgebase/DSM/tutorial/Multimedia/How_to_enable_Audio_Station_skill_on_Amazon_Alexa