There is no denying that an Alexa speaker is a fundamental part of any smart home setup, especially considering how conveniently it integrates with a considerable number of third-party services and hardware, practically making it the hub where any smart home-related action takes place.
That being said, while it looks like Alexa can fulfill any task you throw at it when you first start using it, it’s important to remember that its functionality is limited to the currently available integrations, which may not be present for all of the services you intend to use.
Today, our topic will be the process of playing SoundCloud on Alexa, in particular, which we can consider to be one of the trickier things to do with Alexa, as SoundCloud, unlike some other popular music services, does not feature a direct integration that allows Alexa to connect to it.
So, how to play SoundCloud on Alexa?
While the most straightforward way to play SoundCloud on Alexa is to connect your Alexa speaker to your mobile device or your computer over Bluetooth, this method comes with the downside of not being able to operate SoundCloud with Alexa voice commands.
Fortunately, there is an alternative method that allows you to make your Alexa compatible with SoundCloud by creating a custom skill, which, while a more complex process, doesn’t come with the downside of the Bluetooth method.
In the following sections, we will dive deeper into both of the methods we have mentioned above for getting SoundCloud to play on Alexa, and then take a quick look at some of the music services that can directly integrate with Alexa and potentially act as an alternative to SoundCloud.
How to Play SoundCloud on Alexa?
While it’s surprising that there is no integration between Alexa and SoundCloud, especially considering SoundCloud’s popularity and the large number of music services directly integrated with Alexa, all hope is not lost just yet.
Below, you can find sub-sections for both the Bluetooth and the Alexa Skill methods of playing SoundCloud on Alexa, in which we have included a step-by-step guide that will take you through the application of the corresponding method, along with an explanation that outlines how it works.
Playing SoundCloud on Alexa with Bluetooth
Playing SoundCloud on Alexa with Bluetooth is the more straightforward method of the two, allowing you to broadcast audio from SoundCloud to your Alexa speaker quickly and easily.
Unfortunately, this method comes with the significant disadvantage of not being able to use Alexa voice commands to control SoundCloud, as the Alexa speaker merely acts as a standard Bluetooth speaker that connects to the actual source of the audio, which is either your mobile device or your computer.
Below, you can find a step-by-step guide that will take you through the process of establishing a Bluetooth connection between your Alexa speaker and your mobile device (or computer) and playing SoundCloud.
First, let’s start with the initial step of putting Alexa into pairing mode:
- Open the Alexa application on your mobile device.
- Navigate to the Devices section.
- Choose the Echo & Alexa option.
- Choose the Alexa speaker you would like to connect.
- Navigate to the Bluetooth Devices section.
- Press the Pair a New Device button to put your Alexa into pairing mode.
Alternatively, you can use a voice command, such as “Alexa, pair”, to put your Alexa into pairing mode, which can be more convenient than using the application in some cases.
Now that the Alexa speaker is ready to pair, it’s time to find it on your mobile device or computer and initiate the pairing process:
- Enable Bluetooth on your mobile device or computer.
- Navigate to the Bluetooth section.
- Find your Alexa speaker on the list of available Bluetooth devices, and start the pairing by pressing (or clicking) on it.
- Wait until the Alexa speaker shows up in the list of connected Bluetooth devices. Your Alexa should also confirm that the Bluetooth connection is established upon success.
Once your Alexa speaker and your mobile device (or computer) are paired, you can open the SoundCloud application on the corresponding device and start playing music, which will be played through the Alexa speaker.
The next time you would like to connect the same device to your Alexa speaker, all you will need to do is to tell Alexa to connect your device, which should automatically establish the connection without having to go through pairing again as long as you haven’t unpaired the devices explicitly.
Playing SoundCloud on Alexa with Custom Skill
Playing SoundCloud on Alexa with a custom Alexa Skill is the more complex method of the two, but it comes with the added benefit of being able to run SoundCloud directly on Alexa and, as a result, being able to use voice commands to operate it.
For this process, we recommend visiting the alexa-soundcloud repository on GitHub, which includes the code for the custom Alexa Skill that makes it possible to play SoundCloud on Alexa, along with clear instructions that take you through the process of setting it up.
In a nutshell, this process allows you to host a custom skill that your Alexa has access to, similar to how it can access any other skill you directly activate from the Alexa application.
As the skill is connected to the SoundCloud API in this case, your Alexa becomes capable of querying the SoundCloud API whenever you issue it a SoundCloud-related voice command, which in turn makes it possible for your Alexa to receive the music data from SoundCloud and play it.
Please note that this is an unofficial solution that requires a certain degree of technical know-how, meaning that it may have software bugs preventing it from working as intended, and the process of getting it to work may not be straightforward, especially if you don’t have prior experience.
Which Music Services Are Directly Compatible with Alexa?
While SoundCloud is a unique music service in terms of the library it offers, there is no denying that an alternative directly compatible with Alexa would be a lot more convenient to utilize.
Below, you can find a list of the music services that are currently directly compatible with Alexa, which you can utilize on your Alexa without any extra steps other than initially linking your account:
- Amazon Music
- Apple Music
- TuneIn Radio
To find these music services and integrate them with Alexa, all you will need to do is to navigate to the Music & Podcasts section on the Alexa application (which you can locate by pressing the More button and navigating to Settings) and follow the on-screen instructions to link a new service.
While we would love to eventually see SoundCloud take its place in this list as well, it doesn’t look like there are any plans for it in the near future, especially considering that Magic Jukebox, the skill that allowed made it possible to play SoundCloud on Alexa, was once a part of Alexa’s list of skills, but then, was removed by Amazon.
Even though there is no readily available SoundCloud integration for Alexa, which makes things considerably less convenient than they usually are, coming up with workarounds for playing SoundCloud on Alexa is entirely possible with some extra steps.
To quickly recap, you can use two methods to play SoundCloud on Alexa: connecting your Alexa speaker to an external audio source through Bluetooth or creating a custom Alexa Skill that integrates SoundCloud with Alexa.
That being said, if you can find the music of your preference in one of the music services directly integrated with Alexa, such as Spotify, it is without a doubt that utilizing it to play music on your Alexa will provide a much more convenient and reliable experience.
Mark’s first real encounter with tech was when he had to format his computer with Windows 98 around the age of 6 to quickly get back to playing Heroes of Might and Magic III without having to send the computer in for a repair, which he strangely found to be rather enjoyable since it was a new challenge for him at the time.
While he has always been particularly interested in the software side of things, which eventually led to him becoming a software developer, he enjoys keeping up with the advancements in consumer electronics and smart home technology when he’s not busy coding.