The Countess and I are sorting out our technology choices, and experiencing the crossfire among Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Roku, among others.
Countess has been getting comfortable with the Amazon Fire 8 HD tablet I bought last year. It is lighter than her laptop and the batteries last much longer. However, it lives outside the Apple iFortress.
We were “that close” to ordering an Amazon Echo – as the app on the device seemed to be doing most things she wanted it to do. “Play Mack the Knife” and it started playing, listen to WFAE and it started up in the Tunein App. Then we pushed a little harder – only then realizing that Alexa was playing only 30 second clips of songs, that only unlock with the Music unlimited account. It wasn’t the issue of paying for music as much as the deception that bothered me.
Then we learned just how bad the integration with Tunein and iHeartRadio is. Others have pointed out how inaccurate, incomplete and unreliable Tunein is – something I avoided commenting on while I was nominally a competitor. Asking iHeartRadio to play classic country music just gave me a classic soul station. There was nothing in the iHeartRadio Android app to even tell me the call sign or a link to visit the station website it had selected.
I have the impression that newer cars come with this junk loaded into the entertainment console. Some people probably wish their old 8 track player had Bluetooth capability…