Alexa Computer Music Control Release for Mac


Hi everyone:
I am so excited to give you this: The Alexa Skill - Computer Music Control has now come to Mac! (Only support macOS 10.12+, sorry El Capitan)

Download here

Last month my friend Yi Shen demonstrated his Alexa Skill to me, which answers to Amazon Echo’s voice command and controls music playing on PC. It is so cool that you just need to say something like “Alexa, tell Computer Controller to play next”, and then it controls music player on PC to play next music. All hands off!

I was so interested in this so very soon later I got my own Echo. So, when Yi shared his excitement about how many users like this Alexa Skill like I did, and told me there are also many Mac users complaining who would love to try this wonderful skill yet Mac is still not supported, I then decided to start the dev of this Mac client right away.

After weeks of dev, finally Computer Music Control has now come to Mac! Also, this is my very first product as a Mac developer. So, cheers!

There is one thing: Please make sure you are NOT playing any audio when you launch this App. You can find some tech involved details below if you are interested in tech details.

Any bugs or suggestions are welcome. Feel free to contact me at [email protected] or just leave a comment below. The “Feedback” menu inside the App will also do.

Many thanks to my friend Yi, as I could’ve never done this without inspiration of his Alexa Skill and Windows client. Hope you enjoy music on your Mac even more, together with Amazon Echo!


Some Nerd’s talking

Why macOS 10.12+ only?

Everyone loves small, elegant yet powerful Apps on Mac, so do I. I would love to make my App more elegant yet powerful.

Here are some detailed explanation: Instead of using old, deprecated and insecure APIs like “WebView” and “NSURLConnection”, I used more efficient and safer APIs like “WKWebView” and “NSURLSession”, which only support macOS 10.12+.

I would love to recommend you upgrade to macOS 10.12+ for the concern of security.

Why need to stop playing music when App launches?

Since I cannot detect whether your Mac is playing an audio or not without virtual audio driver, I assume this App automatically start at login by default, and there is no music playing at the moment. You can of course change these settings at Preferences menu.

In this case, you can ask it to start playing music, and then pause or stop normally. If you have an audio already in play first and then launch this app, it may action oppositely. This is to prevent the case where the voice command may be triggered twice by Echo, which I came across when testing. For example, when you say “play music”, Echo triggered the commands twice as “play music, play music”, and two play commands make it a stop command. So instead of playing music, nothing will happen.

So, I initially assume the playing state in OFF, therefore I can ignore the disturbance of redundant commands according to current playing state.