How to use Siri as your own personal DJ

Yes, Siri can act as your own virtual DJ to play and manage your favorite music upon your command.

siri-music.jpg
Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Want to listen to your favorite artist or album on your iPhone but your hands aren't free. No problem. You can simply hire Siri as your DJ.

Apple's voice assistant possesses many skills, and one of its coolest features is the ability to play and manage the music on your device. You can tell Siri to play a specific song or album stored on your iPhone or iPad, or play a random selection of tunes from a particular artist. You can tell Siri to pause or stop playing and to move ahead or back a track. And there's even more you can do. Let's look at how you can tap into Siri as your own personal DJ.

Play a specific song. You can tell Siri to play a certain song by title. For example, activate Siri and tell it to "Play 'Hey Jude,'" and Siri will play the popular Beatles tune.

Play a specific album. Rather hear an entire album from start to finish? No problem. Tell Siri to "Play 'Abbey Road,'" and Siri plays the popular Beatles album.

If the song or album contains a lengthy title, you don't have to speak the entire name. For example, instead of telling Siri to "Play 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,'" you can simply tell it to "Play 'Sgt. Pepper.'"

Play a song or album. What happens if a song and album share the same title? How does Siri know which one to play? If you don't specify what you want to hear, Siri plays the album. For example, telling Siri to "Play 'Let it Be'" plays the album and not the individual song. If you want to hear the song instead, a little specificity on your part will help. Simply tell Siri to "Play the song 'Let it Be,'" and Siri will grant you your wish. You can also ensure that the album is played by saying: "Play the album 'Let it Be.'"

Play a specific artist. Want to hear songs from someone in particular? You can tell Siri to play music just from that artist or group. For example, tell Siri to "Play Carole King," and it will play a randomly shuffled selection of songs from any of her albums on your device.

Play a specific genre. In the mood for a little jazz or some rhythm and blues? Siri will take your request based on genre. Simply say "Play some jazz music" or "Play some R&B music."

Shuffle your music. Want to hear a particular album of songs but in no particular order? You can tell Siri to shuffle the album. Say "Play 'Born to Run' shuffled," and Siri will shuffle the tracks of the classic Bruce Springsteen album.

Play a specific playlist. If you've created playlists for your favorite music, Siri can tap into that as well. Let's say you've set up a playlist for your favorite rock tunes from the '60s called "'60s Rock." Tell Siri to 'Play the '60s Rock' playlist," and then sit back and listen.

Move to another track. Let's say you're listening to an album but aren't crazy about the current song. You can jump to the next one. Tell Siri: "Skip to next song," and Siri moves on to the next track. Want to hear the previous song again? Tell Siri to "Skip to previous song," and it goes back to the prior track on the album.

Pause and resume. Want to stop the music for awhile? Tell Siri to "Pause music." Want to pick up where you left off? Tell Siri to "Resume music."

Play iTunes Radio. Beyond playing the music on your device, Siri can also tap into iTunes Radio. Just tell Siri to "Play iTunes Radio," and it will start playing music from the station you last accessed or the first one on your list. Want to hear a specific station? No problem. Let's say you've added a station called "Classic Motown Radio." Tell Siri to "Play iTunes Radio Classic Motown Radio," and sit back to hear some Motown.

Find out what's playing. Not sure of the current song and want to know the title and artist? Ask Siri: "What's playing?" Siri will display and speak the full song title and the artist behind it.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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