For podcast lovers, Alexa's native podcast playback for Amazon Echo devices might seem paltry. This third-party skill turns Amazon's voice assistant into a serious podcast machine.
While you can stream just about any podcast with Amazon's Alexa voice assistant for Echo devices, podcast playback on Alexa is rather limited. Without using Bluetooth or manually choosing what to play through Spotify, you can listen to only the most recent episode of any given podcast.
However, there's a third-party skill that brings much more functionality to podcast playback on Alexa. It's call AnyPod. To enable it:
After AnyPod is enabled, play any podcast by saying, "Alexa, ask AnyPod to play 'This American Life.'" But that's where AnyPod and the native podcast playback similarities end. With AnyPod, you can:
There are also some other subtle differences. For podcasts that are told as a story, like "Serial" or "S-Town," the podcast will automatically start with the oldest episode instead of the most recent. And if you're having trouble finding a podcast, try asking more broadly. For instance, you can say, "Alexa, ask AnyPod to play Alec Baldwin" to find "Here's The Thing with Alec Baldwin."
Of course, there is at least one caveat. Not every podcast or episode is available through AnyPod. It found "This American Life" with ease, but it couldn't play episode 50. And, for some reason, when I asked for "S-Town" it played "Crimetown." For it to play "S-Town," I had to ask for "Shit Town."
The developer notes that if a podcast you publish or listen to is missing from AnyPod, you can request it by sending an email to email@example.com.