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BR asked

Still Looking for a Podcast Skill

My podcasts are too long for a Flash Briefing and my name on Alexa and, although my hosting company uses Amazon Music/Audible for my podcast, this is not the same thing as a skill. I still do not see a good way to create a skill for a podcast. I simply want to say "Alexa, play Spooky Boo's Scary Story Time" like it used to and have it play my podcast. Now it has an error. How do I create a podcast app instead of audible?

Oh, and how did someone else create a podcast with my icon and podcast name? I am not ParamjeetDahiya!!! Who is that??


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You can use the Alexa Audio Player interface to create a skill to play a podcast. Amazon provide an example audio player skill here ->

This is a pretty basic skill and would be great for playing just the latest podcast episode, if you want previous episodes to be available then something like Joseph posted would be worth looking into.

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Joseph Kesselman answered

If you're basing your code on a tutorial... most common mistake may be forgetting that you need to give your skill a different name than the one in the tutorial, even when you're in development, because that name was undoubtedly grabbed by someone long ago. And yes, finding a good skill name that hasn't already been claimed is becoming progressively harder -- I had to add two words to mine to make it both distinct and memorable.

The easy way to create a podcast skill -- is to configure your stuff as genuine podcasts and tell users to access it using whatever podcast listener they prefer. There are several general-purpose ones already available; I have no opinion on which is best but I've used them and they work.

If you really want to create a skill... when I needed something like an enhanced podcast player, I went searching for examples and came up with the Jovo toolkit's sketch. That isn't a complete podcast player, but it does illustrate one way to handle the Alexa side of it (using Jovo, so in theory you can get a Google Assistant player out of it too); you'd just need to change how it obtains/maintains its list of available episodes. That's basically the approach I took -- get the Jovo example running, then progressively enhance it until I had something I considered useful.

My much-expanded code is on github as; it's probably overcomplicated for your needs and you may need to learn Jovo before it starts to make sense, but it was designed with the thought of being adaptable to other sources. (Though that isn't as cleanly isolated as it should be yet.) If you find it useful, please make a donation to New Sounds (the folks I wrote it for) and/or toss a few bucks into my ko-fi account. If you want _me_ to adapt it to your needs, we can discuss what you're willing to pay for that service.

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