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Anyone having luck with Audible VoiceSync and the Echo?

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Anyone having luck with Audible VoiceSync and the Echo?
« on: April 12, 2016, 09:05:17 am »
Not syncing for me. I use Audible on my phone mostly, but there are times I would like to listen to the same book on the Echo. Listening position is not syncing from phone to Echo or Echo to phone.

Re: Anyone having luck with Audible VoiceSync and the Echo?
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2016, 09:18:34 am »
Is it supposed to? I love Echo, but it is pretty dumb when compared to apps on a smartphone (or even a web app).

Re: Anyone having luck with Audible VoiceSync and the Echo?
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2016, 12:07:36 pm »
I don't know this for a fact, but if I had to guess I'd say that state information is probably held on a per-client (Echo, your phone app, etc) basis rather than one single state for your Audible account.  That would allow multiple people in your home (or whomever you choose to share account access with) using different clients to read the same book without interfering with each other.

But I'm just speculating, so I could be completely wrong about that.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2016, 12:10:12 pm by DParker »

Re: Anyone having luck with Audible VoiceSync and the Echo?
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2016, 01:00:38 pm »
if I had to guess I'd say that state information is probably held on a per-client (Echo, your phone app, etc) basis

My experience with most apps is that the last read/listened to state is stored in the cloud for the account (at least for apps like Pocket Casts, TiVo, YouTube, etc.). This is what facilitates you watching/listening on one device, and then picking up where you left off from another.

Audible handles this differently with each progress state being stored at the device level, but allowing you to create bookmarks which are distributed across devices via the cloud. Unfortunately, Alexa is not smart enough to access these bookmarks, at least when I try to get it to advance it simply goes to the next chapter.

This of course makes listening to podcasts and books a rather complex activity if you also tune in from another device before reaching the end of an episode or chapter. One way to simplify this might be to have Alexa record the last listening position on the card in the app when you pause or stop. This would at least allow you to manually resume the position on another device.

But going the other way would be impossible unless Alexa could access bookmarks in Audible, or implement skills for apps such as Pocket Casts. I have found no way to tell Alexa to start a podcast 20 minutes in, or to skip ahead any amount of time other than the next episode.

Re: Anyone having luck with Audible VoiceSync and the Echo?
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2016, 02:54:01 pm »
I'm also having issues with Echo/Tap not always syncing to the latest position.  Though, I've had similar problems with Whispersync for books and voice, on other devices.  Sometimes works great, but sometimes not reliable at all.

To those suggesting Audible sync is per-device, that is not what documentation states.  Specifically for Alexa the support page says it's across devices:

"Alexa also supports Whispersync for Voice, which keeps track of the current playback position in the audiobook. You can start listening to an audiobook on your Alexa device and pick up where you left off by reading (or listening to) the same title on another compatible Amazon device or app. "

Re: Anyone having luck with Audible VoiceSync and the Echo?
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2016, 03:09:24 pm »
To those suggesting Audible sync is per-device, that is not what documentation states.  Specifically for Alexa the support page says it's across devices:

"Alexa also supports Whispersync for Voice, which keeps track of the current playback position in the audiobook. You can start listening to an audiobook on your Alexa device and pick up where you left off by reading (or listening to) the same title on another compatible Amazon device or app. "

Except that this is not what is happening here between Echo and a number of Android devices running Audible. Perhaps it should, and is just broken, but the behavir I described above is what I see here.

Re: Anyone having luck with Audible VoiceSync and the Echo?
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2016, 03:20:45 pm »
Agree that it doesn't appear to be working as it is supposed to.  For me it's even worse in that sometimes I resume an audiobook on my Tap, and haven't listened to it on any other devices, and it still isn't synced to the latest point I had listened to on my Tap.

In general Whispersync functionality seems unreliable.  It's a shame because I usually have 3 or 4 books/audiobooks in progress at a time and want to resume on a number of different devices.