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Spontaneous chatter/music from Echo NOT Bluetooth-driven

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Spontaneous chatter/music from Echo NOT Bluetooth-driven
« on: September 26, 2016, 10:40:08 am »
OK, so it finally happened to me yesterday.  Namely, the infamous case of your Echo spontaneously saying something and then playing music (or other streaming audio) without being prompted to do so by you or anyone else in the house.  I had just walked upstairs and was rounding the corner to the master bedroom when I heard the Echo in there briefly saying something in Alexa's (I wasn't close enough to the door yet to make out what it said).  I reached the doorway just as she finished talking, at which point the first few seconds of John Lee Hooker's One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer played, and then stopped...with nary another sound coming from the Echo.  I know this had nothing to do with any errant Bluetooth connection for three reasons:

  • The only devices that have EVER been paired with that Echo are my old Samsung Galaxy S4 (which is no longer functional, and is sitting in a drawer with no battery in it) and its replacement, my Galaxy S7 Edge.  At the time of the above-described incident, my S7 Edge was in the middle of a reboot and had not yet loaded the O/S, so could not have been connected to the Echo in any way.
  • The day before (Saturday) I was downstairs experimenting with using the Alexa app on my S7 to initiate playback of songs on the downstairs Echo (not the one in the bedroom) from my Prime library.  The last action I took on that was to have it play the first few seconds guessed it...John Lee Hooker's One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer.
  • There is nobody else in my home that ever uses any devices to connect with either Echo, ever.

This situation is identical to the symptoms so often reported of spontaneous brief speech followed by streaming audio (usually music) coming from the Echo with no household Bluetooth devices connected to it.  This coupled with the fact that what was played was identical to what was requested via the Alexa app (which access your Alexa devices via the cloud, not BT) for my other Echo the day before VERY strongly points to a glitch of some sort in the Amazon server software that implements the Alexa service in which, on occasion, a command destined for an Echo is cached/queued (or otherwise stored) somewhere and, at some future time, is retrieved and acted up on again, sometimes sent to the wrong device (with "wrong" being defined as not the device the command was originally targeting).

Not knowing the internal details of the serve software I have no way of determining the exact mechanism involved, butthe evidence at hand combined with >30 years of troubleshooting software system issues tells me that these incidents are almost certainly being caused by one or more bugs in software on Amazon's servers, and are not being driven by any spontaneously connecting local (to the Echo) devices.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2016, 10:42:26 am by DParker »

Re: Spontaneous chatter/music from Echo NOT Bluetooth-driven
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2016, 02:18:28 pm »
Interesting.  I'm convinced; my years of troubleshooting also causes me to agree with you.  So, before you do anything else, sit down and have One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer; this is too weird if you can't trace it to a BT issue.

I would give Echo support a call and ask for the highest level of tech support person from the basic support person who answers your call, and read your clearly detailed post to the person you are transferred to.  This issue requires an advanced Echo tech support person, for sure.

This issue ties in with the recent one where 3 new big Echos were installed last week.  Maybe issue is related to more than one big Echo in house?  I also have Taps and Dots (but only one big Echo) and this has never happened to me except for the BT issue on big Echo many months ago.

Echo Support:  1-877-375-9365

Re: Spontaneous chatter/music from Echo NOT Bluetooth-driven
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2016, 06:27:24 am »
I just added the same problem to another thread as I hadn't seen this here. Since changing my Alexa from US to UK English, I get nearly daily 'rants' from Alexa... yesterday it was 'to turn on voice purchasing go into settings...'
I do not have any Bluetooth paired with Alexa

Re: Spontaneous chatter/music from Echo NOT Bluetooth-driven
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2016, 02:07:38 pm »
Sometimes the Echo device just hears you say something and acts on it even though you did not address it directly.  For example, wife and I were talking in bedroom the other night where we have a Dot. I was telling her something about the iPad, and Alexa popped up and asked, "Do you want me to order an iPad?"  I quickly said NO!  Well, maybe I did say something to wife about ordering a new iPad, but I sure as heck was not talking directly to the Dot, never said the Dot's wake word when it came alive. Dot just heard conversation on its own and spoke up!

These stupid Alexa devices are not perfect, and don't ever think or believe they are!