HomePod and other gross miscalculations

Seriously, did anyone who listens to music think that voice control was a good option?

I mean, for casual listening, HomePod does sound pretty good. Computational audio is a real thing and when it works, it works REALLY well. But Siri?

Hot. Garbage.

“Siri. Play ‘Larks Tongues in Aspic, Part II”.

“Now playing’Larks Tongues in Aspic Part Eye Eye; commentary with…”

Maybe it’s me, but the odds of ever getting a HomePod to play what I want is virtually nil. Thank God for Roon or these things would be in the back yard right now in pieces. Add in artists with live albums or multiple releases containing versions and the odds get worse.

Give me a local library. Give me a dedicated app. Voice? NEVER.


This would indeed be frustrating.

My Z06 does remarkably well with voice control of music. But I listen to very little music in cars so this is a low bar.

I’m not suggesting it’s not a difficult problem. It’s probably less of an issue than for the youngs that listen to mostly new stuff that doesn’t have a deep back catalog. But when Genesis has something like a half dozen recordings of something, it gets tough.

1 Like

My wife uses an amazon echo globey speaker thing.
It works well for live radio, usually, and for audiobooks too.
Getting it to “tell plex* to play XXXX by XXX” is rather more miss than hit…

* I pointed my plex server at my flac library to give her access too

Spot on! Siri is banned from my house and my cars.

And for the record, I AM an old fuddy and while I love new tech, I don’t drool over its every nuance.


figuring out the correct syntax to get it to do things is kinda fun, like a command line through voice, but it is not in any room I frequent except when I want to play with it.

Being British (and Northern :wink: ) I of course immediately got it belching (and worse) at her (she was not impressed)…

I had been hoping when she got it it would be able to play any music she wanted from, er, “out there” somewhere) but alas it requires subscriptions etc. for that (and the artist needs to be paid so fair enough).

I count at least 10 different versions of “Firth of Fifth” in my library alone; Tidal shows 26 I think. 50 on Apple Music. If I said play “Firth of Fifth by Steve Hackett”, Siri would have to pick from 14 different choices. It will inevitably pick the worst live performance. I just don’t think voice control is compatible with music.

1 Like

Funny story. At least I think so.

At an automotive shop I used to run, I would take my iPod in and hook up to the boombox in the shop. I played, had to be at least 40 live versions, Communication Breakdown and let run for about two hours before they came begging me to play anything else. I must have had 50 live versions of Dazed and Confused…


My family is like “okay, if we have to hear one more version of ‘Firth of Fifth’, we’re leaving you out on an ice floe.”

I’ve got warm socks just in case. (Good socks are an indulgence not appreciated often enough. A miracle of modern civilization.)


A decent pair of thermal socks is a wonderful thing :slight_smile:

1 Like

RIGHT?? The new wool ones are a modern miracle.

1 Like

As a big orchestral music listener who spends time reading about orchestras, conductors, recordings, I’m always wanting to hear very specific albums. Since there are often hundreds of recordings of the same piece, voice control is useless.

I do use it in the car when I want to hear something simple like an album by an artist when I know there’s only one or two versions on TIDAL.

I am genuinely curious to see what Apple does with “Apple Classical”. It’s gonna be interesting I expect. Only problem is it won’t be integrated with Roon. It still amazes me that the only native integration they’ve done is with Sonos. I genuinely hate the process of playing/controlling via AirPlay on iOS. It’s just a universally terrible experience.

There is a trend here. Apple hasn’t transitioned to a streaming experience well at all. I still maintain the Apple Music experience would be better if it were a discrete app different from on-device storage.

I guess guys like me that keep a library are dinosaurs now. They don’t care about me.

I’m also curious about the Apple Classical app/service launch for myriad reasons.

There is one certainty: Apple will market this new Classical app/service as “Revolutionary.”

@umiami91 Regarding Sonos, a total shot in the dark but I’ve always wondered if Sonos was extremely popular with Apple’s decision makers between leaving and re-entereing the speaker game.

@kerosene Yeah, Apple carried them in their stores for awhile and before that, Steve personally thought enough of them that he allowed them to keep a scroll wheel on their old proprietary remote without suing them. (I seem to recall reading that explicitly reported somewhere).

Since then, Apple got stupid and scared and quit carrying anything in the store that might be considered as competing with them (like Bose headphones and speakers, and ultimately, Sonos).

I miss the Apple that was willing to let you buy complementary products from other companies that they thought customers might delight in. Now they only sell Beats or a pair of $550 aluminum, Bluetooth headphones. Just sad.

I always kind of wish I had grabbed an Apple HiFi. It was a goofy product in a kind of fun way. Would love to have one on my shelf with my other collectible electronics.