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maize

If you try to limit screentime...

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...and don't yet have a device such as an Amazon Echo or Google Home they are worth considering.

 

We have both and they are fabulous for listening to audiobooks, looking stuff up, etc. without the temptation of sitting down at a screen and getting lost.

 

If only I could use one to follow and respond to WTM threads!

 

I particularly like the translation function on the Google Home--I'm trying to have "speak Chinese time" regularly and the rule is that you can look something up or ask Google if you don't know how to say it, then you have to repeat what she says--you can't just use English.

 

My kids like Alexa's game functions.

 

If anyone else have favorite functions please share!

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We use the timer on our Echo all the time. Time a Lego build race, time a meal, time time out (ha.) The music feature has helped a ton with instrument practice. We play our Suzuki pieces on it, also Latin vocab words, English jingles and regular music all day long. I have tried to explain to friends how it has opened up a whole world of music for my kids but it's hard to explain how it's different than Pandora or something similar. It just is. They have so much more freedom to explore.

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We use the timer on our Echo all the time. Time a Lego build race, time a meal, time time out (ha.) The music feature has helped a ton with instrument practice. We play our Suzuki pieces on it, also Latin vocab words, English jingles and regular music all day long. I have tried to explain to friends how it has opened up a whole world of music for my kids but it's hard to explain how it's different than Pandora or something similar. It just is. They have so much more freedom to explore.

Can you explain more about the music feature? I just figured out that I can play my music library (songs I've purchased through Amazon digital music) on echo. I'd love to do more with music, though.

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Is there a poetry resource on echo? Maybe some audiobooks? How do I access audio books? Is there a list somewhere on Amazon?

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Homebody- My husband is a software engineer and he set up the Suzuki CDs, audible and the other little jingles on Echo. I have no idea how he did it but I remember that anything on CD was doable but a little tricky. Audible was very easy to link up. I think it's kind of like having an app on your phone. For music we subscribe to Amazon music which was very affordable and gives access to almost anything we can dream up. We're comfortable with the kids exploring a wide variety of music but the Echo is also in the living room and I'm always within earshot so if I hear something inappropriate we change it.  

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Homebody- My husband is a software engineer and he set up the Suzuki CDs, audible and the other little jingles on Echo. I have no idea how he did it but I remember that anything on CD was doable but a little tricky. Audible was very easy to link up. I think it's kind of like having an app on your phone. For music we subscribe to Amazon music which was very affordable and gives access to almost anything we can dream up. We're comfortable with the kids exploring a wide variety of music but the Echo is also in the living room and I'm always within earshot so if I hear something inappropriate we change it.

Thank you!

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This is making me want one of these devices.

 

Did I ask this already on another thread?  Can you use it like an intercom sort of thing?  Like, if we had two of them, could I have one in the kitchen and one upstairs and speak into the kitchen one and have the upstairs one tell people to come down for dinner?

 

How does it work for practicing vocab words?  

 

The timer feature alone sounds handy.

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For apple there is an app called Moment that lets you set a daily limit on the amount of screen time on the device. It will shut the device down once you hit the limit. I’m testing it now so I can’t give a full report yet. The iPhone also has a function called guided access where you can lock the phone into one specific app.

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How do you choose between Google Home and the Echo? To the OP, I see you have both. Do they serve different functions?

The echo has lots of "skills" (kind of like apps); she also plays Amazon music and Audible books. Since we use those a lot we really like the echo.

 

She isn't as good at answering random questions as the Google Home and doesn't have translation ability.

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Echo can be set up to call other echos. My niece calls my mom all the time in hers, sound quality is fabulous

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So I am clueless when it comes to an echo but we are prime members. Would we still need a separate music account to use echo freely for music or would it be included in prime?

 

Also, does it automatically link up your audio book library?

 

I am so intrigued...I make take the plunge

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So I am clueless when it comes to an echo but we are prime members. Would we still need a separate music account to use echo freely for music or would it be included in prime?

 

Also, does it automatically link up your audio book library?

 

I am so intrigued...I make take the plunge

It will play prime music, which actually has a fairly large selection. For a really massive music library you can subscribe to Amazon music unlimited.

 

It will also play any MP3's you have bought through Amazon. I believe there is a way to rip CD's and upload them to Amazon music (i think Google can do this too). Or you can link to other music services like spotify.

 

Echo automatically links to your audible account if you have one tied to your Amazon account.

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It will play prime music, which actually has a fairly large selection. For a really massive music library you can subscribe to Amazon music unlimited.

 

It will also play any MP3's you have bought through Amazon. I believe there is a way to rip CD's and upload them to Amazon music (i think Google can do this too). Or you can link to other music services like spotify.

 

Echo automatically links to your audible account if you have one tied to your Amazon account.

We used to have an audible account but I canceled it. We still have a huge audible library though. Do you know if it will still play your existing books or do you have to have a current audible subscription?

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We used to have an audible account but I canceled it. We still have a huge audible library though. Do you know if it will still play your existing books or do you have to have a current audible subscription?

You don't need a current subscription, the books in your account will work just fine :)

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You don't need a current subscription, the books in your account will work just fine :)

Whoo hoo! OK Maize, you totally sold it ;) I am going to get one. I had avoided it ever since that weird story about the guy and his crazy date that jumped off a balcony....i.e. they were able to pull the entire nights conversation off of the echo to confirm his story. The fact that they could go back and do that regardless of whether he was speaking to it made me freaked out that it could do that (not that I make a habit out of pushing people off of balconies) still...it was too weird for me. Sometimes I think I am too paranoid and should just drink the Kool-aid with everyone else :) I want one now! Haha!

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The echo has lots of "skills" (kind of like apps); she also plays Amazon music and Audible books. Since we use those a lot we really like the echo.

 

She isn't as good at answering random questions as the Google Home and doesn't have translation ability.

 

"She" is cracking me up. :) 

 

BTW, your post convinced me to get an Echo. It's currently on its way to our house. 

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"She" is cracking me up. :)

 

BTW, your post convinced me to get an Echo. It's currently on its way to our house.

Yeah, Alexa is a sort of honorary family member around here.

 

Honestly she ;) is so much better for interactions than a screen--not just interaction with the device but actual interaction between people. My kids were having a hoot the other night using a skill called "kids' court" presided over by "Judge Lexi"--they can bring complaints against their siblings, present witnesses, counter witnesses, and evidence, and Judge Lexi hands down a verdict and sentence (silly stuff like "run around each person in the room five times while this music plays" or "act like a monkey while this music plays".)

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Yeah, Alexa is a sort of honorary family member around here.

 

Honestly she ;) is so much better for interactions than a screen--not just interaction with the device but actual interaction between people. My kids were having a hoot the other night using a skill called "kids' court" presided over by "Judge Lexi"--they can bring complaints against their siblings, present witnesses, counter witnesses, and evidence, and Judge Lexi hands down a verdict and sentence (silly stuff like "run around each person in the room five times while this music plays" or "act like a monkey while this music plays".)

Ok, if I wasn't sold before now I am. Going off right now to buy one. Maize, Amazon should be paying you ;)

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Yeah, Alexa is a sort of honorary family member around here.

 

Honestly she ;) is so much better for interactions than a screen--not just interaction with the device but actual interaction between people. My kids were having a hoot the other night using a skill called "kids' court" presided over by "Judge Lexi"--they can bring complaints against their siblings, present witnesses, counter witnesses, and evidence, and Judge Lexi hands down a verdict and sentence (silly stuff like "run around each person in the room five times while this music plays" or "act like a monkey while this music plays".)

 

Alexa got here yesteday and we're already saying "her" and "she." :) 

 

I picked my daughter up at school today and she announced "Mommy, I've got lots of questions for Alexa tonight!"

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