My review of “My Poems”, an Alexa Skill enabling the Amazon Echo user to listen to poetry

This review is of My Poems, an Alexa skill which can be enabled for the Amazon Echo, enabling the user to listen to poems, and “pin” their favourites for future easy access.

Back in 2018, I purchased and reviewed the Amazon Echo (Second Generation), https://kmorrispoet.com/2018/09/25/my-review-of-the-amazon-echo-second-generation/. The Echo is a versatile device controled by voice, enabling the user to do many things, including listen to music, enjoy audio books from audible.com and check the meaning of words/have them spelt. In addition the user can enable various skills, including the free My Poems app, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Opearlo-My-Poems/dp/B071D96QLW.

As mentioned at the start of this review, My Poems enables the user of an Amazon Echo to listen to poems and pin their Favourites for future easy access. In addition its possible to have a poem repeated and to skip through the poems.

I downloaded My Poems yesterday evening (30 October 2019), and I am enjoying using the app. All of the poems are recorded by actors and thus far I have been impressed by the quality of the readings.

Each time the user hears a poem Alexa gives him/her the opportunity to have it “pinned” to “Favourites”, or to hear another poem. I have already pinned a number of poems and have returned to listen back to them.

On the Amazon website it states that users can request that their poem is added to the My Poems. Whilst it is not entirely clear what this means, I suspect that the user can request that a poem composed by them be added to My Poems, rather than it being a means whereby he/she can ask that a poem (not yet included by, say Shakespeare) be added.

My Poems is an enjoyable way of listening to poetry, and I would recommend to anyone who has access to an Amazon Echo to give it a try.

Kevin

6 thoughts on “My review of “My Poems”, an Alexa Skill enabling the Amazon Echo user to listen to poetry

  1. Victoria Zigler (@VictoriaZigler)

    I recently got Alexa (mine is the 3rd generation). I didn’t know she had that skill… I’ll have to try that.

    By the way, did you know she’ll read Kindle books to you too? I’ve used that skill a couple of times. I’ve found you need to sync your book when you return to using the Kindle to read it afterwards, or it continues where you last left off on the Kindle, rather than where Alexa last read to. But that only takes a few seconds to do, and it is kind of cool to be able to do it. Obviously it’s in her normal voice, so not the kind of listening experience you’d get from listening to an audio book through her. But we have to put up with that when using text to speach to read Kindle books anyhow, so… *shrugs*

    Reply
    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Many thanks for commenting, Tori. I was interested to learn that you have the Third Generation of the Echo. I wonder whether there are many differences between the Second and Third Generation and, if so what they are. Thanks for the information regarding Kindle titles on the Echo. I am aware of this but its helpful that you mentioned the fact as it may be useful to others who read this post. I’ve read both Kindle and Audible titles on Alexa and find that once I’m caught up in a book I forget that its Alexa who is doing the voicing. I have found that for some inexplicable reason that some Kindle books don’t appear in the Alexa app (despite me having downloaded them and the titles being available in my Kindle library). Have you ever experienced this? All the best, Kevin

      Reply
      1. Victoria Zigler (@VictoriaZigler)

        From what I can tell, the main differences between the versions of Alexa are the size (and I’m told colour) of the speaker unit thingy that’s the device. My Dad has the 1st generation, my Mum has the 2nd, and I have the 3rd (not intentional; it’s just because of when we brought them). I haven’t really noticed any difference in performance or anything between our devices, but mine is noticeably smaller than my Dad’s, for example.

        In my experience, the issue with missing titles is that the device misunderstands the title you’re looking for. I even had it happen with the Alexa app on my Kindle, with the book right there visible as a recent download on my home screen. It’s one of the voice activated software issues that all devices have. Annoying though.

      2. K Morris Poet Post author

        Thanks for your comment, Tori. Its interesting that your family has the complete generation of the Amazon Echo!

        You make a good point about voice activated devices not always understanding what is required of them. This is one reason (the main one) why I prefer typing when searching on my laptop, rather than using the voice search facility. I am sure that over time the voice search on devices will improve though.

        Best wishes, Kevin

  2. Matthew Wright

    I don’t have an Amazon Echo, though I know someone who does – never knew Alexa did poetry. My main interaction when I visited the people who have one was to ask Alexa if it could open the pod bay doors. It couldn’t – apparently my name isn’t Dave and I wasn’t in space. Hmmn…

    Reply
    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Many thanks for your comment, Matthew and making me smile! I have a guide dog called Trigger and just for the fun of it asked the Echo who Triggerdog is, and received the answer, “no, dogs are not triggers!”. Best, Kevin

      Reply

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