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Amazon Echo devices now support multiroom audio

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Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo devices can now handle music playback across multiple rooms. The company announced today Echo users can now synchronize music across devices in their home. Later, this feature will extend to controls for multiroom music on other connected speakers.

For now, the Echo devices — including the Dot, Echo Show, and regular Echo — can only handle music requests from Amazon Music, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and Pandora, but support for Spotify and SiriusXM is coming soon. Amazon also says it's launching new developer tools for speaker makers who want to make their devices compatible with multiroom playback. Alexa Voice Service (AVS) Multi-Room Music SDK allows device makers to integrate with Amazon Alexa Multi-Room Music; this tool will be available later this year.

But more interesting are the new Connected Speaker APIs, which allow users to control music playback on speakers other than Echo devices through Alexa. Amazon says it's working with Sonos, Bose, Sound United, and Samsung to pioneer this technology. These APIs are available in developer preview today.

Given that Sonos just sent out invitations to an October audio event, and that an FCC application for a speaker with a microphone was just filed, it would seem that support from Amazon was the missing piece to bring Sonos' connected speaker into existence.