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Music was one of the killer apps of the Ubi. It was amazing to be able to be able to ask for a song and have it play out immediately.

Our first integration for music was Grooveshark. Grooveshark was a fantastic service, albeit *illegal* and its shutdown was jarring and tragic. It reminded me of the first days of Napster and being able to hear any song within minutes.

One issue we had with music on the Ubi was that we had no barge in capability on our mics. Well, sort of none. We’d still be listening for the wake word but there was no acoustic echo cancellation on our DSP, so if music was playing, you had to either wait until the end of the song or try to yell into the Ubi.

The problem got worse when we would play directly a song and it wasn’t the one the user wanted. They’d have to either unplug the device or endure a song they didn’t want to hear. The latter could be painful.

To overcome this issue, we played a sample of the song and then asked the user if they wanted to continue. The benefit was that it could prevent the wrong song from playing indefinitely. The drawback was that it ruined the magic of asking for a song and getting it to play.

Luckily for voice first device users, acoustic echo cancellation resolves this problem.

Independent daily thoughts on all things future, voice technologies and AI. More at http://linkedin.com/in/grebler

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