How to Use Your Voice to Control Your Music on the iPhone - dummies

How to Use Your Voice to Control Your Music on the iPhone

Here’s something cool: You can boss around your iPhone music by using nothing but your voice. Just press and hold down the Home button (or the equivalent button on a headset) and, after you hear the tone, you can:

  • Play an album, an artist, or a playlist: Say “Play” and then say “album,” “artist,” or “playlist,” and the name of the album, artist, or playlist, respectively. You can issue these voice commands at any time except when you’re on a phone call or having a FaceTime video chat. In other words, you don’t have to have music playing for these voice commands to work.

  • Shuffle the current playlist: Say “Shuffle.” This voice command works only if you’re listening to a playlist.

  • Find out more about the song that’s playing: Ask “What’s playing?” “What song is this?” “Who sings this song?” or “Who is this song by?” Again, these commands work only if you’re already listening to music.

  • Use Genius to play similar songs: Say “Genius,” “Play more like this,” or “Play more songs like this.” If your iPhone has no Genius playlists and you say “Genius,” your iPhone will politely inform you that “Genius is not available.” The same thing happens if you say “Play more like this” or “Play more songs like this” when no song is playing.

And hey, because your iPod happens to be an iPhone, you won’t look stupid talking to it!

In noisy environments the iPhone may mishear your verbal request and start playing the wrong song or artist or try to call someone on the phone. Using the wired headset helps. And syntax counts, so remember to use the exact wording in the list.

In iOS 8, Siri can identify songs playing in the background, just like the Shazam app. Just ask Siri, “What song is playing?” and let her listen for a moment. She’ll identify the song if she can — and she even has a sense of humor about it. When asked to identify “Come Together” by The Beatles, she replied, “This is The Beatles playing ‘Come Together.’ Right now.”

By the way, Siri’s newfound song-identification prowess is powered by Shazam but doesn’t require you to install the Shazam app. That said, the other bells and whistles that the Shazam app brings to the party are all great.