How to play audio from your Dropbox by name with Sound Stream and Alexa routines

Voice Activity Ltd
3 min readSep 10, 2022

Recently Amazon introduced changes in the way Alexa routines interact with Alexa custom skills. It makes possible to create routines that are more productive and fun to use.

For example, the Sound Stream skill’s integration with Alexa routines was very basic: a routine’s trigger could only launch the skill. You had to select a playlist or an audio book by name to start a playback. Now, you can pass a name for an audio file or for a playlist to the routine. So, when it triggered a playback will start immediately.

Let us see how to configure a routine that will start playing your audio by name.

  1. Go to Alexa app on your mobile phone.
  2. Go to the Menu > More > Routines

3. Create a new routine (tab “+” on top right corner):

4. Follow these steps to create a routine:

5. First step is to provide a name for a routine and then tap Next:

6. Second step is to select a trigger (when a routine will be triggered), for example a timer event:

7. Third step is to add an action. We will be using Skills as an action:

8. Select Your Skills:

9. Select the Sound Stream skill from the list:

10. Select a custom action (second option) — Play an audio file or a playlist by name:

11. Provide a name for an audio file or a playlist (e.g. Jazz) and then tap Next:

12. Choose Echo device you want to use (From):

13. Important: don’t forget to tap Save button to save your routine. Otherwise you will have to start from scratch.

14. Newly created routine will be added to the list of your routines:

Every time a trigger for your routine will be activated, the Sound Stream Alexa skill will start playing an audio you of your choice.

You can create many different routines that suit your needs. For example, I have 2 routines set up for the Sound Stream skill my family uses every day:

  • Sleep routine: when I say: “Alexa, good night”, she turns off the light in bedroom and starts playing “Brown Noise” audio for a few hours.
  • Good morning routine: it triggers every day at 8 am and starts playing a smooth Jazz.