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New HomePod Ambient Sounds and Sleep Timer Features

December 2, 2019


Hi this is Gary with MacMost.com. On this
episode let me show you how you can use your HomePod to play ambient sounds to add atmosphere
to a room or help you get to sleep at night. MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great
group of supporters. Go to MacMost.com/patreon. There you could read more about it. Join us
and get exclusive content. So I know a lot people use ambient sounds
or white noise to help them get to sleep at night. Sometimes you have special machines
that plays that stuff or use an app on your iPhone or something. When you look at the
HomePod you think that would be an ideal device to do that. I mean it creates great sound.
All you would need to do is have something to play. There are plenty of albums and things
out there that you can get and already have been using your HomePod for this. But Apple added a new feature recently with
several ambient sound loops. It looks like they’re kind of live streaming the loops.
To use them all you need to do is ask your HomePod to play them. So you want to ask it
specifically for ambient sounds, plural with an s at the end there. So you can say something
like Hey Siri play forest from ambient sounds. Now playing forest from ambient sounds. Now
you’re in the forest. There are a whole bunch of different ones including a white noise
one. Hey Siri play white noise from ambient sounds. Now playing white noise from ambient
sounds. Now it seems the only way to control this
is by speaking to Siri. But you actually can see what’s going on if you look on your iPhone
or it even works on your Mac as well. So if you bring up Control Center, then you go to
Airplay you’ll see the list of all the devices and you should see your HomePod there. Then
you can see what ambient sound is playing. You can see it has the Artist listed as Apple
and it’s just called Stream. Now I can use the forward button to jump to the next in
the list to see what they all are. But actually once you’re doing that you can then go to
the Music app and you look at what’s playing. You’ll see Currently Playing Ambient Sounds.
Then if you tap on the Up Next list you’ll see a list of all of them. So you’d think you would be able to do the
same thing on your iPhone but in fact you can’t. You can’t ask Siri to bring up these
ambient sounds there. It won’t work on your Mac. However if you go into your AirPlay settings
here notice that you can use your Apple TV as other speakers for your HomePod. In that
case it does work. I can have my living room Apple TV play the ambient sounds but I can’t
ask Siri on the Apple TV to do it. It won’t work. So it seems like these ambient sounds
are specifically tied to the HomePod. But, of course, if you like this idea there’s
nothing that will prevent you from finding an ambient sound collection in Apple Music
or purchasing one or ripping one from a CD into your music collection and playing that.
It’s just these special ambient sounds streams that Apple has just introduced. Hopefully
Apple will introduce more than just this set. Now another fairly new feature of the HomePod
is the Sleep Control. So this works really well with ambient sounds or any music that
you’re playing. You can have your HomePod playing ambient sounds or some music and then
tell it to go to sleep after a time. Hey Siri play ambient sounds. Here’s forest from ambient
sounds. When you do it like that it just picks one at random. Hey Siri set a sleep timer
for fifteen minutes. Okay I’ll stop playing in fifteen minutes. When it gets to the end
of that it will slowly fadeout.

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3 Comments

  • Reply Ian Steele November 25, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    Every time you say “hey Siri” my iPad switches to Siri – you are controlling my devices Gary. What next – world domination! 😂

  • Reply Doug D November 25, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    I cannot listen to this video because my Siri keeps trying to find what you’re saying. LOL

  • Reply Pedorosa Villales November 25, 2019 at 7:52 pm

    I don’t give a #@#@@@@ about ambient sounds I care about the sound of the actual device

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