HomePod HomePod and Siri - inconsistent playback of Playlists

karnsculpture

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 19, 2006
137
47
London, UK
One oddity I've noticed is that I can ask

"Hey Siri play my playlist"

Siri says "Which playlist would you like me to play"

I then say the name of the playlist. Siri then says "Sure, playing XXXX playlist" -

and then usually plays the playlist but sometimes just goes to sleep at that point. This is after giving the correct playlist name. Very odd.

I thought initially the problem was that some or all tracks were not on Apple Music, but this is not the case, because Siri happily plays my 'YMO' playlist of which 50% is vinyl or CD rips as only this band's core discography is available on Apple Music. It definitely plays tracks I uploaded.

What is going on?

The playlists are fine on my phone and mac and are in the cloud.
 
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flofixer

macrumors member
Sep 13, 2016
30
17
California
One oddity I've noticed is that I can ask

"Hey Siri play my playlist"

Siri says "Which playlist would you like me to play"

I then say the name of the playlist. Siri then says "Sure, playing XXXX playlist" -

and then usually plays the playlist but sometimes just goes to sleep at that point. This is after giving the correct playlist name. Very odd.

I thought initially the problem was that some or all tracks were not on Apple Music, but this is not the case, because Siri happily plays my 'YMO' playlist of which 50% is vinyl or CD rips as only this band's core discography is available on Apple Music. It definitely plays tracks I uploaded.

What is going on?

The playlists are fine on my phone and mac and are in the cloud.
What happens if you immediately repeat the request?
 
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johnyslats

macrumors 65816
Mar 14, 2012
1,393
3,037
Leeds, UK
Siri says "Playlist (playlist name) now playing" and no sound
Does your playlist (or indeed the very first track) consist of songs that you have purchased through iTunes or songs matched through iTunes from cd rips etc. I had this same problem with Siri not responding after saying ‘now playing...’ with purchased albums/songs. Turning the HomePod off and then back on seems to have fixed it for now
 
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karnsculpture

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 19, 2006
137
47
London, UK
Does your playlist (or indeed the very first track) consist of songs that you have purchased through iTunes or songs matched through iTunes from cd rips etc. I had this same problem with Siri not responding after saying ‘now playing...’ with purchased albums/songs. Turning the HomePod off and then back on seems to have fixed it for now
There's no sense to it - all of my playlists whether they play or not are a mix of Apple Music, purchased tracks and CD/ vinyl rips. Playlists that play were made on my phone not my iMac, so maybe that is the reason?
 
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rworne

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2002
570
45
Los Angeles
No, all my playlists were created on my Mac and they play fine. The issue is a stability issue of the HomePod playing music in this fashion. It seems to stream music from Apple's servers OK as part of Apple music, but iTunes Match is hit-or miss sometimes.

When I have issues with playing my tracks, unplugging it and plugging it back in fixes it.

I also have a problem with multi-lingual tracks. 20% of my music library is Japanese, with Japanese meta-data and it gives Siri fits "Now playing (silence) by (silence)" when requesting the song info. Forget about asking for songs in foreign languages. I gave up after trying to request "Malagueña Salerosa" for several minutes. Then it hit me - just mispronounce it - bingo found the song, and ... silence.
 
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Mark Booth

macrumors 68000
Jan 16, 2008
1,621
450
Ok, am I doing it wrong? I simply say "Hey Siri play playlist xxxx" and it works.
That's what I do and HomePod nails it every time. I name the playlist in the original request. I even have multiple Easy Listening playlists numbered 1, 2 & 3. If, for example, I say 'Hey Siri, play Easy Listening playlist number 2" she plays the correct playlist every time.

It's a waste of time to not state exactly what you want in the very first Hey Siri request.

Mark
 
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prasand

macrumors 6502a
Mar 24, 2015
505
336
UES, New York
I simply say, "Hey Siri play <playlistname>" and it works every time, for whatever playlist I suggest. I haven't found it necessary to add the word "playlist" to the request, but sometimes I do it unconsciously. Furthermore if listening to a song one can add it to a playlist with, "Hey Siri add this to <playlistname>" without adding the word "playlist" to the request.
 
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DanielCoffey

macrumors 65816
Nov 15, 2010
1,190
24
Edinburgh, UK
I have had a similar issue which was also briefly resolved by unplugging/plugging the HomePod.

I have had the "Play playlist XXX" result in Siri announcing the name of the playlist and then going silent with the top display off but I have also had random skipping of tracks within a playlist.

If I happen to be watching the HomePod activity via the iPad, I can see the album art flicking past as the current playing track ripples rapidly down the playlist without any audio until it finally decides to give me a track.

When I spoke to the AppleCare technician today he advised that they were not tracking that as an issue yet but took the details. It was not likely to be down to a slow internet or any Apple server congestion as the problem went away with a HomePod reboot. He thought it likely to be a software issue.

If you do have Karnsculpture's issue of the playlist just stopping and the display going blank, can you please call it in to AppleCare as they need to receive more reports before it gets escalated.
 
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karnsculpture

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 19, 2006
137
47
London, UK
I have logged a call with Apple Support today as the problem I was having recurred after 24 hours. I was instructed to completely reset the HomePod and set up again from scratch. This seems to have rectified the issue but I need to monitor this week and contact Apple Support again if the problem persists. Others have been reporting the issue too - the more that do the more likely it is that a permanent fix can be established.
 
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DanielCoffey

macrumors 65816
Nov 15, 2010
1,190
24
Edinburgh, UK
Well done for reporting it... that is what I was told too.

I can confirm that in my case, having done the power reset, the issue came back after only a few playlists. I was back to Siri announcing the name of the playlist and then the display went dark. I also had partial playlists with tracks skipped or truncated.
 
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karnsculpture

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 19, 2006
137
47
London, UK
24 hours later and the problem has come back again. Have batted it back to Apple and will call the guy I was talking to there back when he is in tomorrow.
 
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DanielCoffey

macrumors 65816
Nov 15, 2010
1,190
24
Edinburgh, UK
That is what I found too... but I experienced a real oddity today that I will have to feed back to Apple when I reopen my original support request. I will write it down here as an aide memoire...

Having found the HomePod playback from my iCloud Music Library unreliable, I went back to playing music from the iPad over AirPlay to the HomePod. All was fine for about four playlists then it malfunctioned badly.

Audio on the HpmePod stopped. I looked on the iPad and saw playback was frozen but still had the "pause" icon showing, suggesting it was trying to play but the position counter was stuck. I tapped the previous track on the iPad, watched as the cover flow rippled through several songs to the end of the playlist, wrapped round (Repeat was on) and eventually stopped on the track I had tapped. No audio. It did this three times more but rippled round a random number of tracks with no audio. I then re-selected the iPad as the audio source and it responded properly with playback of the selected track beginning immediately. I re-selected the HomePod as the source and the audio started correctly.

It is almost as though the HomePod audio playback component is failing to respond under certain fault conditions, immaterial of whether the music is being delivered over AirPlay from an iPad or from the HomePod itself. This then may cause the audio selection component to think there is no valid output path and stops playback of that track, moving on to the next one if it can.

Does that make sense?
 
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Traverse

macrumors 604
Mar 11, 2013
6,820
3,051
Here
Ive experienced this too. Siri will say okay and then go to sleep. I have two ho iPods and it happens on both. Unplugging it fixes it temporarily. Annoying bug.
 
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ascender

macrumors 68040
Dec 8, 2005
3,156
1,086
Siri seems to be struggling and has got worse since I got the HomePod. I thought the accuracy was brilliant the first few days, but its gone downhill these last few days.... Two examples from this morning.

"Hey Siri, play the Black Grape Essentials Playlist".
Now playing Bruno Mars.

"Hey Siri, play the latest album by Black Grape".
Here's the latest album by Bruno Mars.

I've tried being up close, further away, talking naturally and trying to exaggerate the pronunciation.

The next one is a bit strange as she's clearly understanding what I'm saying, but isn't getting the specific context.

"Hey Siri, play Pop by U2".
Here's the song PopMuzik by U2.

"Hey Siri, play the album Pop by U2".
Here's some (random) U2.

There seems to be more and more occasions where I'll ask for something specific and Siri is either mis-hearing what I'm asking or is making the wrong link from what I'm asking to come up with something utterly random.

Sometimes its absolutely spot-on. Its all a bit infuriating really.
 
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cliffster82

macrumors 6502
Sep 27, 2013
293
327
For a while now (a couple months or more?), my HomePod will stop playing in the middle of a song. Anybody else get this?

I tap the speaker to start and nothing happens. I think this is usually after playing via “Hey Siri” vs initiating from my phone or iPad. I am streaming right now from my phone with songs that are not downloaded and so far it’s playing just fine. But when it does randomly stop it’s very annoying.
 
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