I have about 60 gigs of music on my Samsung Galaxy S8. I normally uses Pi Music Player, and am very happy with it. But that's not so convenient while driving, so I'd like to control my music through Google Assistant.

However, when I ask Google assistant to say, "Play John Prine from my library", it's hit or miss whether it starts playing my John Prine collection or whether it offers up some random John Prine video from YouTube. I can't seem to find any way to tell it reliably that I only want music from my phone.

I was about to buy a new car and enjoy the pleasures of Bluetooth voice commands so I don't have to fiddle with my phone while driving (my existing ten-year-old car does not offer me this option). But it now appears that there's no way to do that; unless I pick up my phone and use the touch screen, the system is going to play whatever it feels like playing rather than the music that's right there on the phone. I've put the car purchase on hold until I figure out whether there's a solution to this. (I've also just spent an entire very frustrating day trying and failing to find settings I can adjust...) Is there in fact a solution?

  • As you have music on device have you tried play xxx on pi music player as the ways to invoke an app from Google Assistant is limited. The phrase "my library" is too broad and as you've seen can invoke other apps. Related: developers.google.com/voice-actions/system/#media_actions – Morrison Chang Jul 8 '19 at 18:32
  • @MorrisonChang : I have absolutely tried that ("play xxx on pi music player") about 17,000 times or so (because I never learn) and it makes absolutely no difference. Sometimes it plays the music on my phone (without opening pi music player) and about half the time it brings up some marginally related youtube video instead. – WillO Jul 8 '19 at 18:34
  • Pi Music Player appears to support Youtube. Find one that doesn't, unless you've tried to disable that feature and the Assistant is bringing up the YouTube app. In my mind "Pi Music Player" isn't a unique enough app name for Assistant to not mishear a single syllable. – Morrison Chang Jul 8 '19 at 18:37
  • @MorrisonChang : If I say "open pi music player", it opens pi music player every time, so it''s not mishearing. It just doesn't play any music. If I use the touch screen to start playing music in pi music player, then I can use google voice to say "next song", "previous song", "Pause", etc, and it all works great. But I can't get it to switch to a different artist, album or playlist. No matter how I try to word that request (and I've tried an unbelievable number of ways), the assistant just takes me right out of pi music player and starts offering youtube videos. – WillO Jul 8 '19 at 18:46
  • Hmm, assuming the authors of Pi Music Player did everything correctly, unfortunately when Assistant isn't behaving correctly there is little anyone can do other than sending feedback in the Assistant app. – Morrison Chang Jul 8 '19 at 19:12

Okay---Having wasted three full days of my life on this, and having finally found the answer, I will post it in case anyone else encounters the same problem.

I installed a different music player, namely Pulsar, which I believe is designed to play only local music. I also did a bunch of other stuff, like disabling YouTube and uninstalling Google Play Music, which might or might not have contributed to the solution. But Pi Music Player is still installed and the voice commands still fail to control it properly.

I (once only) told Google Assistant to "play Steve Goodman on Pulsar", it did what I asked, and ever since, it's been defaulting to Pulsar for all of my music requests, just as I wanted it to. Following the exact same strategy with Pi Music Player does not work.

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