Tell Me About Using A Smart Speaker


Listening to news, music and other programs offered by WSKG and WSKG Classical on your Alexa-device is easy, if you remember the magic words, “Alexa, open the WSKG Skill.” Then the smart speaker will talk you through the process.

That’s the easiest option, but when listening on an Alexa-device, there are alternatives.

You can simply ask for NPR and, assuming you’re in our neighborhood, Alexa will automatically air WSKG. When you’re traveling, it’s a bit harder. The NPR Alexa skill matches your location up with the nearest public radio station.

You can just ask Alexa to broadcast WSKG. It will automatically link you to the WSKG and WSKG Classical streams, using either the NPR, TuneIn or iHeart skills. You won’t need to load those skills. They come pre-programmed into your Alexa device.

Besides listening to live music and news programs on WSKG and WSKG Classical, you’ll also find recent episodes of the public radio programs that we air. That means you can listen to them at your convenience.

At Your Convenience

Smart speakers don’t just make a worldwide variety of live radio streams available with a simple voice command. A listener can instantly request a specific show, such as Free Range Folk from WSKG, By Special Invitation from WSKG, Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me and Live From Here. Not all of WSKG’s radio programs are yet available on-demand, but the list’s growing. You can see it in red.

Nice Little Feature

Alexa offers a service that may be very convenient; it’s called a “Flash Briefing.” Using your Alexa phone app, you can customize a “Flash Briefing” with the news you choose. The menu is found under “Settings”, in the “Alexa Preferences” category. Find “Flash Briefing” and search there for “Add Content.”

After selecting your content, Alexa will play your list with a single, simple command, “Alexa, play my Flash Briefing.” If no new content is available, Alexa will skip over it. However, it’s a great way to quickly find out, at your convenience, what’s happening from the sources that you rely upon.

An Alexa device also comes with a built-in “sleep” switch and a “clock radio.” When listening to WSKG or WSKG Classical, you can ask Alexa to shut off the music in two-hours (or in 20-minutes or at 11:00 pm). Likewise, you can tell Alexa that you’d like to wake up weekdays to WSKG. It’ll ask for a time and then confirm your instructions. Alarms can also be set in Alexa’s phone app.

Be Patient

Smart speakers are improving but imperfect. They can learn, but they still don’t always properly interpret your instructions. Plus, they occasionally offer a wrong response.

For example, they occasionally cannot hear a command. Usually this happens when another voice can be heard in the room. For example, Alexa might not be able to hear you over the sound of a WSKG newscast that it is playing.  It’s programmed to listen for the human voice. The best solution is to get close to the device, either turn it down or loudly order it to “stop.”  Then you’re free to give it another command.

Remember these devices are always connected to the internet, always searching for data and they’re constantly upgraded by the makers. As a result, the number of “skills” or programs offered by WSKG via smart speakers will likely grow, and listening to WSKG on your smart speaker should grow easier as the technology matures.

Alternative To Smart Speakers: WSKG’s Web Streams

Listeners can also find our program streams at our website, Folks with systems that are incompatible with the standard player on their computers may find the following advanced options useful:

High Stream (64 kbps) for Faster Bandwidth and Wifi


Low Stream (32 kbps) for Slower Bandwidth and Mobile


WSKG Classical (96 kbps)