HomePod Siri: "Sorry there is a problem with Apple Music"

I have stereo Original Hompods as default audio output for an Apple TV 4K. A few tvOSs ago Siri music requests via the Homepods started misbehaving. It would respond to me but my partner got a response “Sorry there is a problem with Apple Music”. Online discussions over several years have reported a similar issue with no clear solution.
I tried changing the Homepod user settings in the Home app without success (other than the error started to occur for me!).

Eventually I went to Apple TV settings for Users & Accounts. My setting for “Recognise my voice” was turned off (despite Siri responding to me). My partner’s name was listed and “recognise my voice” was turned on but grayed out (She had made this setting in the Home app on her iOS device - under Home Settings).
Anyway I turned on “Recognise my voice” for myself. Suddenly Homepod Siri also started accepting her requests. Let’s see if it lasts!

So… it seems that the Primary User must have “Recognise my voice” turned on for the Apple TV in order for other (listed) users to be recognised.

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The problem re-emerged after an OS update. This time my partner was told she needed to accept the T &Cs on all Apple devices. Not a very helpful demand!
Eventually I found that the issue was to do with the Homepods being default audio output for an Apple TV. Every user of the ATV needs to switch to their profile then launch the Music app. After accepting the splash screens on the ATV the Homepods should start to obey requests from that person.

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Understandable that each user would need to accept updated T&Cs, but really annoying, obnoxious, and, quite frankly, kinda stupid that the HomePod can’t at least tell you which device it needs you to do something with. So much for “smart” speaker.

That sort of thing is one of the primary reasons I still have no interest in getting a “smart speaker”. There’s nothing I can do with one that I can’t do just as readily, and with less risk of confusion and better feedback, from one of my other devices. I don’t use any “smart home” devices either except a smart thermostat, which I can also easily access from my phone.

It probably makes a difference that I don’t use voice control on pretty much anything. Having to say aloud what I want a device to do, and word it correctly, just annoys me. I don’t even use Siri to get information; nine times out of ten I’ll find exactly what I want to know via a quick Wikipedia or DDG search, without having to actually formulate a complete sentence. The only times I use voice control on my iPhone are to control my music when I’m in the shower or when I’m driving my car (which, unlike my spouse’s car, doesn’t have steering-mounted audio controls). Otherwise, I’d rather deal with visual and tactile controls for just about everything.

Am I in a minority here on eschewing “smart speakers” and voice control?

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After updating my phone, and then the Home app, a Homepod mini disappeared from our main Home. After trying lots of different things the only solution was to reset it and start from scratch.

I’m not a fan of HomePod minis: too many issues and not good enough to warrant the struggle to make them work.

I have a stereo pair of HomePod Minis and had this problem recently when I requested (via Siri) music from a specifc artist. I tried several times over a day or so and always got the same “problem with apple music “ result until I asked Siri to play something else, I think it was either a better known artist or “my favourites” playlist. After this the HomePods seem to get talking to Apple Music and will now play anything, including the music they refused to play a few days back. :man_shrugging:

Well, avoiding voice control pretty much eliminates the primary reason smart speakers exist. :slight_smile: Ever since getting HomePods and going all in on HomeKit, we use voice control many, many times every day. Overall, it has been life-changing, but the number of commands we issue means that the raw number of failures becomes more noticeable.

When I’ve had a choice, I’ve always chosen Sonos speakers / equipment (I have 7 in two houses now) that didn’t have microphones. But I do have two now that I had no choice - they only come with microphones- but I have the voice control turned off. We use the Sonos app, hardware controls, or the occasional AirPlay to play music on our speakers. We have no Amazon echo, HomePod, or Google [whatever Google calls their home devices now] at all.

I’ve tried and tried to use various speech recognition systems over the years. Accuracy has rarely been a problem, but it just somehow isn’t natural for me to ask for things out loud – even with family or employees. I’m much more comfortable putting things in writing. When I started in medicine, dictation was king and I couldn’t stand it. I would type my notes whenever possible and in (the surprising number of) places where dictation was the only option, I would often type my notes and read them into the dictation system.

I doubt that this phobia of spoken commands (conversation, OTOH, doesn’t present any problems) is common, but it certainly exists.

My “solution” worked fine for a few hours. But then the Homepods stopped responding to anything, including tapping the top.

I suspect this is associated with the Apple TV ( to which they are default output) going to sleep.

Anyway I tried resetting the OG Homepods. One reset from the Home app on my iPad. The other needed to be unplugged and manually reset:

After setting them up again and making them default output for the Apple TV everything seems to be working again, including music requests from my wife. But maybe the Apple TV needs to be awake for them to respond (an experiment for later).

Interesting that they automatically updated to 17.4 during the process.

It seems that Homepods do need to be reset once in a while - maybe digital crud builds up? :sunglasses:

Our experience has been Siri fails to deliver so often the frustration stops us from continuing. Things like Weather and Stock prices work OK but I get more reliable, expansive information looking at my phone or watch.

Music is the big failing for me. Siri simply refuses to play what we ask for. The problem may be less Siri and more Apple Music but we don’t use the Homepods for music unless we specifically Airplay from another device.

We almost never use Siri for information of any sort, not because the commands will fail, but because receiving the information out load generally isn’t as useful as looking at weather forecast on the phone, for instance.

Every now and then Siri will get something really, really wrong, which is annoying (why is that all mistakes end up playing music I hate?), but it’s very uncommon. I ask for music multiple times per day every day, even often from the iPhone while riding on the bike, the vast majority of those requests succeed.

I generally use Siri for things like this because I’m usually doing something else at the time. For instance, when I’m getting out of the shower (and therefore don’t have my phone on my person), I can just say “Hey Siri, what’s the weather?” and usually get a good-enough answer.

And Siri says “wet”! :grin: