Disable autoplay in Amazon Alexa in Linux

What was the issue?

I got an Amazon Alexa as a gift, and it was lying around (no one found it interesting at home). I heard that you could use it as a bluetooth speaker, which seemed like a good thing to me. (Laptop’s speakers have started to show it’s age). The weird issue was Alexa would trying to keep on playing stuff, even after I paused it. I believe that the MPRIS protocol1 and the Bluetooth Remote Control policies, allowed the device to control the media on it’s own. So, even if I pause something on my laptop, it would continue playing after a while, which is terrible.

How did I fix this?

  • Tried to put Alexa in microphone off mode (wondering that maybe that is what triggers the autoplay)
  • Tried to play around with bluetoothctl to disable the relevant control UUIDs (Gave up; was getting too complicated)
  • Tried a solution from the wiki2, since I didn’t really require to control my media (via the device itself), I went ahead and disabled avrcp, which managed to stop the weird behaviour.

So, the solution is to disable the avrcp plugin in the bluetooth.service

  1. Edit the bluetooth.service with sudo systemctl edit --full bluetooth.service

  2. Change the ExecStart=/usr/lib/bluetooth/bluetoothd to ExecStart=/usr/lib/bluetooth/bluetoothd --noplugin=avrcp

  3. Restart the service!

    That should be it! If it doesn’t work out, feel free to contact me and let’s try to get to the bottom of this?

  1. https://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Specifications/mpris-spec/ ↩︎

  2. https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Bluetooth_headset#Apple_AirPods_have_low_volume ↩︎

Not AI generated