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Every now and again, I ask HomePod to play something, and it replies with “Hmm, I'm having trouble playing that”, regardless of what I’ve asked it to play, or whether it’s in my library or not.

If I restart the HomePod (unplug it from power, and plug it back in), it works fine again. I don’t often ask it to play music; usually I just use it as an Airplay speaker for my Apple TV/iPhone/Mac.

Are there any known bugs that cause it to sometimes stop being able to play music?

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Aha — I think the solution to this is on Apple’s support forums: https://discussions.apple.com/message/33564794#33564794

In short, HomePod seems to be unable to play music directly when it was last used as an Airplay speaker for Apple TV.

I confirmed that this was what was happening by going into the Airplay screen on my iPhone (open Control Center, and force-press on the Airplay icon in the audio control widget). There was an area in there showing me that my HomePod was receiving audio from my Apple TV (even though I’d put my Apple TV to sleep). When I tapped that to stop HomePod playing audio from the Apple TV, HomePod was able to play music when I asked it to.

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  • I don’t experience this. Are you testing that it wasn’t just a network slowness or server being busy? Sometimes things resolve if there is an intermittent failure. What about making a cup of tea and then trying to see if that fixes it? – bmike Jun 7 '19 at 2:42
  • @bmike: okay — I've made the tea and poured it all over the HomePod, but it's still not playing anything. – Paul D. Waite Jun 7 '19 at 8:26
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    Now we know for sure no to recommend waiting for everyone or a tea : - ). I did try to reproduce your results at home and at work, so I figured I'd put out a comment instead of a conflicting answer to yours. – bmike Jun 7 '19 at 11:03
  • @bmike: ☕️ ➡️ 🔉⛔️ I'll re-test this evening to confirm, but I think the recent tvOS update that advanced the TV app fixed the issue. – Paul D. Waite Jun 7 '19 at 11:33
  • Awesome - this is exactly why we love to have versions in questions and answers. When it's a bug or feature - everyone will know not to try to reproduce something if we're on wildly different. I'm remiss as well - I didn't put versions in my comment – bmike Jun 7 '19 at 11:41

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