In general I find if you are precise in what you ask for and it can hear you properly, then it is fairly good with the limits of skills that various companies produce for their equipment. The biggest problem I find if that often the skills (3rd party) themselves leave a lot to be desired and are often poorly implemented and/or very limited.
I personally use it a lot in my home for control numerous devices including basic control of Roon via Harmony. Also ask Alexa alot of general stuff which is where I am find it most useful. For eg, I cant remember a track, but I know the artist and which decade or rough range of years of release - I can ask alexa a simple qualified question include such contraints and usually it get me the answer I want. I just tried ‘tell me a song by rhianna and emimem released 10 years ago’ - it gave me the correct result - love the way you lie. Another - Cant remember an old track by p!nk, so I ask tell me a song by pink released about 20 years ago - got correct answer - get the party started from 2001.
These are just a couple of examples, but I use these kind of more complex queries alot with Alexa before typing a more specific query into Roon to hopefully get a meaningful search result out of it instead of nothing or lots of rubbish.
When you have this kind of query capability in the background, then having the direct play skills in Roon starts, a well implement voice skill could be very useful indeed. Of course, if you have a voice it can understand in an environment in which it can hear you clear - which tends to be a problem when you combine a non-alexa based playback with alexa trying to understand you because it cant dim/mute the music after the wake word.
I also know people who seem to really struggle to do anything with Alexa at all - I guess I am lucky with fairly accentless (southern england) english being my native language, so it understands me quite well and more so since voice imprinting it so it specifically recognises me.
I should think there would be a huge ongoing burden for implementing fully integrated Alexa search into Roon - all the metabase from Tidal and Qobuz would probably need to be uploaded to Amazon to be searchable and additionally what to do about additional content on user’s local storage especially (as an extreme example) a unique dubplate that was handed to me by the original artist back in my DJing days and subsequently ripped to digital, or my own produced music I have in Roon etc. These uploads will also mostly likely demand updated agreements with Tidal an Qobuz to cover the additional metadata usage.
Then what level of integration? Transport and now playing display on show devices only (which is what I initially wanted to do)? What levels of search? Auto dim/mute on wake word? (not even sure this is possible except when playing via an alexa device). Do you support alexa device playback and thus have to provide and internet accessible stream (which really is the domain of a mobile access project). Some of these could not be separated in the Alexa SDK, but hopefully that has changed by now.
It seem that there a huge amount of work involved, a lot of ongoing support and new infrastructure required and probablly new business agreements etc depending on the level of integration carried out. This has to be balanced against that some users already have at least some basic transport voice control available (via harmony and deep harmony in my case). While I do have this, it is somewhat let down by the Alexa harmony skills that I just do not find reliable along with the problem of Alexa hearing me while music is playing that it cant dim/mute which in the end is the real killer. If it cant hear me - then everything else is pointless.
I really want to see this, but I am still not sure that a good user experience on Roon’s terms is fully possible so I can fully understand the lack of it. Of course I havn’t looked at the Alexa SDK for a few years now, so maybe it has improved some more.
My biggest issue however with Alexa is some skills I want are US only - Tidal for eg.