NCBI Smart Hub Tutorial – Part Two – Podcasts

NCBI service users ex Rose of Tralee Aine Sullivan and comedian Robbie Ford standing face to face and laughing in front of a black and glowing blue background at the launch of myNCBI Smart Hub

Welcome to part two of the myNCBI Smart Hub Tutorial blogs. In these blogs, we will outline how you can make the most of your experience using the myNCBI Smart Hub. At the start of each of these blogs, we will remind you how to get the Smart Hub fired up on your smart speaker, such as an Amazon Alexa device or a Google Nest device.

How do I get started?

To launch the Smart Hub skill simply begin with the command that engaged your smart speaker whether this be ‘Alexa’ or ‘Hey, Google’.

For example, you can said: “Alexa, talk to myNCBI” or “Alexa, speak to myNCBI” or some variation of this command.

Once the skill has launched, you will hear the main options menu which lists the information you can access.

The skill provides information on the following topics:

  • NCBI Core Services
  • NCBI Additional Services
  • Sight Loss Conditions
  • NCBI Labs Services
  • Advocacy

In this blog we will focus on accessing NCBI’s Library of Podcasts through the Smart Hub.


In part one of the myNCBI SmartHub tutorial blogs, we wrote about how you can learn about various sight loss conditions. This time around, we’re delving into the world of NCBI’s podcast library.

If you didn’t already know, we currently record and publish the informative NCBI Podcast periodically throughout the year, and NCBI Labs records their own technology podcast called Talking Technology.

Both podcasts can be found within the myNCBI Smart Hub skill once you have launched it. Once the skill is launched you can beckon your speaker and say “I’d like to listen to a podcast”. You can then choose which of the two podcasts you’d like to listen to, and the latest episode will start playing. You can also use any of the following media controls to pause, stop or change episode:

  • To pause the audio tell your speaker to “pause” or “stop”
  • To start the podcast from the beginning tell your speaker to “start over”
  • To play the next episode in the list of podcasts tell your speaker to “play next”, “next audio” or “next episode”
  • To play the previous episode in the list of podcasts tell your speaker “play previous”, “previous audio”, “previous episode”

NCBI Live is Ireland’s first online radio station for blind and vision impaired listeners and it broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It draws on the best of NCBI’s most recent audio content from the NCBI Podcast, Talking Technology podcast and Advocacy Talks and more . NCBI Live can also be accessed through the Smart Hub by asking your speaker to ‘play NCBI Live’.

A short video below also goes through the process of activating the Smart Hub to learn about how to access NCBI podcasts.