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Pixies apologize for sabotaging your Google Assistant alarm

Don't ask Assistant to play "Where Is My Mind?" if you want to wake up on time.

Sam Rutherford/Engadget

For the last few years, you’ve been able to say “Stop” to tell Google Assistant to end an alarm early without the need to preface your command with “Hey Google.” It’s a handy feature Google first debuted on Assistant-enabled smart displays and speakers before later rolling it out to Pixel smartphones. And for the most part, it works like a charm, though one person recently discovered a fun quirk of the feature that involves the Pixies classic “Where Is My Mind?”

In a Reddit post spotted by Android Police, Pixel user “asevarte” recounts how their morning alarm would go off and sometimes turn off moments later for seemingly no reason. “Maybe once every other week or so, I would wake up 30 minutes later on my backup alarm, with no indication as to why the first shut itself off,” they told the Google Pixel subreddit.

Earlier this week, asevarte decided to wake up early to get to the bottom of the issue. Thankfully, it didn’t take long to find the culprit. Their alarm was set to play a Spotify playlist that features “Where Is My Mind?” If you’re a Pixies fan, you know exactly where this is going. The Surfer Rosa cut opens with bassist and vocalist Kim Deal singing “Ooh” before frontman Black Francis says, “Stop,” and the song, following a brief pause, then continues. The section caused Google Assistant to prematurely end asevarte’s alarm. They had the playlist set to shuffle, which is what made identifying the bug tricky.

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Android Police recorded a video of the oversight in action, and sure enough, playing “Where Is My Mind?” ends an alarm early. Interestingly, other songs that feature a prominent “stop,” such as “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen, don’t appear to trigger Assistant’s Quick Phrases feature in the same way that “Where Is My Mind?” does. Android Police speculates the reason for that could be that in those other songs “stop” is backed by instrumentals. That lines up with complaints Assistant users have had over the years that the feature doesn’t work when they try to use it while their smart display, speaker or Pixel device is playing music.

If you’re curious about what the Pixies think of all this. The band’s official Twitter account caught the original Android Police story. “Sorry about that!” the account tweeted.