Being sick with a head cold, I took a few hours to play with the Pi and do something Alexa like. I've been trying to get an Alexa project in - but time isn't my friend at this time.
Installing everything I needed on the Pi took a couple hours. It, for the most part, went without a hitch. However, there are some things that irritate me.
The instruction on getting tightvncserver persisted doesn't work for me. For whatever reason, I need to start it each time I boot my Pi, (and also I did not set the maven environment variables in a startup script, so I need to do this every time I make a shell).
The java installer script is broken. lsb was not installed on my Pi. I went to get it, and then though it is Wheezy, the version code wrong. So - comment out the first few lines to check the version and I updated Java okay.
The AYL speaker I bought makes a TON of noise when the USB power is plugged into the Pi. I figure its drawing too much amperage given the connection I had to the USB on the computer I use. I didn't retry it on a wall charger.
Even though I said yes to Amazon Music, I gather their is a permission step from Amazon they might not be willing to grant for hackers such as myself - even though I have Prime and active Amazon Music subscription! Grrr.
But at least now I have a base to play with. The companion server (node js) and the sample java client both work as documented. Note, you do not need a wake word, just give the command once you click the start button.