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Sonos in Car


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I have 700 songs on my Sonos playlist. It’s a shame I can’t use my own playlist in my car! Why does Sonos have no product like this one?

 

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_158XAV7000/Sony-XAV-AX7000.html?mfr=XAV-AX7000&fromlanding=1

 

Either Sonos finds a way to allow people to use their playlist everywhere they go, or people will just switch to something else. It’s a great system and I truly love Sonos, but a lot of my time is spent in the car and I’m not going to maintain two different playlists.


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So your suggesting a wifi based, hardware based speaker system should be portable? I'm not sure that's what many people bought their Sonis system for.

You have plenty of alternatives. Set up a NAS, use Plex and your music is available wherever you go, as long as your NAS is on.

Use Spotify.

Use iTunes for your playlists.

But don't expect Sonos to become am external streaming service.

The Sonos app is a remote control, and doesn’t play music at all.  Playlists are stored on the Sonos speakers, not the app.  

Never going to happen. The suggestion that this will have any impact on sales of Sonos' networked home audio system is unconvincing,  to put it politely. .

 

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You can export your Sonos playlists (eg using my app) then convert them into whichever format your head unit requires (probably m3u). Of course that assumes the head unit can access wherever your music is (not gonna work if its on a NAS).

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You can tell me all you want that the playlist is just a remote control for home-based hardware. That’s perfectly fine. I get that. And I’m telling you that I should be able to get in my car, open up my same playlist, and play the same songs in my car. I don’t want to maintain two different playlists. Obviously I can just use Spotify or Napster or whatever in the car -- using two different playlists -- and that’s the whole problem. 

 

My Sonos playlist pulls songs from Napster, Amazon Music, Google Music, and my own Microsoft One Drive. There is no Napster or Spotify equivalent. So it’s not that simple anyway.

 

Think what you want, but in the future people will use whatever system works everywhere, i.e., works both at home and in the car. For a fee why not just sell me something that will make my Sonos playlist work in the car? I’ll pay it.

 

If Sonos wants to live in the past they can. But I’m just going to seek out a solution where my playlist works both at home and on the road. Eventually I will find a solution I assure you. I’d rather that solution be Sonos. But if it’s not, it’s not.

 

I’m tired of maintaining a playlist that doesn’t work anywhere but home. There’s a great opportunity here for Sonos to get involved in car audio. If they don’t see that, it’s their loss.

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I’m tired of maintaining a playlist that doesn’t work anywhere but home. There’s a great opportunity here for Sonos to get involved in car audio. If they don’t see that, it’s their loss.

 

Are you asking for a Sonos sound system running off 12V that can be installed in cars (which I would assume needs both a Sonos Head Unit and Sonos speakers in order to meet Sonos’ sound quality demands), or just some kind of “portable playlist” that is recognised by multiple equipment manufacturers including Sonos?

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I would like to get in my car, open my Sonos app, and play my playlist. It’s that simple. They could easily just open up a bluetooth connection through the app. That alone would solve it.

 

The idea that playlists are stored on Sonos devices and therefore this can’t work is of course ridiculous. The app can easily capture the playlist and it would be simple to use the playlist in the car. If they do that, now the multiple Internet-based sources I store music on can now pull into the car. Obviously any local sources would not work while mobile. But, nobody has to store a song on their own home computer. Very easy to just move it to One Drive, Amazon Music, Google Music, or a whole variety of Internet-based cloud storage.

 

The reality is, my Sonos playlist only works at home. Can’t take it on vacation. Can’t play it in the car. Can’t take it to the cabin. Can’t plug it in at Hot Tub Gardens. Etc. I want to use the same playlist everywhere.

Sonos actually has the best app I’ve ever seen, allowing music to be pulled from multiple sources. It’s brilliant. It’s just not mobile. And that’s a problem. A competitor absolutely will make a system that’s more universal if Sonos doesn’t. Mark my words. Sonos can lead the way and extend their great technology to mobile if they want to. Doing so will attract new customers and keep current customers like me. I'd prefer to stay with Sonos. But, I will seek the first system that gives me a playlist pulling from multiple sources that works everywhere. It only makes sense.

I’m not going to stop using Sonos boxes and/or speakers in my home just because I can now play my playlist in the car. The ability to play my playlist in the car would not have caused me to purchase one less physical component. At the end of the day I prefer the high-quality wifi sound and convience at home. But I’d happily settle for a bluetooth connection in the car vs. having the entire app not work. Sell me a box I can plug in through USB in the car if you have to. I’ll buy it. I just want something that works.

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Why not just split up your Sonos playlist into a playlist for each music service? Those playlists will work in the car just fine via their respective apps, and they will work just fine on your Sonos at home as well. Plus they will keep in sync without any effort in your part.

Bonus feature: they also work in your pocket when you are at the beach, away from car and home.

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Well, because that’s an awful idea. Just being frank. I appreciate the suggestion though.

 

Yes, I could go into my Playlist and split all of the different sources into different lists with considerable effort. Then I would have to maintain my main Sonos playlists plus all of these sub lists at each music source separately forever. What a disaster.

Furthermore, now I can’t just have a single playlist of what I want. If I have 4 music sources, there’s no way to make a playlist that pulls from all of them. I’m stuck running up one app at a time. Just try doing that while driving 500 miles across the country. It’s ridiculously inconvenient.

Do you know of any mobile playlist app where you can build a single playlist that pulls from Google Music, Amazon Music, Microsoft One Drive, Napster, Spotify, etc.? It would be great if all of my 700+ songs existed all in one place, but they do not. If no such app exists, then IMHO Sonos should be that app. I absolutely love the Sonos app. But it’s completely worthless the moment I step foot out of the house. Sonos needs to have a mobile option, or again somebody else will. Some third party app may already exist and I just don’t know about it. Who knows.

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By the way, if I did your suggestion above it’s even worse than I thought. Now even at home I can’t have a single playlist that has everything on it that I want. Now even at home I’d have to go through multiple playlists to play everything, not to mention have to remember what playlist each and every song is on because they can no longer be on one. What a nightmare.

Right now I can just pull up the playlist I want and I know what’s on there regardless of where the song is hosted. I just can’t take it with me. It’s a huge problem. Maybe I’m unique and all other Sonos users just use the Sonos app at home and don't care that it doesn’t work anywhere else they go. 

As you probably know, it’s a ton of work just to keep one Sonos playlist current let alone many. Places like Napster move songs around and the song on the Sonos playlist just breaks, giving the round CD icon which means the song is no longer connected. Happens all the time, and takes considerable effort each time to figure out where the song moved and get it reconnected. With this constant pain in the rear always being present, it’s hard to imagine adding even more playlists to the mix now. One playlist needs to work everywhere. That should be obvious. Again just MHO. Multiple playlists for multiple devices just isn’t practical. Thanks for your response.

Fulfilling your request would require storing the actual music files on an usb stick or a portable HDD. No way the rightholders behind the various music services are going to grant this approach. Even today the Sonos controller isn’t able to read and play the encrypted music files you may have downloaded from Napster, Amazon Music, Google Music onto your phone for copyright reasons.

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I’ve never had that problem in my life with the Sonos controller. Everything has worked flawlessly.

 

I clearly don’t understand this at your level, but probably 90% of my stuff is pulling from normal places like Napster and Spotify. Couldn’t those services be used since that’s the underlying source doing the streaming anyway? I don’t get what the dif would be. 

 

Just curious, let’s say 100% of my songs are just on Spotify and Napster. Is it against some sort of licensing requirement to play those same Spotify and Napster songs I can play at home through bluetooth in my car using the same Sonos app? If it’s not, you might ask me why don’t I simply use Spotify and Napster apps in the car. And again yes that would work, but now I’m maintaining multiple playlists and I’m further never able to have everything I want on a single playlist in a single app.

 

Maybe there’s a valid licensing reason why this cannot be done as you’ve suggested. If there is that’s a real shame. At some point I swear I’m likely just to go purchase an mp3 of every single song, stick them all on the One Drive, and call it a day. If I do that I can now use a single playlist at home and a single playlist on the road.

The down side? That will cost me roughly $1,000 to purchase all of those songs, plus I’ll no longer be able to play anything I haven’t purchased. If I have to purchase and own all songs just to be able to make a playlist that works both at home and mobile, there’s no reason to keep subscribing to a monthly streaming service. 

I’ve never had that problem in my life with the Sonos controller. Everything has worked flawlessly.

 

A playlist is just a text file pointing to the actual music files. The Sonos controller is just that, a remote control. When you load a Sonos playlist into the queue a particular speaker goes out fetching the requested tracks directly from the source(s), meaning the music is being streamed over internet from your Napster, Amazon Music and Google Music account(s).

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Ok. Is there a reason the app could not do this same thing using Bluetooth in a car? Or is Sonos concerned enabling that will hurt hardware sales? Either answer is fine with me. I’m just wondering if it’s an actual technical issue, a licensing issue, or a company strategy issue. Thank you.

Ok. Is there a reason the app could not do this same thing using Bluetooth in a car? Or is Sonos concerned enabling that will hurt hardware sales? Either answer is fine with me. I’m just wondering if it’s an actual technical issue, a licensing issue, or a company strategy issue. Thank you.

The Sonos app is incapable of playing music because it is just a remote control. It doesn't have the playlist stored on it. Sonos is designed as an integrated home networked music system. The app has its role and the speakers have their role.  The app without the speakers is like a TV remote without a TV.  Your request makes absolutely no sense.

 

Do you expect to take your TV remote in the car and get it to play movies for you?

My suggestion would be to build playlists in Spotify. You can play those on Sonos or in the car using the Spotify music player app.

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No, of course I do not expect to take my tv remote in the car and play movies. Of course that’s a false equivalence. Your Spotify suggestion, while certainly valid, does not address the problem I’m having whatsoever. Trust me eventually somebody will address it. It can or can not be Sonos. In the future we’ll all have to pick whatever the best solution is for our own needs. If Sonos thinks there’s no mobile opportunity here I think they’re crazy. Just MHO. I have am amazing Sonos system in both my home and office. At each place I use the same playlist. I cannot use that playlist in the car. A shame.

I would urge you to continue to look into the method by which Sonos works.

Any car that could have a Sonos system in it would need an internet connection. Very few do, which is probably why Sonos hasn’t chosen to put their speakers in an automobile.

Unfortunately, just putting the controller into a head unit wouldn’t be enough, since the “player” is the computer in each Sonos speaker. The controller just acts as a remote control for the computer and application running on each speaker. 

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Most people subscribe to a single music service, so for them it makes most sense to create playlists for that music service. They can then play them anywhere they like, including their car, their home, and the beach.

The OP appears to subscribe to multiple services, and wants the service-spanning-playlist feature that is unique to Sonos to work in other devices. Having a playlist for each service is not acceptable to the OP apparently (works fine for me and means I don’t have to have special hardware in every vehicle, just my phone).

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You’ve made the assumption most people subscribe to 1 service and don’t pull songs from multiple places onto 1 Sonos playlist. You’re probably quite right. I likely use the app in a much more advanced way than most. I have things such as my own recordings uploaded to Amazon Music or Google music that don’t exist on any streaming service. Certainly can’t play those in the car.

 

Anyway, it’s clear you’re not going to create a Sonos mobile system. You could have sold a box that plugs into car USB. Many would buy it. I think you’re short sighted having no mobile solution at all. Again though, I suspect my needs are unique most. I’ll find a solution eventually that pulls songs from any host into one mobile playlist. Thanks for your answers.

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Anyway, it’s clear you’re not going to create a Sonos mobile system. You could have sold a box that plugs into car USB. Many would buy it. I think you’re short sighted having no mobile solution at all. Again though, I suspect my needs are unique most. 

 

Haven’t you just contradicted yourself: you say many would buy it, and yet your needs are unique. Certainly, I agree demand would seem to be very low for such a capability, and this may be a factor in Sonos or anyone else developing such a product. It may also be challenging to get a format that is supported by multiple manufacturers.

Just need to point something out to you.  Your last post said ‘it’s clear you’re not going to create a Sonos mobile system’.  That is most definitely true, as all those who have contributed to this discussion are Sonos users, and not connected in any way to Sonos.

Your suggestion that the TV remote was an inappropriate analogy shows that you still haven’t grasped why your request is so at odds with the nature and design of the Sonos system.

If Sonos ever go under, it won’t be for lack of the ability to provide music in a car, when there are simple ways, complementary to Sonos, to do so.

While I would love to see Sonos in a car, there’s a couple issues with it that haven’t been mentioned yet.  The biggest one is that I imagine most streaming services would not be ok with the Sonos app being an actual music player for their service, as a different option for their own app.  I wouldn’t be surprised if there are contracts in place to actually prevent that.  Sirius XM, for example doesn’t want you to play through their Sonos app, and not their own with limited services (or their ability to add features) and easily consider other options.  Sirius XM added some new stations a while back, which were on their app but not available on Sonos.  Not sure if that ever got added.

Perhaps a related example, you can play Spotify through Alexa voice, and you can use those services on your phone while mobile.  But you can’t play Spotify through voice on your phone.  That could be Amazon’s restrictions, but regardless it doesn’t happen.

 

The other big point I didn’t see mentioned is that it’s hard to imagine Sonos can monetize a mobile app.  Will they be able to charge a fee for it?  Can it be ad driven?  Are people going to to pay or want ads to accept content they have already paid for?  Will such a feature bring in more customers?

If a Sonos mobile app does happen, I suspect it would be just their new radio stations, since it’s not duplicating an existing service, and it’s ad revenue driven already. 

Would Sonos ever get into selling hardware for vehicles?  It seems like they still have a ton of growth potential in the home market already.  Perhaps years from now, or if some automaker made them a deal they can’t refuse, but seems unlikely

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It looks to me like he is willing to buy a new class of Sonos hardware.  Perhaps it would be called the Car-Port?

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Just to explore this thought.…

With a lot of IT-talent (that I do not have) and without Sonos support maybe this can be done by:

  • having a wifi network in your car that’s connected via 4G to the outside world;
  • keeping this car network a part of your home network (VPN?); and
  • connecting a Port to your car stereo; and
  • connecting your phone (with Sonos app) to your car wifi.

This way the Port in your car keeps being part of the Sonos network in your home - it won’t know that your gone. It could controlled via the app like any Sonos, including being able to use the playlists the like OP wants to. You would have to be on a scheme with lots of GB’s.

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