Alexa and music services

  • 4 October 2017
  • 47 replies
  • 10154 views

Userlevel 6
Badge +6
Ok — the news is still fresh and I havent even had time to try any of this. But reading the news blogs it appears the sonos/alexa integration currently works with Tunein and Amazon Prime / Unlimited only. So no Spotify (yet), Deezer, Todal and no localally stored music.

Ok, this is all well and good. But the obvious question then is if Amazon music offers no high quality service (320bps i believe) what benefit is there in there in having Sonos equipment over Echo equipment?? I guess we bought into Sonos due to its superior audio, and for my part my local music is lossless and my streaming service is Deezer hifi. It seems. If I want to use voice control I’m now limited to MP3 quality. Can anyone confirm this ?

Regards
Andrew

This topic has been closed for further comments. You can use the search bar to find a similar topic, or create a new one by clicking Create Topic at the top of the page.

47 replies

I haven’t read the release, but my understanding is that it certainly works with not only Amazon, but Pandora, TuneIn, and local music. I think you may be misinterpreting the info. Install and test!
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
I haven’t read the release, but my understanding is that it certainly works with not only Amazon, but Pandora, TuneIn, and local music. I think you may be misinterpreting the info. Install and test!

Just adding to this, you can also start music from your Sonos app from any service, and use Alexa for volume and playback commands like skip and previous.
Userlevel 5
Badge +3
I can't answer your specifics on what works today, as I haven't had a chance to try it out.

But the obvious question then is if Amazon music offers no high quality service (320bps i believe) what benefit is there in there in having Sonos equipment over Echo equipment??

Right, so none of your features have gone away. Everything that Sonos did for you remains the same. Today the new offering has limited services supported, but there's every reason to believe it will grow.

If I want to use voice control I’m now limited to MP3 quality.

That's a misuse of "MP3". FWIW- Amazon streams at 256Kbps, unless that's changed recently.
Userlevel 6
Badge +6
Hi Bruce, thanks for your reply. You may be right and I confess I’m being a little premature — I have scoured the news releases but they are pretty useless.

However, Sonos’s own website says ‘you can start music and control the sound using you voice when listening to Amazon and Tunein. Or start any other service with your app and use your voice to skip, replay, adjust volune’.

So that sounds disheartenaly descriptive. I need my app to start any high quality music even if I can use my voice to skip tracks. Very very happy to be proved wrong here ..... ! (Still can’t wait to get home to try it).

Regards
Andrew
Badge
I should have known that integration with the Echo would push us to Amazon. Really over all this...early adopters always get screwed in the end. We really shouldn't have to open a different music service from the app just to play music. Shame on you Sonos!
Userlevel 5
Badge +3
I should have known that integration with the Echo would push us to Amazon. Really over all this...early adopters always get screwed in the end. We really shouldn't have to open a different music service from the app just to play music. Shame on you Sonos!
You're being melodramatic.

The connection with Alexa makes these services immediately available:
Amazon Music, Amazon Music Unlimited, Pandora, iHeartRadio, SiriusXM, TuneIn Radio

Spotify is coming too.

You need to understand that Sonos doesn't have the ability to do whatever they want with these ecosystems. I'd recommend you read the Wired article I linked to elsewhere, it should be good for a non-technical person like yourself.

Sonos doesn't want to nor could they compete with Amazon/Google/Apple in the smart assistance space. The attempt to interface with all of them is literally the only feasible play, and that does mean you'll be restricted to what functionality each individual ecosystem brings with it*.

*to a degree - the possibility of controlling the Sonos gear with specialized triggers pushed down from the cloud isn't far-fetched, but it's not surprising, as you say, that it didn't launch this way.
Userlevel 6
Badge +6
Hi — I’m not denigrating any of the good work Sonos has done, so I’m not complaining. And I really am agnostic as to what streaming service I use. — I have tried a few different ones in the past. But none of the services listed (that are available here in the UK anyway) are what I would call high quality. Which — to a small degree anyway, negates spending the extra money on Sonos !!! I’m not panicking and I’m not throwing in the towel. I just want wish there was a good quality lossless service included — that’s all.

Anyway, not wanting a bun fight on this — let’s enjoy the music !!
Andrew
Badge
Considering this was promised over a year ago and when they finally roll it out (in beta nonetheless) not having 2 of the largest music services (Spotify and Apple Music) is ridiculous. But don't bother replying as you clearly like to make assumptions about people who you know nothing about. I've been in IT for over 30 years and am hardly a "non-technical" person. Which is ludicrous because not supporting Spotify with voice isn't a technical issue at all...like everything it's about $$$$.
Gee, only took an hour!

Never change Sonos users. Never change. :8

By the way, who had under 2 hours in the pool? Was it me?
Considering this was promised over a year ago and when they finally roll it out (in beta nonetheless) not having 2 of the largest music services (Spotify and Apple Music) is ridiculous. But don't bother replying as you clearly like to make assumptions about people who you know nothing about. I've been in IT for over 30 years and am hardly a "non-technical" person. Which is ludicrous because not supporting Spotify with voice isn't a technical issue at all...like everything it's about $$$$.

It's a full release, not beta. Only the Alexa skill is beta. Spotify has said it will be integrating with Alexa soon, so is definitely coming.

$$$$ for whom? Sonos doesn't get paid by any of the music services, who are all operating at a loss right now. You clearly have no idea what you're talking about.
Badge
Nice parsing...public beta only means the voice part..which is what everyone has been waiting on for over a year. Look I'm a huge Sonos fan..and I've spend thousands of dollars on their equipment. That being said it's disappointing always playing the waiting game. And you are the one who doesn't know what they're talking about if you don't see that some sort of deal was worked out between Amazon and Sonos which gives Prime Music exclusivity for a period of time. How naive are you? Yes Spotify will come...but by the time it does maybe some of us who have been hear from the beginning will have moved on to Google or Apple. Thank god for competition.
Badge
Hey jgatie I fixed your quote for you:

"Never change Sonos CUSTOMERS. Never change."
Sigh
Userlevel 5
Badge +3
I have to say im quite underwhelmed with this.

No spotify, and no way to group, ungroup or transfer whats playing to another speaker/room.

These functions are available in the homebrew amazon app posted in forums, so i was hoping that after waiting almost 10 months into 2017 that sonos would have launched with at least this basic functionality. To launch without spotify is just ridiculous, though im guessing is more related to some form of commercial arrangement with amazon for a period of time.

Right now all i can do is start playing a radio station in the kitchen. If i want to group this with the utility room, then its back to using the phone.

The lack of functionality such as grouping and altering group volumes etc as well as missing spotify makes this very much a gimmick rather than anything more right now.
Badge
Sigh all you like. As someone who regularly has to restart the Sonos app when trying to play something from the Spotify app...and then hear dropouts between my 4 Play5's, 3 Play1's and Sub and Playbar I feel like I more than earned and paid for the right to gripe. And yes I've been through tech support many times. I've just accepted the limitations at this point..but now the constant waiting game for things like voice support and music services on top of everything else? Well it's enough to drive you to a competitor.
Sigh all you like. As someone who regularly has to restart the Sonos app when trying to play something from the Spotify app...and then hear dropouts between my 4 Play5's, 3 Play1's and Sub and Playbar I feel like I more than earned and paid for the right to gripe. And yes I've been through tech support many times. I've just accepted the limitations at this point..but now the constant waiting game for things like voice support and music services on top of everything else? Well it's enough to drive you to a competitor.

Lol. You have network issues. Mine NEVER suffer dropouts. No competition's product will help with your network issues.
Badge
Wow there is no way to group? Come on! What were you thinking Sonos development? It's bad enough that I have to group and ungroup every day when I play music (really makes me wish I had just bought a different sound bar from my television) but now to find out it's not a supported feature for voice? So how do you get Alexa to play the same music for all of your speakers if you can't group them? Oh let me guess..use the app.
Badge
Oh sure its my network. So glad some random stranger could fix my issue rather then the experts at Sonos.
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
Coop123 Why the negative stance. If course the launch would be with Amazon music, remember they are supplying the voice tech. Others services will follow. Not all the world revolves around apple yet...thankfully. BTW have you tried it yet?
Badge
No i will try it when I get home and will hopefully be pleasantly surprised well aside from having to open the app to start playing music. Look if Prime or any of the other launch services had similar features and catalog depth I'd consider switching. But they don't. So for the time being the voice support is relatively useless to many of us who have been waiting a long time for this functionality. Its disappointing.
Yawn. No need for the edit. You do not speak for Sonos customers. You are a poster. That's it. A poster who started complaining before even trying the new update. I take those types with a grain of salt the size of Wyoming, and so should Sonos.
Badge
I'm a customer who has spent over 4000 dollars on their products, I would hope Sonos would value me more than that. I don't really care what you think btw
Userlevel 6
Badge +9
I was looking forward to trying it all, but after going through a maze of updates, permission granting, Sonos logins, Amazon logins etc. here in Canada, it looks like Sonos is insisting on sending my requests to Canadian Amazon, where the API is not available. So, just as I was pondering the trickery of VPNs, remembering the password for a long-dormant US Amazon account, and getting all the iOS updates finished through my US Apple account, I noticed that the Alexa integration isn’t fully implemented in the streaming services I use most often. It’s in beta, I know, but I’m not going to bother until there is integration with Tidal and Deezer. I’ll have to do this again when I get back to Brasil and my other Sonos gear, anyway. I see users must play around with settings if they have more than one Sonos location.
And Audible? Did I miss something, or is that magic word absent from today’s news?
Userlevel 5
Badge +3
But don't bother replying as you clearly like to make assumptions about people who you know nothing about. I've been in IT for over 30 years and am hardly a "non-technical" person.

My apologies, I assumed any competent technical person would understand the concepts here, so I didn't want to insult you by suggesting you were not competent.

Gee, only took an hour!

Never change Sonos users. Never change. :8

By the way, who had under 2 hours in the pool? Was it me?

Everyone. It would be everyone who took the under.

Oh sure its my network. So glad some random stranger could fix my issue rather then the experts at Sonos.In fairness, it's almost always the network.

Look if Prime or any of the other launch services had similar features and catalog depth I'd consider switching.

I haven't seen anything detailed in the past few months, but last I heard Amazon Unlimited and Apple Music offered the largest catalogs with Spotify not far behind.

And you are the one who doesn't know what they're talking about if you don't see that some sort of deal was worked out between Amazon and Sonos which gives Prime Music exclusivity for a period of time.

So you're devolving to baseless conjecture now? Sure, your crazy theory could be right, but let's look at it from a different standpoint.

Amazon has made Alexa far and away the easiest to integrate with, so partners are favoring it over Google and Apple.

Its disappointing.

It's understandable to be disappointed that the features you hoped for aren't available. Again I would suggest a more reasonable evaluation of the situation is in order. You talk about being driven to competitors because you're waiting for these features.

Who the heck are you going to run to that can do this stuff though?

I'm a customer who has spent over 4000 dollars on their products, I would hope Sonos would value me more than that

It's absurd to suggest that a company doesn't value a person as a customer because they don't deliver on your every whim. Stop being petulant.
Badge
Well it looks like Google and Apple are close to being serious competitors...which is probably why Sonos decided to add the voice feature after at least a couple of years of requests from their customers. My comment about how much I had invested in Sonos was in response to the poster saying he (and claiming that Sonos) didn't value me very much ...apparently because I have complained ONE time in all the years I have owned their products. Let's see you've called me melodramatic, petulant and claimed I expect for Sonos to answer my every whim. Thats really pathetic of you. Clearly Amazon and Sonos have an arrangement..hopefully it won't last long....where Amazon Prime and a few other services work with their new features. As a customer who has been with this company since the beginning and continued to support them and wait patiently for improvements I hope they will hear my complaints and those of MANY others and update their product quickly. Competition is a good motivator.