Alexa and music services

  • 4 October 2017
  • 47 replies
  • 10391 views

Userlevel 6
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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

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47 replies

Ahem.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
Sonos chose ease-of-use (no need to "ask sonos...") for their Alexa integration over universal-music-service-and-library support. If you use one of the few Alexa-supported services that was a great call, but if you use one of the unsupported services, not so much.

As my wife is a huge Apple Music user, I solved this problem for her, and anyone else that meets the requirements.
I’m disappointed in the useless posts by apologists for Sonos, when the request for an update/improvement is clear: if Alexa can be used to play anything from Amazon on my Sonos player, it should be able to play ANY compatible audio file from any source Sonos can already handle. Sonos needs to either implement a complete and open access to Sonos commands by Alexa, or implement its own tech otherwise Sonos will be eclipsed by other speaker providers who do. It’s that simple. As an aside, when customers - yes, customers have a right under contract to ask for support despite the snark coming from some here - ask for information, it’s probably a bad idea to reply with less than useful responses written in poor English with spelling mistakes. That tends to undermine any level of confidence you’re tryIng to cultivate with customers who’ve invested in a system that is already coming at a price premium.
Userlevel 2
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I’ve just come across the above thread and read it. I wonder whether anything has improved since the last post.
I want to try our this voice control via Alexa but if I'm reading the tea leaves right I have to use a low quality streaming service to use it...correct?!?! I subscribe to Tidal today as they and Deezer are the only Hifi options that I know of...I have 13 zones in my home including Xeo6's in one zone, have spent $$$$s, I'm not going to flipping stream pandora! What gives? Will additional services be added? thanks to any and all that shed some light here...

You can use Alexa for basic control of other sources like pause, play, skip, previous, volume control, even "Alexa, what is playing in xxxxx?" You cannot initialize playback or add to the queue. Whether this will be possible in the future, no one knows. But you can try out Alexa control on your other services.
I want to try our this voice control via Alexa but if I'm reading the tea leaves right I have to use a low quality streaming service to use it...correct?!?! I subscribe to Tidal today as they and Deezer are the only Hifi options that I know of...I have 13 zones in my home including Xeo6's in one zone, have spent $$$$s, I'm not going to flipping stream pandora! What gives? Will additional services be added? thanks to any and all that shed some light here...
Userlevel 1
Hello,

I configured everything yesterday evening, it works, but i'm also disapointed that the streaming services are so limited. I use Qobuz for the lossless Quality and can''t use voice commands, tunein doenst work every time. Any idea if i can play localy stored music (on a nas). I must admit i did expect more for such a long wait.

Thank you
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Ok I will group it in the app. Please please please Sonos add the ability to setup permanent groups...or at least add one called All Speakers or All Rooms.
There's currently no voice commands set up for grouping, so you can't play everywhere just using voice commands. You can, however, group in the app and start playing via voice in any room, and all grouped rooms with the specified room will play simultaneously. You can actually do the grouping before the voice, or after, it doesn't make a difference (just like in the app).
Things get even worse when you throw smartthings into the mix as that's already discovered and has basic sonos function i.e. stop/pause. smarthings sees paired devices as individuals, so passed this onto alexa, for mucho confusion. renaming everything isn't very helpful as it all gets rediscovered next time round and redistributed.
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
Thanks Ryan I will check and see if that's the problem. Do you know if the new app supports the creation of a way to group all of my speakers so that I can ask Alexa to play music in my entire house at the same time without having to group after music is started? That would be really nice.
You can group your players at any time. In the new Sonos app, from the main home screen just press the name at the bottom and there's an option at the top to play to everywhere. That's one voice command we'd love to get added sometime too.
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You sound really loveable. So tell me how you got Alexa to play music to all your rooms at the same time? Is there a magic word that only stans know?
I assume all of you guys are having zero issues with a multiroom setup? Lucky!!!

That's because my Sonos loves me. I'm a lovable guy. 😉
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Thanks Ryan I will check and see if that's the problem. Do you know if the new app supports the creation of a way to group all of my speakers so that I can ask Alexa to play music in my entire house at the same time without having to group after music is started? That would be really nice.
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
Oh fun I successfully updated Alexa with the Sonos skill..and it discovered all of my devices. I had already updated my Sonos app. So I asked Alexa to play so jazz in the den...jazz played out of my echo device. I told her to stop and to play jazz on my Sonos..ok...no music anywhere from any device. Fun!

If you have Sonos rooms with the same names as other Alexa devices, Alexa can get a bit confused on which device you want it to have follow the command. It's best to go in and make sure each of your smart home devices have different names.
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I assume all of you guys are having zero issues with a multiroom setup? Lucky!!!
Oh fun I successfully updated Alexa with the Sonos skill..and it discovered all of my devices. I had already updated my Sonos app. So I asked Alexa to play so jazz in the den...jazz played out of my echo device. I told her to stop and to play jazz on my Sonos..ok...no music anywhere from any device. Fun!

Sell your Sonos. It obviously hates you.
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I was able to get it playing in my dining room. Still none in the den (which is my playbar and sub). Trying more rooms. Fun!
Can we pool our winnings to buy coop's Sonos off him so he can go bother some competitor's forum? My share is up for it. ;)

I’ll do it if you promise to never write the word “sigh” again. :)


No dice.
Userlevel 6
Badge +9
Can we pool our winnings to buy coop's Sonos off him so he can go bother some competitor's forum? My share is up for it. ;)

I’ll do it if you promise to never write the word “sigh” again. 🙂
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Oh fun I successfully updated Alexa with the Sonos skill..and it discovered all of my devices. I had already updated my Sonos app. So I asked Alexa to play so jazz in the den...jazz played out of my echo device. I told her to stop and to play jazz on my Sonos..ok...no music anywhere from any device. Fun!
Can we pool our winnings to buy coop's Sonos off him so he can go bother some competitor's forum? My share is up for it. 😉
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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.
Userlevel 5
Badge +11
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.
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?