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Alexa/Audible and Sonos?

  • 5 October 2017
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Just got the new Alexa integration working but where are the Audible Audiobooks???!!! This is my number one use case and been waiting for two years since Sonos broke the previous integration. Come on people!
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Best answer by Ryan S 18 January 2018, 01:41

Hey guys, let's stay friendly here.



I can confirm Audible support is coming soon to Sonos, in a big way. We're working with them to bring an Audible music service integration to the Sonos app, bringing Audible support for Alexa to the Sonos, and also bringing the ability to play directly from your Audible app to Sonos players. We're not ready to share a full timeline right now, but we'll be loud when it becomes available.
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I’m sure it will come at some point, but right now, Audible listeners are not high priority for Sonos. I’m getting out while the components still have some value. By announcing the AirPlay 2 integration, Sonos have basically admitted what a lot of people knew a while back. They’re really just another speaker manufacturer now that everyone has wireless streaming and many suppliers do high quality wireless streaming. I’ve bought Naim Mu-so and Qb units to replace Sonos Play 3s and 5s. Yes, they’re about double the price but EVERYTHING plays straight out of the box. No special app, no messing about. It just works. Especially Audible. When my Audi A6 could play Audible through CarPlay I knew that Sonos had missed the boat.

I don’t need Alexa voice control. I have an Echo dot for that. So thank you Sonos, and good bye!
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I'm with divaesq.

Being forced to upgrade vs foregoing future features was bad enough. The amount of time it's taken with no updates even is a disappointment for many of us in the community.

While I'm certain we are a much smaller percentage of the population, I've stopped expanding my Sonos footprint (i've 3 Play 5s) until there is a clear resolution
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I've waited and waited. After the Sonos announcement in August 2016 that they would have Alexa integrations in 2017 I was willing to wait and see because I like the Sonos products. I was very unhappy that they had ripped out the Audible capability (yes I understand that it had as much to do with Audible APIs as Sonos), but Sonos chose not to spend the time to get the functionality back instead focusing on this new bigger integration with Amazon. Again fine... bigger picture, but now over a year later we are in .... Public Beta! and still no Audible. I have setup the integration and it's ok, but missed the boat in so many ways especially when you listen to all of the reason that it was taking so long. Basically Sonos said they wanted this seamless integration where you didn't have to say "Alexa tell Sonos..." which isn't new or unique to them.

What Sonos NEEDED to do to be on the leading edge was to figure out how to tie specific Echos to specific Sonos devices so that I could walk into the room and say "play music" and echo would start music in the room I was in. There are other issues with this implementation such as when you tell Alexa to lower the volume it does it on every sonos. Really? You can't play everywhere and have other grouped Sonos. Still no Audible support.

I have 2 playbars, play1, 3 connect amps and was looking to add more because I do like most of the features (although not the price, but I was still buying).

They keep putting out press releases to pacify their users, but their track record on keeping promises is terrible.

"We know a lot of Audible fans are eager to get Audible back working on their Sonos systems and we’re pleased to announce that Sonos and Audible have committed to bringing Audible back to Sonos by this summer. Please bear with us—we appreciate your patience!"

Maybe I'm wrong, but I think it's well past summer.

They did technically fulfill their promise of Alexa integration in 2017 announcement, but they missed so many dates there were supposed to launch earlier this year that the 1/2 integration they just released was basically to ensure they didn't end up with a class action law suit due to public statements they had made regarding future capabilities.

First we heard wait for early 2017, the we heard wait for spring, then we heard wait for summer, then we heard wait for the October announcement, now we are hearing "we aren't ready to share a date"!

"We're also hard at work with the Audible team to bring the service back to Sonos as a service first, that'll be soon, but we aren't quite ready to share the date with you all. Stay tuned, we'll be in touch!"

We will see where Audible lands as now it's being lumped in with a bunch of other services.

"We know you’ve loved using your Spotify App to control Sonos and we’ve been working to bring that experience to more services. Starting in the coming months, we’ll be adding the ability to control Sonos directly from additional music service apps, including Tidal, Pandora, Audible and iHeart Radio."


My concern about the above statement is that this could mean that there is no Alexa integration coming for Sonos, but merely the ability to play Audible on Sonos. At least it's a solution, but again not was was promised or alluded to.

It looks like their new strategy is to make announcements about future development. I love the ambiguous 2017 and 2018 dates they have sent out in mid-late 2016 and 2017 respectively. The hope is that people think... hey 2018 isn't that far... just a few more months when in actuality the development is a year or more away and still technically fulfills the 2018 date.

I've run development teams for 20 years. There is no way they don't have a release plan detailing out if it's Q1, Q2, etc. Maybe the issue is that they have become a sales led organization. It's a strategy, but not what got Sonos to this point. Without proper leadership, sales-led can turn a company into a Me-Too organization as you have to chase every new shiny object instead of focusing on truly enhancing or innovating your product. Unless you are a well structured organization sales-led groups typically have lots of problems actually holding to a schedule as items are constantly being preempted to chase the shiny.

/rant
Just as a slight counterpoint, I think you're not taking in to consideration that the work is spread across two companies, both Sonos and Amazon/Audible, and the priorities of one might not match up with the other's, especially in terms of development resources.

I, too, would like Audible to come back as a supported service. But having worked extensively with outside resources at other companies, I recognize that the ultimate control probably isn't in Sonos' hands, hence the changes in their predictions of when it will occur. My suspicion, for their bottom line, Sonos would like it to be "now", and Amazon/Audible's is much more "when we have time to deal with it", but that's complete conjecture on my part.
Hi,

I've just seen this after placing an order for the new One - and was looking to buy four more - based on the fact that Sonos make a big thing about it "doing everything Echo can do". Are we saying this is not the case? Audible was one of the primary reasons for my going with Sonos - a decent quality speaker instead of the new Amazon Echo due next month.

If this is the case I'd rather know before they ship it, rather than having to deal with returning it.

Thanks,

Dave
Hi,

I've just seen this after placing an order for the new One - and was looking to buy four more - based on the fact that Sonos make a big thing about it "doing everything Echo can do". Are we saying this is not the case? Audible was one of the primary reasons for my going with Sonos - a decent quality speaker instead of the new Amazon Echo due next month.

If this is the case I'd rather know before they ship it, rather than having to deal with returning it.

Thanks,

Dave


Audible is coming soon, by the end of the year was quoted on the Sonos Facebook page.
Ah OK, thanks. From reading around, they've been saying "soon" for a while so I'll cancel the current order and revisit once it actually exists. Not sure why the state "everything Echo can do" - it appears that there are a few missing functions.

Thanks,

Dave
Actually, they state "Everything Alexa can do", but that is nitpicking (all Alexa enabled devices cannot do everything an Echo can do. Calling and Drop In are some of a few Echo exclusives).
I understand all of the arguments with regard to the Walled Garden technologies, however I am intrigued by the possibility of a device that supports both Alexa and Google, and multiple music services - including Apple Music.

As someone who has recently found out that they are slowly going blind, I have belatedly come to understand the frustrations that millions of visually impaired people encounter every day.

Reading the fluff pieces in my news piece I dare to hope that the Sonos One could address and overcome these walled gardens, I would dearly love to be able to use Alexa to control both Audible and Apple Music. As an Apple aficionado I am quite patient, however I do hope all this isn't Pie-in-the-Sky.
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Dave[/quote]Ah OK, thanks. From reading around, they've been saying "soon" for a while so I'll cancel the current order and revisit once it actually exists. Not sure why the state "everything Echo can do" - it appears that there are a few missing functions.

Thanks,

Dave


Glad you cancelled an order. I'm stuck with a houseful of speakers and they know it, so only the power of the wallet from others is going to work.
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SOONOS
I too feel like I bought into a cutting edge company only to find out the are falling behind against their competitors.
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Join the club, cassidyb. I'm about 3 grand in, but I've got until January 14th to return to Best Buy. At this point, I'm pretty sure it's all going back.
Another user with 7 sonos speakers waiting on audible here. Main reason I preordered the new One but stinks Audible isn’t there. 😞
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“Everything Alexa can do”. My echo can play audible with nothing but an audible account. Clearly that statement by Sonos (knowingly or not) was a lie. Saying otherwise is just being an apologist. I know Amazon developers. Its not them. Its how Sonos only dealt with files rather than streaming and lack of time on task.
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Alexa enabled devices can't do everything alexa can do. Actually many alexas can't do what other alexas can do so hard to call it a lie. There is actually an amazon page that shows all the things certain alexas can do and others can't. The Alexa Show is the only Alexa device that can actually do every alexa ability.

Glad your the Alexa expert!
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I quoted Sonos as they marketed Sonos One (which I bought based on the marketing). Every Echo can play Audible, as can any low tech bluetooth speaker connected to one. I don’t work on exho, but know how the api works. I also understand when a company is blowing smoke. One of the people I spoke of just celebrated 19 years with Amazon, and assures me I am correct. The echo API can send any commands Sonos would like. Itvis a matter of Sonos not dealing well with streams rather than files. And as I said, not putting enough hours on the task to fix it. Blaming Amazon for a 2 year delay of Sonos is just BS. That can be evidenced by the thousands of developments and integrations they have completed, including Alexa functionality (inclusing audible) in my new OnVocal headset
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I don't believe Audible support coming is just Audible for Alexa. I believe it should be full blown support not just support playing via voice command. That's a lot more than some basic Audible for Alexa. I'm sure those waiting for support would be very unhappy if they just enabled Alexa to do Audible.

And as far as Alexa on Sonos - they have said its still a work in progress - yes it takes them time.
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I wonder how it is you are sure you can speak for the community? The excuses just don’t fly at this point. From scratch product development cycles typically run 18 to 24 months. This service/interface has taken longer than that, meanwhile they developed the One. The answer is simple and obvious. They have limited talent and they decided not to get more, and to use the talent they had to create a new product rather than fix an existing service. It isn’t more complicated than that.
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I never claimed to ever speak for the community. You seem to be the one that makes all the assumptions here without any facts. I just state the facts I know so people are aware.

And I will be here in a month and you will go on your merry way playing your audible and finding someone else or some other company to belittle on another forum.
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“I'm sure those waiting for support would be very unhappy if they just enabled Alexa to do Audible.“

“I never claimed to speak for the community”

:ROFL

I assumed nothing. I have it from both the horses mouth, and an understanding of the underlying technologies. If you actually want to get educated before speaking, do some searches regarding MP3/AAC vs AAX and Sonos inability to play the latter. That is why it can’t do audible natively. If you want an example of somebody quickly coming up with an app that streams audio to Sonos, try “Intercom” for Sonos. Also find the “NPROne” service built for Sonos. These (along with the existing Echo integration) illustrate very plainly that the (existing) Sonos APi can easily handle the functions necessary to play audible as well as examples of exactly how you would do aubible. The only necessary pieces remaining are the people to put it together, and time on that task. And there is no conceivable way that takes two years. PERIOD. Buhh Bye...
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Whatever - look forward to you being gone next month when it comes to Sonos.
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“look forward to you being gone”
Are you > 12? Is that how you always handle being incorrect? 😕
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Hey guys, let's stay friendly here.

I can confirm Audible support is coming soon to Sonos, in a big way. We're working with them to bring an Audible music service integration to the Sonos app, bringing Audible support for Alexa to the Sonos, and also bringing the ability to play directly from your Audible app to Sonos players. We're not ready to share a full timeline right now, but we'll be loud when it becomes available.
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You should mark that as the answer to this thread