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Alexa group command

  • 19 October 2017
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d.avitabile wrote:
I keep reading comments on the forum that go along the lines of “Do you want to Voice control Alexa for feature xxxx? Then switch to the controller, do the thing manually and then instruct Alexa to play in that room”. What exactly is the point of this? If I buy a voice assisted player that does something on top of my existing Play:1, then I want, at the very least, that is able to group rooms, play my library (not just Amazon’s catalogue). I think that Sonos are simply selling an unfinished product.

Which came first? Been using and loving sonos for 4-5 years. Now that Amazon and Google have a new device that is a game changer, give people an opportunity to adjust and adapt their strategy to these new devices. I can use about 50% of my curent Sonos features and functions with the dot. I can still start or mute the music faster with alexa than getting the phone out and muting. Likewise, the features and sound quality are great on Sonos. I do not have a smart tv and alexa can not control the tv, does it make the tv an unfinished product? I believe in using what is available and if there are better options, i will review them and may switch. Have not found one yet and people are amazed when i show them what sonos can do. Sound quality of Amazon or Google is no where near that of sonos.
Such is the state of partnerships between voice control services and 3rd party multi-room speakers at this point in time. In addition to being in its infancy, with important API and SDK functions still in the pipeline, there are also technical and financial goals that are not shared by each vendor in the partnership, and in some cases, may just be at odds with each other. Things must be worked out on all levels, so one must be patient, and your approach Doctor B, is the one I have adopted as well.
I'm shocked that Sonos do not support something so basic, nothing to do with Alexa functionally.

The fact that you can't create more than one group to play music is AWFUL.

Sonos you should be ashamed!
Tell Alexa to play in any one of the grouped rooms and the entire group will play. For instance:

Group of Living Room + Kitchen + Dining Room.

Alexa, play smooth jazz in Living Room.

Smooth jazz will play in Living Room + Kitchen + Dining Room.

This works for me. I have an echo dot where you tell Alexa to play "something" + a name of a room which is already been grouped in Sonos

For Sonos one (if the speaker is already part of the group), you simply say Alexa play "something" (without specifying which room) and it should play.
How can this functionality be so broken and marketed to the public already? Sonos is designed as a multi room audio system yet that does not work with this new API? SMH. :@

It is Amazon that doesn't support the inclusion of 3rd party speakers in Alexa groups.


Sorry, you are mistaken, the fault lies with the Sonos API. The Sonos API does not facilitate presenting a group of speakers as a target for Alexa like every single other smart home capable system. Essentially what needs to happen is you need to be able to group your speakers into logical groups and assign it a name, that name needs to show up in Alexa as a target device.


Yep. I used to be a huge fan and evangelist of Sonos, but for their simple neglect of this feature, I know can't wait for Amazon to crush Sonos. I had previously hoped that Sonos would prevail in the face of a copycat behemoth who once pretended to play nice. But now that Sonos has intentionally disregarded polite requests from loyal customers for necessary features, I am torally comfortable with their inevitable demise (ie GoPro and DJI) :)

Sonos will be the new GoPro because they dont actually innovate.
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Hi all

For those of you that have a Harmony Hub remote control there is now a solution for this. :)

I've been experimenting with my Harmony Hub activities and have discovered a way to create named groups of Sonos players and to request a named group to become active via voice control - the key is the Harmony Hub.

Here are the steps I've tested:
1/ Open the Harmony Hub App>Harmony Setup;
2/ Add your Sonos players as devices;
2/ Next create an Activity - Named 'Group Sonos';
3/ Add your required Devices to the Activity;
4/ Disable the Harmony skill in the Alexa App and then Re-Enable. During this process you have the ability to define 'Friendly Names' - there doesn't seem to be a way of doing this any other way. I created 'Group Sonos' and 'Sonos Everywhere' as friendly names;
5/ Save the Activity in the Harmony Hub App;
6/ Ask 'Alexa, Discover devices';

Now the command 'Alexa, Turn on Group Sonos' or 'Alexa, Turn on Sonos Everywhere' groups all of my Sonos speakers and displays the new grouping in the Sonos App. You just need to repeat for any other named Sonos groups you require and you can switch between them by turning on the required Activity.
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I now see automatic ungrouping through Alexa. If I create a group with all my Sonos speakers in the Sonos App, then say "Alexa, play music in Kitchen", it ungoups all the Sonos speakers (in the Sonos App) and plays music in the Kitchen only.
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Ron, I tried this and it didn't decouple the room. I had three group together, requested a song - played in all three rooms. Then stopped music and requested song in Kitchen - it played in all three rooms. Any thoughts?
@UKMedia that was a massively helpful post, thanks. One peculiarity I've noticed - if I say Alexa, play radio 4 (or any other radio), it plays on the controlling device (echo dot in my case) and not the preferred Sonos speakers. If I say Alexa, play Radio 4 in the [group name] then it uses the preferred speakers. Meanwhile the preferred speakers work fine if I say Alexa, play [song name].
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@UKMedia that was a massively helpful post, thanks. One peculiarity I've noticed - if I say Alexa, play radio 4 (or any other radio), it plays on the controlling device (echo dot in my case) and not the preferred Sonos speakers. If I say Alexa, play Radio 4 in the [group name] then it uses the preferred speakers. Meanwhile the preferred speakers work fine if I say Alexa, play [song name].

Yes, I've noticed that too, I think it's because it defaults to the BBC skill. If you say 'Alexa, Play Radio 4 from TuneIn' it should output to the Preferred Speaker.
I’ve found a couple of glitches in the way in which Alexa controls Sonos. I don’t mean just general problems. I know that there are features that have yet to be enabled. I mean glitches.. things that work if you do them one way .. but not another.. but with no logic. For example .. if the kitchen and office speaker are grouped and nothing is playing .. and you ask Alexa to play Jamiroqui in kitchen .. it will just play in kitchen. If music is already playing in this group and you male the same request then the group does not split and the new music plays in both rooms. There is another glitch ... which relates to what is open on the Sonos app at the time an Alexa request is made.. ill come back to that..
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I’ve found a couple of glitches in the way in which Alexa controls Sonos. I don’t mean just general problems. I know that there are features that have yet to be enabled. I mean glitches.. things that work if you do them one way .. but not another.. but with no logic. For example .. if the kitchen and office speaker are grouped and nothing is playing .. and you ask Alexa to play Jamiroqui in kitchen .. it will just play in kitchen. If music is already playing in this group and you male the same request then the group does not split and the new music plays in both rooms. There is another glitch ... which relates to what is open on the Sonos app at the time an Alexa request is made.. ill come back to that..

My understanding is that this is working as designed. There is a level of complexity that I'm still discovering between the same Use Case and different start states. Players grouped with non-preferred players with music playing, No grouped players and No music playing, all have a different outcome but are consistent.
Jgatie - This does not work for me. I have set up a group 'everywhere' to include the three Sonos devices I have. Whenever I say "Alexa, play smooth jazz Everywhere" it only plays it on the last device used? Any thoughts?
:?
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The group needs to be created in the Sonos app - it's not an Alexa group.
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How do you create a predefined group of speakers in the sonos app please? I have 2 speaker in 1 room and want to group them together so I can tell Alexa to play to that group??
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From the bar at the bottom of the screen select Rooms. Select a room that you want to be in the group and tick the others too. Done.
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Thank you - but how do I give it a name e.g. "Lounge" which contains say 2 speakers.. and can save that name "Lounge"?
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Sadly none if that is supported yet by Sonos. It's been asked for many, many times.
Well there is a slight workaround. If you do not have a group in Sonos and you start music via Alexa in [say] the Den. You can then via the Sonos app add in the other room and you can also get Alexa to stop them. It's a bit of a faf and hopefully Sonos fixes - Of course you could always start the music from Sonos - but you lose the voice command of music selection.