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Does Echo Spot show what's playing when playing Amazon Music through SONOS speaker?

  • 20 February 2018
  • 9 replies
  • 1919 views

If I ask an Echo Spot to "Play Rock Music on Kitchen", it will play a Rock Music station from Amazon Music on my 'Kitchen' SONOS speaker. But will the screen of the Spot show what's playing? i.e. will I see album artwork etc. for the song that is currently playing on the SONOS? If so, will it also show lyrics for songs where lyrics are available?
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Best answer by melvimbe 20 February 2018, 15:13

I do not have an Echo Spot, but for the Echo Show, the answer would be no to your questions. I would be rather surprised if the two products operate differently in that regard.

This is also what I would expect logically. Your Kitchen Sonos (or an Sonos zone in your system) is not tied specifically to any particular echo. Therefore, the echo would not know which sonos zone to display.

I think there is a strong possibility this could change in the future, where you specifically link a sonos zone to an echo. There are lots of advantages to this setup, and Amazon currently has similar links between echos and firetv.

However, if/when that functionality is implemented, I doubt song lyrics will be available. Displaying the lyrics requires that the display device and speakers are relatively in sync. Currently, echo 'hands off' the music request to Sonos, it does not stay in sync with Sonos as doing so would be rather cumbersome. So for example, if you paused your music through the Sonos app, your echo would not know that immediately and would continue scrolling the lyrics.

I can see where displaying lyrics would encourage users to play songs from Amazon rather than other music sources, so perhaps they'll figure out a way to make it work.
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9 replies

Sadly, even when grouped and playing music to a Sonos "preferred" speaker, nothing displays on the Show.

On the Google Home Hub, configured to play music on a Chromecast speaker, the Hub will display what's playing, and stays in perfect sync. It's pretty nifty. Hopefully, Google Assistant is coming to Sonos real soon now...
That's probably a question best asked at Amazon. I do know the "what's playing" function is a query to the Sonos cloud, because the Sonos updates the Now Playing status in the Sonos cloud, not Alexa. You can prove this by playing your own library and asking Alexa "what's playing", then disconnect the internet until it changes tracks. A "what's playing" then will still give the previous track. So Alexa is not aware of what is playing unless the Sonos Cloud is queried.
If Alexa knows and can respond to what is playing, I see no reason it can’t display the track and album info.
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Thank you ?
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I haven't heard anything.
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Hi,
Any new developments on this topic since the original post?
Cheers,
f.
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Yes, I was going to mention that, but figured it didn't really help answer the question...and you already knew that.
Thanks, melvimbe! Makes complete sense, but a shame that the two devices are not more integrated (at the moment).

One thing that *does* work is asking Alexa "What's playing in the Kitchen?". Alexa will answer with artist and name of track, but this is a one-off request rather than a continuous update.

I see what you mean regarding lyrics as well. The two devices would have to be very much in-sync for that feature to work 🙂
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I do not have an Echo Spot, but for the Echo Show, the answer would be no to your questions. I would be rather surprised if the two products operate differently in that regard.

This is also what I would expect logically. Your Kitchen Sonos (or an Sonos zone in your system) is not tied specifically to any particular echo. Therefore, the echo would not know which sonos zone to display.

I think there is a strong possibility this could change in the future, where you specifically link a sonos zone to an echo. There are lots of advantages to this setup, and Amazon currently has similar links between echos and firetv.

However, if/when that functionality is implemented, I doubt song lyrics will be available. Displaying the lyrics requires that the display device and speakers are relatively in sync. Currently, echo 'hands off' the music request to Sonos, it does not stay in sync with Sonos as doing so would be rather cumbersome. So for example, if you paused your music through the Sonos app, your echo would not know that immediately and would continue scrolling the lyrics.

I can see where displaying lyrics would encourage users to play songs from Amazon rather than other music sources, so perhaps they'll figure out a way to make it work.