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Playing Local Music Library on Sonos through Alexa

  • 4 October 2017
  • 87 replies
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Userlevel 2
Will alexa skill be able to play from my music library?
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Best answer by Ryan S 4 October 2017, 21:50

You can use Alexa to start playing from Amazon Music, Amazon Music Unlimited, Pandora, iHeartRadio, SiriusXM, TuneIn Radio, and we’re working to bring Spotify controls in the future too. Alexa doesn't have access to your local music library.

Also, any Alexa device on your account can use basic controls, such as play, pause, volume, and skip, on your Sonos players. This works for all services and music on Sonos, started through the Sonos app.

We don't have any specifics on what's up next, or if local library will be working for the future, but the skill will be improving over time, so you never know what might get added next.
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87 replies

Userlevel 3
Alexa doesn't have access to your local music library.

What?! That's crazy... I've spent years building a library of my own music... and was so looking forward to having the alexa integration. But it won't play anything from my local library? That's just NOT ok! Once Alexa figures out teh commend is for Sonos, it gets transferred to the Sonos cloud for processing... and the Sonos cloud has access to my library. So it should work.

I'm one of those weirdos who doesn't like to pay the monthly fees to listen to the music I like... I just buy the music I like. Having the Alexa-Sonos integration only work with [a handful] of streaming services really cripples the integration.

Are there plans to allow Alexa commands that play from my music library?
Userlevel 4
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I'd go as far as to say totally misleading. I don't have not want to sign up to a streaming service to use voice control. Sonos should have made this clear you need a streaming service to use it. I dot. What to be forced into renting music
Userlevel 2
Disappointing! I have been waiting for Alexa integration and am excited to use it. I have it up and running well with Amazon Music and SiriusXM but am very disappointed that it cannot access the music library, Sonos playlists, etc.
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Totally agree. I don't use any music streaming services and have a great personal music library. I want to play that.
Update needed asap please Sonos.
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It does not currently, correct? If not, that’s a pretty big fail. On first blush, I can’t figure out how to do it. Looks like it has to be one of Amazon’s supported music services. Please someone tell me I’m wrong...
Userlevel 1
I agree with the general consensus that not being able to play music from our libraries is a major flaw in this product. I had high hopes for Sonos/Alexa integration and I'm disappointed.
Userlevel 2
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Drat. Where on your roadmap is it planned?
No local library access makes this pretty much useless. And that's before I start on not having access to Apple Music. So close but, alas no cigar.
Userlevel 1
Not happy. I don't subscribe to "this is a day one release" theme of thinking. Sonos have been actively marketing this for over a year. Never once did they say that this would be limited to online streaming services (apologies if I'm wrong on this, but they have been advertising "Complete control"). There were unofficial Sonos skills published many months back that were almost as polished as today's offering, so technically this is not rocket science (I've played with the Alexa API, it's pretty straightforward).

Today we get the most basic of basic functionality, still in beta format. Sonos is not Microsoft. They have built a brand that promotes excellence and ease of use. It's a luxury product that it's loyal user base expect quality from. Today it failed.

Footnote: It doesn't even include support for the streaming service "Deezer", which I joined following a one year free subscription offer I received when I bought my first Sonos One. Thanks.

I imagine things will get better, if they had said that they will support local libraries in the future then I wouldn't even by angry, but all current info suggests it'll be streaming services only.
Userlevel 1
For me, as a Sonos owner for a decade now, there are two primary problems with this release.

#1 - A large community of product users use Sonos independent of the internet, because, it was a system released prior to the majority of streaming services, and certainly before any of them became useable.
As such, the idea that they have built integration with Alexa (granted a web based service) but have now (in beta at least) leveraged all the benefits of the voice capability to streamable services only totally ignores what is undoubtedly the core ownership of the product, and certainly the most loyal. It kinda borders on the ridiculous to be frank.

#2 - Sonos was designed (in part) to be a service to allow you to control all of your local music (sheesh I still have a CR100, all that could do was my local music at the time) and for many, many, MANY years that was it's entire selling point of the product until such a time as streaming became more accessible and popular and then it became "play every song on the earth" and random hyperbole like that.
So, you build a massive user base of people who have ripped and laboriously ID3 tagged their music libraries, and then you offer them the ability to voice control their system - you tease it for a year or more - and then when you release it, you do not provide the functionality that they have primarily used the system for?
Whomever in here is saying that makes sense is vastly deluded as how easy it is to alienate a consumer base.

What's sh*tty about this whole thing is, no-one knew Sonos were going to do anything with Amazon. The ECHO and DOT were out and ok, some people might have been talking about it and maybe some people on here were saying "hey, Sonos, Alexa, hmm?, hmmmm?" but that would have been it.
It's dangerous from a companycustomer relationship standpoint to open the door to questions like "did you only announce this so people would go and buy ECHO's and DOT's thus helping Amazon sell their product when Google was hot on their heels".
Because, it wouldn't be hard to make an argument for that when you consider it was Sonos who decided to announce Alexa functionality and they did it in a way which is totally opposed to the very thing the majority of their consumers use. Why do that?, why not just say nothing if it's so difficult to add local library functionality, until you figure out a way to do it?, and then announce :?

I also find it fantastical at best that all the beta testers for this weren't all asking about local library.

To me, this from the press release that still sits on the Sonos website is misleading:
"Sonos owners with an Alexa-enabled device such as an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot will soon be able to use Amazon’s popular Alexa service to control their Sonos sound system"

That part of the sentence is not true today.

Now sure, the press release goes on to say:
"Simply ask Alexa to play your music from Amazon Music, Spotify and more and it will flow to any group of Sonos speakers in the home. By integrating Alexa into their Sonos sound systems, owners can use their voice to play, pause, skip, control volume and more."

But aside the fact that Spotify isn't available, so that part of the sentence is partially baloney too - the former paragraph infers a myth that the rest of the press release does nothing to dispel.
Read it for yourself > http://press-us.sonos.com/134980-sonos-with-partners-and-industry-leaders-ushers-in-new-era-of-connected-home-listening <

I have always said, as a tech geek and someone that works in the tech industry that my Sonos was the best item of tech I have ever bought, but when a company does stuff like this, they are well on their way to losing people who advocate the brand.

IMHO. A Sonos products key market is not streaming. Very few people are buying Sonos kit costing in the hundreds (and in many cases thousands) of $ to play streamable content when they probably have a TV or a iPhone doc that can do that already. I'd actually be very interested to hear someone from Sonos look at the data of new hardware purchases and tell us what those people are using the product for, because I find it hard to believe that the main and best product feature of Sonos does not remain the local library functionality... and the company would do well to remember that when they decide to release like this.

And just to comment on people saying it's a much harder task than it appears.
I as a local library users of probably 3-4Tb of music, understand that voice recognition of all my ambiguous songs and artists is tough. I get that.
However what I don't get is why the first release doesn't have the ability to play (at the very least) playlists, this would be easy enough to push/send my playlist to my 'room' and then send the [play] command to, and a simple advisory to make the playlist names 'simple' would be all that's required.
So, I'm sorry, the idea that local library functionality couldn't in any way be made available is hooey to me. Especially when I can ask Alexa to play a song and there's no problem finding a sample version of it in the Amazon library, but I can't play the full high quality file sitting in my local library. That's pretty 😞 😠 to say the least.

Just my 2p.
Hi,
I'm also a little dissapointed, and will hold off for now. I currently control my local music with a google home and an audio chromecast into my play 5 + IFTTT. It only works on group or the play 5 though and was hoping for proper integration.
It would seem a step backward to upgrade to a new unit to add lesser functionality... maybe the next iteration or the google home integration will add full functionality ?
Userlevel 1
Come on people! This is a launch, it’s early days and who knows what constraints Amazon may have put on it. Of course in the first instance it works best with Amazon music services, but I’m sure more is to come. The fact that it can tell you what is playing from your own library is encouraging so I would expect control of local libraries can’t be far away. Why persecute the company? Is there any other independent with a similar offering?

I’ve enjoyed being part of the beta, it has come a very long way and will doubtlessly go further.

One thing I did realise is that personally I rarely know exactly what music I am to play and tend to leaf though the app albums or artists list for inspiration, much like flicking though a stack of lp’s in my youth. Being able to skip tracks with voice is very handy, especially when listening to the garbage that is 50% of tacks on “the difficult second album “.

Give Sonos a break, many have complained how long voice control has taken to arrive,or if it even would, and now the overwhelming response is unjustly negative.


However your comment makes sense, you can't blame users to be disapointed, knowing that we waited like 1 year.
Logical that we excpeted more than that for 1 year developement. I tested yesterday evening and it works but can't use my streaming service (Qobuz) nor my local libray. I leave me with the basic commands, you must admit it's a little light for 1 year wait.
But like you said lets hope the skill will quickly get updated...
Just adding my two cents that we need local music library AND Sonos playlist support. Hopefully before Christmas. Grouping is ok but can be done via Alexa. Getting use to the system but not being able to play my Music Library and Playlists is a real showstopper
Userlevel 4
Badge +1
Alexa doesn't have access to your local music library.

What?! That's crazy... I've spent years building a library of my own music... and was so looking forward to having the alexa integration. But it won't play anything from my local library? That's just NOT ok! Once Alexa figures out teh commend is for Sonos, it gets transferred to the Sonos cloud for processing... and the Sonos cloud has access to my library. So it should work.

I'm one of those weirdos who doesn't like to pay the monthly fees to listen to the music I like... I just buy the music I like. Having the Alexa-Sonos integration only work with [a handful] of streaming services really cripples the integration.

Are there plans to allow Alexa commands that play from my music library?


Looks like we have to rent music
I'd go as far as to say totally misleading. I don't have not want to sign up to a streaming service to use voice control. Sonos should have made this clear you need a streaming service to use it. I dot. What to be forced into renting music

Misleading? They stated right in their annoncement what would be supported!
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I notice "Alexa, what's playing on [room name]?" seems to work well even when playing local music. It's a little glitchy, however -- if I query a room that was previously streaming from Amazon and is now playing as part of a Sonos group, it seems to prefer naming the last streamed song until I ungroup/regroup using the Sonos app.

Overall, it's a bit disappointing, but still provides nice functions I didn't have yesterday. My wife prefers to have our full local library playing in shuffle mode all day, so the basic controls work well for our particular use case. And it's nice being able to ask Alexa for the name of a song that I can't quite remember.
Disappointing! I have been waiting for Alexa integration and am excited to use it. I have it up and running well with Amazon Music and SiriusXM but am very disappointed that it cannot access the music library, Sonos playlists, etc.I too am very disappointed thst my music libr assry is not accessible through Alexa. One of my favourite Sonos features is thsst it integrates my music with my streaming services.
Userlevel 4
Badge +1
I'd go as far as to say totally misleading. I don't have not want to sign up to a streaming service to use voice control. Sonos should have made this clear you need a streaming service to use it. I dot. What to be forced into renting music

Misleading? They stated right in their annoncement what would be supported!


I think it's obvious that they said control your sonos with Alexa - you cannot
Userlevel 4
Badge +1
Come on people! This is a launch, it’s early days and who knows what constraints Amazon may have put on it. Of course in the first instance it works best with Amazon music services, but I’m sure more is to come. The fact that it can tell you what is playing from your own library is encouraging so I would expect control of local libraries can’t be far away. Why persecute the company? Is there any other independent with a similar offering?

I’ve enjoyed being part of the beta, it has come a very long way and will doubtlessly go further.

One thing I did realise is that personally I rarely know exactly what music I am to play and tend to leaf though the app albums or artists list for inspiration, much like flicking though a stack of lp’s in my youth. Being able to skip tracks with voice is very handy, especially when listening to the garbage that is 50% of tacks on “the difficult second album “.

Give Sonos a break, many have complained how long voice control has taken to arrive,or if it even would, and now the overwhelming response is unjustly negative.


If it's able to tell you what it is playing how hard can it be to ask it to play that song in first place? Amateur Code exists that has this functionality
Userlevel 4
Badge +1
Not happy. I don't subscribe to "this is a day one release" theme of thinking. Sonos have been actively marketing this for over a year. Never once did they say that this would be limited to online streaming services (apologies if I'm wrong on this, but they have been advertising "Complete control"). There were unofficial Sonos skills published many months back that were almost as polished as today's offering, so technically this is not rocket science (I've played with the Alexa API, it's pretty straightforward).

Today we get the most basic of basic functionality, still in beta format. Sonos is not Microsoft. They have built a brand that promotes excellence and ease of use. It's a luxury product that it's loyal user base expect quality from. Today it failed.

Footnote: It doesn't even include support for the streaming service "Deezer", which I joined following a one year free subscription offer I received when I bought my first Sonos One. Thanks.

I imagine things will get better, if they had said that they will support local libraries in the future then I wouldn't even by angry, but all current info suggests it'll be streaming services only.


Sonos is extremely slow at implementing anything hence my frustration like many others that they didn't even bother putting local library control at top. A year for this , wow, what did the beta testers even say? I presume they all rented music through streaming services and don't own music
I came to this thread looking for how to use the Alexa voice command to play my local library on my Sonos system. I thought it was just my lack of know-how, but apparently it can't be done. So I am overjoyed to learn that I'm not just a technical simpleton, but someone who was also duped by the marketing. Seriously, I'm very disappointed because I did think that Alexa in the Sonos One would be able to play ALL my music sources, not just the streaming services. I hope that Sonos works out a solution to this.
Brutal. Man, I did a ton of reading and just bought Alexa and never thought to ask this because I thought it was a given. I feel pretty ripped off. My music library has some pretty rare tracks that you'll never find on any music service.
Thinking about taking it back.
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
You can use Alexa to start playing from Amazon Music, Amazon Music Unlimited, Pandora, iHeartRadio, SiriusXM, TuneIn Radio, and we’re working to bring Spotify controls in the future too. Alexa doesn't have access to your local music library.

Also, any Alexa device on your account can use basic controls, such as play, pause, volume, and skip, on your Sonos players. This works for all services and music on Sonos, started through the Sonos app.

We don't have any specifics on what's up next, or if local library will be working for the future, but the skill will be improving over time, so you never know what might get added next.
Userlevel 5
Badge +3
I don't have not want to sign up to a streaming service to use voice control. Sonos should have made this clear you need a streaming service to use it.
You're not being forced to do anything different than you did yesterday. You're reversing the requirement in your statements.

Today, if you want to use voice control to initiate the playing of music, you will need to have a streaming service.

And as Ryan stated, you do get *some* benefit with the "basic controls"
Also, any Alexa device on your account can use basic controls, such as play, pause, volume, and skip, on your Sonos players. This works for all services and music on Sonos, started through the Sonos app.
I'd go as far as to say totally misleading. I don't have not want to sign up to a streaming service to use voice control. Sonos should have made this clear you need a streaming service to use it. I dot. What to be forced into renting music

Misleading? They stated right in their annoncement what would be supported!


I think it's obvious that they said control your sonos with Alexa - you cannot


No, the announcement today specified exactly what sources could be controlled and how. No specifics were given before today, and if you assumed, . . . well . . . you know. But hey, plumbers gotta plumb, complainers gotta complain. One is who they are.