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Sonos Alexa Integration India

  • 2 November 2017
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Kumar, nice one on the location hack. However, it still doesn't make sense for an App not to be released in a particular location, because it would only give Sonos more usage data to further refine their skill

Ryan, it's incredibly myopic the way the Sonos dev team works. Reeks of geographical racism when you have paying customers in the world's second largest internet market and your bunch of rust belt developers are sitting around not doing enough.
Guys, maybe exist some approach to change location? I'm ready to do it try Alexa with Sonos.
Seeing how clunky this is, and comparing to how slick is the way that Google Play Music casts to Sonos in India as well, leads me to think that when Google Assistant is rolled out, it will be a much better user experience.

I am quite satisfied with how the Echo works for music play in standalone mode - but the way it works with Sonos once skills are enabled, is decidedly a turn off. In fact, I suspect that the wired to a Connect line in jack Dot offers a better user experience.
For anyone that wants to have a preview, here is how to get one.

On Amazon India, change your country to US via "Manage Contents and Devices". I then launched the Alexa App via my computer and after some time, in response to the above change, it opened via amazon.com with Sonos skills included.
Once that is opened, follow the instructions on this site to get them enabled. Then change back to country India, to get back all local access for shopping including content for Alexa. The Skills still remain in the app, as do discovered Sonos speakers.

But, the preview leaves a bad taste in the mouth. For one, there is no Amazon Prime content accessible, although available in India because it isn't enabled in Sonos under Music Services. I can play it, but only via Echo in standalone mode.

Then there is this disappointment: I just discovered this issue though I suspect it has been raised here but I haven't delved into till now. When skills are enabled and Sonos speakers are linked to Alexa, ALL of those playing duck and drop volume when the wake word is uttered even for a command that does not expect a response from Sonos. So if a standalone Echo in one room hears a wake word, a Sonos speaker playing in another room also drops its volume. Very distracting for that room.

Finally, because of inefficient server to server comms, there is too much of a lag between the voice command and music coming out of Sonos speakers.

For now, I have disabled the Skills and delinked Sonos because there is no benefit at this time. It took me all of 60 minutes to decide this and do so.

I think now that it will take all of 2018 for this voice thing to be more than the gimmick it is just now for music play via Sonos, with as many cons as pros to it that detract from the experience. Even for users in the US/UK/Germany oyster.
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Ryan: One month since Alexa/Echo were launched in India and no signs of Sonos Skills. Will it be sooner than the early 2018 promised for the later in the queue Canada? Will it be later? Only her hairdresser knows for sure...

As VijayS guessed, I did have a few days off. We don't have a public timeline to share regarding Alexa support for Sonos in India right now. As soon as one can be made available, I'll let you know.


Welcome back Ryan!
Not having Alexa for few more weeks not much of a problem. My real frustration is ,
1. No specific project plan that can be communicated to customer with a tentative timeline.
2. Being in technology and in the era of TAKT and Sprint something that is not able to deliver after a Month of availability.
3. Enabling something in a country that have least risk, lack of courage from Product, development and program team.
4. Lack of willingness to take low to moderate Risk where impact almost insignificant.
5. Almost NIL development effort as options has to just enable in Cloud as feature is already LIVE in the cloud.

This boil down to a weak management who is not willing to take even a low risk. Another similar example is Room correction via iPhone 8 microphone, still not available even when there is slight difference in implementation of API in SDK.
Let me ask another question: in India, the only music service that Alexa will work on in the near future is Amazon Prime. For the India integration to be useful in a meaningful way, Amazon Prime will also have to be addable to Music services in Sonos. So will that ability be in place when the skills are released, or will that be another indeterminate wait after that release?
Ryan, much more useful will be making these skills available in line with the EXISTING commitment made by Sonos that is there even today on this site. As of now Sonos is in breach of promise.

And if Sonos works in similar manner to US corporations I am familiar with, in another ten days it will effectively be curtains on 2017.

Very disappointing state of affairs, the Alexa integration, unless one's world consists of just the oyster that is US/UK/Germany.
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Ryan: One month since Alexa/Echo were launched in India and no signs of Sonos Skills. Will it be sooner than the early 2018 promised for the later in the queue Canada? Will it be later? Only her hairdresser knows for sure...

As VijayS guessed, I did have a few days off. We don't have a public timeline to share regarding Alexa support for Sonos in India right now. As soon as one can be made available, I'll let you know.
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Looks like vacation season already started in Sonos. No response, no app update no commitment. Voice service " Not available in your country" Its a month and 5 days since amazon started alexa in india, these guys still sleeping. Looks like some major issues within this team
No responses for more than a couple of days - 10 actually - from Sonos to questions posed here in that time. Will the Community Managers charged with ensuring responses do the necessary please?
That is a global issue on the one hand, and not a daily faced shortcoming on the other. But it does point to Sonos not having adequate resources to support both the marketing claims it makes for itself and for what isn't publicly stated - its global aspirations.

One can only hope that the present CEO, that is ex RIM/Blackberry, has brought over the correct lessons learnt - that will NOT take Sonos down that path.

Ryan: One month since Alexa/Echo were launched in India and no signs of Sonos Skills. Will it be sooner than the early 2018 promised for the later in the queue Canada? Will it be later? Only her hairdresser knows for sure...
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It is 2 month since iPhone 8 public release till now truplay tuning for iPhone 8 is not supported.
I do not have any expectation on this company, seems it is heading the same route of blackberry and Nokia.

https://en.community.sonos.com/controllers-software-228995/ios-11-and-trueplay-6790909
I do have a Dot working with a Bose Soundlink Mini in one bedroom via BT, in addition to the play 1 speaker that was always there. There are still many things that the play 1 can do that the Dot+Bose cannot, that I would therefore never exchange for the play 1. And the 1 sounds better.

Hopefully, the Bose can soon revert to purely travel use, once Sonos gets its act together...Soon..
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What would you have bought in preference if you were to buy again today that would give you more than what Sonos does now? BOSE sound touch with echo dot . As I mentioned earlier I bought this after returning Echo Plus , main purpose was to have AI based speaker. As Bose soundtouch enabled Alexa only an echo dot would have solved my problem. Now money on sonos wasted as Echo dot is on the way.
What would you have bought in preference if you were to buy again today that would give you more than what Sonos does now?
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Low priority item in their backlog or lack of respect for early adapters in certain part of the world.
Had I been in this forum before making purchase decision, I wouldn't have been even 1000 miles closer to SONOS.
A cut/paste of an entire Ryan answer of a little over a month ago, on this subject, and I am NOT quoting out of context:
"It wouldn't likely be immediately when voice becomes available, but soon after. We'd need to test a few things out first."

What is "soon"? For Canada that is launching a month after India, early next month it is early 2018. Per Ryan.

For India where Amazon launched a day short of a month ago? "Soon" - I haven't heard anything more useful that that reply. But "soon" is more than 30 days in the Sonos dictionary, that much we know.
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Looking at the number of issues reported about Alexa on Sonos One , sonos might have wrote a wrapper around Alexa API . Something that need extensive testing and prone to introduce multiple bugs. A wise implementation is as is and down the line customisation.
In fairness to Sonos, the Bose thing looks just like a local voice enabled application, with voice capability that does not come close to even a standalone Dot, let alone the server to server integration involved in Sonos Skills.

That said, Sonos still has egg on its face here for breach of promise. I don't see why their marketing should be given the benefit of doubt about the need to be truthful.
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Yesterday Bose sound touch systems rolled out Alexa skills in India. Not yet tried as my echo dot on the way. One thing I appreciate with Bose is they do not discriminate when rolling out product features

All the above facts are pointing clear that technical issue is not the reason behind not enabling skills.

What other issue could it be? Both companies stand to get more sales by doing this, so why not do it if it was not a technical issue?
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Got my Sonos One from US and disappointed to know that Alexa is not enabled. Being in IT industry for 20 years I dont understand the technical reason behind so much delay in enabling a skill in particular region.

I have bought an echo plus and returned due to poor quality of speakers, this is an advantage for Sonos
Considering the fact that
Sonos has to just allow customer to Enable the skill nothing else.
Alexa resides in Amazon Cloud and all communication from device is between AI API and Amazon cloud
Sonos already have the capability built in and proven in other regions
Sonos anyway do not sell or offer support in India hence nothing to loose enabling the skill.

All the above facts are pointing clear that technical issue is not the reason behind not enabling skills.
My weekly reminder on the subject to Sonos. Canada, where Amazon hardware is still to be officially released, have at least been given a time line of early 2018. India, where the hardware/Alexa were "officially" launched by Amazon on October 30, does not have even that consolation bone.

Global aspirations, Sonos?
The other thing that we also need to raise just now is the question of the simultaneous integration of Amazon Music including Prime into Sonos. Amazon India has given a year's free Prime subscription to all that have bought the Echo - with three devices purchased, mine now extends to 2021.
At this time, the only international music services that can be accessed via Echo/Dot are Amazon Music and Tune In Radio. Having Sonos Skills enabled in Alexa India but not having these services at the same time would make it a useless integration. One could use it for voice control on music playing from NAS, but that isn't half as useful as invoking music play as well.
was assured integration will come soon as the official policy is to launch in every country that Alexa is offered.

If possible then give us a timeline

Good luck getting anything better than "Soon".