End of Software Support - Clarifications

End of Software Support - Clarifications

Show first post

3975 replies

Here’s an extract from today’s Evening Standard:

 

Spence said the company is working on a way for customers to split these systems so the speakers still work together but receive the appropriate updates for each device. 

 

This reiterates my earlier speculation from a BBC article that its the legacy units’ inability to handle greater memory requirement updates which necessitates creating two populations of Sonos units - legacy and modern.  The ES article goes further by saying that the speakers still work together but receive the appropriate updates for each device. 

 

If the storm (hopefully in a train cup) is ONLY about handling software updates and they can indeed work together after having been updated, I’m HAPPY again.

The speakers WILL NOT work together if you choose to update. See reply that I got via Twitter today. 

 

 

 

 

Confirmation of what we’ve been saying all along.

If you have old and new speakers you cannot group them anymore - so lose the key function of the sonos system.

Only if you are interested in continuing down the path of future updates. I for one am going to embrace “Legacy” network, and purchase any additional expansion unit for my environment from a drastically less expensive (enormously so compared to valuation of old units in the past) 2nd-hand used market. It isn’t ideal, but I’m personally not much interested in future voice integrations and the like which are clearly driving what’s coming for future “modern” software iterations. After considering all of this for several days now, this will make the future far more affordable (and perhaps more stable) for legacy users.

Userlevel 3
Badge

This is too funny.  From the November 20, 2019 letter to shareholders:

https://s22.q4cdn.com/672173472/files/doc_financials/2019/q4/FINAL-SONO-Q4-and-FY2019-Shareholder-Letter-11.20.19.pdf

...one of the things that sets us apart from any company we can think of - is that our existing households accounted for 37% of our new product registrations. That means 37% of the products registered in the year were from customers who were adding an additional Sonos product to their home. We also increased the average number of registered products per household from 2.8 to 2.9 in fiscal 2019. Together, this illustrates our continued ability to 1) acquire new Sonos customers and 2) convince our existing customers to continue to add to their system.

Who are the idiots running this company and why do they still have jobs?  Turning your back on 37% of your market is extraordinarily stupid.  I am seriously wondering how long it will take this brain trust to run this company into bankruptcy.  Google and Amazon are going to have a field day with these rubes.

Userlevel 1

Unfortunately, I’ve endured this transition once before in the digital music world, having suffered through the slimdevices becomes Logitech Music debacle -- eventually the systems got left behind where streaming services are concerned (though still workable for local music collections). That’s how I ended up with Sonos in the first place.

If this goes as badly as that transition, lesson learned: do NOT invest in systems which integrate the software with the actual speakers -- at least then come what may the only parts that get bricked are the networking dongles, and you’ll still have functioning speakers to use with emergent software/network systems.

At least I am able to use my old Squeezeboxes as glorified clocks -- my Play5, Connect and collection of Play1s appear destined to become paperweights.

Of course, maybe the big brains at Sonos are having a “New Coke” moment and will realize that legacy hardware can be retained if they create a “Legacy Master” device that can be upgraded which simply streams bits to legacy “slave” units … 

If the storm (hopefully in a train cup) is ONLY about handling software updates and they can indeed work together after having been updated, I’m HAPPY again.

 

indeed. 

If the announcement for withdrawing software support just means theres no new shiny features then thats fine. We already have a situation that newer units have truetune, alexa and airplay features but older ones don’t. If this divergence is just going to be coming more striking, then fine. 

I don’t think users in general are too unreasonable. All we want is the app to keep controling the units and the units to keep pumping out the music (and talk radio!) . How difficult is it to keep the status quo with the legacy units? ...and crucially (and not mentioned anywhere by sonos) the App. 

Hopefully its just a case of inept PR people in Sonos with little language ability or engineering knowledge, who could have termed the move as a “divergence” of ability of newer and legacy units , indicating that the fully seamless experience is ending, rather than “END of software support” which instead strongly indicates that the units are one step from being bricked in a few months.    

Sonos is fond of making promo videos nowadays. Maybe this announcement could have been better communicated by a 1 minute video with simulations of how the app will work in the future for controling music and linking zones, show what will work, show where you will see a divergence. 

Userlevel 6
Badge +4

Here’s an extract from today’s Evening Standard:

 

Spence said the company is working on a way for customers to split these systems so the speakers still work together but receive the appropriate updates for each device. 

 

This reiterates my earlier speculation from a BBC article that its the legacy units’ inability to handle greater memory requirement updates which necessitates creating two populations of Sonos units - legacy and modern.  The ES article goes further by saying that the speakers still work together but receive the appropriate updates for each device. 

 

If the storm (hopefully in a train cup) is ONLY about handling software updates and they can indeed work together after having been updated, I’m HAPPY again.

The speakers WILL NOT work together if you choose to update. See reply that I got via Twitter today. 

 

 

 

 

Confirmation of what we’ve been saying all along.

If you have old and new speakers you cannot group them anymore - so lose the key function of the sonos system.

Only if you are interested in continuing down the path of future updates. I for one am going to embrace “Legacy” network, and purchase any additional expansion unit for my environment from a drastically (enormously so compared to valuation of old units in the past) 2nd-hand used market. It isn’t ideal, but I’m personally not much interested in future voice integrations and the like which are clearly driving what’s coming for future “modern” software iterations. After considering all of this for several days now, this will make the future far more affordable (and perhaps more stable) for legacy users.

 

Fair enough, and genuinely good luck to you - I hope no API’s (that you use) break for you I really do.

But I wasn’t sold Sonos on the basis that I cannot get updates if I want to use my old and new speakers in a group. For me having a mixture of old and new is where I am, and I was never warned or told this could or would happen. I will never buy another Sonos item again if this comes to pass, and I will actively dissuade my friends by explaining what happened to me. These are simple systems, not laptops or mobile phones all they do is stream audio - they should last longer than this, and the environmental impact of bricking them and putting them in landfill in return for a 30% discount is beyond appalling.

Userlevel 3
Badge

If I worked for a competitor I would be implementing a huge marketing campaign with deeply discounted products to pick up disgruntled SONOS owners.  Someone with real savvy could seriously clean up.

Userlevel 5
Badge +3

Since this announcement a few days ago the share price has dropped 6.5%.

Thats a billion dollars wiped off the company value.  A fair few “trade ups” would need to be sold to recover that.

Hows about just going back to plan A and not treating your existing customer base like a cash cow adn expecting them to just suck it up that their home sound system which has been added to over the years is about to get ripped apart.

Userlevel 1

Let’s be clear, if my $3000 home setup that works perfectly today (lots of connects enabling built in speakers) suddenly stops being able to stream from my subscription services, Sonos is done in my house forever. Why would I upgrade when I know products that have historically lasted a lifetime (music and speakers) will expire?  This was never mentioned as a possibility until this week, and no where in history have speakers just stopped working.  No one who invested thousands in Sonos saw this coming. 
 

I have recommended and installed Sonos in at least a dozen friends’ homes. Embarrassing. 
 

I don’t care about updates. I care about a system that works perfectly continuing to work perfectly. 
 

sonos has really stepped in it this time. 

Userlevel 3
Badge +1

This is too funny.  From the November 20, 2019 letter to shareholders:

https://s22.q4cdn.com/672173472/files/doc_financials/2019/q4/FINAL-SONO-Q4-and-FY2019-Shareholder-Letter-11.20.19.pdf

...one of the things that sets us apart from any company we can think of - is that our existing households accounted for 37% of our new product registrations. That means 37% of the products registered in the year were from customers who were adding an additional Sonos product to their home. We also increased the average number of registered products per household from 2.8 to 2.9 in fiscal 2019. Together, this illustrates our continued ability to 1) acquire new Sonos customers and 2) convince our existing customers to continue to add to their system.

Who are the idiots running this company and why do they still have jobs?  Turning your back on 37% of your market is extraordinarily stupid.  I am seriously wondering how long it will take this brain trust to run this company into bankruptcy.  Google and Amazon are going to have a field day with these rubes.

 

They also might not realize how much of that 63% was potentially brought on by word of mouth from the existing households as well. To have such shortsightedness (where you would make decisions that might upset part of your market that is responsible for a third(+) of your sales), is scary. Shareholders and board members should be calling for heads to roll.

Userlevel 5
Badge +3

If I worked for a competitor I would be implementing a huge marketing campaign with deeply discounted products to pick up disgruntled SONOS owners.  Someone with real savvy could seriously clean up.


Amazon releases an amplifier that I can address just like my sonos ones, and a small independent sonos 1 stayle speake and I will happily replace my entire 17 unit system.  Sonos can shove it up their backside, Ive spent years putting my system together as and when I wanted to get another unit for the house or garden.  To find its going to be split into non communicating groups is ridiculous.

 

Its a music streaming device, its absolute bull that the memory limits are the issue.  Its a thin TCP client playing an audio stream.  They could if they chose offload the heavy lifting to a more powerful unit on the system, and have that relay the simple stuff to other units and allow them to simply play a stream.

Its lazy programming and instead of going down the development route they have chosen to go down the built to fail route, atempting to make an entire whole home audio system a consumable item.   This will fail, hard imho.  Quite why the CEO of a company like Sonos cant see this I dont know.

Sell the IP to somebody like Amazon or Google and move over.

Sonos have had to adapt fast to the release of alexa and google home, and this is now their last ditch attempt, 5 year disposable design peddled at premium prices.  No thanks.

Userlevel 1

Looks like it may be time to drop sonos, like other people in this post we work hard for our money and at 700 a pop on a connect amp to only have owned them for less than 2yrs and all you are offering is 30% off that's ridiculous. And as you say they will "eventually stop working "  My opinion putting an expiration date on products we spent good money on is a really bad  decision for sonos and I don't think I'm alone with this.  Make it right or lose a lot of customers 

Userlevel 2

My deepest apologies to all of my friends and family….You all spent so much money on my recommendation of Sonos products. oh yeah, I forgot about my constant bragging, so sorry.

There’s some sort of saying:  “please a customer and they will tell 2 people,  offend a customer and they will tell 10 people”

So true!! So disappointed, Sonos.

Damian

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

Dear Sonos,

 

If your strategy is to encourage existing customers to upgrade because of the new features, and not because of a profit motive, I have an answer.  Let us upgrade at your cost.  That way we are happy, you keep us current, and we all win.  How about it?

 

ps 30% discount is not your cost 

Here’s an extract from today’s Evening Standard:

 

Spence said the company is working on a way for customers to split these systems so the speakers still work together but receive the appropriate updates for each device. 

 

This reiterates my earlier speculation from a BBC article that its the legacy units’ inability to handle greater memory requirement updates which necessitates creating two populations of Sonos units - legacy and modern.  The ES article goes further by saying that the speakers still work together but receive the appropriate updates for each device. 

 

If the storm (hopefully in a train cup) is ONLY about handling software updates and they can indeed work together after having been updated, I’m HAPPY again.

The speakers WILL NOT work together if you choose to update. See reply that I got via Twitter today. 

 

 

 

 

Confirmation of what we’ve been saying all along.

If you have old and new speakers you cannot group them anymore - so lose the key function of the sonos system.

Only if you are interested in continuing down the path of future updates. I for one am going to embrace “Legacy” network, and purchase any additional expansion unit for my environment from a drastically (enormously so compared to valuation of old units in the past) 2nd-hand used market. It isn’t ideal, but I’m personally not much interested in future voice integrations and the like which are clearly driving what’s coming for future “modern” software iterations. After considering all of this for several days now, this will make the future far more affordable (and perhaps more stable) for legacy users.

 

Fair enough, and genuinely good luck to you - I hope no API’s (that you use) break for you I really do.

But I wasn’t sold Sonos on the basis that I cannot get updates if I want to use my old and new speakers in a group. For me having a mixture of old and new is where I am, and I was never warned or told this could or would happen. I will never buy another Sonos item again if this comes to pass, and I will actively dissuade my friends by explaining what happened to me. These are simple systems, not laptops or mobile phones all they do is stream audio - they should last longer than this, and the environmental impact of bricking them and putting them in landfill in return for a 30% discount is beyond appalling.

Yup. I’m resigned that potentially ALL the APIs I use could break, but the least likely would be local media streaming and even less so, simple speaker grouping and connectivity. It will all potentially become not much more than a wireless speaker network, but it can be fed via line-in from another streaming source (I do this already sometimes) that is not a Sonos device. One can also still currently direct-cast from certain applications to a given Sonos speaker singly, so at least there’s that. NONE of this is ideal, but I’ll not be “moving forward” under conditions as they now seem to be. I’ll make it work until I can no longer. 

And I’m with you otherwise; no one expected this and I’ve converted plenty of other households myself as well and will no longer do so. I’ll also advise on the risks of moving forward to those I know that have Sonos now, and warn those that do not. This is all part of the reason I’m resigned to stay behind.
The recycling bit is another issue to me entirely, and I think that policy indefensible and deplorable.

Userlevel 2

Dear Sonos,

 

If your strategy is to encourage existing customers to upgrade because of the new features, and not because of a profit motive, I have an answer.  Let us upgrade at your cost.  That way we are happy, you keep us current, and we all win.  How about it?

 

ps 30% discount is not your cost 

WE “WERE” WALKING,TALKING BILLBOARDS FOR THEM, THEIR BEST SALESPEOPLE”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Userlevel 4
Badge +1

Yes, my Connect:Amp has a play/pause button on the front. Until now, I’ve not been aware there are different models/versions of Connect:Amp.

I’m not sure anyone was. They updated the internals while keeping the name and design the same, with the button being the only difference. It’s confusing everyone. 

You can also look at the status of all of your components by logging into your account and looking at the System section - next to each component it will say either Legacy or Modern

There were other differences too (I compared a bunch last night).  They changed the Sonos logo during the gen 1 era and the casing has different markings.  But I agree it wasn’t widely known that they added more memory in gen 2.  They got better about advertising that with the Sonos One. 

 

For some reason, I thought I had a Connect and Amp… just realised that I actually have the original ZP100, ZP80 and CR(100) which of course no longer works.

Might have to keep them as museum pieces 😂

Was saving up for a pair of Play 5’s but very worried that as they have now been out for ten years they will soon be no longer supported.  Am now thinking that I shall have to go elsewhere unless Sonos can reassure me that they will continue to be fully supported.

Userlevel 6
Badge +4

Here’s an extract from today’s Evening Standard:

 

Spence said the company is working on a way for customers to split these systems so the speakers still work together but receive the appropriate updates for each device. 

 

This reiterates my earlier speculation from a BBC article that its the legacy units’ inability to handle greater memory requirement updates which necessitates creating two populations of Sonos units - legacy and modern.  The ES article goes further by saying that the speakers still work together but receive the appropriate updates for each device. 

 

If the storm (hopefully in a train cup) is ONLY about handling software updates and they can indeed work together after having been updated, I’m HAPPY again.

The speakers WILL NOT work together if you choose to update. See reply that I got via Twitter today. 

 

 

 

 

Confirmation of what we’ve been saying all along.

If you have old and new speakers you cannot group them anymore - so lose the key function of the sonos system.

Only if you are interested in continuing down the path of future updates. I for one am going to embrace “Legacy” network, and purchase any additional expansion unit for my environment from a drastically (enormously so compared to valuation of old units in the past) 2nd-hand used market. It isn’t ideal, but I’m personally not much interested in future voice integrations and the like which are clearly driving what’s coming for future “modern” software iterations. After considering all of this for several days now, this will make the future far more affordable (and perhaps more stable) for legacy users.

 

Fair enough, and genuinely good luck to you - I hope no API’s (that you use) break for you I really do.

But I wasn’t sold Sonos on the basis that I cannot get updates if I want to use my old and new speakers in a group. For me having a mixture of old and new is where I am, and I was never warned or told this could or would happen. I will never buy another Sonos item again if this comes to pass, and I will actively dissuade my friends by explaining what happened to me. These are simple systems, not laptops or mobile phones all they do is stream audio - they should last longer than this, and the environmental impact of bricking them and putting them in landfill in return for a 30% discount is beyond appalling.

Yup. I’m resigned that potentially ALL the APIs I use could break, but the least likely would be local media streaming and even less so, simple speaker grouping and connectivity. It will all potentially become not much more than a wireless speaker network, but it can be fed via line-in from another streaming source (I do this already sometimes) that is not a Sonos device. One can also still currently direct-cast from certain applications to a given Sonos speaker singly, so at least there’s that. NONE of this is ideal, but I’ll not be “moving forward” under conditions as they now seem to be. I’ll make it work until I can no longer. 

 

Understand where you are coming from, this whole situation is so unnecessary though - so sad

Here’s an extract from today’s Evening Standard:

 

Spence said the company is working on a way for customers to split these systems so the speakers still work together but receive the appropriate updates for each device. 

 

This reiterates my earlier speculation from a BBC article that its the legacy units’ inability to handle greater memory requirement updates which necessitates creating two populations of Sonos units - legacy and modern.  The ES article goes further by saying that the speakers still work together but receive the appropriate updates for each device. 

 

If the storm (hopefully in a train cup) is ONLY about handling software updates and they can indeed work together after having been updated, I’m HAPPY again.

The speakers WILL NOT work together if you choose to update. See reply that I got via Twitter today. 

 

 

 

 

Confirmation of what we’ve been saying all along.

If you have old and new speakers you cannot group them anymore - so lose the key function of the sonos system.

Only if you are interested in continuing down the path of future updates. I for one am going to embrace “Legacy” network, and purchase any additional expansion unit for my environment from a drastically (enormously so compared to valuation of old units in the past) 2nd-hand used market. It isn’t ideal, but I’m personally not much interested in future voice integrations and the like which are clearly driving what’s coming for future “modern” software iterations. After considering all of this for several days now, this will make the future far more affordable (and perhaps more stable) for legacy users.

 

Fair enough, and genuinely good luck to you - I hope no API’s (that you use) break for you I really do.

But I wasn’t sold Sonos on the basis that I cannot get updates if I want to use my old and new speakers in a group. For me having a mixture of old and new is where I am, and I was never warned or told this could or would happen. I will never buy another Sonos item again if this comes to pass, and I will actively dissuade my friends by explaining what happened to me. These are simple systems, not laptops or mobile phones all they do is stream audio - they should last longer than this, and the environmental impact of bricking them and putting them in landfill in return for a 30% discount is beyond appalling.

Yup. I’m resigned that potentially ALL the APIs I use could break, but the least likely would be local media streaming and even less so, simple speaker grouping and connectivity. It will all potentially become not much more than a wireless speaker network, but it can be fed via line-in from another streaming source (I do this already sometimes) that is not a Sonos device. One can also still currently direct-cast from certain applications to a given Sonos speaker singly, so at least there’s that. NONE of this is ideal, but I’ll not be “moving forward” under conditions as they now seem to be. I’ll make it work until I can no longer. 

 

Understand where you are coming from, this whole situation is so unnecessary though - so sad

Fact.

Userlevel 3
Badge

Since this announcement a few days ago the share price has dropped 6.5%.

Thats a billion dollars wiped off the company value.  A fair few “trade ups” would need to be sold to recover that.

Hows about just going back to plan A and not treating your existing customer base like a cash cow adn expecting them to just suck it up that their home sound system which has been added to over the years is about to get ripped apart.


Good thing Nicholas Millington, Chief Product Officer, sold 30% of his shares on January 2nd for $500,000.00 before the share price started going down.  Shrewd trader that Nicholas :wink: .

http://d18rn0p25nwr6d.cloudfront.net/CIK-0001314727/5e4c0a01-abfa-4ea8-bf30-6a97f31fb24d.pdf

Userlevel 1

As was said in a previous post, this decision will be used as a future case study.  Who would have thought that Sonos would become the modern day Ratner?

Sonos’s success has been its ability prise people away from their hifi through its convenience and simplicity of use.  It’s expandability has meant that people can simply keep adding to their system, willingly spending £££ on speakers to replace old radios in their kitchens, put in their kids bedrooms and rooms that they would never think of putting hifi in.

Sonos is (was) also ‘reassuringly expensive’.

But this is a two way street.  There has been an unwritten contract between Sonos and us customers; that we willingly pay over the odds and a premium price, but we at least expect the system to keep working in return.  We TRUST the system to keep working.

The moment the system loses the core values of convenience and simplicity of use, that originally drew us to it and most importantly once the brand loses the TRUST of its customers, that unwritten contract is broken.

Who in their right mind is going to buy a new Sonos product after this announcement?  What possible TRUST can customers have that this won’t simply be repeated again in the future?

At least with Ratners you could sell the gold.  Sonos’s ‘Legacy’ will be bricked plastic boxes polluting the planet.

Userlevel 4
Badge +1

Re this comment:

It will all potentially become not much more than a wireless speaker network, but it can be fed via line-in from another streaming source (I do this already sometimes) that is not a Sonos device.

It’s a pity Google stopped producing the Chromecast audio. Ideal, I would have thought. You can still pick them up on eBay, but how long they’ll be supported is anyone’s guess. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

My response to Patrick Spence 

 

Hello again,

 

Your email actually does not address the issue we all have.  That is the co-existing of devices on the same network, and working in the way they always have.   The benefit of Sonos was multi-zone music delivery without sync issues.  If I run two systems , then I am guessing I cannot sync devices between systems.  That defeats the purpose of $10,000+ of equipment, no?

 

The question I have been trying to get an answer to is: Is your suggestion to me that I update 16 of my 26 devices at a cost of $5,500?  You cannot explain what upsides I will get see in terms of new features, but you will say I must separate into multiple systems fail to get full advantage out of my more modern devices.  

 

After raising your prices 20% you then offer us a 30% discount to upgrade.   Back in the day I paid about $300 per connect, and now they run $449.  I have loads of these.  What do I get for the increase in spend?  What’s my ROI?

 

For now my investments in Sonos have ceased.  I have turned many, many people onto the platform... no longer.  I am active on Social Media and on the product review forums.  I will continue being as strong as messenger against Sonos as I was a proponent.

 

Perhaps the day you offer upgrades AT YOUR COST, and not try to profit again off my back, we’ll talk again.

 

Regards,

Userlevel 1

Since this announcement a few days ago the share price has dropped 6.5%.

Thats a billion dollars wiped off the company value.  A fair few “trade ups” would need to be sold to recover that.

Hows about just going back to plan A and not treating your existing customer base like a cash cow adn expecting them to just suck it up that their home sound system which has been added to over the years is about to get ripped apart.

Maybe this is intentional. I mean that someone related in the Sonos company chain of command might intend to decrease the value of the company, because he has a spurious interest to do so and, therefore, facilitate the purchase by some other company for a lower value.
If I am right, the new owner will quickly annul the whole obsolescence issue, and will regain the trust of his clients, of course that can only be done by a NEW AND PRESTIGIOUS OWNER.
I'm not sure, but I won't rule out the possibility

This is too funny.  From the November 20, 2019 letter to shareholders:

https://s22.q4cdn.com/672173472/files/doc_financials/2019/q4/FINAL-SONO-Q4-and-FY2019-Shareholder-Letter-11.20.19.pdf

...one of the things that sets us apart from any company we can think of - is that our existing households accounted for 37% of our new product registrations. That means 37% of the products registered in the year were from customers who were adding an additional Sonos product to their home. We also increased the average number of registered products per household from 2.8 to 2.9 in fiscal 2019. Together, this illustrates our continued ability to 1) acquire new Sonos customers and 2) convince our existing customers to continue to add to their system.

Who are the idiots running this company and why do they still have jobs?  Turning your back on 37% of your market is extraordinarily stupid.  I am seriously wondering how long it will take this brain trust to run this company into bankruptcy.  Google and Amazon are going to have a field day with these rubes.

 

The document does not say that 37% of households have legacy products.  Some of those household have bought their first product any time since 2015 (all non-legacy products) Or bought a play:1, play:3, playbar etc (non-legacy).  That would imply that the number of households with legacy products is somewhere south of 37%.  And this is ‘new product registrations’, which could mean a household bought a used legacy product and is registering it.  That would likely adjust the number of households up.  We also don’t know how many people have already used the trade in program...adjusting the number down.  

 

This is also only the percentage for 2019, not reflective of sales from previous years.  Obviously, there can be households with legacy products who did not buy anything fiscal 2019.

Reply