Plex Now Available in Beta on Sonos



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Yes
now to expand.
for each client version you have the ability to see a variety of groups - album, artist, folder,
sorts - date added, date played, play count, name, rating
and view - grid, list and folder
and filters - genre, country, collection


We need to specify what plex app because almost all of what you describe above is not available in Plex on Sonos AFAICT. Plex Web Client we can do all that, but not in Sonos.

(Users are asking for these features over on the plex forums)
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I am guilty of being too lazy to do some research on this, but will ask anyway - does this do anything to allow computers to stream local or streaming audio from them wirelessly to Sonos units, or does that remain a no no?
Nope. For all intents and purposes, it's the same functionality as Sonos' own music library... playing audio files that already reside on a computer or NAS. They still have a bit of work to do to match the same lists - no way right now to browse by genre or song title... but I'm sure they'll get more stuff added soon.

That's not to say that in the future Plex couldn't add some kind of podcast functionality, wrap in some live audio channels/streaming, or things like that... but it's not that way now.
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Yes
now to expand.
for each client version you have the ability to see a variety of groups - album, artist, folder,
sorts - date added, date played, play count, name, rating
and view - grid, list and folder
and filters - genre, country, collection


We need to specify what plex app because almost all of what you describe above is not available in Plex on Sonos AFAICT. Plex Web Client we can do all that, but not in Sonos.

(Users are asking for these features over on the plex forums)


iOS and Web

i dont use the others but i cant imagine they are not there .
For all intents and purposes, it's the same functionality as Sonos' own music library... playing audio files that already reside on a computer or NAS. They still have a bit of work to do to match the same lists - no way right now to browse by genre or song title... but I'm sure they'll get more stuff added soon.

That's not to say that in the future Plex couldn't add some kind of podcast functionality, wrap in some live audio channels/streaming, or things like that... but it's not that way now.


Appreciate the clarification.
A follow up to the first part above - Isn't it the case that Sonos today can, if directed, pull music files off the computer and play them, but the computer cannot wirelessly push files from its hard disc to Sonos? The latter is how Bluetooth is architected to work?

To the second part, does this mean that Plex, if they choose to do so in future, could have a solution to the wirelessly push music - streaming or locally held - problem? In that their solution has the necessary architecture today to build such functionality in future?

How does a possible Sonos cast feature fit into this?

A bunch of layman questions:-).
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Isn't it the case that Sonos today can, if directed, pull music files off the computer and play them, but the computer cannot wirelessly push files from its hard disc to Sonos? The latter is how Bluetooth is architected to work?
Sonos can definitely pull music from a computer/NAS. through the Sonos Music Library option Windows 7 and up, using UPnP, can "push" music files to a Sonos device without using the Sonos controller. This is not possible with Plex. The Plex implementation basically treats Sonos as a Plex client, though for music content only. It's almost like any other on-demand music service, it's just that it's coming from your own Plex server instead of an actual internet service.

Bluetooth audio doesn't push files... it just streams the audio output from a device (phone, tablet, or computer) to the Bluetooth receiver or speaker.

To the second part, does this mean that Plex, if they choose to do so in future, could have a solution to the wirelessly push music - streaming or locally held - problem? In that their solution has the necessary architecture today to build such functionality in future?

How does a possible Sonos cast feature fit into this?

I doubt that Plex will ever be made to wirelessly push music to Sonos. That's not to say that it couldn't be done... if they were to add a capability to detect the presence of Sonos devices on the network (not impossible), then use UPnP to push music to them just as Windows does now (also not impossible). But I just don't see it happening. No one else has set up any UPnP "push" streaming to Sonos, aside from Microsoft, in all of the time that Sonos has been available.

Plex supports Google Cast/Chromecast/whatever you want to call it... I believe all of their apps - computer and mobile - support it... so if Sonos were to add such an option, Plex would be able to take advantage of it without any problem, if you happen to prefer using the Plex app instead of the Sonos app.
Once again, thank you for the explanations!

I doubt that Plex will ever be made to wirelessly push music to Sonos. That's not to say that it couldn't be done... if they were to add a capability to detect the presence of Sonos devices on the network (not impossible), then use UPnP to push music to them just as Windows does now (also not impossible). But I just don't see it happening. No one else has set up any UPnP "push" streaming to Sonos, aside from Microsoft, in all of the time that Sonos has been available.


Following on from MikeV's comments above, there is one other solution to push music to Sonos via uPnP. I'm going off-topic a bit here, but if people are considering this Plex solution purely as a workaround for 65K tracks and/or hi-res audio support then it's worth considering using Logitech Media Server and the uPnPBridge plug-in. I've been using it myself for a few months and it's been rock-solid. It involves a little more work to configure than Plex or normal Sonos, but I had the entire thing up-and-running in 10 minutes. Basically there's a user on the LMS forums who has created 3 plug-ins that act as bridges between LMS and any AirPlay, Chromecast or uPnP devices.

I'm using the uPnPBridge plug-in - LMS then sees my Sonos Play:1 as a software Squeezebox player and pushes music to it via uPnP. Even better is that the plug-in can be configured to truncate 24-bits to 16-bits on the fly, and LMS itself can be configured to downsample anything above 48kHz. LMS also handles libraries > 65K tracks, and the playback is gapless. So this solution has served all my needs so far and has worked flawlessly with my Play:1.

Due to this uPnPBridge plug-in being designed for a wide range of uPnP devices, the config can look daunting at first glance. There's a shedload of settings to play with but there's good documentation for people who want to tinker. Tthe good news is that the author has also provided one-click presets for popular devices, of which Sonos is one. So a couple of clicks and it just works without you having to guess what settings to use.

If you go down this route, you no longer need to use the Sonos controllers either for selection/playback/volume. For people who aren't familiar with LMS it has a web-based front-end (much like Plex) along with mobile clients (I used iPeng on iOS and OrangeSqueeze on Android). The front-end also provides additional things that Sonos users have been asking for such as 'Recently Added', Play Random album etc.

I've waffled a lot there... sorry! But basically just wanted to let people know there's another solution but using Push instead of Pull methodology! However, Plex would give you the added advantage of remote streaming etc plus all the video functionality. LMS is tailored mostly for music.
MikeV: Thanks for sharing your research, and the clarity of your explanations.
The_Bastard_Son: thanks for posting images of the UI ... btw is that you, or Plex, who linked Taylor Swift's cover with Ryan Adam's album

It doesn't look like there is anything for me in Plex at this time.

The browsing experience is a major backwards step to even that offered by Sonos.

I guess that I am hard to please. I have designed my ideal solution with MediaMonkey. The bummer is that I can't queue from MediaMonkey, so I have to relocate the item using the Sonos controller. I know that sounds horrible, but the Sonos universal search facility makes it painless, especially as I queue whole albums.

I have a fairly large collection; 50% of Sonos capacity. I manage to listen to 60% of it each year.

Old favourites can get lost in large collection. I often like to browse amongst just albums unheard for over a year and a half. That brings my collection down to an auto-refreshing, more intimate 150 hours worth of music.

I also want the view to exclude albums unheard for 2 years, because if I didn't get around to playing then after 6 months worth of nagging, it is probably time to retire them.

This seems pretty much impossible in Plex as the last play date element seems poorly supported. Also it doesn't seem that they provide for importation of play events from other platforms.

And it looks like you can't easily import m3u playlists to become the basis of a Plex view.

They are very generalist. ... extreme cross platform reach ... Multi-media ... eg. their url is http://www.plex.tv/

In this light it seems less remarkable that they don't even have a composer index.
A lot of waffle about using LMS to send music directly to Sonos

Just realised that everything I said won't be suitable if you use stereo pairs or want to use the multi-room sync within Sonos. I only have 1 Sonos unit so can't test it but I'm pretty sure the discussions on the LMSforums indicated that because LMS is pushing music to each Sonos unit it won't be 100% synched across zones. Stereo pairing probably wouldn't work either because LMS communicates with each MAC address separately. Therefore the Plex method would still be much better in these cases due to Sonos handling everything as it normally would.
@BarryM lol the Ryan Adams cover, that is a little ongoing joke for my wife.
@pjn you can play to synced groups, ie sync your rooms in sonos and lms sees them as one
@pjn you can play to synced groups, ie sync your rooms in sonos and lms sees them as one

Thanks for the confimation. Do you know if stereo pairs work the same way? A number of people had been discussing how to get sync working and the uPnP plug-in author was saying it woudn't be perfect... but now I realise they were probably talking about the generic sync mechanisms built into LMS rather than properly-grouped Sonos speakers. Sorry for any confusion - I should probably shut up in this thread now because I keep getting only half of my rambings correct! 😃
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I am guilty of being too lazy to do some research on this, but will ask anyway - does this do anything to allow computers to stream local or streaming audio from them wirelessly to Sonos units, or does that remain a no no?

This doesn't really have anything to do with Plex, and there's already an easy way to do this: http://www.streamwhatyouhear.com/

On the plex service: Tried it out over the weekend, it seems to work fine with my ~100k song library. I had been using Subsonic before. In comparison in seems slightly better at dealing with long lists. But the big win compared to Subsonic is just because Plex actually uses ID3 tags correctly. Subsonic required organizing content into folders and would use folder names for artist names, which was stupid, since it would create duplicates if you had more than one folder for an artist, e.g. drawing from different sources.

Subsonic also did not have a working Genre search, which is what I was really looking forward to with this, so it's a bit of a bummer that's not implemented. Presumably they will add it at some point, that's pretty much all I want out of this.
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[quote=jamietre]
...using Subsonic before. In comparison in seems slightly better at dealing with long lists. But the big win compared to Subsonic is just because Plex actually uses ID3 tags correctly. Subsonic required organizing content into folders and would use folder names for artist names, which was stupid, since it would create duplicates if you had more than one folder for an artist, e.g. drawing from different sources.

Subsonic also did not have a working Genre search, which is what I was really looking forward to with this, so it's a bit of a bummer that's not implemented. Presumably they will add it at some point, that's pretty much all I want out of this.


PLEX has genre for its web and mobile apps.
i am frustrated however as it does not import many of the ID3 tags and with my large collection of music recordings its been an evolution to figure out which tags plexx uses ... and then it throws in tags like trackartist which while useful is not a standard tag.

i really hope they are going to add Genre and Folder (and i prefer the Subsonic method because of the way classical music is .. too many artists to have one as the designated artist).

NO COMPLAINTS just tweaks!
;o
[quote=pjn]
Thanks for the confimation. Do you know if stereo pairs work the same way? A number of people had been discussing how to get sync working and the uPnP plug-in author was saying it woudn't be perfect... but now I realise they were probably talking about the generic sync mechanisms built into LMS rather than properly-grouped Sonos speakers. Sorry for any confusion - I should probably shut up in this thread now because I keep getting only half of my rambings correct! :D



I can confirm that everything works perfectly playing from LMS to 3 synced connectamps and a connect. I've read that paired speakers work in a few different places, but I don't own any to test myself.
I've set up a Plex server on my Synology NAS, but when I try and add it to the Sonos system it keeps pushing me to create an account on the internet. I don't want to play music anywhere else, i don't want to open my system up to the internet, I just want to use Plex on my local network. Is there an FAQ for this, please?
You need a (free) plex account. https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/4057/~/plex-and-sonos
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Aside from its built-in music library functionality, Sonos only knows how to speak internet. Technically, the Plex "service" on Sonos communicates with Plex's cloud servers in order to get the info to communicate with your own Plex media server. This is why a Plex account is required, and why the Plex media server requires Remote Access to be enabled.
Aside from its built-in music library functionality, Sonos only knows how to speak internet. Technically, the Plex "service" on Sonos communicates with Plex's cloud servers in order to get the info to communicate with your own Plex media server. This is why a Plex account is required, and why the Plex media server requires Remote Access to be enabled.

OK - thanks for the explanation. I now have it working, but have to confess that I missed your earlier comment re "The views through Sonos are certainly very basic at this time (only artist and album lists)" - that makes it about as much use as a chocolate teapot, to me.... It simply lists all classical and contemporary artists or albums in a single stream. When I looked at the web version of plex I got quite excited, as it offered my preferred folder view - it looks like the Sonos version is, to be kind, somewhat limited. It looks like I need to pursue this via the plex site, but I'm not really sure that this is the solution that I'm after - I really want something that works within my local network.
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Just keep in mind... it's still under development. Over in the Plex forums, many people are asking for additional views/lists... so I'm sure more will come eventually. But there's a sizable technical hurdle they're trying to get around that affects many, but not all, as far as Sonos and the local Plex server being able to communicate.
Just keep in mind... it's still under development.

Sure... it's under Sonos Labs, so a work in progress...

I'm not writing it off yet, I'm just a bit disappointed as my 'store' is now at 90% - and there's always more CDs to buy :8

I only have about 34.5k tracks, so didn't expect to hit the limits this soon, but as I've been buying mainly classical music lately, it's had a huge impact. I don't really want to start fiddling with the track names/titles yet, as I'm hoping that a suitable solution will be available soon. All I need is the folder view, and problem solved.

The little that I played with it, it seemed to work quite well, although very sluggish to navigate compared to the usual Sonos software
I don't really want to start fiddling with the track names/titles yet,

Many tag editors allow you to do all of this in batch jobs. While you fuss with your scheme, you could backup the original data in the track's comment field. Opera tracks can be very wasteful because some online databases want to include all or most of the words in the first stanza as part of the track title and file name.
Someone said previously that MP3Tag could handle it, but I couldn't see an easy way of doing it - probably just me being particularly thick...

The thing is that Sonos is steadily moving away from the system that I want, so I'd rather not adjust the files as I'd hope that any replacement system wouldn't have these constraints in the first place - and would offer better support of things that I do want, such as the composer tag. As changing the tags wouldn't be speedy, it would also mean holding even more copies of the file set, which already takes too long to back up.

If nothing better comes along, which I fully accept may not happen, then I may have to go down that route - but the Plex option (when it works a lot better) may mean that I can put it off for a while longer.
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Someone said previously that MP3Tag could handle it, but I couldn't see an easy way of doing it - probably just me being particularly thick...

The thing is that Sonos is steadily moving away from the system that I want, so I'd rather not adjust the files as I'd hope that any replacement system wouldn't have these constraints in the first place - and would offer better support of things that I do want, such as the composer tag. As changing the tags wouldn't be speedy, it would also mean holding even more copies of the file set, which already takes too long to back up.

If nothing better comes along, which I fully accept may not happen, then I may have to go down that route - but the Plex option (when it works a lot better) may mean that I can put it off for a while longer.


MP3tag is really powerful. give it another try. you can mass edit and make changes using ALT 5 and various fields. for example change all albums or artist or year or genre... read the help and the website. its REALLY very powerful.
MP3tag is really powerful. give it another try. you can mass edit and make changes using ALT 5 and various fields. for example change all albums or artist or year or genre... read the help and the website. its REALLY very powerful.

I'll have another look, but I don't really think that the concept is for me... It's just another dataset to maintain and backup...