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Sonos 11.1 Brings Sonos Radio

Sonos 11.1 Brings Sonos Radio
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We’re proud to announce the launch of Sonos Radio, the premier radio experience on Sonos.  This is a free, ad-supported streaming radio service available to Sonos customers, offering access to an extensive assortment of music, news, live sports and more. 

 

Sonos Radio connects you with radio stations from around the world, with over 60,000 broadcast radio stations brought together in an easy to use interface. You can also use Sonos Radio to access radio services from our partners, such as iHeartRadio in North America, with more on the way. 

 

Sonos Radio features exclusive Sonos Stations, 30 genre-based stations based off of the music our owners listen to most. Get quick access to music with stations designed to complement the things you do at home, like getting ready in the morning, relaxing, working from home, cooking, and more.

 

Broadcasting from our Sonos Store in New York City, Sonos Sound System is the destination for music discovery and sonic inspiration. You can find Sound System along with our exclusive artist-curated stations under Sonos Presents in the app. 

Learn more here: https://support.sonos.com/s/article/482


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At first sight this seems like a good initiative.  One obvious change - the “location” listings only work at a city level.  That might work for the US, but in Europe many if not most radio stations are national, so it makes no sense to force them to appear only under a single city (for example, BBC stations in the UK).  A “national stations” category under the country would be a good idea and is used by a number of other radio streaming directories.

 

And a question.  Will this work on BBC stations with the Sonos skill on Amazon Echo devices, which hasn’t worked since they left TuneIn?

What does everyone think about Sonos Radio in this Sonos Radio thread?

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Is there a way for artists to submit music to your curators for consideration for programming on your stations?

Great question! Not that I know of currently, but I’ll let the team hear the idea as a suggestion for the future.

Just to clarify - does the TuneIn system still work as normal? e.g. is the new Sonos service totally separate from, and in addition to, TuneIn, or does it partially replace it?

The only change to TuneIn is that it has been moved in the order of services to its proper place alphabetically, and you can now remove it if you’d like. The service itself works the same. One major difference is that with Sonos Radio we get to host some of our own shows, the exclusive Sonos Stations and Sonos Sound System which we’re really excited to host. 

So are the stations simply sourced from TuneIn? Will they eventually become “native”, streaming directly from the resource provided by the station itself?

Some stations are sourced through TuneIn, some through iHeart Radio, and we’ll be adding more partners in the future too. We’re not hosting all of the 60,000+ stations ourselves, just connecting you with the streams hosted elsewhere.

 

@Suecom I appreciate your concern over personal privacy. We try to be very clear about what data we use, how, and the fact that we do not sell it. The only information shared with our advertising partner for Sonos Radio is the language, genre of the station you're listening to, and location (in the form of general zip code based on the IP of connection). You can learn more about this on our Terms of Service: https://www.sonos.com/legal/sonos-radio-terms Also, I’ve worked at Sonos for almost 10 years now and we’ve always required an email address to register a system. If a system was unregistered, it couldn’t update or play any music that wasn’t TuneIn, line-in, or local music (assuming you had everything on the same software build). Over the years we’ve become even more clear about what we’re collecting and why.

But let’s all try to stay on topic in this thread. If you want to join another thread on privacy, or start your own, you’re welcome to share. 

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Does this stream at a higher bitrate than TuneIn?

When it comes to audio quality, there are two things you need to keep an eye on for streaming, bitrate and format. For example, a 256 kbps stream of mp3 audio generally doesn’t sound as good as a 128kbps AAC stream. With Sonos Radio, we balanced a codec and bitrate pairing that would sound as good as possible, while still respecting your bandwidth. Sonos Radio stations stream at 128kbps in AAC.

The bitrate for radio stations available in Sonos Radio from TuneIn or iHeart Radio will depend on the source of the station, who’s hosting it. A radio station stream generally comes from a partner that the station works with, and the quality could be anywhere from 64 kbps to 320 kbps, most cases having multiple streams at different qualities, and you’ll get served the one that’s best for your connection at the time you try to connect.

  

I’m hoping that Sonos Radio will be more reliable than TuneIn. After numerous TuneIn outages, I’ve have to delete some local TuneIn stations and replace them with the direct stream URL.

To Sonos: are you still relying on TuneIn to supply connectivity for local stations?

We’re still working with TuneIn, but we're also working with other partners and indexing our own streams. I believe you can also add direct URLs to Sonos Radio if needed. 

While listening to Sonos Stations (Classical), I was annoyed by the announcement stating the station every so often.  It would be great if I can add these stations to my rotation, but would only be if it’s 100% music.  On a positive note, I’m looking forward to using Sonos Radio as an alternative to TuneIn.

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Hi User933635, currently it’s only for streaming content, no demand programs and podcasts are not available, but I’ll let the team know you’re looking for them. TuneIn is and will still be available on Sonos as a music service. Sonos Radio is going to be available to everyone, and new setups will see Sonos Radio first, but TuneIn will remain available in the Sonos app as a stand-alone service to add for all.

Great, a “native” Sonos Radio service. Immediately started replacing my TuneIn stations!

I ran into the same issue as @Philips999. In a tiny country like the Netherlands, it is even stranger to have to find a national station based on the city that it is broadcast from, although I found most national stations under “Other”. TuneIn, for example, also shows national stations applicable to my location in the “local radio” list, but I agree that a category “National stations” would work better in the UX Sonos has chosen.

 

Hello,

I have a question, I’m not able to find either the curated stations, Sonos Sound System, or artist stations. All I see on the Sonos Radio service are usual internet radios and local stations. Are those Sonos stations somehow region-restricted? I live in Czech Republic. Thank you for your answer.

Sonos’ press release on Sonos Radio states that these advanced features are initially only available in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland and Australia and that additional countries will follow. I assume this has to do with licensing.

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This looks to be a great new addition. On first look it seems difficult to find a particular station. For example if I am looking for BBC Radio 2 I have to browse around different categories to find it. It doesn’t seem to be possible to search for a station in the Sonos Radio Section or through the general search in the app. 
Is this something that will be added ?

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  1. I’ve read the announcement and kicked the tires, but I still don’t understand how this is fundamentally different from the existing TuneIn support. Anyone understand the difference?
  2. Ryan said above the default encoding rate was 128 Kbps AAC. In 2020 this is crazy - it should have been 256. For example, hasn’t 256 AAC been the Apple Music default for over five years now? Sonos is supposed to be a premium experience!

Dave Ings

I am not going to search through this entire thread to try and see if this has already been answered (threaded comments, Sonos?)

I’m just playing Sound System, here in the UK, and a track called Still Dreamin by Dreamville is playing - there’s a lot of explicit language in it, I’m home in my study with two young boys near - I’ve now had to turn off this stream and can’t listen to it any more; I can’t skip it or do anything, other than stop listening to the Sound System stream

Furthermore - it’s now stopped me listening to ANY SONOS RADIO because I cannot trust you to remove explicit content - I want to relax when listening to music, and it’s normally/often “background music” where I can tune out of the lyrics and work - I now cannot do that.

Had high hopes but this is a big fail.

I don’t like the talking on your new Sonos Radio. Very annoying to be all relaxed and chilling them have some person start talking. Very un cool. Offer a comment free version please

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Does this stream at a higher bitrate than TuneIn?

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Why no FOLK MUSIC station? (No, “Country” or “Outlaw” is NOT folk!) Folk always gets short shrift in these corporate-created music services. I’ll listen to FOLK ALLEY on TuneIn or IHeartRadio instead, sorry Sonos, Radio!

I agree with many of the comments above about including a ‘National’ category to find radio stations which are broadcast nationwide across all cities. 

It would also be useful to have a ‘My Radio Stations’ similar to the TuneIn function - this is particularly true when setting up an alarm, as currently there is no way to quickly find a radio station you listen to frequently.  Foe example to set up an alarm with BBC Radio 2 you need to select Sonos Radio / Browse Radio / Locations / Europe / United Kingdom / (then know you need to select London to see nationwide stations) London / Then you can finally select the station you are looking for - not the simplest of processes

Once you’ve eventually found the station you are looking for you can add it to ‘My Sonos’, which then appears under ‘Stations’, but unfortunately when adding an alarm there is no option to quickly select from My Stations (it would be good if there could be an equivalent of the Sonos Playlists function for saved radio stations when setting an alarm)

If I install 11.1 I have to remove the service. If I want to stop MY speakers from collecting information that should be by default private, then I have to include every Sonos related URL on my firewall. In short, if I want to use the product I paid for as a speaker system, I have to be massively convenienced so Sonos can sell MY data.

 

This might be acceptable if this had been the case when I purchased the half-dozen Sonos products, but when I purchased the Connect, soundbar, etc. this was not the philosophy behind the product.

 

Sonos are stealing, or trying to steal, data that I don’t want them to collect, and my only choice is to inconvenience myself or bin the product. Should I be happy? All I’m asking for is an opt out of ALL data collection switch.

 

I suggest you sell your Sonos.  You are obviously not going to be happy with them, and life is too short to go through unhappy. 

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So do you want to buy them (jgatie)? I’ve got a soundbar, connect (used for analog input), subwoofer, and 2x Sonos 3s.  Think I purchased most of it between ‘11-’14? All in perfect order.

My other set of (wired) speakers I’ve had since 1981 (nearly 40 years!) - Linn Isobariks.  They still do exactly what they did when I purchased them (brilliantly) - that’s exactly what these should do if Sonos had any decency. I doubt Sonos will be about in 40 years time - especially if they continue stealing from (p*ssing o$$) their customers.

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Re: Programme info on BBC Radio streams

Have just updated my system and have noticed that unlike the BBC Radio 2 stream on ‘Radio by TuneIn’, there is no ‘On Now’ programme info on ‘Sonos Radio’, so for now, I’m sticking with TuneIn as this seams like a backwards step for BBC Radio streams.

Edit - as I can switch between the higher quality AAC stream and the Sonos Radio 128k stream it’s possible to compare quality as well.  Definitely can hear that Sonos Radio stream not as full or good, however it is quite a few seconds ahead of the same TuneIn stream (never realised the delay via TuneIn was so large, so it does have an advantage).

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I also find the station names ‘Rock Road Trip’ and ‘Cruise Control’ a little odd for a home audio system.  :grinning:

Just put a road trip on the TV and put some music on :)

Ryan,

And what about all the other data (not just for Sonos Radio): can you put in writing here that you do not ‘share’ ANY of our data in any form (aggregates, etc.) with ANY third party?

 

 

It’s already in writing:

https://www.sonos.com/en-us/legal/privacy

 

Now take you off-topic nonsense elsewhere.

Exactly:

Sharing and Disclosure of Aggregate Data

We share data in aggregate form and/or in a form which does not enable the recipient of such data to identify you, with third parties, for example, for industry analysis.

You DO ‘share’ OUR data, and I’m sure you don't share it for the good of your health.

Who gave you this right? It wasn’t a condition of purchase when I gave you thousands of dollars!

 

There is a link to create a new topic at the top right corner of the page.

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Thanks for the heads up! I’ll let the team know.

Can you confirm that this situation will NOT occur once the last legacy release is made available, please?

 

There will also be a “Legacy” (S1) app. The S2 fork will be controlled by its dedicated S2 app.

Hi. In anticipation of the future legacy/modern split, I disabled updates on my system as an experiment. I now find that while my hardware hasn’t updated the app on my phone has automatically updated and I am no longer able to control my Sonos hardware.

Can you confirm that this situation will NOT occur once the last legacy release is made available, please?

 

Sonos has stated that you’ll have the option to stay on S1, move to S2, or split.  If you don’t trust them to handle that, and thus the reason for your experiment, why would you trust a response from Sonos regarding updating the app on your phone?  But as already answered, Sonos stated that there will be separate apps for S1 and S2.  For apps in general on phones and tablets, you have the option to have apps automatically update with latest version or not.  Sonos, and any other app developer, doesn’t have the ability to change those settingsfor you.

But the ‘file’ being played is hour(s) long, and not discrete items in a playlist. I’d 100% agree with you if each song were a discrete file in the Sonos stream. I really think we both agree that we’d love to see changes. ;)

Perhaps over time, things will change. 

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But the ‘file’ being played is hour(s) long, and not discrete items in a playlist. I’d 100% agree with you if each song were a discrete file in the Sonos stream. I really think we both agree that we’d love to see changes. ;)

Perhaps over time, things will change. 

I see what you’re saying.  Here’s a weird thing.  Day before Yesterday, I played the In the Absence Thereof station and heard a number of tracks I liked.  cool beans.  Then I heard a track that was annoying and realized I couldn’t skip it.  Darn!  Yesterday I played the station and got a track that’s like an hour long by itself.  It’s ok, but I want to hear the other tunes in the station without hearing the same hour long track first.  Now every time I restart it, it’s the same hourlong+ track that I heard yesterday.  That’s kind of terrible.  If I want to hear the whole selection of tunes, I will have to disable my alarms so I don’t have to restart at the beginning all the time.

I don’t know that the station is necessarily many many hours of a “radio show” in a single track or not, but it obviously changed between Wednesday and Thursday.

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