Sonos Version 6.4 Now in Public Beta



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I don't agree. Try switching media types, from music to video. Turn on your TV set, and open the menu. If yours is anything like mine, there are a myriad of options in there. I don't understand them all, but if I had a usability issue with some aspect of the TV I would be on top of the options in the associated menu branch.

Your TV probably has different options to my TV and I'm reasonably sure such customisation leads to confusion for some users, so much so, that many users often leave such settings at their default anyway. It's clearly better if no such customisation is available for all, as we could then all do things in the same way ... Which is what Sonos want to do with their software - at least keeping customisation to the bare-minimum. I applaud them for making that effort, even if some things are 'forced' onto a user, who has to 'adapt' accordingly. Not everyone will agree with that sentiment, but the majority will, if it makes life easier and simple.

The cost of this tiny, tiny edge case of advantage, is that long term users are suddenly temporary strangers to their own equipment. I know that we can all learn to work around the changes, but it is galling when the change is sub-optimal for own use case, just because Sonos can't be bothered allowing configuration options.

I am sure Sonos can be bothered, but they are choosing to make their controller 'look and feel' the same everywhere. Simplicity is often 'key' to success... it would be good if all TV remote controls were the same too I think, that would make life so much easier when buying a new TV.

Even Windows 10 customisation has been drastically cut back compared to Windows 7and only certain colours and limited fonts can now be chosen, as part of their latest customisation settings... Microsoft went too far.

Sonos are simply keeping a tight rein on things ...and I can't say that I blame them.
... In the old days of vinyl, if I wanted to listen to just one or two tracks on an album, I most certainly had to put the whole album onto the turntable ... It is also true that once I had listened to the chosen tracks, that I sometimes went onto listen to a few other tracks. It was the same thing in many ways with CD’s and Cassette Tapes as they often would continue playing until the end of the tape/disc.

This is why many of us resorted to tape decks and cassette recorders -- essentially a way of assembling a playlist of tracks and eliminating all of that album handling. With the digital players this is so much easier and the resulting quality is higher. Because of the easy random access characteristic of digital media, building a list of tracks is a lot less "work". The aggressive "play from here" increases my "work".
This is why many of us resorted to tape decks and cassette recorders -- essentially a way of assembling a playlist of tracks and eliminating all of that album handling. With the digital players this is so much easier and the resulting quality is higher. Because of the easy random access characteristic of digital media, building a list of tracks is a lot less "work". The aggressive "play from here" increases my "work".

Isn't that why Sonos has easily ’accessible' saved playlists and that's also surely the reason why the 'warning dialog box' invites the end-user to cancel and save their edited queue? ... Creating a customised queue for saving as a playlist, is far more simple than using any tape deck/cassette recorder, even with the way the new features now work in the beta.
Ken_Griffiths,

But this is more "work" than prior versions required. I ditched tape for SONOS because of the "work" saving benefits.

I could easily grow my own beans or buy raw beans in a store, but popping open a can is a whole lot less "work". Sure, we could discuss the merits of each option with respect to environmental impact and nutritional value, but I am interested only in minimizing my "work". In a sense we are squawking over the difference between frozen beans and cans. I prefer not to need to wait for the frozen beans to thaw -- canned beans are ready to eat sooner.
Podcasts managed by itunes look like albums with a lot of tracks (nearly 100 for one of mine). If I use "Play from here", will the app potentially now add a large number of podcasts to the queue? Granted I could get over 10 days of listening with one click, but that's not what I need :)

Cheers, Peter.

p.s. Apologies if this is a silly question, but as an IOS user I can't contribute to the beta.
Podcasts managed by itunes look like albums with a lot of tracks (nearly 100 for one of mine). If I use "Play from here", will the app potentially now add a large number of podcasts to the queue? Granted I could get over 10 days of listening with one click, but that's not what I need :)

Cheers, Peter.

p.s. Apologies if this is a silly question, but as an IOS user I can't contribute to the beta.


I can't comment on iTunes or indeed the new iOS Sonos controller software until the public beta software is completed and released for iOS users (I can't wait to see that myself, personally speaking), but whenever I do a Sonos search for a podcast I usually get results returned via Tune-In Radio and those podcasts simply play like a radio station. I'm not sure though if that helps, but remember you can click on any iTunes album cover (not using the PLAY button on the cover) and view the entire individual tracks on that album within iTunes. The user can then simply select a track using the 'Play Now' context menu option and it will then only load that one chosen track to the queue to play. So even if your iTunes podcasts do indeed prove to actually work like albums, you should not encounter any problem. It's maybe just a case of getting used to the way the beta software works. If you do want all the podcasts to load, then you can simply 'Play All' ... There are a variety of ways to do that.
The 'feature' of wiping out an entire queue based on clicking on one song of an artists catalog, is the worst thing Sonos has come up with. I have been using this system for 12 years and never have I been so frustrated. I hand the remote over to a friend who wants to look up ONE song to play and next thing you know, all my hard work of building the queue is immediately gone. Please FIX this Sonos!

For my own personal use of my Sonos system at home, I most likely would not need a padlock feature 'enabled' very often, maybe occasionally, but not all the time. Presumably, that would be the case for the majority of Sonos owners, who became real familiar with the new controller software and knew what they were doing themselves.

I think however, I would prefer a slightly more complex padlock system (behind the scenes), particularly for use with guests, like people at a house party, for example.

The reason I say that is, I would possibly want my party-goers to be UNABLE to do these things:

1. Unable to delete the whole queue.
2. Unable to delete a track (currently playing, or otherwise).
2. Unable to interrupt a playing track (So they cannot Play/Pause/Skip etc. nor use the Play-Now feature).
3. Unable to shuffle, nor replace the whole queue.
4. Unable to increase volume above a set limit (or maybe unable to alter/mute the volume).
5. Unable to tamper with the controller interface (i.e. delete albums, playlists, music services etc.) ...and unable to remove the controller software. (The latter is easily prevented in 'settings/general/restrictions' on any iOS device).
6. Unable to remove a queue lock, unless given the assigned password.

But... I would want my party-goers to be ABLE to do these things:

7. Able to perform a search across all Music Services and add a track, album or playlist to the queue, using either 'Play-Next' or 'Add to Queue' actions only.
8. Able to change the queue Play Order (but, if not allowed, the queue itself should become read only).

The list of 8 suggestions above, is not exhaustive, but just the things that quickly spring to mind and I probably need to think about some things in a little more depth. They are just off the top of my head.

It would be great to enable/disable all such things, with one simple click of a padlock icon within a queue.

So some kind of padlock for mainly 'guest' access, seems a reasonable idea to me, but despite my list above, it perhaps needs to be a 'real simple' feature from the end-users perspective... And of course the list of 'things' that such a padlock would perform, would need to be carefully chosen and acceptable in most guest-access type situations.
Your TV probably has different options to my TV and I'm reasonably sure such customisation leads to confusion for some users, so much so, that many users often leave such settings at their default anyway.
That is not evidence of something which is broken. That is something which is working as designed, ie. set some sensible defaults, and the majority of people never need know that alternate settings are available.

That is no argument against going to the extra effort of allowing alternate options for customers who need them, and it certainly doesn't excuse not offering them when the vendor is changing historic behaviours in order to chase new markets.

I am sure Sonos can be bothered, but they are choosing to make their controller 'look and feel' the same everywhere. Simplicity is often 'key' to success... it would be good if all TV remote controls were the same too I think, that would make life so much easier when buying a new TV. .... [snip] ...Sonos are simply keeping a tight rein on things ...and I can't say that I blame them.

Well they tried simplifying things by trying to railroad all streaming services, such as Spotify, through the "simple" Sonos app suite.

So how well did that work out for them?

This how Bloomberg saw it this week: "Up to this point, Sonos users have had to use the company’s own mobile application to play music on the speakers. This meant that new features for music services like Spotify didn't make it to Sonos users for months. The speaker company's rigidity has frustrated partners and customers for years."
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-30/how-sonos-and-amazon-echo-learned-to-talk-to-each-other


Even Windows 10 customisation has been drastically cut back compared to Windows 7and only certain colours and limited fonts can now be chosen, as part of their latest customisation settings... Microsoft went too far.


Windows 10 is a step back from Microsoft's previous share holder wealth destroying attempt at over simplification, and their customer-unfriendly attempt to push the customer to change the way that they are accustomed, and prefer, to use the products which they have paid for.

...and I can't say that I blame them.

I have no problem with that Ken, but I don't agree with you. Sonos could, and should, do better IMO.
Userlevel 3
Badge +2
An option to lock people out of skipping a song is something that has been missing from Sonos since the beginning, I can't believe they still haven't implemented it. There is nothing worse than having a house full of guests at a party, and everyone has the app and is adding the songs they want (and so they should) then people who either don't want to wait for their song to come on, or don't know how to add to the queue so they just click play now and the music is interrupted with a pause in the middle of a song, and the song is added to the end of the queue so the music stops after the song until someone goes onto the app and restarts the music from queue.

For me there are two features that need adding that would improve this immensely, one more so than the other. The first and most important, is the ability to lock guests out of the play now and skip option, they should only be able to add to the queue or to play next. The second which would just be a bonus, is the ability to leave guests able to skip songs but have an option where cross-fade is enabled even in the middle of a song. Just a simple cross-fade, like the one that can be enable for the end of songs, this would just stop that awkward pause of silence for a second when someone skips a song. The second would be nice but not a necessity, but the option to lock guests from causing a break in the music from either skipping a song, or choosing play now is a feature that is way over due. The guests at the party should be able to request the music they want to hear, but not at the expense of the other guests, waiting to here music they have chosen.



For my own personal use of my Sonos system at home, I most likely would not need a padlock feature 'enabled' very often, maybe occasionally, but not all the time. Presumably, that would be the case for the majority of Sonos owners, who became real familiar with the new controller software and knew what they were doing themselves.

I think however, I would prefer a slightly more complex padlock system (behind the scenes), particularly for use with guests, like people at a house party, for example.

The reason I say that is, I would possibly want my party-goers to be UNABLE to do these things:

1. Unable to delete the whole queue.
2. Unable to delete a track (currently playing, or otherwise).
2. Unable to interrupt a playing track (So they cannot Play/Pause/Skip etc. nor use the Play-Now feature).
3. Unable to shuffle, nor replace the whole queue.
4. Unable to increase volume above a set limit (or maybe unable to alter/mute the volume).
5. Unable to tamper with the controller interface (i.e. delete albums, playlists, music services etc.) ...and unable to remove the controller software. (The latter is easily prevented in 'settings/general/restrictions' on any iOS device).
6. Unable to remove a queue lock, unless given the assigned password.

But... I would want my party-goers to be ABLE to do these things:

7. Able to perform a search across all Music Services and add a track, album or playlist to the queue, using either 'Play-Next' or 'Add to Queue' actions only.
8. Able to change the queue Play Order (but, if not allowed, the queue itself should become read only).

The list of 8 suggestions above, is not exhaustive, but just the things that quickly spring to mind and I probably need to think about some things in a little more depth. They are just off the top of my head.

It would be great to enable/disable all such things, with one simple click of a padlock icon within a queue.

So some kind of padlock for mainly 'guest' access, seems a reasonable idea to me, but despite my list above, it perhaps needs to be a 'real simple' feature from the end-users perspective... And of course the list of 'things' that such a padlock would perform, would need to be carefully chosen and acceptable in most guest-access type situations.
Userlevel 7
Badge +17
Update has been officially released - will be interesting to see the reaction !
Userlevel 7
Badge +17
Yeah , light touch paper for the old timers who are change resistant ;O))
My ipod 4th gen touches are now confined to the "old crap drawer" or used in the car.
Userlevel 4
Badge +7
There are now several 6.4 threads and it is difficult to follow.


Can we have these threads merged into one?

I am a great fan of Sonos and have a considerable sum invested but cannot believe what a mess this whole queue issue has become.

Do you guys who design/alter these new/old features actually test them.

One of the great things about Sonos used to be that if you clicked/long clicked on a track it either did something logical or allowed you to choose the option you required.

I'm sorry Sonos but you really, really have lost you way with the queue on this release.
Userlevel 7
Badge +25
It's fine to reply to just about any of the threads. This one is from the Public Beta, so we'll probably close it down soon, but leave the comments visible for posterity.

I'd be happy to answer any questions you have about what does what when it comes to the new features. There was a very long testing phase for these changes with several revisions and a lot of people involved. After all, this thread alone is now 12 pages long.

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