Upcoming changes to ‘On this iPhone or iPad’ Playback


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We first launched the ‘On this iPhone or iPad’ feature in 2012 before AirPlay was available on Sonos. The way this feature was originally designed has become unreliable with newer versions of iOS, and in the coming months, this feature will no longer be available in the Sonos app.

The best way to play music stored on your phone to Sonos is now by using Apple AirPlay 2 on compatible Sonos speakers (Play:5 gen2, Playbase, Beam, Sonos One, and Sonos Amp). You can have an AirPlay 2 stream going to one of those speakers and use the Sonos app to group it with any other Sonos rooms to have them all playing in sync. You can find more information about using AirPlay 2 with Sonos here.

A few additional options to play tracks that were locally stored on your phone to Sonos without using AirPlay 2 include:
  1. Streaming the catalogue from a music service. There are more than 100 music services available on Sonos, many with several millions of songs.
  2. Uploading your tracks to a music service with a storage feature, like Apple Music, that will store your library and stream it. This is a great option if you have songs that aren’t available on a streaming service. Google Play Music has a free account option that allows you to upload 50,000 tracks and play them.
  3. Setting up a Music Library share on a Computer or Network Attached Storage drive. This route has a computer or networked hard drive on your local network used as a source for music. You can use your mobile device or any other Sonos controller to select and play music off of that drive.
With option 3, you can share that library to Sonos using the steps here. With a local music share, your phone doesn’t need to be turned on to listen to you music, and the music will keep on playing as long as that storage location is available. So you can leave the home and the music will keep on playing. There are also alarm and Sonos playlist features that are available for most music sources that aren't available from 'On this iPhone'.

More about how to ‘Play music stored on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch’ is on our support pages.

We'll continue to support everyone through this change, and will help them set up the necessary workarounds to keep listening to their favorite tracks on Sonos.

590 replies

Userlevel 2
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You can also upload your music to google play music 50,000 tracks for FREE, but can't use GA voice control, you need a premium paid for account for that.
With andriod device you can stream directly from GPM to sonos.
https://play.google.com/about/music/sonos/
Userlevel 4
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Thank you for the update Jeff. This is what I was unfortunately predicting. Is Sonos going to offer trade in credit for removing a feature that was included in products that I purchased? Throwing away two Play:1 speakers for two new Sonos One speakers to get AirPlay 2 support is not ideal.

Edit: I ask this because Sonos removed features when AirPlay 2 support launched (iOS lock screen controls w/non-Sonos AirPlay devices on a network). I am concerned that Sonos is going to kill off more features in the future for those with older model speakers by trying to make their products work with the latest technology.
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Thank you for the update Jeff. This is what I was unfortunately predicting. Is Sonos going to offer trade in credit for removing a feature that was included in products that I purchased? Throwing away two Play:1 speakers for two new Sonos One speakers to get AirPlay 2 support is not ideal.

No need to throw away your Play:1's!

If you have a computer, you can add your music library from there.

Additionally you can set up a Plex server and add it to Sonos.

Google Music allows you to upload 50,000 songs to their server as well that you can play through Sonos for free.

Or just look into a streaming service such as Apple Music, Amazon Music, Spotify, Google Play Music/Youtube Music, etc.
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Thank you for the update Jeff. This is what I was unfortunately predicting. Is Sonos going to offer trade in credit for removing a feature that was included in products that I purchased? Throwing away two Play:1 speakers for two new Sonos One speakers to get AirPlay 2 support is not ideal.No need to throw away your Play:1's!

If you have a computer, you can add your music library from there.

Additionally you can set up a Plex server and add it to Sonos.

Google Music allows you to upload 50,000 songs to their server as well that you can play through Sonos for free.

Or just look into a streaming service such as Apple Music, Amazon Music, Spotify, Google Play Music/Youtube Music, etc.


Thanks for the suggestions. My spouse is not technical and does not want to pay for Apple Music and only manages purchased iTunes music/playlists on their iPhone (does not sync phone to a computer).
Userlevel 5
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Well, the easiest method would be to find a solution that works.

Or just spend money needlessly.
Userlevel 4
I buy a product because of a feature that is advertised and then sonos remove it.
Recommending the Airplay 2 feature is particularly annoying as I decided I didn’t need this on the basis on the “play on this phone” feature that was available on this product.
I shouldn’t have to spend any more money because Sonos can’t be bothered to make a feature work.
Userlevel 3
Agreed. I guess it is what it is BUT we should t have to sign up and pay for a monthly music service to enable a feature. Also, AirPlay has its flaws as well. Such as, not being able to be on phone and listen to music at same time. So now the whole house has to go silent cause I make a call?
Agreed. I guess it is what it is BUT we should t have to sign up and pay for a monthly music service to enable a feature. Also, AirPlay has its flaws as well. Such as, not being able to be on phone and listen to music at same time. So now the whole house has to go silent cause I make a call?
Or get a NAS drive.
Userlevel 5
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Agreed. I guess it is what it is BUT we should t have to sign up and pay for a monthly music service to enable a feature. Also, AirPlay has its flaws as well. Such as, not being able to be on phone and listen to music at same time. So now the whole house has to go silent cause I make a call?

Music Library on a computer.

Plex server

Free music services

Line-In

Upload your music library to Google Play Music

Plenty of options. You just need to pick one, or multiple.

I use my music library stored on my computer (rarely, seeing how I pay for a streaming service) as well as I have 20,000+ songs uploaded to Google Play Music, but seeing how I pay for the streaming service, I rarely use that feature.


I also have a Connect that can use Line-In, but that's reserved for my turntable. Sonos isn't trying to leave you guys high and dry.
Such as, not being able to be on phone and listen to music at same time.
Can you be on the phone when music is being streamed via the "On this phone" route? I don't recall, since I used this feature just a few times long ago and stopped doing so because there were many alternates that did not eat up the phone battery and, if I remember right, kept the phone from being used.

Misfit has set out quite a few alternates, but they perhaps won't work for someone that bought a play 1 to use as if it were a bluetooth speaker via this route. But between using the cloud and a music server, most such needs ought to be addressable. And once the effort/cost is digested, will be seen to be just as good, if not better.
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Agreed. I guess it is what it is BUT we should t have to sign up and pay for a monthly music service to enable a feature. Also, AirPlay has its flaws as well. Such as, not being able to be on phone and listen to music at same time. So now the whole house has to go silent cause I make a call?Music Library on a computer.

Plex server

Free music services

Line-In

Upload your music library to Google Play Music

Plenty of options. You just need to pick one, or multiple.

I use my music library stored on my computer (rarely, seeing how I pay for a streaming service) as well as I have 20,000+ songs uploaded to Google Play Music, but seeing how I pay for the streaming service, I rarely use that feature.


I also have a Connect that can use Line-In, but that's reserved for my turntable. Sonos isn't trying to leave you guys high and dry.



while these are all “solutions” the reason I purchased the Sonos is so I didn’t have to have a dedicated CPU library attached OR to directly plug a line in OR use a separate streaming service, etc. if people just wanted to Airplay music they could just own an iPhone and an airport express. Been doin that for over a decade. Like I said, I understand I will have to adapt to it, but the reason I purchased a Sonos was cause I didn’t like my airplay options.
Then a Bluetooth speaker would have been the natural choice, not a multiroom, multi- controller, multi- source music system.

Playing from a phone fits poorly with Sonos' fundamental design, in which the app is just a controller, not a music player. I can understand that people may be unaware of this, but I don't think Sonos has ever drawn attention to the possibility of playing content stored on mobile devices.

We'll continue to support everyone through this change

I suppose what is implicit in this is that if one does not want this change, that can be done by opting out from software upgrades?
Userlevel 2
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Which opens another can of worms....avoiding lethal upgrades 😉
Presumably the announcement only applies to iOS controllers, so a user could perhaps use a cheap fire tablet and upload and play their music from that type of 'dedicated' controller instead. In Amazon promotional sales i have seen those devices sell for under £30. So that is perhaps another cheap option to use.

I understand the small tablets will take a 32GB microSD card and the larger 10" tablet will support 64GB in addition to the internal memory storage on the device.
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Avoiding updates can be very hard as you have to rely on everyone that could get access to your system to make sure they have updates prevented in their Sonos APP AND that they don't update the App.

Then if you phone needs a hard reset or you change to a new phone you will not be able to use that without updating to the latest version.

So whilst there is a way to avoid updates it is very hard to control.
I thought that this feature loss would apply to Android phones as well; but perhaps I am wrong and in any case, Sonos needs to clarify.
If I am wrong it would be a compensation of sorts for Androids not doing Trueplay!
I thought that this feature loss would apply to Android phones as well; but perhaps I am wrong and in any case, Sonos needs to clarify.
If I am wrong it would be a compensation of sorts for Androids not doing Trueplay!

There has been no mention of Android or 'on this mobile device', so my working assumption is that that is unaffected, although confirmation would be welcome. I can see no reason to remove this feature from Android.

My reading of the situation is that Sonos have concluded that iOS has taken a direction that is incompatible with the way Sonos plays mobile content, and better to have no feature than one that will always be trouble.

Given the closed, proprietary nature of iOS, Sonos are more or less powerless to do anything about this.
My own personal thought is it’s perhaps Apple not willing to ‘bend’ (accommodate their partners) on the lock-screen/music interruption issue .. I don’t think it will apply to Android. We shall have to see, but no mention of Android in Jeff's post. I read it as applying to iOS only.

I'm an iOS user myself, but I much prefer a NAS for local storage/playback, but even that is now becoming more and more redundant these days.

I have been converted (oooeeerrr!!) and much now prefer the streaming music services. The services available nowadays have far more 'new' and 'old' music than I could ever have purchased. All of it right there at the Family fingertips.

Music all month/every month, for less than the cost of three beers (or two glasses of wine) at my local pub/bar ...and such a vast variety of tracks/genres to choose from.

I personally have no real reason to protest about about losing this feature from my iPad/iPhone devices. The NAS will remain though for those occasional times when the internet goes offline, but even that is a rare event.
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Two thoughts:

While it's true that you can stream from your Sonos Music Library without the phone being on, you do need to have the phone on to start or control streaming with the Sonos app. Unfortunately the poor integration with Alexa or Google Assistant means that they are unable to access your Sonos Music Library. There is a partial workaround in that you can add tunes and playlists to your Sonos Favorites, and then use services like IFTTT and Olisto to launch a Favorite by voice control.

My other thought: the Music Library is limited to 64K tunes? OMG, I thought every developer in the world had learned their lesson with Y2K. Apparently that proverb about those who don't remember history being doomed to repeat it is true. 😯
You can get around this limitation (which is hardware-related by the way) by using Plex for example.
Userlevel 7
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We'll continue to support everyone through this changeI suppose what is implicit in this is that if one does not want this change, that can be done by opting out from software upgrades?


You can choose to opt out of software updates. Support in this sense means that we will help customers use one of the many different options for streaming their music.
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I purchased the Sonos System because of the mobile support for the IOS music library. Now your'e taking it away?? Re-architect your software and fix the issues. Eliminating the functionality is not a fix. I have invested thousands of dollars in your systems. Can I get my money back?

I also bought your system so I could take my IOS Library to friends homes and interface with their Sonos systems. Now that will also be eliminated. What is the solution for that?
Userlevel 3
I purchased the Sonos System because of the mobile support for the IOS music library. Now your'e taking it away?? Re-architect your software and fix the issues. Eliminating the functionality is not a fix. I have invested thousands of dollars in your systems. Can I get my money back?

I also bought your system so I could take my IOS Library to friends homes and interface with their Sonos systems. Now that will also be eliminated. What is the solution for that?

Agree 100% to stream from the playlists and albums I have downloaded is the only reason I bought all of these components. I feel like have made a very poor choice in investing in Sonos components. I will be reaching out to my investment advisor to see if he thinks we should short the stock as the company is either short of funds or tone deaf to its customers or both. Either way there is probably money to br made shorting SONO

I purchased the Sonos System because of the mobile support for the IOS music library. Now your'e taking it away?? Re-architect your software and fix the issues. Eliminating the functionality is not a fix. I have invested thousands of dollars in your systems. Can I get my money back?

I also bought your system so I could take my IOS Library to friends homes and interface with their Sonos systems. Now that will also be eliminated. What is the solution for that?
Agree 100% to stream from the playlists and albums I have downloaded is the only reason I bought all of these components. I feel like have made a very poor choice in investing in Sonos components. I will be reaching out to my investment advisor to see if he thinks we should short the stock as the company is either short of funds or tone deaf to its customers or both. Either way there is probably money to br made shorting SONO


Lol. Last I remember, Sonos said 90% of their customers stream only, and that was at least two years ago. Short away!

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