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.

Here are a few options to play tracks that were locally stored on your phone to Sonos:
  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'.

Another way to play music stored on your phone to Sonos is 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.

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.

This topic has been closed for further comments. You can use the search bar to find a similar topic, or create a new one by clicking Create Topic at the top of the page.

1101 replies



argh!! I literally cannot believe this. I purchased 5x Sonos 1Sonos One speakers, or Sonos Play:1 speakers?
I think they are Sonos One - sorry not very techie, purchased over 3 years ago - they don’t have air play nor Alexa - how would I know?

You have a play:1. Sonos One did not exist 3 years ago and has airplay.


I do have a sound bar purchased though last month and that has air play so I have managed to get that working and then link the other rooms but my wife would listen to her music in another room so looks like I will have to get another air play compatible speaker?

thanks for your help

Yes, unless she's not using airplay. Then you could get a non-air play compatible speaker if you wish.
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@touchsky. Bottom line is that playing from the Sonos music library, whether files are stored on a NAS or computer, is virtually indistinguishable from playing from the phone. It is every bit as easy.

I think I'm being mistaken here. Playing the files may be just as easy, but to argue that this method is as convenient as the 'On this iPhone' feature (as some have done) is just plain wrong. It's not debatable, it's not on par, it is simply less convenient. You have to go to some lengths to avoid storing music on a modern smartphone, whether you use streaming services or own a NAS or not. Once having a dedicated storage device in place then I'm sure it's fine.

And like others have pointed out, how will anyone be able to listen to podcasts once the functionality is removed? Is there an alternative method?
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And like others have pointed out, how will anyone be able to listen to podcasts once the functionality is removed? Is there an alternative method?


  • Radio by TuneIn (Free and on all Sonos Speakers) has a Podcast section
  • Google Play Music has a podcast section
  • Pocketcasts can be added to Sonos as a music service
  • Download them to your computer and index your music library
  • Line-In
  • Airplay
I may be missing another option or two, but there's 6 alternative methods.


Also to address your point about iPhone playback. You have to even enable that feature in the iOS device settings. That is basically the same process as indexing your music library on a computer
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@Touchsky the free google play music account also lets you subscribe to and play podcasts from any device. I understand your frustration, just trying to help.
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.

Here are a few options to play tracks that were locally stored on your phone to Sonos:
  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.
  3. Setting up a Music Library share on a Computer or Network Attached Storage drive. This means setting up a hard drive on your local network and streaming the library off of there.
With option 3, you can share that library to Sonos using the steps here. This makes it so your phone doesn’t need to be turned on to listen, and the music will keep on playing as long as that storage location is available.

I agree to the given comments. How can Sonos remove a feature which was the reason for buying the equipment? I am speechless and disappointed and can only hope that you guys reconsider this false decision. I do not invest in third party streaming Services like Google Play etc.
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My family depends on this feature to use Sonos.

We have 7 Sonos players in the house. None are airplay 2 compatible.

While I use a NAS drive, other family members use phones/ tablets exclusively. We prefer to not pay for/ use streaming services.

Forcing a need to sync new songs from each family member’s phone to a NAS every time a new song gets purchased is not my idea of a good time 🙂 We also like each having our own separate library.

Sonos- please do not remove this feature. I am using it right now and it’s solid- no skips no hiccups. Just leave it in place.
Are you using iTunes? If so, you can automatically have the songs purchased on the associated phones automatically download to your PC/NAS


"If you don't feel like you can trust a company to update your firmware than you should avoid buying any products that ever get firmware upgrades, have software license agreements, or perhaps even connect to the internet."But with most home devices (Bluray players, TVs, even routers etc) you have to actively seek out updates, so it's trivial to avoid them. You have to take considerable action to securely lock off Sonos upgrades.
True. However, that's more due to the nature of how android and iOS apps stores operate than any choice that Sonos makes.


In a way, but Sonos perpetuate the problem by having no roll-back facility - so however accidentally an update is triggered, you're screwed.
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I use iTunes and do this for my NAS folder... (load purchases on iTunes... run backup program to move files to the NAS... Sonos program runs to update library.. ) but no one else in the family does this.. That said we may have to go this route.

Part of of what made me excited to get into Sonos was the flexibility that removed all friction from the whole family adopting the system. It can’t cost that much to maintain this option for those that need it...
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Never used this feature myself, so doesn’t affect me.

I’m more than prepared to accept that often when removing features Sonos’s hands are tied, due to unsurmountable technical issues, perhaps. But they do a poor job of explaining the reasons, and their initial posting on the subject is often followed be a rapidly growing flurry of angry ‘pro’ and ‘anti’ posts, which are often conjecture at best but increasingly angry at worst.

But then Sonos go almost totally silent and seemingly watch the bun-fight grow.

Maybe there’s little more they can add. Probably, there is more that they could. But a bit more engagement would perhaps help smooth things over rather than developing deaf ears at these times. After all, for those that used these removed features, their grievances are genuine, right? Even if the cause was unavoidable.

Andrew S

But then Sonos go almost totally silent and seemingly watch the bun-fight grow.

This does not affect me either, but you are right.

Perhaps Sonos thinks that any meaningful response will land them in a no win situation, so it is best to stay silent and let things simmer down on their own.
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IMO this is a shame. It seems to me that Sonos/Apple couldn’t fix the “bug” that has recently reared it’s head where tracks “On this iPhone” ends prematurely and moves to the next track. I have no experience with an Android phone so I don’t know if those users are experiencing the same problem.

I overcame the problem where it would only rarely happen. But I guess now it doesn’t matter.
IMO this is a shame. It seems to me that Sonos/Apple couldn’t fix the “bug” that has recently reared it’s head where tracks “On this iPhone” ends prematurely and moves to the next track. I have no experience with an Android phone so I don’t know if those users are experiencing the same problem.

Works fine on Android. This is 100% an Apple issue. Apple being Apple. I stay as far away from Apple as I can. They're awful.

Works fine on Android. This is 100% an Apple issue. Apple being Apple. I stay as far away from Apple as I can. They're awful.

Lol. Only Apple does Trueplay though!
As a non techie fan of the "It Just Works" thing of Apple, I have found that as long as I keep my Mac/idevice in a separate world from Sonos, things work fine in both worlds. My NAS is populated with music files copy/pasted from the iTunes Library from day one, so even the Lion debacle of 2012 did not affect me.
As far this feature is concerned I don't see any need of it even with an Android phone that has the music and the feature - why bother? Yes, Apple Music won't cast from its native app, but that is a minor irritation although once Spotify offers that in India, I will jump ship.
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@Touchsky the free google play music account also lets you subscribe to and play podcasts from any device. I understand your frustration, just trying to help.

I really do appreciate the help from everyone here. As much as I'm still disappointed to lose this functionality, coming here has given me some very viable options which I was unaware of, and which Sonos themselves declined to mention in any of the information they have provided since announcing this. The two most obvious things are Google Music, as I (and I'm sure many others) were not aware that Sonos supported non paid subscriptions or similar. The other workaround, which I cannot believe Sonos haven't specifically stated in black and white, is that you can Airplay to a compatible speaker then group that with any incompatible speakers. It may be a bit fiddly in that users will always need to use their compatible speakers as the 'dominant' one, and it could be problematic depending on how you configure your rooms (you may not want the music to play where you have your compatible speaker), but this is the most obvious solution to allow previously happy customers like myself to continue to use their speakers and remain in the Sonos ecosystem, rather than jump ship to a competitor.

I'll keep my eyes peeled for a good offer on a Sonos One now I think.

FYI I created a Google Music account and started importing my audio files last night. That is such a slow and unreliable app. It kept erroring and forcing me to sign in, when I was already signed in. And I started with a small subsection of my library, around 4,000 tracks. I started the upload at approximately 9pm last night and it was still only at roughly 3,000 when I left for work this morning at 8am. This is going to be painful!!

The other workaround, which I cannot believe Sonos haven't specifically stated in black and white, is that you can Airplay to a compatible speaker then group that with any incompatible speakers.


From the original announcement at the start of this thread:

'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.'
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D'oh!
D'oh!
No worries. The important thing is you are finding ways to use Sonos post 'play from this iPhone'. I am surprised the upload to GPM is taking so long but once it's done it's done (apart from updates). Just FYI It doesn't actually upload every track, just the ones it hasn't got in its own library.
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FYI I created a Google Music account and started importing my audio files last night. That is such a slow and unreliable app. It kept erroring and forcing me to sign in, when I was already signed in. And I started with a small subsection of my library, around 4,000 tracks. I started the upload at approximately 9pm last night and it was still only at roughly 3,000 when I left for work this morning at 8am. This is going to be painful!!


I feel your pain on the initial upload. I think my library took over 24 hours when I first uploaded. However, it will continue to automatically update as you add new songs to your library, and I find playback to be very stable.

Once again, the best part is that my whole family now has access to our complete library. Also, unlike "play from this iPhone", I can start music, and it won't stop or skip, when I walk out in the yard or leave the house.
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@Touchsky "It may be a bit fiddly in that users will always need to use their compatible speakers as the 'dominant' one, and it could be problematic depending on how you configure your rooms (you may not want the music to play where you have your compatible speaker)"
You can mute the airplay2 speaker, so music only plays on rest of grouped speakers you actually want to listen to.
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I find this arbitrary and incredible. I dont use a streaming service, nor do I want to. A lot of my music isnt on there. I keep all 15k tracks on my iPad and iPad. I make playlists and put keep them there. I also have purchased Sonos for my office so that I can listen to my tracks at home or at work without plugging anything in. Now I cant do that. The reason I purchased the system was for ease of use. I decided to take a drop in sound quality in order to get accessibility. Now I find I have wasted my time and my money. We would often have dinner parties and people would download the app and then would we go round the table picking tracks we liked. Now we cant. Thanks Sonos. Also, to the Sonos fanboys on here, seeking to excuse this decision because it doesnt effect them and those that say '90% of people dont use the product this way' then I tell you this: 10% of 50,000,000 households that have the system in one form or another is 5,000,000 pissed off people. Morons.
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FYI I created a Google Music account and started importing my audio files last night. That is such a slow and unreliable app. It kept erroring and forcing me to sign in, when I was already signed in. And I started with a small subsection of my library, around 4,000 tracks. I started the upload at approximately 9pm last night and it was still only at roughly 3,000 when I left for work this morning at 8am. This is going to be painful!!I feel your pain on the initial upload. I think my library took over 24 hours when I first uploaded. However, it will continue to automatically update as you add new songs to your library, and I find playback to be very stable.

Once again, the best part is that my whole family now has access to our complete library. Also, unlike "play from this iPhone", I can start music, and it won't stop or skip, when I walk out in the yard or leave the house.


While not related to the "Local Playback" issue, I have a quick question on iTunes --> GooglePlay account sync. Does the Google Music Manager (or Google Play Music app) also sync iTunes Playlists into Google Music ? Thanks
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The other workaround, which I cannot believe Sonos haven't specifically stated in black and white, is that you can Airplay to a compatible speaker then group that with any incompatible speakers.
From the original announcement at the start of this thread:

'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.'


I smell fanboy. What if you dont have airplay 2 compatible speakers? What if you dont want to run them from your PC? What it you have a sonos in the office so that you can stream from your phone? What if you dont have a streaming service? What if you dont want to spend more dough having to convert something that was taken away from something that was included when you bought it?



The other workaround, which I cannot believe Sonos haven't specifically stated in black and white, is that you can Airplay to a compatible speaker then group that with any incompatible speakers.
From the original announcement at the start of this thread:

'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.'
I smell fanboy. What if you dont have airplay 2 compatible speakers? What if you dont want to run them from your PC? What it you have a sonos in the office so that you can stream from your phone? What if you dont have a streaming service? What if you dont want to spend more dough having to convert something that was taken away from something that was included when you bought it?

Thank you. I regard 'fanboy' as a compliment. However if you read the sequence properly, you will see that I was merely drawing the user's attention to the fact that this option had been mentioned by Sonos, when he had expressed surprise that it hadn't. I made no comment on whether it was a good or viable option.

And if you are unwilling to take any one of those simple steps in response to this situation, then it's your funeral. Better sell the Sonos.

Or don't take the update, and keep the feature.
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I smell fanboy. What if you dont have airplay 2 compatible speakers? What if you dont want to run them from your PC? What it you have a sonos in the office so that you can stream from your phone? What if you dont have a streaming service? What if you dont want to spend more dough having to convert something that was taken away from something that was included when you bought it?



Then contact Apple to find out why they are cutting the feature, such that Sonos can no longer implement it, and let us all know the answer.