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


We can now make an informed decision based on this. I will, and I hope others will as well, try and make the best of the situation and take advantage of some of the excellent advice offered by the “oldtimers” here.

Thanks again.
My informed decision is to ask for a refund since I will not be able to use it for the sole use I had for the thing. Not that I expect to get one, I’m sure NOT giving refunds was part of their “hard decision”.

And I’m certainly not going to invest more money and time to implement some half-a$$ed work around that may only work until Sonos’ next “hard decision”.

Your right entirely, of course. I am not sure that using Sonos in the way it was originally designed, and has been used for 15 years, constitutes a workaround, 'half-a$$ed' or otherwise. But whatever.
Apparently there are folks in this thread who believe Sonos would remove a feature just to piss them off. Seriously? Laughable.

It ought to be obvious to anyone that Apple made a change to their OS that caused the issue, and that Apple isn't about to fix it just so a Sonos feature will work. It's likely due to some sort of security issue, which can't be overcome, or worked around, so Sonos was reluctantly forced to shut down the feature. No big deal, as there are many superior alternatives, as Sonos has stated.

Hard to believe that, in 2019, people are STILL using their phones as a primary music store. I doubt it's a lot of people, but they are a bit noisy. Sonos has the stats on how many are affected, so that will have played into their decision, as well.
This is incredibly disappointing.

but for many of us who have spent decades curating our music to truly have on our device - this is a huge step backwards.

The disappointment is fully justified and the other point is well made and taken. I suppose it must have been very useful to have the same source device for home, car, and bluetooth portables when away from home. And although you may be a small percent of the user base, from your point of view, you justifiable in thinking that you are 100% of it.
If you take a look at the suggested options, you will find ways forward that protect the curated music/playlists. At a cost of time/money, but that need not be significant in the long run. And music play at home will be more reliable/stable, almost certainly; for sure you won't have to recharge the phone as often.
If you have even one Sonos unit with a line in jack a simple solution that may work is to wire something like an Echo Dot to it, and play from the phone via Bluetooth.
Apparently there are folks in this thread who believe Sonos would remove a feature just to piss them off. Seriously? Laughable.

It ought to be obvious to anyone that Apple made a change to their OS that caused the issue, and that Apple isn't about to fix it just so a Sonos feature will work. It's likely due to some sort of security issue, which can't be overcome, or worked around, so Sonos was reluctantly forced to shut down the feature. No big deal, as there are many superior alternatives, as Sonos has stated.

Hard to believe that, in 2019, people are STILL using their phones as a primary music store. I doubt it's a lot of people, but they are a bit noisy. Sonos has the stats on how many are affected, so that will have played into their decision, as well.


No one suggested that Sonos is removing the feature to piss someone off. The fact that someone (that would be you) is reduced to making up statements kind of indicates the weakness of their position. Or, perhaps they’re feeling butt hurt because someone pointed out the incredible lameness of their previous “proof” of an earlier lame assertion.

Yes, there are are alternatives, including numerous non-Sonos products. And yes, some of those non-Sonos products are superior and that’s why they command higher prices. I don’t see any of what Sonos has suggested as being superior. Your opinion is obviously different than that of the people you are trying so hard to put down, but that doesn’t make your opinion right or more valid than anyone else’s opinion. Though it’s also obvious that being perceived as being “right” is very important to you.

Finally, your attempt to shame people who disagree with you via your “techno snobbery” (to borrow someone else’s term) is really quite pathetic. And telling.
To say this in an unadvertised feature is completely incorrect. In fact, for me, it was the primary reason why I invested in a comprehensive Sonos system (see Sonos's advertisement highlighting this precise feature: https://www.ispot.tv/ad/77HU/sonos-featuring-questlove-song-danny
Actually, he is using the music library - sourced from either a computer or a NAS. I could not see any use of the to be deleted feature in the ad...because that is not a use case Sonos is designed for, it was a feature tossed in a few years ago. While there may be ads for it out there, I very much doubt that will be the case. It would have to be a Black Swan example.
Which begs the question, out of genuine curiosity: how did you get to know of this feature before buying Sonos kit?
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I bought 4 Sonos systems in early 2013. The iPhone playback feature was prominent and available then and very reliable. The iTunes music library connection was very unreliable (it's better now). It was hardly an afterthought for Sonos. It was what sold many on their system. The portability of the feature is also very attractive as it enables my guests to play their favorite tracks directly from their iPhones on my Sonos system while visiting. I do think Sonos is a great product overall and I am a devoted Apple IOS user. I have no desire to buy a Windows product after years of dealing with them in the corporate world and although Android might be suitable for some, I prefer to support Apple as they were the ones that invented the smart phone. Samsung and Google just followed the leader with their cheap alternatives never having to make the investments that Apple did to bring it all to market.

All that being said I'll stick to my Sonos system and figure it out. There are many suggestions here which I will investigate.


We can now make an informed decision based on this. I will, and I hope others will as well, try and make the best of the situation and take advantage of some of the excellent advice offered by the “oldtimers” here.

An approach that many that are here to rant should learn from.

To those that rant about "old-timers" with their post counts: would you or anyone else here be better served if they instead were to lend you a shoulder to cry on or shoot from? Because anything other than that seems to be unwelcome. Understand also that if these responses were missing, it would take forever for Sonos to step in with their responses, which also would be those that are boilerplate standard corporate ones.
I bought 4 Sonos systems in early 2013. The iPhone playback feature was prominent and available then and very reliable. The iTunes music library connection was very unreliable (it's better now). It was hardly an afterthought for Sonos. It was what sold many on their system. The portability of the feature is also very attractive as it enables my guests to play their favorite tracks directly from their iPhones on my Sonos system while visiting. I do think Sonos is a great product overall and I am a devoted Apple IOS user. I have no desire to buy a Windows product after years of dealing with them in the corporate world and although Android might be suitable for some, I prefer to support Apple as they were the ones that invented the smart phone. Samsung and Google just followed the leader with their cheap alternatives never having to make the investments that Apple did to bring it all to market.

All that being said I'll stick to my Sonos system and figure it out. There are many suggestions here which I will investigate.

That's a very fair and balanced view. I don't agree with every point, but I understand that it must be frustrating and annoying to lose a feature you value and use a lot. If you are an Apple fan it's not reasonable to expect you to switch to Android.

I would suggest the following possibilities:
  1. A NAS drive with iTunes compatibility. You can sync your phone to it so that you can take your music with you away from home.
  2. To accommodate your friends, get an Echo Dot (dead cheap at the moment) and wire it to your Play:5. This will add Bluetooth capability to your system.
I am sure such expenditure is unwelcome, but we are where we are.
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This is extremely disappointing.

Has anybody found an easy workaround for this yet?
And no, I won’t sign up for GTM.
I don’t want to configure a NAS, we have several different iTunes account and syncing them to a NAS doesn’t work (and trying to make it work will take hours I’m not willing to spend), I won’t buy new speakers, I’m not made of money and I certainly won’t pay for a streaming subscription. AirPlay 2 is very impractical and not supported by my sonos speakerd, so I won’t be using that either.

I have lots of songs on my phone and I don’t use streaming services, since most songs I have after all are not available. So all of the music I listen to over sonos, either at my or a friends place, is via my phone. I just prefer to have everything offline and own it for real and not just have it rented for the time being.

This used to be a great and simple way to listen to music, but now the simple act of trying to play a song from my phone amounts to a major inconvenience.

If anybody finds an easy fix for this, be my guest!
This is extremely disappointing.

Has anybody found an easy workaround for this yet?
And no, I won’t sign up for GTM.
I don’t want to configure a NAS, we have several different iTunes account and syncing them to a NAS doesn’t work (and trying to make it work will take hours I’m not willing to spend), I won’t buy new speakers, I’m not made of money and I certainly won’t pay for a streaming subscription. AirPlay 2 is very impractical and not supported by my sonos speakerd, so I won’t be using that either.

I have lots of songs on my phone and I don’t use streaming services, since most songs I have after all are not available. So all of the music I listen to over sonos, either at my or a friends place, is via my phone. I just prefer to have everything offline and own it for real and not just have it rented for the time being.

This used to be a great and simple way to listen to music, but now the simple act of trying to play a song from my phone amounts to a major inconvenience.

If anybody finds an easy fix for this, be my guest!

Echo Dot to Play:5, use Bluetooth to play from phone?

(Other Bluetooth receivers are available.)

Echo Dot to Play:5, use Bluetooth to play from phone?

(Other Bluetooth receivers are available.)

I have found that the Dot used in this fashion is as reliable/cheap as any other, and is from a mainstream company. Obviously the downside - as for any other receiver - is the need for the Sonos install to have at least one line in jack to which it may be wired.
Assuming you backup your iTunes on your iOS device to a computer, point Sonos at the library on the computer. No need to buy an NAS, just need to make sure that the computer's hard drive stays "on" for playback purposes.
His name is Ryan, not Jeff.

Don't know what I'd have done without this critical update to the thread. Thanks!
Assuming you backup your iTunes on your iOS device to a computer, point Sonos at the library on the computer. No need to buy an NAS, just need to make sure that the computer's hard drive stays "on" for playback purposes.

Good point and this may help some people, so it was a useful comment. I, however, use iCloud for backups. Again, this may be helpful to others, so thank you for posting.
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Don't know what I'd have done without this critical update to the thread. Thanks!


Glad to be of assistance!
From the Sonos Play:1 page
https://www.sonos.com/en-us/shop/play1.html?gclsrc=aw.ds&ds_rl=1245022&ds_rl=1237827&utm_campaign=GGL_US_EN_SONOS_B_PLAY1_EXACT_PRODUCT_360i&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_content=GGL_US_EN_SONOS_B_PLAY1_EXACT_PRODUCT_360i&utm_term=Play%201&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIk6Cu95iA4wIVDNNkCh2rlQ7hEAAYASAAEgLyh_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Why Choose Sonos
https://
Brilliant Sound
Enjoy clear, richly detailed sound that fills the room at any volume.

Easy to Use
Setup takes minutes, and control is simple with the Sonos app, Apple AirPlay 2, and your voice.

Listen Your Way
Customize your system and play what you want, where you want.

The Sonos Play:1 does NOT support AirPlay 2, why is Sonos including this on the Play:1 page? This seems somewhat misleading. Unless it was a typo and what was intended to be included was "...and control is simple with the Sonos app, additional hardware or streaming services that are not included in the price, and your voice."


Finding this pretty much cements my opinion of Sonos.

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Don't know what I'd have done without this critical update to the thread. Thanks!
Glad to be of assistance!


LOL, thanks. Seriously.
The top section of the page is about the Play:1, and refers only to control via the app, not voice control or Airplay 2.

Then there are images of all Sonos speakers, and the heading 'why choose Sonos'. Not 'why choose the Play:1'.

So I think it is defensible. Equally, I could see that it might confuse soneone not paying close attention.
The top section of the page is about the Play:1, and refers only to control via the app, not voice control or Airpkay 2.

Then there are images of all Sonos speakers, and the heading 'why choose Sonos'. Not 'why choose the Play:1'.


Yep, blatantly obvious to pretty much anyone, lol.
Well it was immediately obvious to me.
The top section of the page is about the Play:1, and refers only to control via the app, not voice control or Airplay 2.

Then there are images of all Sonos speakers, and the heading 'why choose Sonos'. Not 'why choose the Play:1'.


Ok. But I clicked on the Play:1, scrolled down, and saw the text shown. Poor website development does not mean that what is still (still as in right this minute) being shown to potential customers is misleading/false/untrue.

The top section of the page is about the Play:1, and refers only to control via the app, not voice control or Airpkay 2.

Then there are images of all Sonos speakers, and the heading 'why choose Sonos'. Not 'why choose the Play:1'.
Yep, blatantly obvious to pretty much anyone, lol.


Lol, you really are a trip. And by trip, I mean something completely different.
Well it was immediately obvious to me.

Me too, but apparently not everyone, lol.

The top section of the page is about the Play:1, and refers only to control via the app, not voice control or Airplay 2.

Then there are images of all Sonos speakers, and the heading 'why choose Sonos'. Not 'why choose the Play:1'.
Ok. But I clicked on the Play:1, scrolled down, and saw the text shown. Poor website development does not mean that what is still (still as in right this minute) being shown to potential customers is misleading/false/untrue.

Seriously, it could potentially mislead someone new to Sonos, and I agree that it would be better not to run that risk. I don't agree that it is false or untrue.


The top section of the page is about the Play:1, and refers only to control via the app, not voice control or Airplay 2.

Then there are images of all Sonos speakers, and the heading 'why choose Sonos'. Not 'why choose the Play:1'.
Ok. But I clicked on the Play:1, scrolled down, and saw the text shown. Poor website development does not mean that what is still (still as in right this minute) being shown to potential customers is misleading/false/untrue.
Seriously, it could potentially mislead someone new to Sonos, and I agree that it would be better not to run that risk.


... waiting for incoherent response from Chicklet.