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.

1092 replies

Userlevel 5
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You certainly can, without getting the 30% discount. The nice thing about the trade in program is that it is entirely voluntary, there’s absolutely no requirement that you avail yourself of it. It’s an option. If you prefer to give someone else your speakers, you’re entitled to.

 

It would have been nicer if they had said, anyone with older kit can get a 25% discount and then you can give your old speakers to someone else. 

Or even better, if Sonos had said, send them in rather than brick them, we will give you 25% off instead but we will donate your old units to some childrens homes. 

 

 

 

 

You certainly can, without getting the 30% discount. The nice thing about the trade in program is that it is entirely voluntary, there’s absolutely no requirement that you avail yourself of it. It’s an option. If you prefer to give someone else your speakers, you’re entitled to.

Userlevel 5
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perhaps you could give them away and bring someone else a little joy, instead of throwing them in the trash.

 

Why didn’t Sonos do that with the trade in programme rather than bricking perfectly working units? 

Pot - kettle - black. 

 

Thanks, i know it’s not your fault and that your trying to help but no i just don’t have that in me, i dont want anything like that, they rare not something i’m looking to get cash from, i’m just done with them.  like i said i know it’s not your fault they stopped workings, thank you.  

Userlevel 7
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Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us. My condolences on your loss. I’ll make sure to share your story with our team here too. 

If the speakers bring you nothing but sadness, perhaps you could give them away and bring someone else a little joy, instead of throwing them in the trash. You could likely get a good price on a second hand market too, if you wanted to take the time for that. Where ever you land, I hope you find some happiness soon.

Jhst wanted to get this off my chest:

Two years ago, mom wanted to listen to songs on her ipod throughout her house.

I bought my mom five Sonos1 speakers so she could do that.

Specifically, she uses it to listen to “Mom’s Hospice Playlist”, as she is going through end of life care in her home. I don’t have the time to set up these alternatives listed here as unfortunately I’m not very technical.

Just wanted to get this off my chest.

Good luck out there

Coming back on here just to get off my chest that my mom passed away im October, and that I’m throwing away these speakers I bought because they remind me of how I let  her down when I promised that shed be able to listen to her music throughout her house, and every time I think about it it makes me sad.  I don’t want to badmouth a product or a company online because that gets us nowhere, but it just makes me sad that it didn’t work when i needed it to.  Good luck to you all.

Thanks, Apple! Really made our lives less easy. 

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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?


Absolutely spot on - me too.

It was set up in store as an alternative to an expensive device that had to have each individual CD downloaded and stored on at a time.  The Connect system was marketed with an iPad connected to it - for ease of use.

Taking it away rather than getting a suitable work around feels like a real let down to those who purchased a Connect system with the iPad connectivity in mind.

...allowing for a larger buffer or to playback offline later on, something like that. …

I would think something like this might be problematic, with legal rights at issue.  In my own experience, streaming directly is one fee, allowing storage for play later is another license fee. I’d imagine that some companies have paid for one of those, but not the other, which would make things like a Sonos storage device a challenge. And explaining it to the lay user would be even worse. Yes, you can store X, but no, Y can’t be stored for later play. It’s not us, it’s the streaming company’s licensing issues…. Probably not a popular thing to be saying.

Userlevel 7
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I am wondering if by ‘Sonos player’ @mtnaccounts means the Sonos app?  Which of course isn’t a music player at all.  I await clarification - I genuinely don’t know what is being suggested here.

Also interested to learn how a networked wireless audio system is going to do without WiFi (I don’t think he has SonosNet in mind)

 

I didn’t see that possibility, but you could be right.  I would think the first post refering to “installing a storage device in your Sonos” would be refering to an actual Sonos device since you can’t really install a device in a app, but who knows.

 

Regarding WiFi, I was assuming that the intention was that the speaker itself would have the storage so you wouldn’t need to get audio through WiFi at all...but you would still need it for control or multi room audio.

 

I will say though that I’d be in favor of a Sonos storage device if it did more than just store local libraries.  If, for example, it could store streaming audio, allowing for a larger buffer or to playback offline later on, something like that.  Another Move like speaker with internal storage, bluetooth control through the Sonos app, and possibly localized Snips voice control would be a very interesting product.

In fact, the more I look at this, the less genuine it looks.  I think I’ll opt out of further debate if @mtnaccounts chooses to return (noting also his contributions to another related thread).

I am wondering if by ‘Sonos player’ @mtnaccounts means the Sonos app?  Which of course isn’t a music player at all.  I await clarification - I genuinely don’t know what is being suggested here.

Also interested to learn how a networked wireless audio system is going to do without WiFi (I don’t think he has SonosNet in mind)

Userlevel 7
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No, I’m talking about a storage device in the Sonos player. How is that Bluetooth audio if the music is on the device?

 

I see a few concerns with a Sonos storage device.  First, what size should it be?  Solid state or disk?  There are some that will only need a few GB while others could be in the several hundred GB.  That vast majority of people won’t need any at all since they don’t store local libraries or already have their own Computer/NAS.  So you’d be adding cost to a product that most people don’t need or want.  You also would only ever need one per system (not to mention that no existing products have this), so it makes more sense to be a separate device….now you have a Sonos branded NAS.  Why not just a regular NAS that can hold more than Sonos music files.?  And of course, many of the people upset about this change specifically want to store music on their phone so they can have the music at and away from home from one source...and don’t want to pay any additional costs.  A Sonos storage device doesn’t help them.  

 

PS your response came across snarky and that’s unnecessary if you truly intend to have an honest discussion.

 

Probably wasn’t a good idea to end your post with “you’re welcome” if you wanted to avoid snarky responses. 

A storage device in every player? And what do you mean by the Sonos player please?

No, I’m talking about a storage device in the Sonos player. How is that Bluetooth audio if the music is on the device? PS your response came across snarky and that’s unnecessary if you truly intend to have an honest discussion.

Userlevel 7
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Option #4 - Install a storage device in your Sonos that will allow us to store the music locally so that we don’t have to involve our home PC and WiFi network. You’re welcome

You mean Airplay 2 then!  Oh no your talking about Bluetooth?  Sonos are not bluetooth speakers though.  You could add a dongle to the Play 5 or Port if you want that rubbish an Audio source.

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.


Option #4 - Install a storage device in your Sonos that will allow us to store the music locally so that we don’t have to involve our home PC and WiFi network. You’re welcome

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First time poster here. I've read through the thread and agree with the regulars that knee jerk and aggressive/confrontational reactions aren't particularly useful and actually serve to undermine any genuine cause for discontent by trivializing the issue. So I'll try to avoid that.

I am an iPhone user who more or less exclusively uses the 'On this iPhone' functionality so I'm really disappointed with the news. I understand there are other methods of accessing and playing your audio that are available, but Sonos, and some of the more experienced users here, need to understand and concede that perhaps with the exception of streaming services, every other method is significantly less convenient, and this will likely be a turn off for a small yet non trivial portion of its potential customers.

I only own a Playbar and a Play:1, so this news affects me quite a bit, and ultimately comes down to convenience;
 

  • I could switch on my laptop and queue music through the Windows app, but this is a hassle when I want to listen to music on the fly, while cooking or doing the washing up, etc. Parties and gatherings, and things that are a bit more planned should be fine because I can sort out my laptop in advance.

[…]

 

Are you sure you are using “on this iphone”? If you can use the Windows app to do the same thing, odds are you’re not - as the file is then not your phone.

 

The feature in question is an old feature that lets people use music from iTunes that is synced to the iPhone, and play the files directly. Being able to do this implies that the app could either read the files directly on the device, or that there was an interface (“airplay light”) where the API could stream the music to a different app. Both of these are heavily dependent on either such an API being available, or access to the files. If Apple doesn’t provide this or there are limitations, e.g. for running in the background, Sonos just can’t fix it.

 

If your music is on a NAS, your computer or on a streaming service - this change means nothing. You can still controll your music from your phone as you’re used to.

 

If you are able

 

Userlevel 5
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Bluetooth is a bit pants in ios. 

I have just bought an Airport Express and plugged that in to the aux. 

It seems to be doing a job, just another plug and not as neat. 

 

Just testing it now. Definitely sounds better going straight into the amp rather than via the connect. 

Arcam Movie 5.1 via optical in from the airport sounds much better than digitally via the connect digitally. 

On the other system Marantz PM7003 with Celestion Dittons, it also sounds better than the connect, that is via analogue. 

 

I have to say, I really like the Airport Express sound, it is very smooth sounding, and makes some of the 80s stuff I like but find a bit bright sound pretty good. It was £30 from Gumtree from someone down the road. It just sounds incredibly clean, nice and open and decent weight to it. Pretty impressed. 

 

 

Userlevel 6
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This is so dumb.  Why take a good thing and screw to up and make it complicated.  I have an electric (fake) fireplace that had an old Play 5 sitting on top of it, and I often stream fireplace sounds from a file on my phone, and now I have to go through all this just to get it to work?  

 

 

Haha, brilliant. 

 

 

 

 

I must admit, I have got the older ZP80’s (still bit perfect) and original Play 5s. 

I get sent files at work that I always transfer to my phone, and when I get home I then played them from the iPhone to Sonos. 

 

I saw the Trade Up programme, and thought if I bought one Play 5 I could then Airplay to all speakers? 

I think that is correct? 

I thought I would justify the £350 to do this by putting the old Play 5 into the office. I was thinking of something in there anyway. 

However, the Trade Up programme disables your old device. So only 30% off and we will brick your working unit. How eco friendly is that? I would have bought another unit, not now. 

I have heard people say it is only a small feature removed, the only person who can decide that is the person using the device, as used that feature probably 50-60% of the time, it was a very big feature for me. 

I bought into Sonos when this feature arrived. 

 

I guess the option is buy a load of Airplay dongles? 

Or have a look at Bluesound. 

 

 


Or plug in a Bluetooth receiver to the 5 and pair your phone to it?

Bluesound also removed the equivalent ‘on this iPhone’ feature after the iOS change.

Userlevel 5
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This is so dumb.  Why take a good thing and screw to up and make it complicated.  I have an electric (fake) fireplace that had an old Play 5 sitting on top of it, and I often stream fireplace sounds from a file on my phone, and now I have to go through all this just to get it to work?  

 

 

Haha, brilliant. 

 

 

 

 

I must admit, I have got the older ZP80’s (still bit perfect) and original Play 5s. 

I get sent files at work that I always transfer to my phone, and when I get home I then played them from the iPhone to Sonos. 

 

I saw the Trade Up programme, and thought if I bought one Play 5 I could then Airplay to all speakers? 

I think that is correct? 

I thought I would justify the £350 to do this by putting the old Play 5 into the office. I was thinking of something in there anyway. 

However, the Trade Up programme disables your old device. So only 30% off and we will brick your working unit. How eco friendly is that? I would have bought another unit, not now. 

I have heard people say it is only a small feature removed, the only person who can decide that is the person using the device, as used that feature probably 50-60% of the time, it was a very big feature for me. 

I bought into Sonos when this feature arrived. 

 

I guess the option is buy a load of Airplay dongles? 

Or have a look at Bluesound. 

 

 

This is so dumb.  Why take a good thing and screw to up and make it complicated.  I have an electric (fake) fireplace that had an old Play 5 sitting on top of it, and I often stream fireplace sounds from a file on my phone, and now I have to go through all this just to get it to work?  

Userlevel 7
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@NowIhateShopping  The ability to play audio files on your iPhone/iPad through the Sonos app is not available on any Sonos speaker.  Old or new.  You can play audio files from your android device on any Sonos speaker.  Airplay is a new protocol that Apple created that did not exist when the playbar and other Sonos speakers were created, and they do not have the hardware capable of supporting it.  Sonos updated all the speakers that met the hardware capabilities  to be airplay compliant, including updating customers existing speakers, making no profit from that move whatsoever.

 

If Sonos goal was to push people to upgrade to new speakers, why enable airplay on existing speakers?  Why make this change when Sonos doesn’t currently have a newer version of the playbar to upgrade to?  

Removing Airplay feature has hurt many loyal customers and SONOS should have considered that before making a decision. I purchased the Playbar and Sub six months ago.
Since they removed AirPlay feature I decided to get rid of Sonos set and purchased the B&W Formation Bar and Bass. An amazing product with all features including Bluetooth, AirPlay2 and better sound quality than Sonos, a bit more expensive but it’s worth it, just wish it was available six months ago. Bye SONOS

I hope anyone in the market looking to buy takes this in consideration, I felt betrayed as I’m sure many other SONOS owners feel.

 

They didn’t remove an “Airplay feature”.  “On this iDevice” had nothing to do with Airplay. 

I’m confused and don’t really know the terminology but the fact is I can’t stream my purchased iTunes tracks to SONOS Playbar from my iPhone or Apple Tablet, this is something I could do when I purchased the Sonos Playbar set, something has changed and not being able to do it means a feature which was there when I purchased it had worked just fine but no longer available. I contacted Sonos and they confirmed this is no longer possible.  So in my opinion SONOS was selling a product which had a feature to stream music from iPhone but has been removed, it is available on new speakers but not on the old ones, to me seems like corporation greed and not just the fact Apple had made changes. Has mentioned before, B&W does everything has it says on the tin and I don’t think they will betray their customers as SONOS have done. I’m not advertising B&W but got to say, Formation is a great product, really happy I’ve gotten rid of Sonos. 

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