Updates to the Desktop Controller Coming Soon


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[quote=Ken_Griffiths]
upstatemike wrote:


It’s a bit like me saying I cannot play my VHS tapes any longer, as my player no longer works and they don’t make the tape-players anymore... Also I might not like DVD/Blueray discs or digital downloads/streaming services. There is not a lot anyone can do to help me in that kind of situation.



The problem with this metaphor is that the last time I checked, the VHS player maker did not disable the functionality of my player in the name of progress. And what SONOS did (and not for the first time), is disable important features of my setup (namely, desktop-based system management) without bothering to provide a prior warning (update notes are not displayed within the system as it offers to perform an update).

I have a fairly large SONOS setup (15 speakers across two locations), so obviously there are a lot of SONOS features I like. And I understand, even if I do not appreciate, that SONOS priorities lie in satisfying 'average' users rather than in making sure no extant users end up being excluded due to development decisions. But I find the lack of communication whenever new updates remove features (or remove OS support) quite appalling.
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access.denied wrote:



The problem with this metaphor is that the last time I checked, the VHS player maker did not disable the functionality of my player in the name of progress.



Right, and the difference also is the VHS player only played VHS tapes, nothing else. It was not updatable through firmware. The Sonos devices and systems are upgradable and do many things, playing audio from many different sources through many different means of controls. Sonos could have done what Bose has doing with Soundtouch/link/whatever their called, and just create a whole new product line for new products and features, letting the old product line fades away. That means your investment in the old product line will go on longer, but without any new features, and probably a lot of broken features as things move on. Bose customers don't seem to be too happy with this approach either.

access.denied wrote:


And what SONOS did (and not for the first time), is disable important features of my setup (namely, desktop-based system management) without bothering to provide a prior warning (update notes are not displayed within the system as it offers to perform an update).



I agree with this to an extent. It would be nice to see more release details, but I can see where Sonos may want to avoid having customers refuse updates in mass. It creates a situation where customers on or many different versions, and all though customers can accept they need to upgrade to be supported, that customer is still going to be frustrated. These changes are going to frustrate some customers no matter what you do. I don't know that there is a good answer for this.
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Muse wrote:

Free app? FREE app? You mean, we buy expensive speakers and we should be grateful the remotes are free?



I don't think Sonos has stated that customers should be grateful as you suggest. I personally have brought up the point that the apps are technically free from a license perspective (support costs funded through product sales) and that does make a difference, IMO regarding customer expectation, vs paid license alternatives. I didn't bring that up to suggest customers should be grateful, but to consider the other side of the argument, regarding what money is coming in to support these little used features.

Muse wrote:


I really am outraged about removing he functionality to add/remove group/ungroup speakers in the desktop application. And I think this is just the first step towards completely removing the desktop application. Just wait and see. And the fact that Sonos is saying 'free app' makes me wonder when they will charge us to have more functionality.



The decision was based on how often the removed features were used by customers. If customers using the desktop drops significantly low enough, I can see that going away too, although Sonos has suggested nothing of the sort.

And Sonos has stated they have no plans for any kind of service revenue model of any kind.
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It beats me all the references to cost of developing and maintaining these software apps. For goodness sakes, it's a bit of software - its not as if they are trying to keep a fleet of 747s in the air. Essentially they simply removed useful features and changed the colour from a pleasant blue to funereal black . That must have cost a bomb in development costs. It has all the hallmarks of some new or promoted manager 'managing change'.
melvimbe wrote:


The Sonos devices and systems are upgradable and do many things, playing audio from many different sources through many different means of controls. Sonos could have done what Bose has doing with Soundtouch/link/whatever their called, and just create a whole new product line for new products and features, letting the old product line fades away. That means your investment in the old product line will go on longer, but without any new features, and probably a lot of broken features as things move on. Bose customers don't seem to be too happy with this approach either.



A good point. While I have not discovered any new features that I use added to the featureset of SONOS products, I can well imagine that such exist.

melvimbe wrote:

These changes are going to frustrate some customers no matter what you do. I don't know that there is a good answer for this.


Well, my answer would be to try and design updates in a way that would minimize the number of frustrated users. But either I fall into a very small category of oldtimers (entirely possible) or this is not the SONOS priority right now (which feels closer to the mark, for me).
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Dear Sonos, did you hire any software developers that wear reading glasses? I didn't think so. My parents love Sonos, but can't use the app well because they simply can't read it well. If it pinch zoomed like chrome, well maybe.

Sorry, bring back functionality to the desktop controller. You user base is growing in age range after all these years.
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Tom_49 wrote:

Dear Sonos, did you hire any software developers that wear reading glasses? I didn't think so. My parents love Sonos, but can't use the app well because they simply can't read it well. If it pinch zoomed like chrome, well maybe.
Sorry, bring back functionality to the desktop controller. You user base is growing in age range after all these years.


Not wishing to sound rude to either you, or your Parents, but it will soon be the 'Black Friday' sales, so maybe that’s the time to buy them a (handy) large hand-held tablet that can perhaps also be mirrored onto their TV screen, or they can use the voice-over features, aswell as the excellent zoom function. They can then operate their Sonos from the comfort of an armchair, but having said that, their computer will still work for most of the Sonos day-to-day tasks anyway. My elderly in-laws tend to use Alexa for their Sonos Control and they find that extremely helpful in their lounge, so that maybe worth exploring with them too.
I’m 54 and can’t read the app at all without my reading glasses. There is no pinch zoom. I also have the app on my iPad, but its still difficult to read without my readers.

Alexa would be great if she could play my local library, but she can’t.
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BCM wrote:

I’m 54 and can’t read the app at all without my reading glasses. There is no pinch zoom. I also have the app on my iPad, but its still difficult to read without my readers.

Alexa would be great if she could play my local library, but she can’t.


Firstly, let me say BCM, how sorry I am to hear that you have such a debilitating medical condition at such a young age and reading through your post makes me realise just how lucky I am at my older age. You do indeed have my sympathy. Good eyesight (with/without spectacles) is such a very precious thing.

It’s also perhaps a good thing for you, that Sonos have left the majority of the day-to-day functionality in the desktop controller and have only removed the least-used management tools that are apparently rarely used by the majority. I perhaps will add at this point, that the Apple iPad does have a decent zoom feature and voice over function, which can be enabled within the device accessibility settings, alongside many other useful features for those with visual impairment. At least you can use those for the rare occasional sonos management tasks.

FWIW, I see that Apple also have the larger iPad Pro tablets too, if you are able to stretch to the cost of that device. I suspect that device held (close-by) within arms-length, would provide a more than adequate display, that is comparable with most desktop computers, if not a better display, because of the ability to easily and quickly move the display back and forth in order to achieve better focus and closer proximity.

On the point of Alexa not being able to play your local files, If you manually load your selected music, or local playlists, into the room queue with your desktop controller to begin with, I think you will find that Alexa can ..

Start/Stop/Pause the songs in that queue.
Skip forward or backward through the queue
Raise/lower/mute the speaker volume

All very useful stuff, particularly when your eyesight is poor, at least you don’t have to keep referring to a computer screen, with such a handy set of voice-controlled features.

I really hope the above information helps you to continue to get the very best from your sonos system.👍
Thanks as always Ken, but I'd hardly call my eyesight issue debilitating. The point of the comment was that I do a lot with my smartphone, most times without the need of my reading glasses (only +1.50 at this point), but Sonos isn't one of them. Even doing the hard squint doesn't assist. I do have the 12" iPad Pro, so the hard squint helps there (when the readers aren't available).

I don't do playlists... I'm a complete album guy... from start to finish. Will look into your suggestions deeper though.

Thanks again.
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Ken_Griffiths wrote:


Not wishing to sound rude to either you, or your Parents, but it will soon be the 'Black Friday' sales, so maybe that’s the time to buy them a (handy) large hand-held tablet that can perhaps also be mirrored onto their TV screen, or they can use the voice-over features, aswell as the excellent zoom function. They can then operate their Sonos from the comfort of an armchair, but having said that, their computer will still work for most of the Sonos day-to-day tasks anyway. My elderly in-laws tend to use Alexa for their Sonos Control and they find that extremely helpful in their lounge, so that maybe worth exploring with them too.



Oh to be able to easily introduce new tech to them. Another tablet/device?.. no chance, mirrored to TV..ahhahahahahahahahha ahahhahaha, forget it. Sonos is the old person solution to music, as its a no brainer to use once setup. Mom plays her fav radio station from her hometown, Dad finds all his old 50s music via internet radio and napster. They love it and they love being able to use their computer in the kitchen or actually touch the ZP installed to change the volume. There is no remote getting lost (die Bose system...) nothing to recharge (moms phone is always either dead or in her car and Dad turns his off by habit to save batteries when not in use...) or is there something that needs a switch turned on to work. Yes, getting them Alexa ...which should be hilarious. "ODESSA!!!"

Ok, I will give you that my parents would be the small percentage of users, but seriously, Sonos is excellent for people that just don't get technology or how things work, seniors love music too. Press button, music plays.
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Tom, Your folks should get with my wife, she is still unhappy her CR-100 got taken away and reminds me of that all too often. This is not making my attempts to justify a new Sonos Amp for Christmas any easier...

I'd love to see a browser based solution, something minimal would be great - just pick music and play it with a volume control. If they wanted to do a full featured browser version they could use that as an excuse to drop the desktop versions completely too.
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Eliminating features I used routinely.

Some hipster product manager can't be unglued from their phone and therefore imposes their preferences on the rest of us.

Not cool Sonos.
So How am I supposed to re-setup my system if I do not have a mobile device? You must have hired someone from Microsoft to do your updates. Now I cannot use your product...
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Cheap Amazon Fire tablet seems to be the suggested device if you want to own something, borrowing a friend's tablet for a few minutes is the second option.
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Stanley_4 wrote:

Cheap Amazon Fire tablet seems to be the suggested device if you want to own something, borrowing a friend's tablet for a few minutes is the second option.

I suspect it will only be around the $30/£30 mark (or less) on Black Friday, so maybe get it then.
I have a traumatic brain injury. Cannot use a mobile device. How do I fix this?
I don't think there's any easy workaround. I'd recommend finding a friend for those rare occasions when you need to use the setup tools that were removed from the desktop controller. Fortunately, all of the other items still remain unchanged, it's only setup that was removed.
Really? You should update your documentation because it had me looking for those options to add my Connect. So I spent 30 minutes trying to figure out why I couldn't add my new Connect (or anything else) from my Mac controller app. That's a bad decistion IMO. Luckily I have iPhone & iPad but still a bad decision.
Perhaps you mean Sonos' documentation? I certainly haven't written any, as a Sonos consumer.
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I think such documentation clearly says 'subject to change without notice' in any event ...and the Sonos Connect Manual is certainly no exception.
Airgetlam wrote:

Perhaps you mean Sonos' documentation? I certainly haven't written any, as a Sonos consumer.

Yes, I was referring to Sonos documentation since this string was started by Ryan from Sonos.

Ken_Griffiths wrote:

I think such documentation clearly says 'subject to change without notice' in any event ...and the Sonos Connect Manual is certainly no exception.


Yes it is subject to change and it should be changed. That's my point. Since they don't need to reprint just update a web page it should be easy, especially when it is necessary to use the product.
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Hey Johnny47, if there's a website or other documentation that you saw which you think needs updating, I'm happy to get the feedback passed along to the team. They've been hard at work updating pages so it may have been missed, or on the list already and not hit yet.
Ryan S wrote:

Hey Johnny47, if there's a website or other documentation that you saw which you think needs updating, I'm happy to get the feedback passed along to the team. They've been hard at work updating pages so it may have been missed, or on the list already and not hit yet.


Hi Ryan, I must have been looking at a non-Sonos site or an old discussion string in support because I distinctly remember seeing a screen capture of the Manage menu with the "Add a Room, speaker, sub or something..." options. In any case I found the page on Sonos.com for adding a product to an existing system and it clearly says:
"If you’re using the Sonos app on Mac or PC, this option is not available. To add a Sonos player to your system, use the Sonos app for iOS or Android."
Now I can't get my music library to sync with the controller. I guess I'll just use my phone and give up on using my computer with Sonos.
Thanks...
Big mistake dropping features from Desktop Controller software. Mobile Devices are useful, but will *NEVER* replace desktop computers.

I am now unable to change room settings via the "Desktop Software". For you Millienals you probably can't / won't operate an actual computer anyway so no loss to you. Ignorance is bliss as they say.

Us older folk have money, and I will not be purchasing any new Sonos hardware. I refuse to manage sonos via a dumb-phone.

Goodbye.

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