Updates to the Desktop Controller Coming Soon


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This update was horrible for me. My home network is setup much like an enterprise system. Any wireless client that is trying to join my network must be approved from a desktop hardwired into an Ethernet port for security reasons. Since the removal of that function from the desktop app I’m stuck out of luck and can never add another speaker to my sonos system. I hope that function is put Back sooner than later.
We use an iMac as a central hub for our entertainment. It works well for us. The removal of functionality from the desktop controller is ... ah ... annoying!

I'll add my voice to the calls to restore the functionality ... through I gather that there is faint hope of that occurring.

A shame. I used to be a vocal proponent of Sonos but am getting quieter by the day! 8O)
Going deaf wrote:

We use an iMac as a central hub for our entertainment. It works well for us. The removal of functionality from the desktop controller is ... ah ... annoying!

I fully understand that it is annoying to lose functionality, but I wonder if, when the dust settles, your iMac will continue as your central entertainment hub without your noticing much difference? The functionality that has been lost is more on the system maintenance side than its use as a day-to-day controller. Time will tell, I guess.
quinones1054 wrote:

This update was horrible for me. My home network is setup much like an enterprise system. Any wireless client that is trying to join my network must be approved from a desktop hardwired into an Ethernet port for security reasons. Since the removal of that function from the desktop app I’m stuck out of luck and can never add another speaker to my sonos system. I hope that function is put Back sooner than later.


So what do you do for those wireless devices that have no Ethernet port, like a Mobile Phone, Harmony Hub or Echo Dot or Chromecast device, for example?
quinones1054 wrote:

This update was horrible for me. My home network is setup much like an enterprise system. Any wireless client that is trying to join my network must be approved from a desktop hardwired into an Ethernet port for security reasons. Since the removal of that function from the desktop app I’m stuck out of luck and can never add another speaker to my sonos system. I hope that function is put Back sooner than later.

Hi. What function was it in the desktop app that approved the joining of a wireless client to your network?
John B wrote:

Going deaf wrote:

We use an iMac as a central hub for our entertainment. It works well for us. The removal of functionality from the desktop controller is ... ah ... annoying!

I fully understand that it is annoying to lose functionality, but I wonder if, when the dust settles, your iMac will continue as your central entertainment hub without your noticing much difference? The functionality that has been lost is more on the system maintenance side than its use as a day-to-day controller. Time will tell, I guess.



Hello John

Thanks for the reply.

The problem will be when we move the speakers around the house and pair/unpair them which we tend to do for social occasions.
Going Deaf,

You can always just physically move them as a pair instead, but a cheap 'mobile' or 'tablet' is useful for social occasions anyway I find, as guests can be invited to help choose the music, instead of having to go over to the computer.
Going deaf wrote:

John B wrote:

Going deaf wrote:

We use an iMac as a central hub for our entertainment. It works well for us. The removal of functionality from the desktop controller is ... ah ... annoying!

I fully understand that it is annoying to lose functionality, but I wonder if, when the dust settles, your iMac will continue as your central entertainment hub without your noticing much difference? The functionality that has been lost is more on the system maintenance side than its use as a day-to-day controller. Time will tell, I guess.



Hello John

Thanks for the reply.

The problem will be when we move the speakers around the house and pair/unpair them which we tend to do for social occasions.

There is no doubt that you will have to have another controller for this sort of thing, but presumably someone has a smartphone or tablet? It is just an occasional, one minute exercise, is it not?
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passopp wrote:

Something tells me that these first reactions were probably not exactly as expected.

SONOS doesn't really care much for 'first reactions'. Taking an honest look at them, SONOS waits years before reacting to current user input. It's always been about getting NEW money, not necessarily keeping current customers satisfied.
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melvimbe wrote:

Peagle wrote:

melvimbe wrote:


Yes, Spence said that. I wish he hadn't as it's technically not accurate and, IMO, help to set up customers for disappoint for feature removals like this.



So Spence lied? Or what do you mean by technically not accurate?

MacFarlane over the years used similar messaging, for example Sonos as an appliance that gets better over the long haul.



I don't want to derail the thread, but I'll explain. No one paid any money to download the Sonos app from the play or apps stores. No one paid any money to download the desktop applications from Sonos. No one paid for the software. In contrast, microsoft office is not free. We have to buy a license fee to use Microsoft Office. If Sonos removes a feature, they are not taking a way a feature that was paid for. If Microsoft remove Excel, for example, Microsoft would be reomving something paid for. That's why I mean when I say the statement is tecnhincally not accurate.

Now, in many ways, it's effectively accurate. The revenue from Sonos hardware goes is used to maintain the controller software, and customers should have some expectation that the features of the software won't go away. Sonos needs to honor that expectation to some extent in order for customer goodwill and continue to sell new products. But this expectation doesn't come with the same sort of guarantee that you get when you actually purchase a license.

As I said previously, I didn't like Spence's statement. I would have preferred if he said something like "We know customers want these features, and we will continue to strive to give new features to their existing speakers, as we have from the very beginning."

Cutting to the chase, I paid for a SONOS speaker box and a physical controller. I bought it with software installed on that box. SONOS has altered that speaker box's software on numerous occasions without my consent. It discontinued its hardware controller. Until SONOS stops mucking around with our hardware by altering our software, your argument misses the mark. (But, you're right, you derailed the thread a bit.)
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CharlieE wrote:

Just updated to 9.2 this morning and I'm pissed. It really would have been nice that the developers would have told their paying customers before they updated their PC software that they were going to decide how we were now going to use our sonos systems.



"paying customers" is a little misleading as the term is usually used for products/services where the customer is expected to pay a regularly scheduled fee for use of the product or service. Since none of us are paying any monthly fees for software support or anything. Yes, there is some expected support of the software that comes when you buy a product, but it's not really the same thing.

CharlieE wrote:


If I had known that I was going to be missing all of these controls I wouldn't have updated ever again. I'm sure the devolopers are all young millennial that only use phones to do everything and couldn't figure why anyone wouldn't just want to use their phones to run Sonos.



Ryan stated in the initial post that Sonos researched the issue and found that the features they removed were rarely used. It had nothing to do with the age or stereotype of the developers.

CharlieE wrote:


Well how about older people that may not be able to see the details on the phone as well and need a larger view? Yes, There are senior citizens that use Sonos. As a matter of fact my house is filled with Sonos products starting with the playbar, and play1's in every room. But now, I'm thinking it may be time to move away from Sonos and start looking for another system....



You can still use the desktop for everyday use with Sonos. As far as other systems go, I haven't looked into itmyself, but I wouldn't be surprised if most of them also lack desktop configuration support.
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Grogster wrote:

Cutting to the chase, I paid for a SONOS speaker box and a physical controller. I bought it with software installed on that box. SONOS has altered that speaker box's software on numerous occasions without my consent. It discontinued its hardware controller. Until SONOS stops mucking around with our hardware by altering our software, your argument misses the mark. (But, you're right, you derailed the thread a bit.)



Perhaps it slipped by somehow for you, but there are terms and conditions customers agree to when initially installing the software. For me at least, I have to manual agree to update the desktop application. Automatic updates of the speaker software is a brand new thing this release, that you can turn on or off. For iOS and android apps, you can also turn on/off automatic updates.

I get the frustration. I wouldn't be happy if features I liked were removed either.
Grogster wrote:

Cutting to the chase, I paid for a SONOS speaker box and a physical controller. I bought it with software installed on that box. SONOS has altered that speaker box's software on numerous occasions without my consent. It discontinued its hardware controller. Until SONOS stops mucking around with our hardware by altering our software, your argument misses the mark. (But, you're right, you derailed the thread a bit.)




Nope. You could not be more wrong about the bolded. You consented when you agreed to a software license, which included that it was subject to changes at Sonos' discretion. Just like every other piece of up-gradable consumer electronics, you own the hardware, you only license the software.
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The latest update is a bunch of #$%%! We use SONOS throughout our manufacturing plant to control 25 speakers in different groups. Trying to manage this on a tiny smart phone SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!! Why on earth would you take away the ability to manage your system from a computer? I had 2 more plants to install SONOS speakers in, but that will NOT be happening if your desktop application cannot manage the speaker system. Terrible choice by SONOS to break what was currently working. PLEASE give me a way to revert the software back, or better yet just put the functionality back.
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Do you have to update/manage the system that often. The desktop controller still controls/groups/accesses services same as it always has. Mobile controller just needed to add/update units.
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Chris wrote:

Do you have to update/manage the system that often. The desktop controller still controls/groups/accesses services same as it always has. Mobile controller just needed to add/update units.



Add/update/manage/rename all the time. With 300 employees at the current location our SONOS system was always in flux. And while the desktop app wasn't perfect, I could at least see everything in a single view and make changes with ease. I realize I may not be a "normal" customer, but that's OK because going forward I will not be a customer at all. The search for a system to put in my other plants starts today. VERY unfortunate.
And WHY? What is the point of removing this? Why not leave the setting stuff in all iterations of the controller so everybody is happy? It's a part of the system, afterall. I'm sorry, but I really don't get this. Is it saving a few bucks again? Is it that pathetic?

Forget Sonos' Support, they're doing bugger all about it, except saying it's not to be changed back. So I'm forced to buy a cheap iPad somewhere in order to have the hardware live out its natural life, so to speak. So Sonos, that means that SOMEONE ELSE gets my money for the iPad instead of your lot for new additional speakers. Ever thought about that, business wise? Probably not.

So for the time being I'm waiting for version 9.3 with the controls put back in place, thank you. Warning on MacUpdate done.
I transferred all sound units in my home to Sonos based exclusively on control being available from a desktop PC running Windows. I was a Sonos cheerleader because everything seemed fairly close to perfect and well supported.

I am convinced now, with this latest controller upgrade's removal of functions, that the Windows app will not be supported in the future, perhaps the near future. The black screens are the harbinger of death and a dying program Sonos no longer wishes to support. It's a first step toward the day when we are told, perhaps by surprise again, that Sonos functions will ONLY be available from Android or iOS.

Extremely disappointed in the way it happened and hopes for the future.
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I had no idae an update was coming, but just installed it and what on earth have you done to the rooms list??? It is so out of keping with the rest of the screen - it looks broken like the skin hasn't properly washed underneath. The rest of it looks nice, but that glowing white rooms list is so distracting I really wish I hadn't updated at all.

I was actually using the android app today and it does look like you can't decide on a dark or light theme. It's weird to go into settings and suddenly it's bright white, then go to advanced and it's dark again.

I'm visually impaired and can't stand white backgrounds anyway, so the darker the better. But seriously, did you run out of budget with the new rooms list??

I also had no idea you were removing functionality i actually use from the app too. Seriously, setting anything up on my Mac is so much easier than using the app. I hate typing on my Android phone, and various options like setting up networking, room names etc and also the annoyance of having to login to my Sonos account are far easier on the desktop app. I would rather you added more stuff to it - like configuring voice services etc. Again my visual impairment means that fiddling around on a tiny phone screen is a lot harder than using a big computer screen.

Sorry to whinge, but this update is really poor.
Five-year happy Sonos-user here.

I like the new look of the controller and the new volume limiter, but I absolutely hate the new restrictions about having to use the app to control my system. As evidenced by this thread full of angry people, that was a plain and simple a dumb decision by the product manager. There must have been some internal resistance. Listen to those people some more - they have some good gut instincts.

Now you're probably going to have to re-do a lot of the coding to bring back the functionality you hoped you could take away.
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Look, we get that Sonos look at usage and have determined that most activity happens on the mobile apps. That explains the lack of attention to the desktop controller, and maybe the divergence of mobile and desktop over the years. I get that most people prefer "I can do everything with my phone" to "I can use whatever laptop/tablet/phone device is closest". I get that many Sonos customers might not even own a PC.

But if I read this correctly, it is now a requirement to have a modern iOS or Android device to use Sonos, merely having a PC/Mac isn't enough (unless I'm missing something and all these administrative features are at least available via some web UI). OK, if you're buying an expensive multi-room system, then budgeting for a dedicated controller is fair enough, but the whole point of Sonos was that you could start with one speaker/Connect and whatever old PC/mobile device you had as a controller.

(Disclaimer: I haven't upgraded yet. Maybe there's some really cool / same-UI-failures-as-the-mobile-app changes to go with the UI refresh).

What really puzzles me is this - the functions listed as removed are basic functional admin functions with basic functional UI. I get that software is hard and costly to develop and test (I do this for a living, I even maintain a desktop app that should have moved to being a thin mobile/web client years ago). It's possible that the Sonos desktop client is doing a lot of work locally when it should be a thin, dumb client (essentially calling an API endpoint on your Sonos system). Hard choices have to be made. Evidently, Sonos believe desktop users would prefer a shiny new UI to full functionality. But I'm genuinely puzzled as to why Sonos would remove Sonos functionality (even for the infrequent setup tasks) from the app as part of a "re-skin", and force users to reach for a mobile device just to do setup.

The UI refresh suggests that the desktop app is here to stay, rather than on a path to obsolescence. The removal of core features suggests otherwise.
What an idiotic move....I used the compression setting on the PC all the time. You continue to ignore what your customers actually want, and do what you want. It will be your downfall...
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Alan_6 wrote:


What really puzzles me is this - the functions listed as removed are basic functional admin functions with basic functional UI. I get that software is hard and costly to develop and test (I do this for a living, I even maintain a desktop app that should have moved to being a thin mobile/web client years ago). It's possible that the Sonos desktop client is doing a lot of work locally when it should be a thin, dumb client (essentially calling an API endpoint on your Sonos system).



100% agree on this point. Ideally, the desktop and mobile interfaces should be thin, calling a shared process on the hardware to get it done. However, many of the Sonos speakers are rather old with limited memory and processing ability, meaning you can't really make the clients as thin as you'd probably like. Sure, some of the new hardware probably could handle the load, but customers don't always have the new stuff.
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melvimbe wrote:


100% agree on this point. Ideally, the desktop and mobile interfaces should be thin, calling a shared process on the hardware to get it done. However, many of the Sonos speakers are rather old with limited memory and processing ability, meaning you can't really make the clients as thin as you'd probably like. Sure, some of the new hardware probably could handle the load, but customers don't always have the new stuff.



Well, the Sonos memory is already holding the setting values and any “server side” code used to update them. This move suggests that both desktop and mobile clients may have evolved to independently manage settings themselves (possibly due to limited space for the “Sonos server” app code, which has grown in functionality while Sonos memory has remained static).

It would be nice to think that full functionality would return in 9.3 and this is merely a rushed version of the new look, but given all the other “unfinished” software Sonos have shipped in the last few years (the sort-of-ephemeral queue design, the “My Sonos” dashboard, the inconsistent “are you an artist or an other” terminology), I’m not exactly hopeful...
Whilst I agree that software updates must come, this one like the last one has resulted in my SONOS network collapsing. Further although it says that 9.2 is installed it is still telling me that my functionality is reduced as I need to update the software. When I do it loses the network and then seems to find it again but I still cannot manage my music folders. It is not acceptable that updates cause this amount of trouble. What do I do next. I have rebooted the router, I have unplugged and rejoined everyone of my speakers, I do not seem to be able to pair the ones in my office nor the surround sound. Confused and very frustrated.

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