I miss the REAL mute button!

  • 29 October 2013
  • 29 replies
  • 1188 views

Hi I REALLY miss the ability to mute a single zone! Why did you change this! So many times I want to mute just one for a moment without stopping the other grouped zones. This is really a downgrade for me. Any chance you can make this configurable, or somehow still allow the mute button to function as an actual mute button?

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29 replies

I understand what you are looking for but I'm not sure there is a wide demand for it. For most people when speakers are grouped they want to start or stop the group and when they want individual control they just take the speaker out of the group. People who want one button actions for more complex scenarios usually accomplish it using third party automation products.

Personally I like the way the local start/stop function works and would have been happy with the change if it simply moved the legacy mute functionality over to "volume minus long press". Unfortunately when the change was made the legacy mute features were scrapped and the new mute simply turned the player down without remembering volume state, preserving mute status during group volume changes, or properly displaying muted status on controllers. Sonos never gave any good reason for not moving the legacy mute functionality when they switched it to the minus down button... maybe the guy who wrote that code was no longer with the company or maybe it was just laziness, but it will always be remembered as the first big stumble for Sonos who up to that point had a near spotless record of customer satisfaction. Of course all that looks pretty minor now compared to the current problems associated with the recent changes to the queue but it was the first big letdown from Sonos and the insensitive way it was handled still stings a little.

There is a chance that voice control integration might include some features that will help your situation at some point but for now the only option is to change your habits or employ a third party product that will change player groupings by time of day so you avoid those early morning surprises.
Ah, thanks for the info, then my assumption of how it was before has apparently been wrong.

Personally, I'd find it most logical if the first 'Play / Pause' on any speaker in a group would start the stream on that specific speaker. Any further 'Play / Pause' on other speakers would join the stream (or 'unmute' them). Same the other way round, 'Play / Pause' on the last playing speaker in the group would stop the stream. Not sure if I'm missing any edge cases here.
Not really. The mute button used to mute the individual player not start and stop it. It also had the advantage of remembering the previous play level so it would return to that level when unmuted. It also would display as muted on any controller so you could tell the player was muted and not paused. You could also adjust the volume of a group that included the muted player without inadvertently unmuting the player you wanted to stay muted.

It was a nicely thought out feature but unfortunately would not have helped your situation.
Thank you guys, I'm afraid you overestimate wife's willingness of understanding what breaking groups and combining them again means just to be able to continue listening to the same music in the kitchen.

I still think it'll be more convenient if Sonos can offer to activate (and de-activate) each speaker separately instead of trying to workaround this. My understanding is that this was the case before the Play button behavior changed.
Why not set an alarm in the bathroom to go off at the time your wife normally gets up? This will break the group and have the music already playing the program she wants at the volume she wants. You would need to add the bathroom back to the group later in the day if you want to include it in your whole house listening but you will be well rested at that point so the small extra effort will not be such an issue.
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I set an alarm every weekday which starts the radio in the kitchen for when I get down for breakfast. Why not do that?

Other than that you probably need the arrival of voice control.

Either that or train the Mrs better. Just sayin'!
Hmm, but after breaking the group you can't continue listening in the kitchen then but instead need your phone again.
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Set up a silent alarm n each room for the middle of the morning. That will break the group - Volume will need increasing.
I'm new to Sonos so don't know the exact behavior how it was before. But for me, the actual issue is not 'muting' a single speaker, I can live with using the volume buttons for muting a specific speaker if required.

The actual issue for me is that 'play' will start playing on all speakers. Here is the scenario that I don't think is too special. I've 3 speakers all grouped since I like listening to the same music during the day in all rooms. Speakers are in bathroom, sleeping room and kitchen. Now my wife gets up an hour before me in the morning. When she wants to start the radio in bathroom using the play button, music will automatically start in the sleeping room and in the kitchen and thus wake up me as well as most likely the kids that are close to the kitchen.

So we have to remember to turn down the volume on all speakers before we go to bed or she has to ungroup the speakers on her phone before starting the music in the bathroom. Both not really convenient. Instead I would expect the Play button only start that speaker in the according room, and other speakers to join using their play buttons. Was this the behavior before the 'play button behavior change'?
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I just want the product I bought back.
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Hi Roger,

You can still effectively 'mute' a single zone in a group by holding down the minus button.  Holding down minus will rapidly decrease the volume on the player until it's muted, at a much faster rate than before.  Give it a try, it's a quick way to drop the volume in a single room, much like the old mute button functionality.  

Plus, you'll also have the new ability to easily pause and resume the music everywhere, and quickly skip tracks with a double-tap of the button.

Why are we not getting through to them, do they care?
Start sending letters to the press and all those magazines that rate their products so highly.
Cliff
Hi Roger,

You can still effectively 'mute' a single zone in a group by holding down the minus button.  Holding down minus will rapidly decrease the volume on the player until it's muted, at a much faster rate than before.  Give it a try, it's a quick way to drop the volume in a single room, much like the old mute button functionality.  

Plus, you'll also have the new ability to easily pause and resume the music everywhere, and quickly skip tracks with a double-tap of the button.

The only way that Sonos can end this problem and make everyone happy is to create a setting on the Controller app to allow the "mute / pause" button either to control only the speaker of which it is a part OR to control all speakers on the system.
Hi Roger,

You can still effectively 'mute' a single zone in a group by holding down the minus button.  Holding down minus will rapidly decrease the volume on the player until it's muted, at a much faster rate than before.  Give it a try, it's a quick way to drop the volume in a single room, much like the old mute button functionality.  

Plus, you'll also have the new ability to easily pause and resume the music everywhere, and quickly skip tracks with a double-tap of the button.

The only way that Sonos can end this problem and make everyone happy is to create a setting on the Controller app to allow the "mute / pause" button either to control only the speaker of which it is a part OR to control all speakers on the system.
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Play:1 it is labeled play/pause. 
You're right. I've had two new Play:1s sitting in the corner of my office for the past few weeks. I've been so disappointed in my Sonos system since the v5.0 controller fiasco that I haven't bothered to install them.

I'd still like 7 new buttons for my other devices though.
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Play:1 it is labeled play/pause.  But I agree with you in that all the buttons should be user assignable so you can pick the way you want for each.
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Can I reiterate this. It's a mute button. It's labelled as a mute button. Its role should be to MUTE. The current behaviour is absolutely idiotic! If you insist that it's a pause button, please send me a set of replacement buttons with the right image on them for all my devices! Since you didn't do the sensible thing and make this behaviour a user-selectable option through the settings mrenu, is there any other way to restore rationality, e.g. by http calls to the embedded uPnP servers in my Play: and Connect: units?
This broken functionality is affecting a lot of people and it is taking a long time to get it fixed!
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Yes, please make this option configurable. It's the only way to accommodate everyone's needs.
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Hi Roger,

You can still effectively 'mute' a single zone in a group by holding down the minus button.  Holding down minus will rapidly decrease the volume on the player until it's muted, at a much faster rate than before.  Give it a try, it's a quick way to drop the volume in a single room, much like the old mute button functionality.  

Plus, you'll also have the new ability to easily pause and resume the music everywhere, and quickly skip tracks with a double-tap of the button.

John,
Except holding down Vol- is not the same as the old mute button functionality. Holding Vol- sets the volume to 0, which is not the same as mute. For example, group at least 2 zoneplayers together. Then hold the Vol- on one to "mute" it. Then take a controller and turn up the global volume slider. The previously muted zoneplayer un-mutes and starts playing again. This is unintended behavior brought on by not having a proper mute function anymore.
Userlevel 1
Hi Roger,

You can still effectively 'mute' a single zone in a group by holding down the minus button.  Holding down minus will rapidly decrease the volume on the player until it's muted, at a much faster rate than before.  Give it a try, it's a quick way to drop the volume in a single room, much like the old mute button functionality.  

Plus, you'll also have the new ability to easily pause and resume the music everywhere, and quickly skip tracks with a double-tap of the button.

I last posted a comment according to this some three weeks ago but no official response.
It looks like Sonos have three choices

  1. Do nothing. Cheap option and ignores us. 
  2. Put the function back to what it was. Not going to make everyone happy.
  3. Make the button option user selectable.
Come on Sonos

Cliff
Hi Roger,

You can still effectively 'mute' a single zone in a group by holding down the minus button.  Holding down minus will rapidly decrease the volume on the player until it's muted, at a much faster rate than before.  Give it a try, it's a quick way to drop the volume in a single room, much like the old mute button functionality.  

Plus, you'll also have the new ability to easily pause and resume the music everywhere, and quickly skip tracks with a double-tap of the button.

John, not to pile on, but building off what 'Nic said, do you know where this issue stands and what if anything is being done to resolve it? If nothing is being done what can I(we) do to push it into the spotlight more? Thanks much, - Roger
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Hi Roger,

You can still effectively 'mute' a single zone in a group by holding down the minus button.  Holding down minus will rapidly decrease the volume on the player until it's muted, at a much faster rate than before.  Give it a try, it's a quick way to drop the volume in a single room, much like the old mute button functionality.  

Plus, you'll also have the new ability to easily pause and resume the music everywhere, and quickly skip tracks with a double-tap of the button.

John,
Do you have the ear of Sonos? If so, what is being considered. From what I can see from the numerous posting on this thread and many others, it is a serious issue. As Roger suggests, we need a middle way: one that is acceptable to both of the polarised user groups.
If I could roll back to a previous software version I would, but that's clearly not possible. For me, the solution is a configuration option; perhaps for each group or device. Funny button pushing may work, but usability will be confusing and therefore poor.
Please, if you can, state the case to Sonos and post some kind of issue status. I feel sure that, if we know that this major issue has been recognised, we will relax a little and look forwards to the next  roll-out.
Thanks for your time.
Cheers, 'Nic
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I have already registered my displeasure at this change but now I find if you go to a controller or desk top you can only "unpause" all not just that zone. Please please can we get back to the system that I purchased and has worked well for years, or as some have suggested make the switch configurable. Regards Cliff
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This change is havoc for parents with kids! The kids are now in control of when music starts and stops by simply tapping on the "new" Mute button.

REQUEST: Make the button configurable. This will appease those asking for the new functionality as well as help parents maintain sanity.
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This should be changed back to the old way, press to mute and light on solid.
If you need a pause function it could have been done with a long push/hold and flashing light.
The only way to actually mute is with a controller. Volume down is not a proper mute, if grouped it will come back up if the volume is turned up on other units with the controller.
Found this out the hard way at half six in the morning. Volume turned up in the kitchen and the unit in the bedroom that was "muted" came on. No alarm needed. Thanks Sonos! 
The Sonos sales are rightfully increasing so if you are going to make changes based on requests, which is fair enough, they should include the option to select it and not do a blanket change that has to be accepted like it or not.