Question

Difficulty moving music from Room A to Room B

  • 30 November 2017
  • 35 replies
  • 1391 views

Userlevel 2
I often need to move my music from Room A to Room B, shutting it off in Room A and starting it up in Room B. I use the red room name text at the bottom of the interface to do this. Unless I'm doing something completely wrong, it seems to be an overly complex multi-button operation to do this.

Let's say I'm listening in Room A, and I want to move to Room B. I hit the red 'Room A' text and I get the list of available rooms. Sonos doesn't allow me to just uncheck 'Room A', check 'Room B' and hit 'Done' to move the music from Room A to B. I have to first add 'Room B' and hit 'Done' so that both rooms become active, showing 'Room A + Room B' text on the interface. Then I have to go back in and uncheck 'Room A' and hit 'Done' again to get the music only in Room B. Sometimes, this does not work properly and the interface still shows Room A and I have to do the whole thing again.

This has been driving me nuts for a while now. I've always assumed it would be fixed in the next interface update, but it never is. Is it a bug, am I missing something, or is it just how it is meant to be used?

Any advice is appreciated.

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35 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Try it from the rooms menu which should be more full featured. Swipe down from now playing. Click on room menu at bottom. Click on room playing currently. Check and uncheck rooms you want and hit done.

Maybe the lower menu hasn’t caught up in functionality. I’m not at home where I can test.
Userlevel 3
Badge +2
There is an error in the software.

I use the latest Android controller and it sometimes works, i.e. can move music by checking Room B and unchecking Room A and tap Done at one go. But if you change the room like that a few times - especially a few times in a row, the UI will just flash and the currently playing room will not change in the UI. So, there seems to be that kind of error like you mentioned.

To get around that error I also need to do like you do, or swipe down to reveal the menu and tap on Rooms and change the currently playing room there like was mentioned.
The easiest way to move music is to pause room A using physical button on speaker, then long press on play button in room B
Userlevel 2
Okay, thanks very much. I should have specified that I'm using the controller on an iPhone 6s with software version 10.3.3 if that is relevant. Interesting that kpf experiences the same problem on Android. As Chris suggested, the room menu icon at the very bottom works a bit better, but still requires going into Room A and pausing and then opening Room B and starting it up. I'm being a little lazy I guess, but it's nutty to me that I can't just check or uncheck where I want music, hit 'Done' and the rooms that are checked get the music regardless of where the music was previously.
The pause and restart works only with physical buttons. You don't have to even open the app. The Rooms screen is not a workaround it is the way you are supposed to do it in the app and the method is the same as the previous app, that is press the Group button for room A, tick room B, untick room A and tap Done
Userlevel 3
Badge +2
This error/bug is actually very easy to reproduce also on the Sonos Controller for iPad version 8.2.1. Both the Android and iPad version have this error in my system.

Sorry this is long but for completeness sake this is detailed.

Error:
The 'Now Playing' UI seems to get updated correctly just once.

Steps to reproduce:

1. For Room A select, e.g. from Spotify, A Deeper Understanding album by The War On Drugs and start playing from the 7th track Thinking Of A Place.

2. While playing music in Room A, tap red Room A, select Room B and unselect Room A and tap Done -> music moves to Room B and [after a while] UI correctly refreshes to show music playing in Room B.

3. Tap red room B, select Room A and unselect Room B and tap Done -> music moves back to Room A but UI now incorrectly shows Room B and the1st track Up All Night is shown on the UI with the play control visible. So, in UI it has moved to the beginning of the album in Room B (not playing music).

4. Tap red Room B again, select Room A and unselect Room B and tap Done -> Nothing happens. UI is still not refreshed.

Expected behaviour:
In Step 3, UI should refresh to show music playing in Room A so that user can control it.

Notes:
In Step 2 after tapping Done, you can see in the UI first a cyan 'reload' icon and then a red 'Room B + Room A' and then eventually red Room B. The UI refreshes that slowly.

My Sonos system has 1st generation Play 5 (Room 😎 and a Connect (Room A, connected with Ethernet to the router).

I don't remember seeing this error in the latest pre-8.x software. I was happy with 7.4 which worked well for me. I would fix this error as the workarounds require additional steps from the user.
The red room thing on the Now Playing screen is useless. Just don't use it
Userlevel 3
Badge +2
The red room thing on the Now Playing screen is useless. Just don't use it

Currently it's next to useless 🙂 In 7.4 I moved the currently playing music daily between the rooms on the fly so it would be handy if that worked. There are of course the discussed workarounds (my Connect is in the closet so I do it by swiping down and do it from the Rooms UI etc.).

Anyway, I'm sure Sonos is aware of this error or otherwise I'm a bit worried about the level of their software testing... I'm sure they'll fix it eventually. They probably have more urgent situations to address judging by the posts.
Userlevel 3
I use the 'red room thing' to move music around all the time. The actual move of music is instant, which to me is the important thing. The UI refresh does lag though but it has always refreshed itself eventually. We've kind of got used to it but it is annoying. It only started happening from version 8 onwards.
I wish people would stop talking about using the Rooms screen via the Rooms button as a 'workaround' for managing rooms. The clue is in the name. The Rooms screen is the equivalent of what was in 7.4, not the red room thing
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
It shouldn’t be so different
It shouldn’t be so differentI agree Chris. I would scrap it, make the tab bar visible on the Now Playing screen to remove the swipe down, then there would be a fully functional rooms management screen just a single tap away.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
The red room option is where I always make the mistake of hitting it when I want to control a different room.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
I’m used to clicking the current room name to bring up the full room control.
The current room would still display. In fact it has to. I would make it bigger and let it also bring up the Rooms screen. If the two systems are identical in function then one is redundant. If they are different the whole thing is confusing. So two single tap routes to the same place sounds fine to me
Userlevel 3
Badge +4
The Rooms screen is not a workaround it is the way you are supposed to do it in the app

Sorry John. So you are saying the red room name was never supposed to be used? Then why have it there in the first place. This is a good example of why the app is unintuitive. For many people, the intuitive thing is to click the now playing room name to move music from that room to another. And if it actually worked as it is designed to, this would be the quickest and simplest way.

Ignoring the red now playing room name and instead swiping down and clicking Rooms may work but it is not intuitive to ignore an intended design feature to do this instead. And to suggest that we are supposed to not use the red now playing room name is ridiculous
Purely my personal opinion. I have found the app works well for me if I go through the tab bar for everything. It took me ten minutes of playing with thee app to decide that.

I am not here to defend the app or Sonos. Just saying what makes life easier for me.
Guys it’s good to know it’s not just me who’s becoming more and more frustrated by this ridiculous update. Why oh why try to fix something that isn’t broke and Sonos you must understand the ease of navigation is as important to people as sound quality and if you mess with it you had better be sure it’s for the better. A friend who is thinking of updating his entire music system wanted to try my Sonos and whilst he loved the sound and portability, decided to give it a rain check as he couldn’t fathom the room controller for changing music in different rooms, without my prompting....come on Sonos please sort this out, you can do it as you previously proved!
Userlevel 3
Badge +4
Purely my personal opinion. I have found the app works well for me if I go through the tab bar for everything. It took me ten minutes of playing with thee app to decide that.

I am not here to defend the app or Sonos. Just saying what makes life easier for me.


OK well that's fine but you didn't say that before, you said the room button is the way the app is supposed to be used. This is somewhat different to saying this is your preferred method.
Userlevel 7
Badge +15
Sonos greatest differentiator was its multi-room capabilities. That they wrecked the ease of that functionality and introduced software that makes it harder and more confusing to do is astonishing. And, as reported by many, it often simply doesn't work as intended and tick boxes are left on and music often plays in unintended rooms.
For some reason Sonos don't appear to respond to this particular issue (or many others lately) except ones to tell dozens of users their previously fine systems are experiencing wireless interference. I'd bet pretty much all users could submit a diagnostic and there would be a level of interference - but that doesn't mean it's the cause of their problems.

For some reason Sonos don't appear to respond to this particular issue (or many others lately) except ones to tell dozens of users their previously fine systems are experiencing wireless interference. I'd bet pretty much all users could submit a diagnostic and there would be a level of interference - but that doesn't mean it's the cause of their problems.

There are, broadly speaking, two kinds of problems with the app:
1. People not able to use it because it is new to them and it takes time to understand it and then get habituated to the new way of doing things.
2. People not able to use the app because the update process has created/unearthed IP address conflicts and the system is, in effect, broken.
Sonos rarely responds to category 1 posts, unless to say feedback noted, and replies to as many of category 2 as possible. Not all of these, and their response time has suffered and needs to improve, but the difference between 1 and 2 is an important one because response levels to category 1 will not change, from what has been seen for years now.
My guess to the reason for drop in response rate to category 2 is because of increase in support needs everywhere for the parallel Alexa integration. Management should have anticipated this and ramped up resources till things stabilised, no doubt. Or should have made no changes to the app until the Alexa integration had been stabilised.
Userlevel 6
Badge +1
1. People not able to use it because it is new to them and it takes time to understand it and then get habituated to the new way of doing things.

Or much more likely: people having trouble using it, because the new design is a lot less intuitive and efficient than the previous one.

This rooms issue is as an excellent case in point. You could use it in the previous version, it still works like that in Spotify, and yet - even though no one ever complained about it - the functionality was removed in 8.x.

You can't blame your customers for that. It's just bad product design and management. And yes, most companies do struggle to admit that.

Or much more likely: people having trouble using it, because the new design it's a lot less intuitive and efficient than the previous one.

IMO, that happens even with me every time Sonos makes a change in the UI and I have never seen any reason for any of the changes made. But that seems to be fashionable these days, so I have learnt to live with that. And going by history, when the next major change is done in a year or so from now, that one will seem a lot less intuitive than this one.

Thankfully in my case, I use the desktop controller more often and that has remained essentially unchanged for years now and I hope that state will continue in future.
Purely my personal opinion. I have found the app works well for me if I go through the tab bar for everything. It took me ten minutes of playing with thee app to decide that.

I am not here to defend the app or Sonos. Just saying what makes life easier for me.


OK well that's fine but you didn't say that before, you said the room button is the way the app is supposed to be used. This is somewhat different to saying this is your preferred method.
No I am absolutely saying that whatever Sonos intended the red room thing to do (and I am not sure what that is) it doesn't work as reliably as the Rooms tab, nor is it as fully functional. I suspect it was designed to be a quick method for adding further rooms to the one currently playing. I do know that I, personally, cannot do what I want to reliably using it, and I, personally, don't have that problem with the Rooms screen.
Here are a couple of further observations on transferring music from one room to another.
1. The new feature using the physical buttons on the speakers is easier than any app. Many people seem to missed this. I just pause the speaker in room A using the physical button. Walk to Room B, LONG press on play on the speaker in room B. Job done.
2. Even using the Rooms screen to transfer music has one feature / bug that I find irritating. Even though the music itself is transferred successfully every time, control in the app is not always passed to the new Room. So the music is playing in Room B and you look at the controller and it is still showing Room A. It seems a bit unpredictable, although control seems to be passed more often if you untick Room A before ticking Room B But I have just got into the habit of tapping the new room after clicking 'Done', to make sure I have control over the right room.

Now, let me say one more thing before you all say 'but it shouldn't be necessary to figure all this out'. I agree. I am not trying to defend the app. But right here and now it is what we have all got, and I am just sharing things that have worked for me in the hope that they might help you too. If they do, great. If not, then sorry to have wasted your time. I am not trying to persuade you that you are wrong about the app, just trying to help.