sonos metadata features

  • 1 September 2023
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Raising this because some other threads look old. I’m dumbfounded that the Sonos app has no information about release dates, album credits, lyrics, artist descriptions, album descriptions, and so forth. All of the major music services have found a way to do this, surely Sonos can too. Not to mention no way of viewing the audio quality of an album (ie atmos) before clicking play. For Apple Music, this means that you have to research what albums are in atmos or hi res lossless, then go back to the Sonos app, search for the album, play it & then verify if it is actually playing atmos or not. This is very time consuming and a real pain in the ***. 
 

I’m tempted to ditch Sonos soon, purely because Sonos really can’t seem to get their act together on the software front. And reading prior threads, the response seems to be to punt the responsibility to the third party service, saying there’s nothing that can be done on the Sonos side. I don’t know, maybe set up a call or two with developers from the other third party services? And hire some UX experts while you’re at it. Surely there’s some way that this can be fixed. The basic functionality of the app seems stuck with almost the same functionality it had 10 years ago, it feels like a slow dinosaur. 
 

Anybody have any insight if Sonos has some of these features on a roadmap? Or do they just not care, which is what it seems like to me.


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Your metadata list is reasonably accurate, but SMAPI does expose lossless tracks when enumerating (Sonos app does not display this, mine does), and SMAPI includes lyrics support (though I’ve never seen a music service that generates it). There is also a Description field for podcasts (only).

The Atmos badge (and the other “high-res” badges) are only displayed after streaming has started as the system has to determine what quality it can play over the transport, that data is not in the metadata (but in the stream).

PS - Is there a direct link to dev info about lyric support? I’m not able to find it. 

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PS - Is there a direct link to dev info about lyric support? I’m not able to find it. 

Interesting, all mention of lyrics support has been deleted when they redid the site a few months ago. You can still find it in internet caches, it used to be here (in May 2023 at least):

https://developer.sonos.com/build/content-service-add-features/add-lyrics/

Here is an old copy of the docs:

http://web.archive.org/web/20230330182814/https://developer.sonos.com/build/content-service-add-features/add-lyrics/

So, the lesson I am to take here is that Sonos prefers their customers to complain to other large tech companies for them. Again, in my opinion this is punting the ball. I will do so as instructed, and report back. 

 

No, Sonos knows it has no financial leverage with Apple, so their lobbying will mean nothing until subscribers start requesting features too. 


Do you know if Sonos has attempted to? Or do they just assume they won’t get anywhere? 

 

With obvious exceptions, companies try not to throw other companies under the bus and publicly share information about their private discussions. It tends to look petty and foster a bad relationship. As an example look at how the Google/Sonos relationship is going.  A different situation, for sure, but neither company is winning over customers with the public disputes.  So no, I would not expect Sonos to report back about their conversations with Apple.  They’ll just let Apple talk to their own customers.

As far as the idea that it’s Sonos job to talk to Apple on behalf of their customers, it seems pretty obvious that a feature request directly from an Apple customer would be seen and possibly hold more weight than one passed through a 3rd party.   Especially when it seems that the customer is more likely to drop Sonos than Apple if the issue doesn’t get addressed. Why would Apple care if you’re threatening to ‘punish’ the wrong culprit?  Even more so if the threat was, “if Sonos doesn't fit this, I’m going to go buy a homepod”

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So, the lesson I am to take here is that Sonos prefers their customers to complain to other large tech companies for them. Again, in my opinion this is punting the ball. I will do so as instructed, and report back. 

 

No, Sonos knows it has no financial leverage with Apple, so their lobbying will mean nothing until subscribers start requesting features too. 


Do you know if Sonos has attempted to? Or do they just assume they won’t get anywhere? 

 

With obvious exceptions, companies try not to throw other companies under the bus and publicly share information about their private discussions. It tends to look petty and foster a bad relationship. As an example look at how the Google/Sonos relationship is going.  A different situation, for sure, but neither company is winning over customers with the public disputes.  So no, I would not expect Sonos to report back about their conversations with Apple.  They’ll just let Apple talk to their own customers.

As far as the idea that it’s Sonos job to talk to Apple on behalf of their customers, it seems pretty obvious that a feature request directly from an Apple customer would be seen and possibly hold more weight than one passed through a 3rd party.   Especially when it seems that the customer is more likely to drop Sonos than Apple if the issue doesn’t get addressed. Why would Apple care if you’re threatening to ‘punish’ the wrong culprit?  Even more so if the threat was, “if Sonos doesn't fit this, I’m going to go buy a homepod”

 

At the end of the day, Sonos should be very concerned with the end-user experience within their own app, especially if their users are now required to use it. Setting aside Apple for the moment, many of these metadata requests are missing across all music services within the Sonos app. 

I’ve used Sonos for a long time, and I always used the Sonos app only as a “remote control” for grouping speakers and used Spotify Direct instead. That was fine enough. The problem is that Dolby Atmos and spatial audio have thrown a wrench in that kind of setup. I recently purchased the new Era 300 speaker, and the only way to listen to Atmos music is through the Sonos app. And the Sonos app experience is not good for browsing and music discovery, finding Dolby Atmos music, lyrics, and so on. I think many would agree with that. What I’m hearing here is that the only way to improve the Sonos app experience is for customers to lobby their music service of choice to do a better job of integrating with the Sonos API. Or wait for Sonos to improve it, and who knows if or when that might happen. I hope that a great app update is on the horizon, but I’m not holding my breath. 

Going back to Apple specifically, I posted a support topic with the same requests. There are no replies so far. If there is a direct way to submit Apple Music feature requests, I haven’t been able to find it. Here’s the link again if it was missed:

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/255131988

For those here who agree with the requests, please click the “me too” button or comment on it. Then it might start gaining some traction.

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PS - Is there a direct link to dev info about lyric support? I’m not able to find it. 

Interesting, all mention of lyrics support has been deleted when they redid the site a few months ago. You can still find it in internet caches, it used to be here (in May 2023 at least):

https://developer.sonos.com/build/content-service-add-features/add-lyrics/

Here is an old copy of the docs:

http://web.archive.org/web/20230330182814/https://developer.sonos.com/build/content-service-add-features/add-lyrics/

Thanks!

 

At the end of the day, Sonos should be very concerned with the end-user experience within their own app, especially if their users are now required to use it. Setting aside Apple for the moment, many of these metadata requests are missing across all music services within the Sonos app. 

 

 

I don’t think anyone was saying that Sonos doesn't’ care about the user experience, just that they do not have control over that aspect of the user experience, since it has to be provided by the serivce provider.  All Sonos can do is pass on your request.

I suspect that even besides technical reasons, Sonos is rather limited in how they can display Apple music through their own app.  Apple would be upset it if Sonos used the Apple API and called it ‘fruit music’ or something that didn’t represent Apple the way they want to be presented.  Apple doesn’t care for smaller develops, but surely they want to control their image through Sonos.

 

I’ve used Sonos for a long time, and I always used the Sonos app only as a “remote control” for grouping speakers and used Spotify Direct instead. That was fine enough. The problem is that Dolby Atmos and spatial audio have thrown a wrench in that kind of setup. I recently purchased the new Era 300 speaker, and the only way to listen to Atmos music is through the Sonos app. And the Sonos app experience is not good for browsing and music discovery, finding Dolby Atmos music, lyrics, and so on. I think many would agree with that. What I’m hearing here is that the only way to improve the Sonos app experience is for customers to lobby their music service of choice to do a better job of integrating with the Sonos API. Or wait for Sonos to improve it, and who knows if or when that might happen. I hope that a great app update is on the horizon, but I’m not holding my breath. 

 

 

Regarding atmos, I’m using Amazon music, and I’ll look up atmos tracks with the Amazon app and add them to a playlist.  I can then pullup the playlist in the Sonos app.  Not saying that’s a solution, just a work around.  if I want a specific song or music station, I tend to use voice control these days.

 

As far as an app update, I don’t know.  I think Sonos does not want to make frequent app updates that would significantly change the look and feel, at least not till absolutely necessary.  From what I’ve seen, you may not like the current interface, but there are a whole legion of folks out there who want no part of change and have no interest in the metadata you’re interested in.  They will not let their feelings known until the change happens.  Besides that, I can see other items being on the priority list.

 

 

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Ok, so the final answer is nothing is likely to change soon (at least for the requests that I’m interested in seeing). I don’t understand why anybody would actively not want to see things like release dates, artist bios, and lyrics, but at any rate.

 

Anyway, I give up! I’ll keep an eye on the Apple support forum, but I doubt that will make anything happen. 

Ok, so the final answer is nothing is likely to change soon (at least for the requests that I’m interested in seeing). I don’t understand why anybody would actively not want to see things like release dates, artist bios, and lyrics, but at any rate.

 

 

To be clear, I meant that there are people who don’t care, or are indifferent about more metadata.  If it means no change to them, then fine.  But if it means they have to do an app update or change how they navigate through the Sonos app, they don’t want it.