The Sonos Brexit and pragmatic ways past it - ADVANCED APPROACHES


A little over a week ago, I started a thread to engage with like minded people here: those that felt the way I did, as explained in my opening post there. That thread was titled: “The Sonos Brexit and pragmatic ways past it” and I intended that to be the last thread I open on this site.

A link to that thread:

https://en.community.sonos.com/controllers-software-228995/the-sonos-brexit-and-pragmatic-ways-past-it-6836056

That thread has grown beyond expectations. While everyone on it has contributed to keep it profanity free and largely rant free, with an occasional nudge by @Edward R in that effort, just by virtue of its length, it has become unwieldy as all long threads become. And it has many days to run, because the Sonos Brexit event, and the release of detailed information about it by Sonos, are both at least three months away.

I therefore thought that it made sense to break my promise to myself - No More Threads - and make just this one exception to it, by opening this thread. It is meant to discuss such approaches and options that may be employed by advanced users that are comfortable going well beyond plug and play options in pursuit of ways past this Sonos Brexit with or without incorporating any Sonos product in it. The original thread linked above may then be used for options that probably a majority of Sonos users will be able to employ - the plug and play kind of options towards the same objective. Which are those that employ off the shelf third party devices that are self contained, such as Echo Dots as an example, where the only wiring, if needed, is external - a stereo wire running between Sonos and non Sonos devices. And which do not involve any coding or any attempt to get under the Sonos hood. Or which involve server like devices that need a complex set up to get it to work with Sonos. In brief, something that non geeks - and I am one of those - will be able to cope with, belong to the original thread, while the complex options belong to this thread, as its title suggests.

There is no set in stone dividing line between the two approaches and none is needed. I am sure that community judgement can be relied on to keep the two threads distinct, linked by a common ethos, in a way that both end up being more useful than one thread will be.

I will visit this thread, but here I do not expect to further any discussion forward significantly - that will be beyond my abilities. So, lurking mode here, most if not all of the time. And if I find anything useful here that makes sense to the original thread, I will steal with no compunctions!

So, well before Sonos forks out legacy and modern systems into two, a fork to serve all that will be effected by the Sonos fork.

I apologies for the clunky title, which is an outcome of the original thread being blessed with a clunky one.


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119 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +17

I only use the Jogglers as displays - there are some ready-built solutions with dispkays but I think they’re too expensive.  You can control the whole thing from a PC web browser, or use apps on Android, and iOS (eg. iPeng).

 

Here’s a link for an all-in-one (player and server setup) on a small SD card - lots to readL

https://www.picoreplayer.org/main_howto.shtml

I use it on a raspi zero w. 

A question for those with Raspberry experience: Suppose I were to copy a subset of my existing NAS to a SSD USB stick of 128 Gb, and park that stick in the Raspberry, directing the mymedia for Alexa to scan the folders on that SSD stick for serving Echo devices. Will that work well? That way, I do not need to power up my main NAS that is used for Sonos, everytime I want to use Echo devices to play that subset of NAS music which sees use more often than the many tracks on the main NAS that I never listen to.

This isn't a Sonos question - Sonos will remain pointed to the main NAS. It is a Echo+mymedia for Alexa+Raspberry 3B+ question.

And hopefully, this sentence will allow the post to make it past the spam filter.

Userlevel 7
Badge +17

Here’s a guide - but it assumes you have already setup and have your pi running …

 

https://www.raspberrypi-spy.co.uk/2014/05/how-to-mount-a-usb-flash-disk-on-the-raspberry-pi/

I hope to have the Pi device up and running by middle of next week, using the simplest way to get that done - via a USB keyboard+mouse and using the HDMI socket equipped TV for a GUI much like the one on the Mac. 

If that GUI is in place, and then mymedia is downloaded to the Pi as I did with the Mac, then the mymedia dashboard should work in a similar way, allowing a path to the USB stick in the Pi port to be visible?

My test USB stick with a folder that contains some music is ready; once that works I will buy the 128 GB stick and replicate the process for all the music I want to access via the Echo - if the folder in that stick is given the same name, I expect to be able to switch USB sticks in the Pi, repower it and get mymedia to run a rescan; nothing more should be necessary. I don't need to access all 19000 or so tracks that are in the main NAS.

Userlevel 7
Badge +17

I have no experience of using the pi with the raspian graphical desktop.  

The first task you need to achieve is to mount the usb stick.  Once you can see the contents in raspian, then download and install my media.

I can try to install raspian desktop on my netbook to get a feel of how it works … later

(ps: despite your misgivings, just using putty from the Mac is probably easier!)

 The first task you need to achieve is to mount the usb stick.  Once you can see the contents in raspian, then download and install my media.

 

Agreed. It isn't like the Mac, I suspect, where all one needs to do is insert the stick into the port. Small steps, starting next week. Maybe this will be the start of a new hobby as well. With thanks to Sonos, for giving it a kickstart.

Userlevel 7
Badge +17

Okay - just tried Pi raspian desktop …. not impressed, I’m afraid!

Honestlly for your purposes, the easiest way to do this will be to install raspian without the desktop.   This will give a clean interface where you will be able to use the keyboard  to type directly the 3-4 commands which will set the pi up with mymedia..

Initially, you have to prepare the SD card for raspian using the MAC in any event.   

As preparationL

You need to install balenaEtcher as a first step on your Mac.  You need this to create the SD card for the Pi (using the raspian image)

Then, you need to download the actual raspian OS - I suggest the following:

https://downloads.raspberrypi.org/raspbian_lite_latest

 

Will continue this as personal emails.  

Userlevel 6
Badge +5

 

Will continue this as personal emails.  

Is there any reason for you not to carry on posting this very useful info in the forum?

I have a Pi W gathering dust and I’m silently following this with a view to going down the same route as Kumar….

Cheers

John

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +17

 

Will continue this as personal emails.  

Is there any reason for you not to carry on posting this very useful info in the forum?

I have a Pi W gathering dust and I’m silently following this with a view to going down the same route as Kumar….

Cheers

John

 

A pi zero w ?   That’s what I have  …. works fine (unless you have a very big music library).   What do you use as a PC -  win, mac, or …?.

Userlevel 6
Badge +5

Yeah that’s the one - mainly purchased out of curiosity (it was only £15). It was back in the day when someone suggested making up a PI based CR100 type controller.

I got the desktop version loaded on to it but then gave up…..

I’m using windows, I have my music library on an always on PC but it’s smallish at about 80GB and 9K tracks

Userlevel 7
Badge +17

Yeah that’s the one - mainly purchased out of curiosity (it was only £15). It was back in the day when someone suggested making up a PI based CR100 type controller.

I got the desktop version loaded on to it but then gave up…..

I’m using windows, I have my music library on an always on PC but it’s smallish at about 80GB and 9K tracks

So, what do you want to use it for?  If you are using Win then  it should be relatively easy to get up and running.  The music is on what type of PC?

 

Will continue this as personal emails.  

Is there any reason for you not to carry on posting this very useful info in the forum?

 

 

This is so that we don't burden this thread with stupid questions like this one! :

@castalla : commands are shown as sentences that have words in them. Is any space between words always a single space?

And I am not planning to install a desktop - just running a HDMI cable to my TV so I can use the keyboard and mouse on the GUI that the TV will then show.

There is also a detailed set up guide on the mymedia site, so I am hoping I should be ok till the time comes to mount stuff.

Userlevel 7
Badge +17

Yes - assume a space is a single space.

Are you getting a micro SD card with Noobs already installed?  If so, then I think the Noobs setup will install the desktop version of Raspian.

The version we want is Raspian Lite which will boot the pi to a command prompt.  See the link previously

Userlevel 6
Badge +5

Yeah that’s the one - mainly purchased out of curiosity (it was only £15). It was back in the day when someone suggested making up a PI based CR100 type controller.

I got the desktop version loaded on to it but then gave up…..

I’m using windows, I have my music library on an always on PC but it’s smallish at about 80GB and 9K tracks

So, what do you want to use it for?  If you are using Win then  it should be relatively easy to get up and running.  The music is on what type of PC?

Well, I plan initially to just use it as my media storage on a 128GB SD card but may progress to adding LMS at a later stage as that looks interesting. Currently my MP3s are on a bog standard desktop PC with Windows.

Leave it with me for now, I think I’ve got the general gist of where to go - many thanks for your assistance….

Cheers

John

Userlevel 7
Badge +17

Looks like cards larger than 32 GB have to be SDXC: 32 GB to 2 TB

…. from what I’ve gleaned it should work with the official raspian img.

Be sure to expand the root partition as a first step after the system boots.

See  https://elinux.org/RPi_raspi-config

Userlevel 7
Badge +17

Pi zero w

This is useful:

 

https://core-electronics.com.au/tutorials/raspberry-pi-zerow-headless-wifi-setup.html

All set up and running fine, with a link to the detailed explanation:

https://en.community.sonos.com/controllers-software-228995/the-sonos-brexit-and-pragmatic-ways-past-it-6836056/index22.html#post16407760

All set up and running fine, with a link to the detailed explanation:

https://en.community.sonos.com/controllers-software-228995/the-sonos-brexit-and-pragmatic-ways-past-it-6836056/index22.html#post16407760

I really like this approach and I have tried to replicate this in my system.  All was working fine, mymedia app established, USB stick successfully mounted, playing music on Echo from Pi4 nicely via WiFi.

I then  tried to connect the Pi to my Sonos system via Ethernet.  As soon as the ethernet cable was inserted into my Play 1, the WiFi connection on the Pi4 dropped.  I’ve done various bits of googling but I can’t see an obvious fix (and even if I had found an obvious one, I would struggle to implement is as a Pi newbie).

Any thoughts anyone please - I’m so close!

Userlevel 7
Badge +21

I built a Pi based Nas drive and this has started me thinking about many other Pi projects including this one.