Control Sonos remotely?

  • 25 August 2016
  • 46 replies
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46 replies

Userlevel 7
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To be honest I am pretty surprised that this sort of functionality was not implement years ago, it is hardly rocket science and has existed for countless other products for a very long time. You have had the ability to control lights, turn the heating on, vacuum the living room and boil the kettle etc. from afar for years so no reason why you should not be able to play some music for your dog whilst you are at work 😛 ;)


There are some significant differences between your examples and Sonos. In almost all cases, the level of control required is much lower. It's often just a simple on/off switch. Obviously, Sonos is more complicated then that.

There is often a much greater need for the functionality. If you can't control remotely, there isn't much point of having control at all. Not so with Sonos, since the majority of the time people will be on the network when they want to listen to it.

As well, I don't think these devices have the same need for backwards compatibility that Sonos has. Rarely does the thermostat or vacuum you already own start working with outside control. You have to replace your light switches in order to control the lights. Sonos doesn't want to force customers to throw out their old units in order to get this functionality.

Many of these devices aren't controllable without a 3rd party hub. Sonos is actually similar (currently) since the control can be done from the outside with a 3rd party hub. It may be smarter to just let the 3rd party hub approach develop overtime instead of trying to fix the problem themselves. Since you can control Echo music remotely now, I would not be surprised if the Sonos/Alexa integration adds some remote control features.

Maybe most importantly, in order for control to be done from outside the network, there has to be a server maintained on the outside that will communicate with your Sonos system. That's a cost that may not be all the beneficial to many customers. Again, might be something 3rd parties will do for you anyway.

There are some significant differences between your examples and Sonos. In almost all cases, the level of control required is much lower. It's often just a simple on/off switch. Obviously, Sonos is more complicated then that.

There is often a much greater need for the functionality. If you can't control remotely, there isn't much point of having control at all. Not so with Sonos, since the majority of the time people will be on the network when they want to listen to it.
........
Maybe most importantly, in order for control to be done from outside the network, there has to be a server maintained on the outside that will communicate with your Sonos system. That's a cost that may not be all the beneficial to many customers. Again, might be something 3rd parties will do for you anyway.


Not quite understanding the argument here, there is no need to have the level of control in the cloud, you simply need to route it (commands and library details etc.) over the cloud from your device/app to the equipment, the app simply needs to be able to talk via the cloud to your Sonos box at home and seeming as Sonos already store all the details of your equipment on their servers (I believe so anyway) this is not a huge hurdle. I am not stating it is as easy as flicking a switch but it is not overly complex.

Beg to differ about the ability to control it remotely, the posts above and the votes show that this is something people would like for whatever reasons they may have. So the need is there.

Again, yes a server is required but it does not need to handle all the requests, it simply needs to create a link to your home network where all the processing happens on your phone an on the Sonos at home.

Irrespective, Sonos did announce that this functionality is coming so we just have to wait for it. If you have no need for it then no bother of course, just carry on and before.... 😃
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
@Chippie, you're probably right. I didn't really think about it being a pass through like that. I'm sure there are some changes, but not much too much in that regard.

I don't think Sonos tracks the devices we have by our account. From what I can tell, it isn't even tracked in the controller apps. But as you said, a server wouldn't need that info, just be able to pass information back and forth.

I don't know that 50 votes on a forum constitutes a need. Particularly considering that forums tend to draw high end users, not typical users. As well, I could easily see people who aren't interested in remote control wouldn't bother opening the thread.
[...] Irrespective, Sonos did announce that this functionality is coming so we just have to wait for it. If you have no need for it then no bother of course, just carry on and before.... :D
How do you know? As already stated by ratty "... patent applications and actual implementation are two quite different things".
@Chippie, you're probably right. I didn't really think about it being a pass through like that. I'm sure there are some changes, but not much too much in that regard.

I don't think Sonos tracks the devices we have by our account. From what I can tell, it isn't even tracked in the controller apps. But as you said, a server wouldn't need that info, just be able to pass information back and forth.

I don't know that 50 votes on a forum constitutes a need. Particularly considering that forums tend to draw high end users, not typical users. As well, I could easily see people who aren't interested in remote control wouldn't bother opening the thread.


I agree but then we never needed or obviously used Alexa unitl it was available, the same with all other natural progression of added functionality to all the items we use daily.

As a comparison, have a look at Harmony, everything runs locally on the IR Hubs yet you can still access it via the cloud, as far as I am aware no processing happens at Logitech it is simply routed through.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
@Chippie. At first you say that the discussion topics proves there is a need. Now you're saying there is no stated need, but if they build it people will want it?

I completely agree that it is functionality that you don't really know you need it till you have it sort of thing. I can think of a couple scenarios where I would use it, but would probably find a few more once it's 'in my hands'.
[...] Irrespective, Sonos did announce that this functionality is coming so we just have to wait for it. If you have no need for it then no bother of course, just carry on and before.... :D
How do you know? As already stated by ratty "... patent applications and actual implementation are two quite different things".


I read it somewhere yesterday evening (was a dated article though), think on one of the Tech sites, frantically looking for it now, will post once I find it again. Sonos had confirmed in an interview or statement that this will be rolled out this year, well according to the article anyway.

Just been playing around and discovered that he functionality is already there (apologies if this was noted, I personally did not realise it worked). If you use Spotify turn off the WiFi on your phone or switch WIFi Networks at home to one where your Sonos Speakers are not visible. You can still access and play to your Sonos Speakers via the Spotify app, they are listed under your Devices (Spotify Connect). So if Spotify is able to access your speakers remotely surely it is not that difficult for Sonos to bake it into their own apps and open them up so they can be reached by HA hubs on different networks etc. via your account login. Also, as mentioned if Sonos can access them via the Cloud then the functionality already exists right! I am not certain if it connects to the speakers locally first linked through the two apps etc. and can then route to them or if it uses your account details but either way you have remote access via Spotify already. Granted you cannot access your local library etc. but as an interim and if you have a Spotify account you can get by. This does not solve my issues however it may be of benefit to others.
@Chippie. At first you say that the discussion topics proves there is a need. Now you're saying there is no stated need, but if they build it people will want it?


I was referring to the people (3rd person) who say they do not need the functionality. I did not mean it to read as if I was contradicting myself as I was not. There are people who would like the functionality and have stated above, there are others who are not on this forum and of course those that do not think they need or will ever use it until it is available 😃
[...] Just been playing around and discovered that he functionality is already there (apologies if this was noted, I personally did not realise it worked). If you use Spotify turn off the WiFi on your phone or switch WIFi Networks at home to one where your Sonos Speakers are not visible. You can still access and play to your Sonos Speakers via the Spotify app, they are listed under your Devices (Spotify Connect).
But that is not unique to (Spotify Connect on) Sonos, that is an intrinsic property of Spotify Connect.

But that is not unique to (Spotify Connect on) Sonos, that is an intrinsic property of Spotify Connect.


Not debating that or anything else, simple point is that we can access the speakers from a different network or via the cloud so the functionality is there already as Sonos must have opened up the access to Spotifty, irrespective if Spotify sits on your Sonos system as Sonos must have approved the functionality and opened up the relevant ports/routing etc. Surely if it already exists then it is not that hard for Sonos to bake that into their own apps. Maybe I am missing something.

Still as mentioned it is in the pipeline anyway, well hopefully lol, just need to find that article again.
Userlevel 2
Hi folks- 6 months on and I have a need to connect to Sonos remotely. Have things moved on?
I’ve looked at the VPN idea - I’m just not very tech savvy and can’t see how it works. Ideally I would love to just like to connect to an IOS device, and access that and then my Sonos app.
Would be great also when I’m at home and the WiFi connection is unstable and still be able to control Sonos over 4G
Badge +1
I’ve just started looking af this

I would like to see this. One very simple reason on my part......

I have access to CCTV at my yard, visible remotely on my iPhone

My workshop also has a really large PA system, one of the inputs being a Sonos Zone player.

If I am monitoring my CCTV at night and I happen to see unusual activity on the camera in the yard, the ability to suddenly play some very loud or spooky sounds out of the PA system remotely to scare the S**t out of the intruders.

Stuff like a howling wolf, gunfire , a scream ... am I being too evil ?

😉
I’ve just started looking af this

I would like to see this. One very simple reason on my part......

I have access to CCTV at my yard, visible remotely on my iPhone

My workshop also has a really large PA system, one of the inputs being a Sonos Zone player.

If I am monitoring my CCTV at night and I happen to see unusual activity on the camera in the yard, the ability to suddenly play some very loud or spooky sounds out of the PA system remotely to scare the S**t out of the intruders.

Stuff like a howling wolf, gunfire , a scream ... am I being too evil ?

;)

You can play sounds remotely via authorised Apps that use Sonos API.. so you could use the Alexa App (as an example) with the Sonos Skill installed, or play something via the Amazon Music App (Premium Account), or play a chosen sound from your sonos favourites using IFTTT etc.

Note...You can probably do the latter (IFTTT) trigger automatically with motion sensors at the property too. (D-Link sensors etc.)

Hope that now gives you something to think about and to research, as these things are possible to do right now.
Would be great also when I’m at home and the WiFi connection is unstable and still be able to control Sonos over 4G

Amazon Music app will allow this, using Alexa Cast, from anywhere.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
Would be great also when I’m at home and the WiFi connection is unstable and still be able to control Sonos over 4G

Amazon Music app will allow this, using Alexa Cast, from anywhere.


That would only work if your speakers are all wired, or that unstable wifi connection doesn't include Sonosnet. And then, you are only controlling basic functions like play/pause/volume control. You cannot do any grouping or similar.

I have used the Amazon app while at home occasionally in preference to the Amazon interface, but my most common use is when I'm listening in the car and what to transfer the audio to Sonos as I'm arriving home.
Why can I connect to
Nest remotely and not Sonos?
And why does Apple Music work with amazon echo and not sonos?
And why does Apple Music work with amazon echo and not sonos?

Because Amazon doesn’t (yet) allow it. Simple enough?
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Hello.

I do understand that some of you think this is a useless feature. But i would love to control my sonos system over celular data.

I travel alot, last week i got a phonecall from my neighbours. Before i left, i used my sonos as an alarm to not be late at the airport.
Automaticly it is set as “repeat daily” My neigbours didn’t like that ....
But i coudn’t change it while abroad ....

Some of us want to use there system over celular. I understand some of us don’t.

But we’re still waiting ....
Any news Sonos ?

Dennis
Userlevel 5
Badge +9
Check this out - may suit ....

https://speakerscenes.com/home

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