Control4 Integration with Sonos 7.0

  • 10 December 2016
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48 replies


I haven't yet seen a credible reason why they cannot make old software versions available with the caveat that they are not supported. Most of the other connected home technologies I work with do allow you to downgrade with the understanding that you must upgrade to the current version before you can get support. if you then downgrade back to an older version that is on you. No credible alternative explanation has ever been offered for why Sonos cannot embrace this common practice.


Common practice? Examples? Certainly not offered by companies providing free lifetime support that Sonos is famous for doing so well. Allowing multiple firmware versions would be a support nightmare, increasing costs dramatically, to the point where Sonos would be forced to charge for it, like everyone else. No thanks!


Support nightmare? Increasing costs dramatically? I clearly stated right here in the paragraph you just quoted that they could offer previous versions with the caveat that they are NOT supported. Cost to Sonos is maintaining some release notes regarding the minimum version needed to use a given player model or feature. Maybe they have some other reason for not wanting to do this but I don't see it creating the support Armageddon you describe.


Support nightmare? Increasing costs dramatically? I clearly stated right here in the paragraph you just quoted that they could offer previous versions with the caveat that they are NOT supported. Cost to Sonos is maintaining some release notes regarding the minimum version needed to use a given player model or feature. Maybe they have some other reason for not wanting to do this but I don't see it creating the support Armageddon you describe.


I hesitate to get into this off-topic nonsense with you, because there is absolutely no amount of logic or technical expertise that will sway your decidedly illogical and non-technical opinion. But hey, in for a penny!

You have repeatedly asked for not just the continued release of old software, but also the ability to "not lose functionality". I define "losing functionality" as . . . well . . . actually losing functionality! As such, if I were to be playing Spotify on my version 4.X Sonos system, and Spotify changes to the web based API instead of the API used by 4.X, rendering my Spotify account useless on Sonos, I define that as "LOSING FUCNTIONALITY!!!"

Also, if I'm happily running my 4.X Sonos system, listening to BBC broadcasts via TuneIn, and all of a sudden the BBC changes to a different streaming format that is not supported by Sonos 4.X, I call that "LOSING FUCNTIONALITY!!!"

How about when Sonos is required to up the security access needed for AWS, such as they did for the Direct Control update, and all of a sudden your 4.X system can't log into the Sonos site, or access any of the AWS servers needed to stream online content? I define that as a big honking example of "LOSING FUCNTIONALITY!!!"

Need more?

As such, to not "lose functionality" Sonos would have to re-release every software version they have ever done, updating it to the new specs for every interface change by the dozens of streaming services they support. This is the support nightmare we speak of, not to mention against the TOS for iOS and thus not even possible.

Now go ahead and define "not losing functionality" to exclude the 92% of Sonos owners who stream from online services. I'm in the mood for a good laugh! 😉
Already explained the concept of release notes. If Spotify or Amazon makes a change that impacts an old release then update the release notes so people know what changed, why, and where they should go to complain about it (Amazon, Spotify, or whoever.) Or the user can decide which "Functionality" is more important to them, a deprecated Sonos feature such as an old hardware controller, or continued access to a streaming service since there is no longer a version that supports both. Point is the user gets to decide, all Sonos has to do is document what is available with each archived version. The 8% who don't care about streaming feel they are accommodated the best way feasible to maintain the functionality they want and the rest move forward as always. No support nightmare required.
Ahhhh, the old "functionality is up to the user to define" dodge. Real big difference from your original definitive statement that there should be "no loss of functionality". Goal posts are moving so fast, they now got wheels on them, folks!

But hey, I'll play along. Given your wishes and definitions, Sonos should open itself up to disclaimer after disclaimer, just to offer old versions of software which are only suitable for the tiny fraction of users who A. Don't use streaming (or are willing to part with this feature) and B. Want to use old software versions.

All the while taking the hit from those folks who never read the disclaimers or release notes who will clog the support lines or review columns with complaints that software willingly and freely offered by Sonos just doesn't work? And they are supposed to simply accept Sonos' disclaimer and lobby Spotify or Amazon to fix it? Seriously? From the guy who never misses an opportunity to shoehorn in a complaint about the Control4 interface not working, and blames it all on Sonos despite no proof; that's a pretty bold statement of hypocrisy.

Yeah . . . as I said, there is absolutely no amount of logic or technical expertise that will sway your decidedly illogical and non-technical opinion. Thanks for the laugh!
Ahhhh, the old "functionality is up to the user to define" dodge. Real big difference from your original definitive statement ...

If by that you mean you raised concerns about the original premise and I advanced some additional thoughts on how those concerns might be addressed then yes the conversation has moved on.

All the while taking the hit from those folks who never read the disclaimers or release notes who will clog the support lines or review columns with complaints that software willingly and freely offered by Sonos just doesn't work?.

Pretty much what already happens each time there is an update that folks don't like and find they cannot go back. If there was a way back it might actually reduce the some of the current support pressure.

Yeah . . . as I said, there is absolutely no amount of logic or technical expertise that will sway your decidedly illogical and non-technical opinion. Thanks for the laugh!

Glad I could brighten your day.
Speaking as a Software Engineer with a background in rolling out all aspects of large scale projects, including analysis of ROI, I posit the positives of keeping multiple software versions that are of limited use to an extremely tiny fraction of your user base are far outweighed by the negative PR aspects and support costs I listed above. As to similarities to what happens today, not liking an aspect of a new feature is very different from going backwards and the software just not working any more. Your comparison is not apples to apples. I hate the new queue features and I am very vocal about it, but I wouldn't give up Google Play Music, Trueplay tuning, or being able to add new products to get it back. Not many would, I suspect.

On top of that, the sheer cost in man-hours of creating and maintaining a release methodology which allows this tiny minority to switch back and forth between many multiple versions would far exceed any cost benefit one may think it brings. This is especially true because by the very definition of your terms it is not likely to drive new sales, since taking advantage of this feature means one can never update their system with any future Sonos products.

But hey, at least I got you to drop the "no loss of functionality" mantra, if only because your original criteria was demonstrably impossible and you were backed into a corner. I wish you were able to apply that sort of insight to your whole idea, therefore realizing the more you apply your goalpost moves, the more watered down your original wishes become, and the user base you are actually serving declines to almost nothing. Who knows, if I keep shooting your silly ideas down like ducks on the wing, we may get there. Once again . . . baby steps. ;)

PS - I see you clipped my statement that it is only tiny fraction of Sonos users for which this would be helpful. That is one of, if not the single greatest factor, in figuring ROI. Convenient that you should ignore it.
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As a Control4 Dealer who has for 2-3 years avoided using Sonos like the plague because of the shockingly low dealer discount and the hoops we have to jump through to even be allowed to get the minuscule discount on the product (Saying this I installed it in my own house 4yrs and love the way it works because the wife and kids can work it!) Long and short when it comes to clients I will sell them C4 audio, Denon, Nuvo or anything that integrates with C4 'PROPERLY' its clear from the lack of discount that and this latest endorsed API debacle that Sonos could not careless about the CI industry and any close partnership, they would appear to only want to make money from retail sales.

While they take this narrow minded and blinkered approach to CI installers like us we are out there spreading the word not to buy what is actually a great product, but with poor leadership/marketing/partnership and direction on placing it in multiple market places, to top it off in the UK we got hit in Feb by a 25% price increase so it makes Heos a no brainer now.

We recently had a client ask for Sonos and would not go for other options, we thought what the heck, the crazy thing is they got a better discount than we did via their global corporation that a family member is CEO of. So when it came to integration we thought lets do a Control4 announcement for the door bell like we have done on countless pre endorsed driver sites using the old Extra Veg driver, oh to our surprise the new driver will not allow this either as the line level input switching is not part of the API. The new driver is absolutely pointless and so is the partnership that Sonos made such a big thing so long story short unless we see Sonos play nice we are not a fan of selling your kit and Heos is our new option because they have not burnt their bridges yet.

Don't get me wrong I do not wish to see Sonos fail or even lose market share but maybe they have had it their own way for too long now and its time for them to see they have competition ready to play nice with integration manufactures, Nest tried all this no one has our API at the start but soon realised it was a benefit to give integrators access to the full API
So you previously avoided Sonos like the plague and you now come here to post a tl;dr that says you are going to avoid Sonos like the plague?

Way to hit the in the wallet, dude. Now excuse me, I'm off to post in the McDonalds forum that I previously avoided fast food like the plague and will continue to do so. :?
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Lol there is always one who has 13,000+ posts on a forum who misses the point....its called using the power of social media to hopefully make a change or at least let the blind know they are not perfect....I doubt you have time to go on another forum DUDE! you must barely get out the house!!! 😛
9 years of posting adds up to about 4 posts a day. You did that, with far more useless content, in less than an hour. So I get out of the house just fine, thanks.

And by the way, when someone attacks the messenger instead of the message, I know I hit a nerve. Your post was illogical, and you know it.
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Far from illogical, we like the hardware and what it does and more to the point did until they stuffed it up by diluting the integration to a useless level. We made no margin on it so avoided it for the past 2-3 years (not illogical) Now we avoid it even more because they killed the integration which makes it even more useless in what we do (still not illogical)

I fail to see what is illogical about my post in anyway, maybe if you had been constructive in your reply and debated the points you thought were illogical instead of using sarcasm we would not be wasting our lives in this childish exchange!

Feel free to point out what specifically is illogical I'm intrigued!
I thought my point was quite clear. It is illogical to believe your threat that something "avoided like the plague" before the changes to the API will now be further "avoided like the plague" after the changes would have any effect at all on Sonos. It is like vegans threatening to boycott a steakhouse for their latest menu changes. They dont eat there anyway, so who cares? In your haste to bag on Sonos, you took all the teeth out of your threat by stating you really dont buy many in the first place, for reasons far different than the subject of this thread. You self-revealed your threat as idle, which is a rather impotent way to force the issue.

As an aside, Sonos' target market has never really been custom installers. Sonos' target market is mainly . . . well . . . Target.
This was an extremely bad decision on Sonos' part and will force us to have to abandon our beloved line of Sonos products in favor of built in streaming on Control4 products. Sonos does not care about the custom integration business and I can see why companies like Denon, Paradigm, and Control4 will be filling the niche that Sonos has vacated.
It looks like Sonos is continuing to support UPNP connectivity and many Control4 competitors are using that to provide all the Sonos functionality that Control4 used to have. Has anyone asked Control4 why they forced dealers to switch to the new Sonos API drivers when the old UPNP ones worked so much better? Maybe Control4 can explain why Control4 dealers (and their customers) need to suffer while dealers of competing systems do not.
It looks like Sonos is continuing to support UPNP connectivity and many Control4 competitors are using that to provide all the Sonos functionality that Control4 used to have. Has anyone asked Control4 why they forced dealers to switch to the new Sonos API drivers when the old UPNP ones worked so much better? Maybe Control4 can explain why Control4 dealers (and their customers) need to suffer while dealers of competing systems do not.

Who are you, and what have you done with upstatemike??!!
For some reason I thought Sonos and Control 4 were supposed to have entered into a partnership. Aren't partnerships supposed to to make things better? Most of my customers want ONE app to control their system, not two or more. Now I can't even give them access to the line in on their Sonos Connects with Control 4, they have to switch to the Sonos app? Nope. Sorry. I can no longer recommend Sonos in a Control 4 environment. This has resulted in a terrible user experience for my customers and they really are not happy at all.
Partnerships don't always pan out the way customers hope they will. Control4 customers are unhappy about the shortcomings in the API provided by Sonos. Sonos customers are unhappy about the shortcomings in the API provided by Amazon. I think the whole "partnership" thing is kind of a minefield right now and it is the "end user experience" that keeps getting blown up. Hopefully this will improve as the various parties learn how to work together better.
Regarding the Control4 / Sonos integration discussion. I have made a very significant investment in Sonos product AS A RESULT OF the recommendation of my C4 dealer and the Sonos representation of compatibility. All worked great until this past month (Feb 2018) when the integration was broken. A few questions for Sonos directly:

1. What is the expectation to resolve this issue? Please provide a substantive update regarding company posts that C4 and Sonos are "in talks". As a customer of both C4 and Sonos I don't care who is at fault it just needs to be fixed. The loyalty both companies have is intense and the negative goodwill is equally strong. If money is the issue (as I suspect it is), Sonos should at least offer a license for sale to customers who need it and allow us to use the prior integration.
2. Why would Sonos issue a press release in 2016 about the C4 integration and then not inform its customers that if we update we are going to lose significant utility and investment of this promoted value?
3. Does Sonos offer a product or partnership with the same functionality as C4? If not, given I purchased significant Sonos equipment based on your public representations regarding compatibility, will you refund my purchases?

Thank you.
I’ve been using and recommending Sonos for almost a decade. And I have a Control4 system that I have left at an old version to keep the traditional Sonos functionality. Now i have a Control4 issue to deal with and am certain my system will need an upgrade - with will downgrade my functionality. I had hoped if we gave Sonos and C4 time, they would make some updates and slowly re-build parity with the “old” drivers, but as far as i can see, no updates have been made.

What is the current status of the driver functionality?
Regarding the Control4 / Sonos integration discussion. I have made a very significant investment in Sonos product AS A RESULT OF the recommendation of my C4 dealer and the Sonos representation of compatibility. All worked great until this past month (Feb 2018) when the integration was broken. A few questions for Sonos directly:

1. What is the expectation to resolve this issue? Please provide a substantive update regarding company posts that C4 and Sonos are "in talks". As a customer of both C4 and Sonos I don't care who is at fault it just needs to be fixed. The loyalty both companies have is intense and the negative goodwill is equally strong. If money is the issue (as I suspect it is), Sonos should at least offer a license for sale to customers who need it and allow us to use the prior integration.
2. Why would Sonos issue a press release in 2016 about the C4 integration and then not inform its customers that if we update we are going to lose significant utility and investment of this promoted value?
3. Does Sonos offer a product or partnership with the same functionality as C4? If not, given I purchased significant Sonos equipment based on your public representations regarding compatibility, will you refund my purchases?

Thank you.


I second this post. In the end, the end-users are the only ones being hurt by this "spat" between C4 and Sonos. Neither company had a problem touting the prior integration in the hopes of generating more profits. Now, however, neither company seems to care that customers who relied on their press-releases to make buying decisions are now stuck with a bunch of expensive equipment that works like crap together.

Sonos, your customers, at minimum, deserve some sort of update

-JVB
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We have control 4 (for controlling DirecTV outside pool TVs). The integration is the most ridiculous BS I have ever seen.

1. Turn on Control 4 regions
2. Click Sonos as feed
3. Goto Sonos app and turn on music
4. Go back to Control and control volume

Also; god forbid a change in provider or router; might as well call in a nuclear scientist. This is a classic sign of companies trying to own the connected home alone and all failing to realize its standardization thats needed. Still no update; and still a shitty experience for me.
In the press release for the Sonos Amp there was a mention of new APIs for better integration with Works With Sonos partners and others. Is there a chance that Control4 will be solved as part of this update? If there was a certified driver set for Sonos it would be in the bulk of my projects, but until we can have access to content it's a non-starter.
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On December 6th we released Sonos version 7.0 and added a new registration method for Sonos systems that enables the listener to play music from Spotify straight to Sonos. As a result of the changes, this update also broke an unofficial Control4 integration with Sonos. We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause some users of both Control4 and Sonos.

If you’ve already updated your system and are unable to play to Sonos via Control4, you can still use the Sonos App on any compatible device. If you’re a Spotify subscriber, you can now also use the Spotify app to control what’s playing.

We are in talks with Control4 on potential solutions and will provide updates here as they become available.


2 Years Ago you posted that you completely destroyed the well rounded integration that Control4 had with Sonos (lets be honest nobody cares if it was sanctioned) you have since left everyone in the dark seemingly having abandoned this post.
We the User Base would love it if you could take 5 minutes out of your year to let us know where this is heading because, we let you select from your Sonos favorites is a Bad Joke!