Restrict access to certain zones


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There should be a way to restrict access to certain zones or allow control of certain zones from a specific controller. This is very important when you have children or have guests staying to stop inadvertent or deliberate changing of zone settings.

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Okay, so, as a teen who enjoys using Sonos at house parties, I think there is one feature that is sorely lacking from the Sonos system. I would imagine most people who have used Sonos at such a party will have also encountered this small, yet very annoying issue also.

PEOPLE CHANGE THE NOW PLAYING SONG - and it is so annoying. Being able to distribute controllers at a party is great, as people can then add music of their choice to the playlist, however, it is extremely annoying when the 'Now Playing' song changes repeatedly. Wouldn't it be great if some form of administrative rights could be put in place to only allow certain controllers (the party host) change the now playing song, and the rest just be contributors to the playlist. Or perhaps even just the option to set a password to change the now playing song? I think this would greatly increase the attractiveness of using Sonos during house parties. 🙂 This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled How to improve a Sonos house party....
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Ryan, thanks for the idea. I've merged it with this existing topic.
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I've done this to myself often enough. Perhaps play now should not be the top choice in the list.
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Agreed on it improving the attractiveness for usage at house parties. I'd also love to see this feature to allow childrens controllers to be only allowed to use certain zones whilst the parents can still see and control the whole house. Even better would be if the parents could add restrictions on the children's controllers like hours they can use a particular zone during, or a maximum volume limit...
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You can actually also merge it with this one: https://ask.sonos.com/sonos/topics/hide_zones_on_any_type_of_controllers_and_unhide_using_a_password It's intended to achieve the same result.
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You can actually also merge it with this one: https://ask.sonos.com/sonos/topics/hide_zones_on_any_type_of_controllers_and_unhide_using_a_password It's intended to achieve the same result.
Or, you could merge your idea with this one, since it has more people liking this one and has been in place for longer... but you know, whichever.... Also, whilst the 'hiding' a zone sort of works, this means you can only have two states of a zone, hidden or not. So not so good if you want to give two children access to a SONOS in their own room and not to each others. Why would I want to do this? Prevents, them from 'fighting' over control for the others speaker (e.g. brother stopping his sisters music or turning it down) by being able to assign their controller only rights to a specific zone or zones. You are right in that just having a basic hide function would be a good start though...
Have a pair of play 3's outside. Everyone in house uses it. Want to get a play 5 for my room. Yet don't want the roomates to have access to it so they can't blast "Who let the dogs out" at 5am while I'm sleeping.

Anything to be done? This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Password on different zones?.
I was about to start a "Party Mode" feature request when I saw this thread. This covers basically what I'm looking for and I'll include a few notes: When in "Party Mode" lock down various settings, which you as the owner can control ahead of time. (List of options on a screen and you set checkboxes on or off) So you can determine how "locked" you actually want the system to be. Examples: 1. Exclude Play Now, Play Next, or Replace Queue from the options when selecting a song. 2. Exclude the ability to add a whole artist or album to the queue 3. Lock editing of the queue (deleting & moving) 4. Lock saving of playlists 5. Lock the whole Settings screen 6. Lock Sleep & Alarm options 7. Lock the Sonos from accepting new controllers. To come out of party mode an owner-determine code should be entered, such as a 4 digit number, doesn't have to be anything complicated. That prompt to disable party mode could appear when you click the icon to enter the settings screen.
I have a user that doesn't want others to be able to group with her zone. I there some way to do that? This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled can a zone prevent other zones from joining it in a group.
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This would be a great feature for work environments as well where music tastes vary via "zones."
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I think it's time Sonos got moving on this one! Surely some of the things we've suggested aren't that difficult to implement, and won't effect usability all that much.
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I think it's time Sonos got moving on this one! Surely some of the things we've suggested aren't that difficult to implement, and won't effect usability all that much.
The use case is that my kid has a controller, tries to increase the volume in his own room but does not realize that he is increasing the volume in dad's workshop. It would be cool if I could say : This is a kid controller, please restrict this controller so it only plays this subset of tracks (exclude dad's 1970's punk bands) and controls only the music/volume in this room
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In my own self interest, restricting to a subset of music would be nice but I'll be honest that if restricting controller access to specific zones was the initial new feature introduced for the sake of this feature request getting here sooner than later I am all for it. Subset of library access as phase 2 feature would be fine by me.
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Am I missing something? Anyone on the network can download an app and control the zones? This seems odd. What would it take for some visiting kids to come in with their smartphones, download a sonos app, if they don't have it already, and connect to my Sonos? Currently, it looks like all I have to do is install app, press button on any Sonos device, and now I am connected. With access to everything. Some sort of security feature would be very useful. It certainly does not need to be default, but locking down a zone or whole setup should be an option.
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Thinking about it a little more... if I'm in a dorm situation with shared network access. I have my own room, with my own setup. It seems all someone has to do is press the button when they are in my room, and they can now control my zone from anywhere. Don't get me wrong... I love the easy setup. But once it's setup, it would be nice to lock it down. Unless I've missed something?
From looking at the forums, various versions of this 'parental/owner control' request have been around since 2005, which doesn't bode well for Sonos' development priorities. Anyway... My particular 'use cases' are child-related. I'm am swelling Sonos' coffers with a house-wide system including Play:3's in my kids' rooms and there are a couple of software improvements I'd like to see based on my day-to-day use; 1. ability to lock out zones based on time of day, so I can't accidently switch on music to my 8mth old at 2am (though a pin override is needed for when I *do* need to calm my baby with Bach at 2am). 2. Limit volume in zones, so my older children (or occasional house-sitters) can't bother my neighbours when I'm not around. Perhaps the Google Nexus Q 2 will have these features...Google usually get there in the end...
This thread addresses exactly what I am missing with the Sonos system. We are using 8 Sonos devices in a business house / private appartment environment. We also have a guest house that uses the same Wifi environment. The easy to use concept of the Sonos system is just perfect for this (complicated?) environment. All the scenarios mentioned before are valid for us: 3 boys fighting for the currently playing song, alarms that go off Sunday morning at 5, AC/DC sound in the office during a customer meeting and a guest who is using the Sonos device in the guest appartment and (by error) turns on our Sonos in our private appartment. Why is Sonos Corp. not responding to these requests? Some basic security functions are absolutely needed for this product set as there are customers who are willing to place Sonos devices in all places. I would explect to get a product vision from Sonos. Otherwise customers like us would walk away from this beautiful product. As the underlying system seems to be a linux type of OS why couldn't be added a user / group concept and a simple restriction concept on the different Sonos objects (like players). I do not think that this would be too complicated. By default all these security mechanisms could be turned off to achieve the best customer experience in the consumer market. I would be happy to get a solution of that so that we could keep on buying Sonos controllers. Frank Ihrringer, Switzerland (frank.ihringer@serwise.com)
Hi all, first of all: A Happy New Year to all of you and especially the Sonos team! I wouldn't trash my Sonos system having not the "restriction" function, but like the other fans requesting this feature I have the need for it. I'm a Daddy of four, and currently Sonos is in place in living room, as a mobile Play 3, and in one of my kids room. But I avoided to give an RC option to my boy to keep myself save... As I'd like to extend the system to other kids rooms and the guest room as well the feature becomes more and more important to me. I really do understand if Sonos likes to implement a complete new security system. That would not be done by just letting a zone disappear in the Sonos app as it still would be accessible by direct talk to the IP address. But that needs a lot more knowledge and action and I love this opportunity. But if you're not a nerd or technically interested, it's enough to just be able to hide different zones in the app. Best regards to you all, Ralph.
Just wanted to voice my strong agreement with all the sensible suggestions in this topic. I set up my brand new Sonos system last week. While I am generally very happy so far, I am frankly shocked that it seems that anyone with brief physical access to any of the components can immediately gain complete and unrestricted access to the entire system through their own phone or tablet just by pressing the connect button on that component. And even for people you want to have access, there seems to be no way to make that access restricted (or subsequently withdraw the access entirely). In addition to the many excellent proposals by other posters (e.g., party mode, limited access for certain controllers (one room only) etc.), I would add that there should be an option to require a password each time an additional controller is added to the system, and it should be possible to delete/restrict the access of previously added controllers using the "My Account - Products" menu when signed in on the Sonos website. These should all be easy software updates for Sonos to make.
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Just wanted to voice my strong agreement with all the sensible suggestions in this topic. I set up my brand new Sonos system last week. While I am generally very happy so far, I am frankly shocked that it seems that anyone with brief physical access to any of the components can immediately gain complete and unrestricted access to the entire system through their own phone or tablet just by pressing the connect button on that component. And even for people you want to have access, there seems to be no way to make that access restricted (or subsequently withdraw the access entirely). In addition to the many excellent proposals by other posters (e.g., party mode, limited access for certain controllers (one room only) etc.), I would add that there should be an option to require a password each time an additional controller is added to the system, and it should be possible to delete/restrict the access of previously added controllers using the "My Account - Products" menu when signed in on the Sonos website. These should all be easy software updates for Sonos to make.
Then, if they are using Android at least, they have complete and unrestricted access to your internet connection. I will have to do some testing to see if they have access to your network as well, I suspect that they do.
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Absolutely agree with the 'party mode' so that the 'play now', and 'replace queue' options are removed from the list. I also think both of these should be at the bottom of the list anyway as it is annoying when unintentionally pressing 'play now' and it jumps to the end of the queue to play the song, then stops.
I came across a 2011 interview with Sonos CEO John MacFarlane, in which he addresses access restrictions (see excerpt below). In the interview, this is framed as a pure parental control issue. However, as discussed in this thread, the parental control aspect is just a small part of a much broader set of issues relating to unauthorized and unlimited access. For example, if I ever invite my neighbor over and he, with or without my permission, adds his iPhone as a controller to my Sonos system (literally with the push of a button), it would seem that he will retain unlimited access to my system on a permanent basis (and, if he can pick up my wireless signal in his apartment, on a continuous basis). Or am I missing something? Apart from the interview below, does anyone know if Sonos has otherwise publicly addressed these issues? From http://www.theverge.com/2011/10/21/2504462/john-macfarlane-prepares-sonos-for-airplay-assault-and-possible-home: “Will Sonos offer some parental controls to dumb down the interface and limit speaker volume? [John MacFarlane:] We had lots of debates about this early on: how do you personalize a controller. With the CR100 and CR200 you don’t really know who’s using it. You can’t really put an identification step up front, it’s just getting in the way of time-to-music. But if we’re on your phone, that’s your phone. So we can start doing things like, maybe you have a mode on the Android controller or the iPhone controller to dumb it down. But that’s the challenge with doing things like parental controls, which one are you using and which one are they using. You can’t put, "hey, type in the three numbers to start using a controller" because that’s going to drive you crazy usability wise, you’ll turn it off and never turn that feature on again. We view the tablets as the social controllers, the one you’re going to pass around, and the smartphone as your personal controller. There’s a real nice opportunity to have zones that are ordered based on how often you use them and stuff like that.”
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I came across a 2011 interview with Sonos CEO John MacFarlane, in which he addresses access restrictions (see excerpt below). In the interview, this is framed as a pure parental control issue. However, as discussed in this thread, the parental control aspect is just a small part of a much broader set of issues relating to unauthorized and unlimited access. For example, if I ever invite my neighbor over and he, with or without my permission, adds his iPhone as a controller to my Sonos system (literally with the push of a button), it would seem that he will retain unlimited access to my system on a permanent basis (and, if he can pick up my wireless signal in his apartment, on a continuous basis). Or am I missing something? Apart from the interview below, does anyone know if Sonos has otherwise publicly addressed these issues? From http://www.theverge.com/2011/10/21/2504462/john-macfarlane-prepares-sonos-for-airplay-assault-and-possible-home: “Will Sonos offer some parental controls to dumb down the interface and limit speaker volume? [John MacFarlane:] We had lots of debates about this early on: how do you personalize a controller. With the CR100 and CR200 you don’t really know who’s using it. You can’t really put an identification step up front, it’s just getting in the way of time-to-music. But if we’re on your phone, that’s your phone. So we can start doing things like, maybe you have a mode on the Android controller or the iPhone controller to dumb it down. But that’s the challenge with doing things like parental controls, which one are you using and which one are they using. You can’t put, "hey, type in the three numbers to start using a controller" because that’s going to drive you crazy usability wise, you’ll turn it off and never turn that feature on again. We view the tablets as the social controllers, the one you’re going to pass around, and the smartphone as your personal controller. There’s a real nice opportunity to have zones that are ordered based on how often you use them and stuff like that.”
This interview speaks volumes--thank you for finding that. When a vendor allows themselves the power to literally dictate how a customer is to view his or her own equipment, it shows how much regard they will have for that same user's feedback.
Agreed, this is a must have.

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