Still crazy CR100 after all these years !

  • 2 August 2018
  • 9 replies
  • 775 views

Userlevel 1
Here I am, still sitting happily on v8.4, using my CR100s to play music from my NAS and Radio from the Internet - and definitely NOT missing all those “we need to update your system” nags.

- BUT -

Within the next month or so, I will be visited by several people who all have their own Sonos systems (bought after recommendations from me)

Being younger and much more trusting (ie. nothing like my username), they all keep their iOS and Android Apps auto-updated to the “bleeding edge”

Does anyone know what will happen to my v8.4 system if their v9 Apps attempt to connect?

Even though my router blocks access to “update.sonos.com”, if the players are accessed from a v9 App, will they then “know” that there is a later version and kick off the “we need to update your system” process?

I do not want to risk losing my CR100s - but I would have great difficulty ensuring that my nephew never forgets to leave his iPhone outside in the car.

Thanks for any relevant info
Paul


While I'm here... For anyone who is also trying to keep their system on an old version but gets a brand new phone or tablet, it definitely IS possible to install an “old” version of an Android App - and to exclude that App from the PlayStore Update.

Just follow the instructions in...
https://android.gadgethacks.com/how-to/permanently-stop-any-app-from-updating-play-store-no-computer-needed-0184063/

“Old” Sonos apps (including v8.4) can be found at www.apkmirror.com

For extra security, I disabled the WiFi on my phone after downloading those 3 Apps and didn’t re-enable it (with fingers firmly crossed) until after I had finished the process. (which took less than 5 minutes per device)

(I would guess that there might be a similar hack for iThings - although my wife only has the - IHNSHO - superior SonoPad App on her Apple devices)


PS. I still haven’t received any notification from Sonos that they were bricking my three CR100s - though even today they managed to send me more marketing information - and I did (eventually) receive a “not possible … no plans” reply from Mike Carlino

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9 replies

Does anyone know what will happen to my v8.4 system if their v9 Apps attempt to connect?
They won't work. They'll say the system needs an update to match them. You'll find out whether your router's armour plating works....

“Old” Sonos apps (including v8.4) can be found at www.apkmirror.com

Your call, but bootlegged versions from third party download sites could come with more than you bargained for, malware-wise.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
In your situation I think you are taking a big risk by giving random folks access to your Sonos WiFi system. If you must give them access to WiFi while they are there put up a guest WiFi or even a second full featured WiFi that does not have access to your Sonos gear.

I don't let anyone but the wife and I have access to our main WiFi, I put them on an isolated system that lets them have full Internet access but no access at all to my gear. Means that they can show up with the most virus and malware loaded piece of antique hardware and have zero impact on me or my gear.

Like someone around here says, The "S" in "IOT" stands for security.
Userlevel 1
Thanks for your replies (I was away over the weekend)

@Stanley - the problem is
(a) my router doesn't have multi-zone wifi capability
(b) they aren't "random folks" but relatives
and, most importantly...
(c) their "day jobs" are as network specialists, so they know much more than me about the nitty-gritty, low-level details of networking (Not that they would deliberately set out to damage my system but even a professional can make an unthinking mistake - especially if the "mistake" is something as trivial as bringing an iPhone with an updated App into the house)

@ratty - while I take your point about third-party download sites in general, you might compare and contrast the search results for "PlayStore malware OR virus" and "apkmirror malware OR virus"

What I was really trying to get a handle on is what part(s) of the system is actually in control of the firmware update process...

Assuming "Check for Updates" is disabled in the system, is it the CONTROLLER (or App) which instructs each PLAYER to update itself if/when the Controller sees that a Player is at a lower(*) version?

And is something then permanently set in each PLAYER once it has realised (or been told) that there is a newer version of the firmware available - meaning that the Player will then forever continue to (attempt to) upgrade itself ?

Or do these attempts only continue as long as the newer controller is connected to the system?

I'm hoping (against hope) that update attempts will only occur while the Controller is there AND the Controller has checked that the Sonos Update Server is actually accessible AND the user does actually agree to "Let's do this!"

... but I see I have failed to win the Lottery again this week, so perhaps I'm not lucky enough!

Has any firewalled Sonos v8.4 user had experience of a newer Controller App stumbling upon on their system?

Thx
Paul

(*) As a software professional myself, this behaviour has always seemed incredibly lazy programming by Sonos.
Maintaining backwards compatibility in a Program or App (the ability to talk down to previous versions of hardware) is almost never impossible - just takes a little more effort.
Assuming "Check for Updates" is disabled in the system, is it the CONTROLLER (or App) which instructs each PLAYER to update itself if/when the Controller sees that a Player is at a lower(*) version?
The controller would initiate/control the update process, telling each player to update and then monitoring progress. Since in your example the network couldn't locate the update server I suspect that the up-to-date controller will just sit there complaining, and not working.

And is something then permanently set in each PLAYER once it has realised (or been told) that there is a newer version of the firmware available - meaning that the Player will then forever continue to (attempt to) upgrade itself ?

Usually yes. But in this case if the player hasn't been able to contact the update server itself then it may not change the flag. Never tried it, so YMMV.

(*) As a software professional myself, this behaviour has always seemed incredibly lazy programming by Sonos.
Maintaining backwards compatibility in a Program or App (the ability to talk down to previous versions of hardware) is almost never impossible - just takes a little more effort.

As a professional you also ought to know that, given there could be increasing architectural incompatibilities between different versions as the system evolves, Sonos would end up pouring ever-increasing resources into such a hole. Those resources are desperately needed to push forward on additional developments, of hardware and of software. And all to cater for a vanishingly small number of users who decline to update. I'm afraid the business case to do so is non-existent.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
I work with Oracle software for a living. From a software perspective, Oracle is the complete opposite of Sonos in that customers can operate on whatever version of the software they want. The software is extremely flexible and configurable in comparison to Sonos. As a result, it's an utter nightmare to maintain for both Oracle and their customers. Bugs are numerous and pretty much guaranteed to be introduce whenever even a minor upgrade is applied. The business model is completely different though as customers pay license fees for the software and additional fees for support. It needs to be done this way for this scenario. I don't consider avoiding all this by supporting a single version, particularly when there is no license or support fees generating revenue, to be lazy.
Userlevel 1
That was quick! And "Sorry" if I wasn't clear

I wasn't meaning specifically the 8.4-8.5 "upgrade" but rather some of the previous upgrades - the ones where the only claimed enhancements were to support hardware which I didn't possess &/or internet services which I didn't want to use.

Those where...
a) changes to underlying functionality &/or protocols for pre-existing hardware was minimal or non-existent
b) once the controller got it into its head that an update was available - updating the system was the only thing it would allow
(yes you could "cancel" but that just looped back to "We need to update your system", rather than proceeding with at-worst slightly impaired functionality. Especially "user-friendly" if this happened during a party)

I also would not expect support to continue "in-perpetuity" (I did say "almost") But maintaining compatibility with previous "point" releases isn't normally difficult.
I think you're missing the point. However 'small' the enhancements between versions, and however much the underlying protocols may not change, Sonos would still have to test each and every permutation of versions, in every conceivable hardware configuration, to ensure there had not been regression. Isolated unit testing can only go so far. These are complex asynchronous interconnected systems which have to deal with potential race conditions and all kinds of network misbehaviour. It rapidly becomes an N-dimensional problem.

Let's not forget that these are free software upgrades. As melvimbe notes, there is no model for charging customers for the support of out-dated versions.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
Since Sonos is now pulling IPv6 addresses I wonder how long it will be before they enable updates via IPv6 too, more fun for the folks blocking updates.

I'd get your family to recommend a good router that does support a firewalled guest access, they aren't that expensive or hard to use and offer a nice upgrade to your security.
Since Sonos is now pulling IPv6 addresses
Only on the very latest player models.