Question

Sonos layoffs, will speakers work if something horrible were to happen


Recently Sonos announce layoffs, and a strategic strategy change to ensure the company remain profitable. Hopefully nothing bad will ever happen, but if Sonos were to no longer exist as a company, would the Sonos speakers in my house still be useable. Does the application require that it talks to Sonos servers for it to play music to the speakers, or does it handle this all inside my house?

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The speakers will always work with local music libraries and Line In connections.

Their ability to receive information about the internet-based services (i.e. in order to add a new service/account) does currently require being able to communicate with Sonos-run servers. Additionally, some services (but not all) communicate through Sonos servers for the purposes of browsing and searching the music library on the service.

There's always a possibility that this could change in the future, but only Sonos knows what their future holds, until they tell the world what their plans are.
I only have several Sonos 1 models that don't have a line-in. Does that mean there won't be a way to use these speakers?
As said a local music library will work.
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I want to add that like many high growth companies, Sonos constantly evaluates the workforce to ensure we have the skills and talent to lead us to the next series of milestones.

Our opportunity has never been greater as the transition to streaming accelerates. We’re in a terrific position to continue delivering great listen-out-loud experiences at home now, and in the future.
if Sonos were to no longer exist as a company
I can't see that happening in the near future; the company will remain even if ownership changes as long as the products command a decent market share, which they continue to.
And long term, as some one famous said once, we are all going to be dead anyway.
That leaves the middle term in an uncertain place, but that's how life always has been. No other product you will buy today carries any assurance on that front. I'd say the Sonos platform is better placed that many other tech heavy audio products that land in the market these days.
Our opportunity has never been greater as the transition to streaming accelerates.

And there's the proof right there that they've abandoned the core product that they were founded on... Local library streaming. I have zero interest in streaming services because I can't use them for what I do. I've built a fantastic library from scratch that I know will continue to function, but there are missing parts of the system to make it complete... Like having more than 65K tracks. Awesome. Hope those laid off appreciate the shift in mindset as much as those of us left behind do.
Like having more than 65K tracks.
Those demanding an index expansion beyond 65k were always in the small minority. And now it seems that those listening to a local library at all are a declining fraction of the customers, particularly of new ones. Basically the CEO's post just confirms the reality on that score. In the meantime I very much doubt that the current local library features will be diminished in any way. They just won't be enhanced. There's always the option of Subsonic for those that need it.
Last I read, 92% were streaming. Probably higher now. Large local library users are too small a minority for a profitable company to cater to, no matter how vocal.
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While I still think a local library is important - online streaming to me solves a lot of the 65,000 track issue in that we don't need to horde music as we once did to be able to have so many obscure songs. Although I realize that in a lot of cases those people listening to classical and other genre still aren't serviced very well by online streaming and maintain a large local library.

I still like having my local library as a part of my system as of course we always find those particular artists or albums missing from our online search. The local library then functions more these days as an expression of personal taste in music that isn't 100% satisfied online. But the days of collecting as much music as possible on a local library are pretty much gone.

.... then there is the matter of online streaming and how long that business model is going to continue in its current model (unsustainable). Be interesting to see what it turns into in another 5 years.
Pretty clear, the independents will die or be absorbed. Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft will remain. I hope they won't dumb down the available content, as happened with Big Radio.
There's a middle ground, too. I use Apple Music and Google Play Music, both of which have my library uploaded. Amazon also offers this service. So I have access to all of "my" music from the cloud as well as my NAS. But think about it, it's very difficult for tech novices to keep, access, and maintain their local music libraries and have them set up for reliable use with Sonos. You have to deal with much less local networking crap than reading off a local machine.

Perhaps Sonos will create a "your library in the cloud" service. I'd also love to see a Plex integration, but the Plex team has a ton on their page now.

I can't imagine that they would kill the local storage feature, but just won't innovate there any more, or as much.
While there is a rise in using streaming services because of the convenience and flexibility it offers (at least for urban areas with lots of high speed internet options) I don't think that growth represents a proportional decline in local Library use. While some new users might go with streaming only and some casual users might transition from local files to a streaming only alternative, there will always be a need to support local files for the following reasons:

Streaming services up to now have not been profitable and are at high risk of failing or merging or otherwise causing you to lose your music collection as well as any work you have put into creating playlists.

Streaming services are not licensed to stream all music and your favorite song or artist may not be available to you that way.

Streaming service licenses are not perpetual and you could lose access to any song or artist at any time due to license expiry.

Streaming services will never bother to license rare and obscure pressings, tracks by local bands, or other specialized music. At best they may let you upload a copy to their service which is essentially going back to a local library that is just stored on a cloud service.

Streaming service features are not stable or guaranteed and could at any time become incompatible with your preferred playback device,

Streaming service outages can happen at inopportune times... such as during your big annual party.

Streaming services do not work when your Internet connection is down.

Streaming services do not work well even if your Internet service is up if you live in a rural area with limited or intermittent connectivity.

You can't count on streaming services to keep operating once the zombie apocalypse hits.
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However playing your Sonos too loud during the zombie apocalypse is theorized to attract more zombies.
You're right, but you're giving people (the general public) more credit than they deserve. Anything that I repeatedly use, like music, I like to own, movies, TV shows, I just stream, but I rarely re-watch. I still prefer paper books, because of the impermanence and proven malevolence of Amazon for their books customers.

I really doubt that Sonos would remove local playback options, but honestly what improvements have been made to it in years?
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When I first read about this it worried me that it would affect me because I don't use any streaming services. I listen to radio stations and my own FLAC collection on my NAS drive.

As long as the option to play locally stored music files is kept I don't mind, but if that disappears then I will have to look elsewhere sadly.
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It will still be there. Wish we had ever gotten sort by year (had to work around with folders)
When I first read about this it worried me that it would affect me because I don't use any streaming services. I listen to radio stations and my own FLAC collection on my NAS drive.

As long as the option to play locally stored music files is kept I don't mind, but if that disappears then I will have to look elsewhere sadly.


Why would it disappear? It would require more effort to remove it than it would to leave it there. Besides the team that would be tasked with removing it have just been laid off (probably).
However playing your Sonos too loud during the zombie apocalypse is theorized to attract more zombies.

Good point.
upstatemike above listed just about all the reasons I let my Qobuz CD-quality FLAC subscription expire and went back to my NAS library. No songs disappearing there. Streaming services are not for me I suppose.
there will always be a need to support local files for the following reasons:
.

I agree with all of them, except perhaps the zombie thing for lack of experience:-)

I use Apple music via Sonos just as extensively as my NAS, but I can't see boxing the NAS as I have the CDs. Internet music streaming is the future, but it isn't as all pervading as mains power is at this time. Which in India needs a generator back up to be in place even now.

I am quite happy with the state of what Sonos provides for NAS, am nowhere near half of the 65k, and as long as what is offered continues, I have no issues with the declared Sonos road map. I don't see much use for voice, I think it is still a fiddly gimmick.
Last I read, 92% were streaming. Probably higher now. Large local library users are too small a minority for a profitable company to cater to, no matter how vocal.

I am wondering how they come up with that calculation. AFAIK the collection of customer stats is opt in (or is it opt out?), ie. Manage|Settings|Advanced|ImproveSonos. My assumption is that this setting would affect collection of local library stats, but maybe not collection of streaming stats?

Perhaps any customer who values their local library, and who wishes that it would participate in future enhancements, should make sure that Sonos knows that they are out there, ie ensure that their Usage Data check box is been selected ... Mine was set off.

I remain somewhat concerned following the Sonos CEO's blog entry.

I suppose that it was just a pre-emptive strike to combat any negative comments arising from their layoffs; to try to turn that into a good news story. It was a much jumbled message, and I see that a number of commentators felt likewise.

* voice control is exciting, and that Sonos will become a "me too", once it is clear to them how best to implement it
* it is (somehow) to the customers' advantage that Sonos doesn't include the flexibility to handle Bluetooth connectivity .. (? I don't think so. Unsaid, but I guess that the same applies to DLNA, DTS and HDMI connectivity?)
* Sonos are very focused upon streaming, and their interface to those services (which currently disappoint many) will improve

* Sonos is working on a UI which is "incredibly rich" and that Sonos will be at the "vanguard of what it means to listen to music at home"

Who wouldn't want that? It was unsaid, but implied, that the local library support won't be a fully participating component of that future. I find that incredibly disappointing. My POV is that the Sonos browsing UI was underwhelming from the start, and I agree with reddot, that despite regular software upgrades, this has barely improved.

The Sonos CEO made the point that Sonos aim to engineer a ten year life in their products. I am OK with that, and am prepared to pension off my older models should a more rich UI be released which only ran on the newer more endowed zones.

I do have a music subscription (Google Play), but I mostly listen to my own (growing) collection, and will continue to do so. I would be shopping for something which enriched use of my own collection as well as my subscription services. As a lifelong collector of music I obviously have more connection with my albums than I do with my Sonos boxes.


Why would it (local library support) disappear? It would require more effort to remove it than it would to leave it there. Besides the team that would be tasked with removing it have just been laid off (probably).


If it disappeared they could free up memory, currently allocated to the indexing up to 65k tracks. I agree that it is very unlikely, but there would be a deliverable.

BTW your supposition that Sonos have laid off IT staff, and that they were somehow related to local library support is (presumably) baseless? ... You expend quite a lot energy here stomping on such remarks when made by others.
I'm reading between the lines, same as you did when you said that local library support "won't be a fully participating component of that future. I find that incredibly disappointing". You have no basis for that either. Other than the 65k limit (which only affects a minute fraction of users I don't see what more they can do to develop the local library support, hence no further requirement for a development team for that. It's not that much of a leap. And what other staff are they going to lay off in order to refocus development, marketing? Doesn't seem likely does it?
Other than the 65k limit (which only affects a minute fraction of users I don't see what more they can do to develop the local library support

I am not affected by the 65k limit, and never will be. Surely you can see the paucity of facilities when browsing or playing from your music collection. I would have hoped that a new version, once the memory restraint was resolved, would address some of the following omissions:
* albums acquired during the last year
* your Miles Davis albums in date released sequence
* jazz albums unheard for a year
* sorting or filtering based upon your own track rankings
* a Composer->Genre index
* display the Composer on the now playing screen
* display other data tagged into your tracks; lead performers, conductor, recording date, lyricist, lyrics, etc
* search facility to include tracks from composite albums
* link off to the Wikipedia page for the album or artist, or the artist's discography for somewhere like AllMusic.com
* support for household DLNA servers

That is what my own version of "vanguard of what it means to listen to music at home" would look like.

I do have other music clients which offer this, but not one attached to the Now Playing track and my music queue.


It's not that much of a leap. And what other staff are they going to lay off in order to refocus development, marketing? Doesn't seem likely does it?

You haven't heard of staff development? I hadn't thought about it too hard. I was assuming that it wouldn't be IT development staff. Something less core, which had been outsourced or dispensed with.
Some more words from the Sonos CEO on layoffs, streaming and voice.
http://www.billboard.com/articles/business/7256313/sonos-ceo-john-macfarlane-from-the-desk-of
Some more words from the Sonos CEO on layoffs, streaming and voice.
http://www.billboard.com/articles/business/7256313/sonos-ceo-john-macfarlane-from-the-desk-of


Interesting... TFT...

But then he says things like "I would say a pair of Play:5s can't be beat for less than $40,000, and they're $500 each." and you wonder what planet he's on...

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