Spotify Connect, serious competition



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There may be an obvious (to everyone but me) reason that this is a bad idea (fidelity?), but... Wouldn't it make sense for Sonos to add a bluetooth connection - everyone has their favorite MOG, Spotify, pandora apps on their iphones/androids...

That's what I was using before Sonos. No, the Sonos approach is FAR superior.

Bluetooth range is marginal, at best. "Up to 30 feet" often meant 10 feet on a good day, and the cat walking between my tablet and the BT receiver would cause severe dropouts.

BT compresses the signal, and its bandwidth is sub-optimal, resulting in lower fidelity.

The streaming music competed for WiFi bandwidth with my browser, the kid's online gaming, etc, causing frequent dropouts. Sonos sets up its own WiFi mesh, doesn't rob bandwith.

I thought the recent addition of the ability to play music files directly from my tablet was pretty cool, but frankly, I never use it. With the availability of nearly unlimited, on demand, high quality tracks very cheaply from MOG, ripping tracks from CDs just doesn't make sense to me anymore. But then I'm pretty lazy. 🙂
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To be honest, if i wasn't already a Sonos owner i would no longer buy Sonos gear due to these developements. The one thing that Sonos isn't very good at is creating a decent user interface, the rest i have no complaints about. Any company can stream music, but in today's market the added functions / apps / radiostations just make the difference. And Sonos can't seem to integrate these, at least not in a user friendly way.

I don't get why people knock the UI, it works, it's simple! I moved from Squeezebox last month, the other half is finding Sonos much easier to use. Personally, I think Sonos does it very well (although I wish it would do Google Music :))
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Also, I prefer not having my music tied to a phone or computer. For me, that is the beauty of SONOS.

And Spotify Connect. 😉
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A general solution would be for SONOS to include a streaming interface in their controller software, allowing us to use access applications (Deezer, Spotify, Songza, whatever....) that pass their music to SONOS via WiFi or Ethernet, it shouldn't matter which physical unit. We could use superior native service applications, and SONOS wouldn't get abandoned by the services' changing priorities. I haven't had Deezer service through SONOS for two days now, and I suspect the problem has nothing to do with SONOS. But does Deezer really care? My access through iOS and OSX works fine, and so far Deezer is still getting my monthly fee for their "Premium" service.

I've tried streaming Deezer from my Mac to SONOS Connect through Apple Express, but the SQ was terrible.
A general solution would be for SONOS to include a streaming interface in their controller software, allowing us to use access applications (Deezer, Spotify, Songza, whatever....) that pass their music to SONOS via WiFi or Ethernet, it shouldn't matter which physical unit. We could use superior native service applications, and SONOS wouldn't get abandoned by the services' changing priorities. I haven't had Deezer service through SONOS for two days now, and I suspect the problem has nothing to do with SONOS. But does Deezer really care? My access through iOS and OSX works fine, and so far Deezer is still getting my monthly fee for their "Premium" service.

I've tried streaming Deezer from my Mac to SONOS Connect through Apple Express, but the SQ was terrible.


If you read the thread you will realize that Spotify has effectively eliminated this option for Sonos by requiring a Spotify chip (ala Airplay) in hardware licensed for Spotify Connect.
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If you read the thread you will realize that Spotify has effectively eliminated this option for Sonos by requiring a Spotify chip (ala Airplay) in hardware licensed for Spotify Connect.
You are right, I skipped several pages, sorry, after all this IS a Spotify thread...
Hope SONOS isn't getting marginalized and obsolete, I have invested too much, and like it...
A general solution would be for SONOS to include a streaming interface in their controller software, allowing us to use access applications (Deezer, Spotify, Songza, whatever....) that pass their music to SONOS via WiFi or Ethernet, it shouldn't matter which physical unit.
They haven't totally ruled it out.
https://ask.sonos.com/sonos/topics/allow_sonos_to_monitor_what_computer_is_streaming
Currently marked as 'under consideration'.
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If you read the thread you will realize that Spotify has effectively eliminated this option for Sonos by requiring a Spotify chip (ala Airplay) in hardware licensed for Spotify Connect.

I have actually never read anything about having to keep it in a chip? There have been claims that some of the current line-up from some manufacturers (Philips, I think) would perhaps get support through a firmware upgrade, which indicate that there is room for a software implementation.
I have actually never read anything about having to keep it in a chip? There have been claims that some of the current line-up from some manufacturers (Philips, I think) would perhaps get support through a firmware upgrade, which indicate that there is room for a software implementation.

We recently reported on Spotify’s new Connect service, which allows users to seamlessly transfer actively playing Spotify playlists to other devices such as A/V receivers and wireless speaker systems via WiFi. Unfortunately, any excitement over auditioning the new service was cut short for many because a necessary piece of hardware (a particular microchip) must be present in said device to work with the new streaming music feature.


http://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/want-a-spotify-connect-compatible-receiver-you-may-already-have-one/

For now, the initial list of device makers are Argon, Bang & Olufsen, Denon, Hama, Marantz, Philips, Pioneer, Revo, Teufel and Yamaha, with more brands getting added before the end of the year — basically hardware makers that have built in chips made by companies that have cut deals with Spotify to embed its technology.


http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/02/spotify-makes-its-biggest-hardware-play-yet-with-spotify-connect-synching-music-at-home-and-beyond/
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I have fairly reliable sources telling me that there is no chip requirements, however they have a chip manufacturer as partner (I assume that is to provide pre-programmed implementations).

So technically, there wouldn't be a problem to implement this on Sonos. Exposing each group as a Spotify remote speaker would probably be a decent approach.
I have fairly reliable sources telling me that there is no chip requirements, however they have a chip manufacturer as partner (I assume that is to provide pre-programmed implementations).

So technically, there wouldn't be a problem to implement this on Sonos. Exposing each group as a Spotify remote speaker would probably be a decent approach.


You may indeed have your sources, but I've not seen one article that suggests anything about a software implementation sans the chip. I've seen a lot about some recent hardware models being "Spotify ready", but that by no means rules out the requirement for a chip. Indeed, the fact that they point to only recent models tells me they have the chip added, whereas older models do not.

Either way, anecdotal, anonymous sources do not trump written articles, and there are dozens of those which state unequivocably that a chip is needed.
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I don't get why people knock the UI, it works, it's simple! I moved from Squeezebox last month, the other half is finding Sonos much easier to use. Personally, I think Sonos does it very well (although I wish it would do Google Music :))

Sadly it's not that simple. Just try to change the EQ settings, this takes you to loads of steps. Ad a sub to your set and you need to go through 2 seperate menus to change them both. Accidently push the wrong button in the sub menu and you have to set the sub up all over again, as there is no back option from that menu.

To me the UI feels totaly out dated, kind of like an old AS400 based system, which still might work for some if you just play a single album or radio station. But not for me, and with players like Spotify, Samsung Shape M7 and whatever there is to come there now are alternatives i didn't had few years ago.
To me the UI feels totaly out dated, kind of like an old AS400 based system, which still might work for some if you just play a single album or radio station. But not for me, and with players like Spotify, Samsung Shape M7 and whatever there is to come there now are alternatives i didn't had few years ago.

Be careful before you nominate something as a Sonos killer. I've seen a dozen or so "Sonos killers" coronated in the last 5 years, and every one of them has failed miserably.

And by the way, the CNET article stated the Smasung UI was not as polished as the Sonos.
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I may have missed this in the 10 pages so far, as I have been reading this on and off since the start of the thread.
What about mobile devices ? e.g. Phones & Tablets. I cannot see apple adding a Spotify chip to hardware, yet a lot of people use these very devices to listen to their Spotify play lists.

I cannot see Spotify killing off this revenue stream. It would be a suicide for them, especially in the US.

If Spotify continue to allow mobile devices to stream their music, then surely SONOS would be able to use that functionality at the very least
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I may have missed this in the 10 pages so far, as I have been reading this on and off since the start of the thread.
What about mobile devices ? e.g. Phones & Tablets. I cannot see apple adding a Spotify chip to hardware, yet a lot of people use these very devices to listen to their Spotify play lists.

I cannot see Spotify killing off this revenue stream. It would be a suicide for them, especially in the US.

If Spotify continue to allow mobile devices to stream their music, then surely SONOS would be able to use that functionality at the very least


There are no chip requirements, it's just a mix-up amongst tech journalists (they aren't known for their tedious research before posting stuff 🙂 ). There is a chip option though (info I gathered from Spotify employees). Believe me or choose not to.
What about mobile devices ? e.g. Phones & Tablets. I cannot see apple adding a Spotify chip to hardware, yet a lot of people use these very devices to listen to their Spotify play lists.



Apps are different than third party hardware. Right now, Apple requires a chip for Airplay on licensed receivers, boom boxes, etc., but iDevices need no chip. It is all built into the API, and the API for apps is different than the API for third party hardware.
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Yeah, I seriously doubt there are chip requirements. I'm sure they WANT you to use it, but it can be done via software. They can license either with the chip or software... either way it does not prevent them from making money on licensing. I guess what really matters if it Sonos hardware can support the software they're making.

I would be be ecstatic if I knew that the upcoming Collection was coming to Sonos through the Sonos Controller (or obviously for them to allow for Spotify Connect too). That's my biggest complaint... I could live without the radio function, but of course that would be nice. Oh... and higher-res album art.
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There is a big difference between how Spotify and Apple profit from hardware. Apple want to profit from the sales of hardware, since usage is free. Spotify want to profit from the subscribers. For me it makes sense to not try and profit from the hardware in that case, and simplify the possible integrations, since more devices == more customers == more subscribers. Simple as that. I don't see why they need to be compared, since they have different business models.
There is a big difference between how Spotify and Apple profit from hardware. Apple want to profit from the sales of hardware, since usage is free. Spotify want to profit from the subscribers. For me it makes sense to not try and profit from the hardware in that case, and simplify the possible integrations, since more devices == more customers == more subscribers. Simple as that. I don't see why they need to be compared, since they have different business models.

There are many more ways a content company can profit than just subscribers. One is advertising. Another is licensing. Still another is requiring a hardware manufacturer to buy your licensed chip. So far, every tech article I have searched says Spotify requires a chip. You have countered that with "insider" hearsay. I imagine we'll learn what the truth is when/if Sonos rolls out Spotify Connect.

My advice (which is similar to those who claimed Airplay could be integrated): Don't get your hopes up.
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I'm not saying that "Sonos will get Connect support", the rumor is more that it won't get it. Even if the technical barrier is smaller (software implementation only) there are a lot of other factors that might become a problem. The multiroom support, for one.

However, if Spotify will be open with how to implement Connect support, and allow software implementations as well, then there is a good chance that it might be possible to make a 3rd party solution, for instance, some sort of proxy control point which would trigger the native Spotify support in Sonos, but expose it as a Connect device and be in control of whats playing.

In that regard, I think Spotify is a lot more community-friendly than for instance, Apple 🙂
Looks like the "chip" is the WiFi chip, which must be made by SMSC or Frontier Silicon. The Spotify support appears to be a firmware update to the WiFi chips.

http://community.spotify.com/t5/Spotify-Announcements/Spotify-Connect-The-new-way-to-play-at-home/td-p/520918/page/2

Spotify is just adding their stream to the existing Pandora, Sirius, etc. already on the chip, not requiring a new chip.

http://www.smsc.com/Products/Wireless_Audio/JukeBlox_Wi-Fi_Technology
Frontier Silicon's press release about adding Spotify to its existing WiFi chip.

http://www.frontier-silicon.com/spotify-chooses-frontier-silicon-support-launch-spotify-connect#.Uk9y0_tlB-E
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Thanks to chicks for the interesting links! I know for sure that my Yamaha RX-A1010 will not be Spotify Connect compatible, but it will be good to see how Sonos reacts to this further step in the evolution of streamed music.
Revo have announced Spotify Connect support
revo.co.uk/shop/superconnect
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http://gigaom.com/2013/10/14/sonos-releases-new-200-speaker-ceo-dismisses-spotifys-connect-speaker-partnerships/

Then there are all those consumer electronics manufacturers from Bang & Olufsen to Pioneer to Yamaha that recently teamed up with Spotify to announce a new initiative called Spotify Connect that will bring Spotify playback capabilities directly to speakers of participating hardware vendors.

Asked about the Spotify initiative, MacFarlane told me: “They asked us to participate, and we didn’t.” He went on to argue that it made little sense to tie speaker systems to the brand of a single music service, joking that stores like Best Buy shouldn’t have separate aisles for Pandora speakers and Spotify speakers.


I do agree with that sentiment. Maybe Spotify is expecting in return for having something be "Spotify Connect enabled" to have it be shown prominently? Who knows.

Although I like this bit:
So what’s next for Sonos? MacFarlane was vague when asked about new products, but he told me a bit about how the company plans to make its existing products better. Music services will soon be able to add functionality to their apps that will let users beam music directly to Sonos speakers. This means that users won’t need to fire up the Sonos app anymore to launch their favorite radio station or playlist from the cloud. Instead, they will be able to simply press a “play on Sonos” button within the app of their favorite service, and launch music playback on their Sonos system. Think of it like Chromecast, but for your music.

MacFarlane told me that Sonos intends to make this functionality available on both iOS and Android. He wasn’t quite ready to share a timeline for the full launch of “play on Sonos,” but he revealed that Sonos quietly launched the feature in China earlier this year, where users of QQ’s audio streams can already make use of it. This means it’s only a question of time before it will also be available to users of western music services.