I tuned in to SomaFM’s Groove Salad streaming channel this morning for the first time in a while and a lengthy ad played through my Sonos system before the music started, mid-song. It wasn’t an ad from SomaFM, they’re an ad-free listener-supported service. I donate to them periodically. Sonos apparently wants money for connecting me to freely available content I’m already paying SomaFM for (through donations), which is infuriating.
I switched my connection to SomaFM to go through “Sonos Radio”, back when Sonos introduced their Radio service, because that way I at least got (a single) cover art image for the station, rather than a generic gray square. Previously, I had set up streaming to several of SomaFM’s channels through the Sonos app on my Mac (because Sonos doesn’t allow this functionality on iOS for some reason), by adding the URLs directly. Except, they end up as TuneIn “stations” rather than direct URLs. This is also infuriating - is Sonos really not capable of storing a URL on their own, without involving a third party service? And this path gets no cover art and has no ability to add your own (if you have a dozen channels on the same service, locating the right one is annoying).
- So, why is Sonos sticking their own ads in front of freely-available listener-supported content? (And any answer involving “Sonos gives SomaFM a fraction of the ad revenue” is missing the point that I already contribute to SomaFM directly - I give them money specifically so that they won’t have to have ads - and you’re adding an ad into the equation.)
- And, why can’t I add a streaming channel directly with a URL and not have it loop through some third party like TuneIn?
- And why can’t I add URLs in the Sonos app on my iPhone or iPad?
- And why can’t I at least set a cover image to use for a given user-entered URL?
On this last one in particular, it’d be nice if Sonos could pick up the station art directly, but I’m happy to go to the extra effort of downloading it from the streaming service and pasting it into the Sonos app myself, if Sonos would let me. I have a bunch of password-protected subscription-only streaming URLs that I’ve pasted into the Sonos app on my Mac, and they all show with identical generic gray artwork - makes locating the desired station in a hurry needlessly difficult.
Okay, one last thing while I’m at it: dear Sonos, will you please stop putting up giant buttons on the settings page urging me to add a damn voice assistant? I’m never going to add Alexa or Google Home. If you some day work a deal to get Siri on my Arc, then we’ll talk (no, she’s not as clueful, but I trust her in my living room, and I don’t trust Amazon or Google to be listening 24/7). But you keep putting up this giant “Add a voice assistant (it’s only 10 minutes!)” button and I keep dismissing it, and you keep putting it up again - please stop.