AirPlay

  • 1 September 2010
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209 replies


I don't disagree with the bulk of what you're saying here regarding wifi limitations/problems, but your point could honestly be made regarding SonosNet as well


Actually that was the point I made. Go back and check. For instance, I said:

The point is regardless of wireless technology, streaming audio from a portable, moving handheld device across wireless is prone to reliability problems.


and

It would be an issue for ANY portable device which streams across ANY wireless, including Sonosnet.


I agree that whilst Sonosnet is more robust than normal wifi, neither is perfect. As you say there are many occasions where people have problems even with Sonosnet and that's with fixed, mains powered devices which offer far more reliability and stability than a battery-powered mobile device.

The test results above are unusually good IMO, and certainly are not reflective of the experience most users should expect. There are many people who struggle to get a good wifi signal in the adjacent room.

My point was not that Sonosnet was better than wifi (even though it is).

My point is that streaming from a mobile device with limited battery power and a very high chance that the device will be moving around randomly is going to present reliability issues to many users. I can see it's uses (watching a movie on an iPad and wanting to push the audio to the main speakers), but I really cannot see people doing this all the time, if nothing more than that on average you'll not get more than an hour or so of music fro a typical iDevice before the battery dies. Bear in mind many complain about the battery life of the iPod using the iCR as a controller, and that uses far less power than continuous streaming.

Given this type of usage and the current specification of what AirPlay currently proposes to offer, an AE or similar plugged into a ZP line in pretty much nails all of the functionality required. I really don't see any significant reason for Sonos to create a box which wouldn't do much more than what a 3rd-party box.

it's been stated numerous times that wired is preferable, and depending on your locale and it's signal clutter, may be your only option.


And that is also my point: the dock largely eliminates this first wired hop (from the iPod to the system) and as this is the one which is most likely to fail due to the device battery and mobility, it should be far more reliable than someone streaming from an untethered iDevice, and it can be used for extended periods because battery life isn't an issue. Of course this assumes that the user can find a location for the WD100 which is within range of Sonosnet, but that's a pretty reasonable assumption.

The reality is I do see there is a need for both. I actually think the two are complementary. There will be circumstances where both will be useful facilities. Although there is overlap, neither solution completely negates the need for the other. However, a combination of WD100 and a third-party Airplay box plugged into a ZP line-in probably does fulfil all functional requirements (notwithstanding individual aesthetic views on whether this is "highly integrated" or not).

As far as the dock being more useful, I think that depends on the end user's goals and desires. I personally would like both options, charging while playing is handy, but so is being untethered.


I fully agree.

You should bear in mind many of my posts on this subject have been directed at someone who refers to the refers to the WD100 as a "ridiculous piece", and who is prepared to make fairly nonsensical claims to support his argument (For example, he claims people would rather plug their iPod into a 3rd-party charging dock to charge and use Airplay to stream than plug it into a WD100).

Unlike awmawm I actually think people will use both, and the combination of a WD100 and Airplay with a 3rd-party (or maybe a future Sonos branded) line-in device will satisfy all requirements. This gives people both push support via Airplay or a docked iPod, as well as pull support via a docked iPod in conjunction with the existing ability to stream directly from your iTunes library independently of any iDevice.

Cheers,

Keith
Userlevel 2
Obviously, the WD100 is a dock and you want pocket wireless connectivity. Other than that, what functionality does the WS100 lack -- compared to Airplay?

iPad support
I am not arguing the functionality of the WD100, I am talking about the lack of AirPlay support and that a line-in solution lacks integrated functionality.

I'm missing your point. The WD100 uses the iDevice USB interface, it is not a simple line-in device.

Obviously, the WD100 is a dock and you want pocket wireless connectivity. Other than that, what functionality does the WS100 lack -- compared to Airplay?

---

Your wireless installation should be the poster for Airport. None of the Airport installations that I've seen work as well as yours.
Userlevel 2
awmawm,

wow, that's impressive. Honestly I'm not a big fan of the Time Machine/Capsule myself for multiple unrelated reasons, but it sounds like your capsule's wifi is running circles around my Linksys and Netgear wireless routers. Sounds like I may need to get some of Apple's wifi stuff.

Majik,

I don't disagree with the bulk of what you're saying here regarding wifi limitations/problems, but your point could honestly be made regarding SonosNet as well, there are examples within this forum where people have problems with wireless Sonos setups, it's been stated numerous times that wired is preferable, and depending on your locale and it's signal clutter, may be your only option. And yes I understand that it's vastly superior to standard wifi. As far as the dock being more useful, I think that depends on the end user's goals and desires. I personally would like both options, charging while playing is handy, but so is being untethered.
You really are missing the point.

I can easily set up a test similar to what you have done and it will work fine. I can also easily set one up that will fail badly.

The reality is wireless technology is fragile by nature. If you are lucky enough to have a setup that works then you should be happy, but extrapolating this to others simply doesn't work. You only have to read the forums of some other streaming systems that are based on wifi to see the problems.

So unless you can personally guarantee it will work flawlessly for everyone, or can point me to where Apple claim it will (and back that up with compensation for those it doesn't work for) the you are blowing hot air.

There are also many posts on this forum from people who have had problems with streaming feed because they were from a wireless laptop or other similar wireless device. Whilst an individual setup may work, the incidence of problems with wireless streaming is significant. To ignore this is to stick your head in the sand.

There is one main reason the WD100 will always provide a much more reliable and robust capability than an wireless Airplay device: the iPod is hardwired to the system. this increases the robustness by an order of magnitude or more.

The weak link in the Airplay scenario: you have a wifi connection to the streaming source. This is compounded by the fact that the device is likely to be moving around the house, and that it has limited power. It may work, it may not, YMMV but Apple (nor Denon, etc.) will take any responsibility when it doesn't.

Even if it works for a bit, given the battery issue, it's not something that people will be able to do for extended periods without resorting to a dock.

Even if it sounds like a "cool" idea, it's actually OK for the odd use, but for most people a Dock would be far more useful

I'm going to ignore your statements about me "not being an AirPlay Engineer" as they are ridiculous in the extreme. The reality is the nature of wireless is that wifi networks are fragile. What can Apple do about this when they really only have the ability to tweak the software in the iDevice? Not much (do I need to mention Apple's track record with Wireless)

As for your statements about future functionality, I will will turn the tables on you by saying "Where in Apple's roadmap does it say that this functionality will be available?".

Unless you are a Product Manager for Airplay, you haven't a clue what functionality is going to be released down the line. Based on what we do know about AirPlay today, using an AE or similar AirPlay enabled device into line in on a Zoneplayer fulfils 99% or more of the requirement to support Airplay functionality.

Personally I think Airplay is a gimmick. When people realise the limitations of using the iDevice in this mode due to the drain on battery and wireless range/mobility limitations, I think people will revert to using wired docks more often than not.

UPnP streaming from mobile devices has been reality for a few years now and it works well. It hasn't caught on because, although it sounds sexy, it's not that practical or useful.

Keith
Userlevel 2
To all you "engineers" out there who claim that WiFi is problematic for music feeds, I did some stress testing over the last 24 hours:

In our household, our iTunes library sits on a cable-connected NAS and we therefore have not had any real-life experience with WiFi music streaming. Hence, to test whether we would have any issue with WiFi streaming, I took one of our MacBooks and took it to a remote corner of the house and connected it with WiFi to a TimeCapusule which acts as access point for all our wireless devices (3 MacBooks, 3 iphones, 2 iPod Touches and an iPad, not even counting the devices of teenagers visiting our kids). I placed the MacBook around 150 ft away from the TimeCapsule and the signal had to travel through one ceiling and four walls. I then played seven different playlists from iTunes on the MacBook in seven different Sonos zones. At the same time, I ran a Netflix movie on the iPad and instructed the kids to surf on the other iDevices. No problem with feeding seven separate feeds through WiFi to seven different Sonos zones... I then connected another MacBook to the TimeCapsule and started a Netflix movie. Still no problem. To put further stress on the setup, I started Hulu movie on the MacBook feeding the seven simultaneously playing iTunes playlists to Sonos. Still no problem. I then manually started a backup to the TimeCapsule from the MacBook running the iTunes feeds. Still no problem. I turned the microwave on which sat between the MacBook and the TimeCapsule. Still no problem. Lastly, while the Hulu movie and the seven iTunes playlists were feeding Sonos, I opened another Safari window to start a Netflix movie. Only at that point did one of the seven Sonos zones start to stutter - whether this was caused by the WiFi connection or stress on the MacBook (2 movies running, seven iTunes feeds to Sonos plus backup to TimeCapsule...) is not really relevant at this point. What matters is that a properly set up WiFi network can easily stream multiple music feeds to Sonos over WiFi while the network is highly taxed by other uses.
You are not an AirPlay engineer, yet you seem to know its flaws just because it uses standard WiFi. You have no clue what the AirPlay chip and software can achieve on a WiFi network, yet you determine without such knowledge that it is flawed.


No, I know because I'm an Engineer and I know the limits of what is achievable due to the laws of Physics.

You seem to think these fundamental laws that govern the universe don't seem to apply in Apple's case.

The reality is I do have an idea... a very good idea. Unfortunately for you facts don't suit your argument so you construct reasons to ignore them. Those reasons aren't based on logic or fact. They are based wholly on the fact that you really don't have a good argument and don't want to admit that you might be wrong.

I will point out that I'm in favour of Sonos supporting Airplay, NOT because it is special or unique or innovative or even because it's particularly practical (when you consider you can achieve 99% of the capability by plugging an Airport into Line in).

It is none of those. Basically Airplay is a technology licensing deal to make Apple more money by providing controlled access to third parties to their platform and customer base.

I'm in favour because Apple have a captive market they can market to who are gullible enough that they believe every word Steve Jobs utters, and who will believe that Airplay is the best thing since sliced bread and will argue for it in the face of any amount of evidence.

However deluded or misled they are, there's a big market there, and one that Sonos would be stupid to ignore

It seems that some of them also believe that Apple has somehow found a way to break the laws of Physics!!!!

This is my last response to you because you behave like the typical "know it all" engineers who tell consumers what they need.


Most Engineers tell people what is possible and what is not possible. Most reasonable people accept that. There are some narrow-minded people who think they know better and who brand Engineers as being awkward or "know it all" when they spell out truths that they don't want to hear. It's really their own personality and lack of clue that's the problem.

I will point out that most of the top technology companies have become that way because they have been driven or led by Engineers: Microsoft, Google, HP and even your precious Apple!

As Dilbert said to the Sales guy who wanted to become an Engineer:

"All you need is a time machine and a brain with twice as many folds as your current model".

Keith
Userlevel 2
I'll try it one more time, because you seem to be ignoring it.

AIRPLAY IS BASED ON STANDARD WIFI!!

Heck, it seems you'll need it a few more times before you acknowledge it:

AIRPLAY IS BASED ON STANDARD WIFI!!

THE WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY BEHIND AIRPLAY IS WIFI

STANDARD WIFI IS USED BY AIRPLAY

Get it yet?

No seriously, DO YOU GET THIS? Do you REALLY get this?



Actually it does!

Standard wifi offers less coverage and less reliability than Sonosnet. As it's STANDARD wifi, and users could be using access points from just about any manufacturer, not just Apple, there's very little Apple can do in the device at each end to change how standard wifi works.

I'll point out that no-one except you said "unreliable", what we said was "less robust, less coverage".

However, that's not the point. The point is regardless of wireless technology, streaming audio from a portable, moving handheld device across wireless is prone to reliability problems.

The point you seem to be missing is that is ALL wireless technology has restrictions. You will only be able to carry your iPad a certain distance before your network connection starts slowing to a crawl or disconnects completely. This will be the case with Sonosnet too, but due to the distributed nature of Sonosnet, most installations have far better Sonosnet coverage than wifi. For instance there are areas of my house where I simply don't get reliable wifi, but I can get a Sonosnet connection wherever I am in the house or garden.

In practice this means some users of Airport may find they can't use it in some rooms of their house or, if they are already using their wifi laptop to download something, it may cause the music to drop out.

The biggest issue is that the iDevice which is the source is portable. That means people will carry it around wit them. This is a problem for wireless technology (including Sonosnet). What happens when you move to the kitchen to use the microwave and the signal drops? The answer is the music will stop.

How do I know this? because I am an Engineer and I know the laws of Physics which basically say it is impossible to guarantee a reliable system under such circumstances.. It would be an issue for ANY portable device which streams across ANY wireless, including Sonosnet.

Basically the whole concept of pushing audio streams from a handheld device has flaws.

In a Sonos context, docking the iDevice and then controlling it from a Sonos controller makes much more sense as this completely eliminates the possibility that the source could be moving around into areas of poor coverage. Wireless coverage to a fixed device (like a dock) is far, far, far, more reliable than to a moving device. The laws of Physic dictate that.



If there were money in it for them, then yes. As with any wireless technology, manufacturers don't guarantee it will work. They would blame any problems on your wirless network, just as Logitech do with their products.

It's the same with UPnP (which already does what Airplay does, but with over 8,000 compatible products already on the market). If you use it from a wireless device, your success rate will vary.



The whole point of Airplay is to be able to push audio content FROM the iPod to the audio system. When you do this you are running the iPod music player with all of the art, metadata, etc. Why on earth would you need to have this pushed to Sonos as well? You primary controller is the iPod/iPad in your hand, and that's already telling you everything. If you wanted to pull content from an iPod, why wouldn't you want to dock it?

Keep scraping the bottom of that barrel, there may actually be a meaningful argument in there somewhere...


Keith




You are not an AirPlay engineer, yet you seem to know its flaws just because it uses standard WiFi. You have no clue what the AirPlay chip and software can achieve on a WiFi network, yet you determine without such knowledge that it is flawed.

I, and millions of users, do not want to physically dock our iDevices because we want wireless freedom. Will the sound through an AirPlay feed be as perfect as in a dedicated media room with equipment costing $10,000+. No, but that is not the intention. Whenever I want a perfect audiophile experience, I go into our media room, close the door and play lossless files on my Denon receiver with properly matched high-definition speakers. Sonos is great but it is not meant for audiophiles and it is therefore highly unlikely that a feed through AirPlay would degrade the Sonos experience as we already enjoy it today (including highly compressed music from Rhapsody, Napster and thousands of radio stations - they sound great on Sonos but terrible on a high-definition setup).

This is my last response to you because you behave like the typical "know it all" engineers who tell consumers what they need.
Userlevel 2
Wait for the WD100 reviews and user comments. The WD100 offers much more functionality than a simple wireless replacement for the standard iPod line level connection.

I am not arguing the functionality of the WD100, I am talking about the lack of AirPlay support and that a line-in solution lacks integrated functionality.
Denon actually can feed multiple rooms but that is not my point. The issue is whether you can add a reliable FEED into SonosNet, Denon, Marantz, etc. with AirPlay. Just because AirPlay uses standard WiFi as its core technology does not automatically mean that a music FEED is inferior.


Actually it does!

Standard wifi offers less coverage and less reliability than Sonosnet. As it's STANDARD wifi, and users could be using access points from just about any manufacturer, not just Apple, there's very little Apple can do in the device at each end to change how standard wifi works.

I'll point out that no-one except you said "unreliable", what we said was "less robust, less coverage".

However, that's not the point. The point is regardless of wireless technology, streaming audio from a portable, moving handheld device across wireless is prone to reliability problems.

The point you seem to be missing is that is ALL wireless technology has restrictions. You will only be able to carry your iPad a certain distance before your network connection starts slowing to a crawl or disconnects completely. This will be the case with Sonosnet too, but due to the distributed nature of Sonosnet, most installations have far better Sonosnet coverage than wifi. For instance there are areas of my house where I simply don't get reliable wifi, but I can get a Sonosnet connection wherever I am in the house or garden.

In practice this means some users of Airport may find they can't use it in some rooms of their house or, if they are already using their wifi laptop to download something, it may cause the music to drop out.

The biggest issue is that the iDevice which is the source is portable. That means people will carry it around wit them. This is a problem for wireless technology (including Sonosnet). What happens when you move to the kitchen to use the microwave and the signal drops? The answer is the music will stop.

How do I know this? because I am an Engineer and I know the laws of Physics which basically say it is impossible to guarantee a reliable system under such circumstances.. It would be an issue for ANY portable device which streams across ANY wireless, including Sonosnet.

Basically the whole concept of pushing audio streams from a handheld device has flaws.

In a Sonos context, docking the iDevice and then controlling it from a Sonos controller makes much more sense as this completely eliminates the possibility that the source could be moving around into areas of poor coverage. Wireless coverage to a fixed device (like a dock) is far, far, far, more reliable than to a moving device. The laws of Physic dictate that.

And, again, do you think Denon and Marantz would support AirPlay if it were unreliable?


If there were money in it for them, then yes. As with any wireless technology, manufacturers don't guarantee it will work. They would blame any problems on your wirless network, just as Logitech do with their products.

It's the same with UPnP (which already does what Airplay does, but with over 8,000 compatible products already on the market). If you use it from a wireless device, your success rate will vary.

Have you used Sonos with line-in sources? Everything needs to be controlled on the source device (except zones and volume/EQ), i.e. you need to use to separate devices or apps to work such setup. With a "Sonos AirPlay box", you would be able to do the same as what Sonos offers with the "wireless" dock but truly wirelessly...


The whole point of Airplay is to be able to push audio content FROM the iPod to the audio system. When you do this you are running the iPod music player with all of the art, metadata, etc. Why on earth would you need to have this pushed to Sonos as well? You primary controller is the iPod/iPad in your hand, and that's already telling you everything. If you wanted to pull content from an iPod, why wouldn't you want to dock it?

Keep scraping the bottom of that barrel, there may actually be a meaningful argument in there somewhere...

Keith
... a tightly integrated solution rather than a simple line-in source is the preferred approach. I hope Sonos will eventually, too...

Wait for the WD100 reviews and user comments. The WD100 offers much more functionality than a simple wireless replacement for the standard iPod line level connection.
Userlevel 2
Because the first link of the chain from your iPod/iPhone/iPad would always be wifi. The WD100 uses Sonosnet throughout and would be more robust because of it.



What you describe with these vendors are standalone speaker/amp systsms, not multi-room audio systems. It's not an appropriate comparison.

But if you must make the comparison, suppose the Denon system (for instance) does not include a CD player. Standalone CD players are readily available and easily connected to Denon amplifiers, but by your argument this is not "a highly integrated" solution.

How could Sonos "highly integrate" Airplay into their solution?

They could produce a new version of the Zoneplayers which include the airplay functionality. This would leave existing users like you out in the cold, and you would need to purchase a new zoneplayer to use it. You already said:



So we agree that this idea is not a good one.



So Sonos produce a separate box, which is a purely Airplay box. How is this substantially different from a Airport Express (or one of the other 3rd-party Airplay to line-in boxes which are no doubt going to hit the streets eventually)?

Ultimately about the ONLY thing they could do is make it so that it streamed across Sonosnet instead of requiring to be plugged into a line-in. The first hop would still be standard wifi. Unlike the WD100, it wouldn't be able to offer control, because Airplay is primarily a push system.I can't see any substantial advantages to having a Sonos logo on the little white box instead of an Apple one.

Cheers,

Keith


I try it one more time: I am not talking about multi-room distribution but the actual music FEED. Unless you know the technology behind AirPlay, there is no way for you to make a claim that FEEDING music to SonosNet, Denon, Marantz, etc. would be inferior.

Denon actually can feed multiple rooms but that is not my point. The issue is whether you can add a reliable FEED into SonosNet, Denon, Marantz, etc. with AirPlay. Just because AirPlay uses standard WiFi as its core technology does not automatically mean that a music FEED is inferior. What do you know about AirPlay technology and how it prioritizes and handles bandwidth? And, again, do you think Denon and Marantz would support AirPlay if it were unreliable?

I am perfectly happy to buy one "AirPlay box" from Sonos should they ever offer it. There is no need to replace all ZonePlayers.

Have you used Sonos with line-in sources? Everything needs to be controlled on the source device (except zones and volume/EQ), i.e. you need to use to separate devices or apps to work such setup. With a "Sonos AirPlay box", you would be able to do the same as what Sonos offers with the "wireless" dock but truly wirelessly...

Yes such "Sonos AirPlay box" would be fed through standard WiFi but with the embedded AirPlay chip, there is no proof at this point that the feed would be unreliable.

Even if AirPlay is primarily a push system (we will see what it actually can do beyond pushing data), a device (whether Sonos, Denon, etc.) gets much more information (such as track data, album work, playlists, etc.) than what can be provided through a line-in source.
Since you are apparently a technical expert, here is the question from a non-technical user: Where do you get the information from that FEEDING music through AirPlay to SonosNet is less robust (I am not arguing that multi-room synchronization by Sonos is outstanding, I am talking about the FEED through AirPlay). And if it is less robust, how do you explain that highly reputable companies like Denon and Marantz feel comfortable accepting FEEDS through AirPlay?

Because the first link of the chain from your iPod/iPhone/iPad would always be wifi. The WD100 uses Sonosnet throughout and would be more robust because of it.

Buying an Airport Express and plugging it into a ZonePlayer: That's a workaround that has already been discussed in this thread. I guess Denon, Marantz et al realize that a tightly integrated solution rather than a simple line-in source is the preferred approach. I hope Sonos will eventually, too...


What you describe with these vendors are standalone speaker/amp systsms, not multi-room audio systems. It's not an appropriate comparison.

But if you must make the comparison, suppose the Denon system (for instance) does not include a CD player. Standalone CD players are readily available and easily connected to Denon amplifiers, but by your argument this is not "a highly integrated" solution.

How could Sonos "highly integrate" Airplay into their solution?

They could produce a new version of the Zoneplayers which include the airplay functionality. This would leave existing users like you out in the cold, and you would need to purchase a new zoneplayer to use it. You already said:

You are kidding, right? Sonos would never require existing ZonePlayer owners to replace all their equipment


So we agree that this idea is not a good one.

As with Denon and others, I expect to pay an amount to get an "AirPlay box".


So Sonos produce a separate box, which is a purely Airplay box. How is this substantially different from a Airport Express (or one of the other 3rd-party Airplay to line-in boxes which are no doubt going to hit the streets eventually)?

Ultimately about the ONLY thing they could do is make it so that it streamed across Sonosnet instead of requiring to be plugged into a line-in. The first hop would still be standard wifi. Unlike the WD100, it wouldn't be able to offer control, because Airplay is primarily a push system.I can't see any substantial advantages to having a Sonos logo on the little white box instead of an Apple one.

Cheers,

Keith
Userlevel 2
From the specs. Airplay uses wifi. Sonosnet take wifi and makes it more robust.

Ergo, A solution based on Sonosnet instead of wifi is inherently more robust. It's as simple as that.

I get the impression you really don't understand how this stuff works at a technical level. That's fine as a user... in general you shouldn't have to. But it IS required if you intend to present meaningful arguments.



I didn't call you dumb, I called the argument dumb, which it is: comparing two broadly similar docking capabilities and then marking one down because it suffers from exactly the same restrictions as the other doesn't make sense.



Simple: buy a cheap Airplay-equipped Airport Express and plug it into the line in of a Zoneplayer. There's really no need for Sonos to produce a separate box for this when Apple already makes one.

Keith


Since you are apparently a technical expert, here is the question from a non-technical user: Where do you get the information from that FEEDING music through AirPlay to SonosNet is less robust (I am not arguing that multi-room synchronization by Sonos is outstanding, I am talking about the FEED through AirPlay). And if it is less robust, how do you explain that highly reputable companies like Denon and Marantz feel comfortable accepting FEEDS through AirPlay?

Buying an Airport Express and plugging it into a ZonePlayer: That's a workaround that has already been discussed in this thread. I guess Denon, Marantz et al realize that a tightly integrated solution rather than a simple line-in source is the preferred approach. I hope Sonos will eventually, too...
But you now imply that SonosNet is better than AirPlay because AirPlay relies on standard WiFi. Where do you get the information from that AirPlay is less robust? And even if it is, all an "AirPlay box" connected to Sonos would do is feeding sound.
Because the music needs to get off your ipod wirelessly for Airplay, it needs to go over wifi first. Other streaming devices like the Squeezebox show the limitations of standard wifi: Music isn't prioritized, and coverage is limited. Repeaters will improve coverage, but reduce bandwidth. Therefore, regular wifi is not well suited for streaming audio to more than a single room.

The devices that get firmware updates compatible with Airplay all seem to rely on a chip by a single company, the one Apple partnered with to design Airplay. Since Sonos doesn't use those chips, it is not likely that Sonos will be able to implement it in software.

The "Airplay Box" could be an Apple Airport Express hooked up to the line-in of the Zoneplayer. This will still be limited by the wifi it relies on. The only way to get music off an ipod without using wifi is via the dock connector, and that is where Sonos is going with the WD100.
But you now imply that SonosNet is better than AirPlay because AirPlay relies on standard WiFi. Where do you get the information from that AirPlay is less robust?

From the specs. Airplay uses wifi. Sonosnet take wifi and makes it more robust.

Ergo, A solution based on Sonosnet instead of wifi is inherently more robust. It's as simple as that.

I get the impression you really don't understand how this stuff works at a technical level. That's fine as a user... in general you shouldn't have to. But it IS required if you intend to present meaningful arguments.

I guess because you are a "moderator", you have the right to call new forum members dumb...


I didn't call you dumb, I called the argument dumb, which it is: comparing two broadly similar docking capabilities and then marking one down because it suffers from exactly the same restrictions as the other doesn't make sense.

Anyhow, IF the announced but unreleased "wireless" dock by Sonos had AirPlay connectivity built in, I could live with it even if I could not charge iPhones and IPods without removing the case.


Simple: buy a cheap Airplay-equipped Airport Express and plug it into the line in of a Zoneplayer. There's really no need for Sonos to produce a separate box for this when Apple already makes one.

Keith
Userlevel 2
Just sell me your Sonos, and buy some Airplay devices. I have no iPhone, iPod, or iPad, so Sonos is perfect for me!

I am happy with my existing Sonos system - find another seller 😉 But AirPlay compatibility would greatly enhance the experience, particularly with guests (which is a daily occurence with teenage kids in the household).
Userlevel 2
He didn't say Sonosnet was better than Airplay at all.

What he did suggest (and he is correct) is that Sonosnet is superior to standard wifi. In don't think there's any debate about this. Sonosnet is optimised for streaming and coverage whilst standard wifi is not. Because Sonosnet is superior, streaming across Sonosnet is normally superior to streaming across standard wifi.

However, this this principle understood: Airplay relies on standard wifi for streaming. Fundamentally this makes it a less robust solution.



You would rather have an iPod sitting in a chrarging cradle than, erm, an iPod sitting in a charging cradle ??!!?!

I'm sorry, but this is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard.

Because, in reality, most charging docks will not accept units with cases on. Most charging docks will not accept an iPad.

So, apart from the logo (and its functional superiority) the Sonos WD100 isn't that different than any other iPod dock.

But you seem to have decided you don't like the Sonos one. What is it you don't like: the Sonos logo? Or is it because real facts would completely destroy your argument?

Keith


But you now imply that SonosNet is better than AirPlay because AirPlay relies on standard WiFi. Where do you get the information from that AirPlay is less robust? And even if it is, all an "AirPlay box" connected to Sonos would do is feeding sound. Everything else, including perfect synchronization of music in multiple rooms, would be accomplished by SonosNet. Anyhow, the FEEDING portion of AirPlay seems to be robust enough that companies like Denon and Marantz put them into their receivers. BTW, I have a Denon receiver with WiFi streaming capability in my media room. We barely use the WiFi music streaming because the rest of the house is connected to ZonePlayers but when we do, there is never an issue with reliability.


I guess because you are a "moderator", you have the right to call new forum members dumb... Anyhow, before you call me dumb, read everything I write, including "as needed". You can stream music from an iPad without charging for hours (and still surf the internet for hours). And there are plenty of audio and charging cradles out there that accept typical case designs of 1-2 mm thickness. A friend of mine has a Geneva Lab sound system and it accepts iPhones and iPods from all her visitors with the cases on - that's how a proper dock should be designed.

Anyhow, IF the announced but unreleased "wireless" dock by Sonos had AirPlay connectivity built in, I could live with it even if I could not charge iPhones and IPods without removing the case.
Userlevel 5
Badge +8
You are kidding, right? Sonos would never require existing ZonePlayer owners to replace all their equipment. As with Denon and others, I expect to pay an amount to get an "AirPlay box". Where do you get the notion that Sonosnet is far superior to AirPlay? Let's see AirPlay in action first because we make that judgement. If AirPlay were that bad, do you think Denon and Marantz would include it in their equipment? I would rather have iPhones, IPods and IPads sitting in a charging cradle or on a cable as needed rather than having to rely on a "wireless" dock which does not accept iPhones and iPod Touches without removing most cases first (and a dock which ignores iPads completely).

Just sell me your Sonos, and buy some Airplay devices. I have no iPhone, iPod, or iPad, so Sonos is perfect for me!
Where do you get the notion that Sonosnet is far superior to AirPlay?

He didn't say Sonosnet was better than Airplay at all.

What he did suggest (and he is correct) is that Sonosnet is superior to standard wifi. In don't think there's any debate about this. Sonosnet is optimised for streaming and coverage whilst standard wifi is not. Because Sonosnet is superior, streaming across Sonosnet is normally superior to streaming across standard wifi.

However, this this principle understood: Airplay relies on standard wifi for streaming. Fundamentally this makes it a less robust solution.

I would rather have iPhones, IPods and IPads sitting in a charging cradle or on a cable as needed rather than having to rely on a "wireless" dock which does not accept iPhones and iPod Touches without removing most cases first


You would rather have an iPod sitting in a chrarging cradle than, erm, an iPod sitting in a charging cradle ??!!?!

I'm sorry, but this is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard.

Because, in reality, most charging docks will not accept units with cases on. Most charging docks will not accept an iPad.

So, apart from the logo (and its functional superiority) the Sonos WD100 isn't that different than any other iPod dock.

But you seem to have decided you don't like the Sonos one. What is it you don't like: the Sonos logo? Or is it because real facts would completely destroy your argument?

Keith
Userlevel 2
So would you be willing to exchange all your zone players for them to be Airplay compatible? Or would you pay for a Sonos "Airplay box"? How do you think streaming music over wifi compares to keeping everything on Sonosnet? How are you going to listen to music without emptying your battery?

You are kidding, right? Sonos would never require existing ZonePlayer owners to replace all their equipment. As with Denon and others, I expect to pay an amount to get an "AirPlay box". Where do you get the notion that Sonosnet is far superior to AirPlay? Let's see AirPlay in action first because we make that judgement. If AirPlay were that bad, do you think Denon and Marantz would include it in their equipment? I would rather have iPhones, IPods and IPads sitting in a charging cradle or on a cable as needed rather than having to rely on a "wireless" dock which does not accept iPhones and iPod Touches without removing most cases first (and a dock which ignores iPads completely).
AirPlay: +1

AirPlay is superior to this ridiculous piece of a Sonos "wireless" dock (Sonos, when I have to dock something, the whole thing is not truly wireless...). You have to take most cases off to use the dock and it will not work with iPads. Terrible design, limited functionality...

So would you be willing to exchange all your zone players for them to be Airplay compatible? Or would you pay for a Sonos "Airplay box"? How do you think streaming music over wifi compares to keeping everything on Sonosnet? How are you going to listen to music without emptying your battery?
Userlevel 2
RalphRotten,

If you moved or copied your iTunes library to a NAS drive, SONOS could fetch files directly from the NAS.


Yes that is true.. but reading all the posts about NAS has given me a headache...I would love to have one, but I am a networking newbie so I am taking small steps...Thanks! :D

Regards,
RR
Userlevel 2
+1 for airplay support (whether it can be firmware-introduced or built into a v2 build of the ipod/iphone dock)
Userlevel 2
AirPlay: +1

AirPlay is superior to this ridiculous piece of a Sonos "wireless" dock (Sonos, when I have to dock something, the whole thing is not truly wireless...). You have to take most cases off to use the dock and it will not work with iPads. Terrible design, limited functionality...