AirPlay

  • 1 September 2010
  • 209 replies
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Userlevel 2
Please add support for Apple's AirPlay.

AirPlay

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209 replies

Userlevel 2
There was a thread on this before Airplay was even properly released. Now that I am using apples airplay every day practically, and it is clearly stable and really useful, please sonos consider adding in airplay functionality to future zonplayers. I realise it will be a hardware issue and therefore very unlikely to be available on current zone players.

It could only add to the functionality, and would make me use sonos more, not less.

Pretty please!
Userlevel 2
Please, please support Airplay. This would be a simple solution for the missing audiobook features. Simple navigation and itunes bookmarks!
Will you please enable Sonos to be controlled by AirPlay so that I can wirelessly stream iPhone, iPod, iPad content to the Sonos? That would be a lot more convenient then the dock connector. Thanks!
I'm wondering if AirPlay "compatibility" is just about software or if it requires a special chip.

If it is "just" software, wouldn't it theoretically be possible to update the software to use any ZoneGroup as a target of an AirPlay stream.

If it does require a chip, then "we're stuffed" (and so is SqueezeBox) in the sense that I guess it would require a special bridge to act as a "receiver" for AirPlay (which would be similar to the AirTunes-to-AudioIn-on-Sonos, solution except for the fact that this would be an all digital solution).
Badge +1
+1

I think Airplay compatibility would be great.
Userlevel 2
haywood floyd... well said, my big thing is I still use itunes to manage my music, which, let's face it, is better than Sonos Desktop. When I add tunes, artwork, change track names etc. etc. in itunes, it's a drag to have to do the same in the Sonos folder. I bought this thing called Chronosync to synchronise the folders, but it's fraught with problems. (probably because the Sonos folder is on my NAS drive- the Apple Time Capsule)

Quite simply, I just want to be able to stream music from itunes to my wonderful Sonos system.

I hope it can happen soon... I hope Sonos ditch the fear and get with it. Their track record suggests they usually do....

S
Userlevel 2
This thread was a good read for its entertainment value alone. :)

My $0.02...

Based on what I know of air-play, I'm going to assume that being an air-play "receiver" requires some additional hardware not in current sonos players...and more it requires licensed air-play specific hardware / chip. (I don't know this for sure however).

If this is indeed the case, I would hope that sonos does NOT make this an integrated feature in new zone players, just from a cost perspective.

On the other hand.... for the most part adding an AirPort Express receiver to the line-in of any zone player is a good solution, but it's not quite as flexible a solution as might be required.

For example, if I have an airport express receiver hanging off the ZP in my kitchen, and my son has a friend over who wants to play his iPod music in his bedroom sonos speakers, he could not do so without also including the kitchen in the zone. (Of course, one could add an airport express to EACH of the zone-players.....but that's not exactly a cost-effective solution).

So, I could see value in integrating "AirPlay" support in updated versions of two specific products :

Sonos Wireless Doc
Sonos ZoneBridge

This way, if you want to add "integrated" AirPlay support into your Sonos system, you would need to add at least one those two devices. This would of course require the ZoneBridge to in effect be a slectable audio source for AirPlay only.

I see this as the most "balanced" way (in terms of cost vs. flexibility) way to add "integrated" AirPlay support to Sonos.
Userlevel 2
Quite simply, I just want to be able to stream music from itunes to my wonderful Sonos system.

You realize you can do this now, correct? (By adding an AirPort Express unit to the line-in on one of your zone players?)
For example, if I have an airport express receiver hanging off the ZP in my kitchen, and my son has a friend over who wants to play his iPod music in his bedroom sonos speakers, he could not do so without also including the kitchen in the zone.
Errr.... not so. The Line-In on any ZonePlayer can be played on any zone(s).

The ZP to which the external device is physically connected doesn't have to be included in the zone group.
Userlevel 2
Errr.... not so. ....The ZP to which the external device is physically connected doesn't have to be included in the zone group.

Well well...I learn something new every day! 🙂 I never tried that...just assumed...incorrectly!

In that case, the only real benefit for "integrating" AirPlay receiver capability that I can tell is for quality (reducing analog / digital conversions).

And well...I'm not sure if it's really worth it at that point.

It still might be worth considering adding air-play functionality to the Dock if only from a marketing standpoint...just to appease the i crowd. This would add value to the dock hardware, and becomes "one stop shop" for adding "i device support" to Sonos. You would now have an option with i Devices:

1) Control music with sonos controller and enjoy "stable" connection with i Device docked and charging
or
2) Push music with i Device software and be able to roam with the i Device (with stability limitations based on range to the dock)...
When I add tunes, artwork, change track names etc. etc. in itunes, it's a drag to have to do the same in the Sonos folder.

Welcome to the forum.

Why not configure iTunes to store directly on the NAS? I don't use iTunes (other than as required to keep my iTouch up to date), but that seems as it would avoid the double entry.
Userlevel 2
Throwing my voice in to include AirPlay on the Sonos system. Yes please!
While I would like to see this non-critical (IMO) feature added to Sonos, given there's a simple Apple add-on to get this functionality, I see little urgency in developing AirPlay within Sonos unless it can be accomplished easily and cheaply.

One or several $99US Apple AirPort Express units will suffice very nicely (your std wireless coverage needs may vary).

If Sonos can develop AirPlay capability via a software/firmware solution within the current crop of ZonePlayers, it should be a nice add-on.

If it requires a licensing payout to Apple (highly likely), then corporate economics will be a strong secondary &/or limiting factor. This is for Sonos to determine - not us users - no matter how much we 'need' this feature.

If it requires a physical chip or HW redesign (possible), then any current ZP will be SOL. Designing AirPlay capabilities into future ZPs becomes less of a sure thing given the ease of hooking up an AirPort Express into the line-in of any ZP. For my situation, I'm not buying another ZP at $400-$500+ just to occasionally stream marginal quality iDevice audio when there's a cheap & easy $99 solution already out there.

I'm also not sure what incremental consumer costs will be passed on if a new ZP is developed w/AirPlay capabilities. How many folks (of the total Sonos purchasers) would truly value the increase? How many may be forced into paying a (currently unknown) premium for a feature they do not value?

Creating a separate AirPlay-enabled ZP could happen, but does Sonos want to differentiate between ZP types for those who 'require' an embedded AirPlay solution?

I'm about to spring for an AirPort Express. It's a simple, inexpensive and elegant solution for now. I do not foresee needing a second unit to cover my household. Time will tell. As it is, none of my current iDevices are recent enough to enable AirPlay (though there will be several rather soon).

Bottom Line
- You can wait for an undetermined amount of time and potential cost for a Sonos produced solution, or you can get an Apple AirPort Express for $99 now and immediately solve your perceived needs.
*** As a bonus, the AirPort Express can travel with you and create a wireless zone from a wired connection.

Best of Luck

I'm also not sure what incremental consumer costs will be passed on if a new ZP is developed w/AirPlay capabilities. How many folks (of the total Sonos purchasers) would truly value the increase? How many may be forced into paying a (currently unknown) premium for a feature they do not value?


This is a key point. Apparently at one point Apple used to charge a licence fee of 10% of product list price for the right to include an Apple dock on it. I have no idea what the fee for Airplay is, but I suspect it is significant as their aim is to convert Airplay into a multi-billion dollar licensing revenue stream.

Cheers,

Keith
Userlevel 2
This is a key point. Apparently at one point Apple used to charge a licence fee of 10% of product list price for the right to include an Apple dock on it. I have no idea what the fee for Airplay is, but I suspect it is significant as their aim is to convert Airplay into a multi-billion dollar licensing revenue stream.

Yup...I think the only reasonable possibility is adding AirPlay to a future version of the Dock....and it's more for marketing IMO (Sonos supports AirPlay") than any true benefit.

It would likely drive up the cost of the dock...but then if the iDevice users want it...they have to pay for it.
Userlevel 2
Hi Sonos and Sonos Users -
Let me start with my setup and why I bought Sonos speakers. I wanted to be able to play music without having to have my computer turned on. Being able to have two types of music playing in two areas is nice, but not really what I wanted it for. I wanted a wireless speaker solution that wasn't dependent on my iTunes being on. That aspect of it is great. However, my wife uses iTunes on the computer to play music, and doesn't like the interface of the Sonos Player (i don't blame her). So in order for her to listen to music, she has to go to the sonos control panel and change the input to Line In so that the output of iTunes and the computer goes to the sonos speakers. This, right there, negates the whole point of having Sonos. It was supposed to make everything easier, and as soon as I use my iPhone or iPad to play some music, it switches it away from the Line in and she has to do it all over again, unless I remember to switch it back. So, one request would be to have iTunes somehow be able to speak to Sonos and see it as a device, the way it sees the Airport Express as a device.

But another feature I would very much like to see is the ability to play music that exists on my iPhone or iPad through the Sonos system - through Airplay. I don't want to have to connect a cable from my airport express to my other sonos speaker to be able to do this. All this cables are the reason I wanted to have Sonos in the first place! To get RID of all the wires. I sync my iPhone and iPad at the office, so I have different music on them than I have in my library at home.

There has to be a solution for all this. If someone has a suggestion for how to make all this clevr technology work together the way I want, I'm all ears (or in this case, all eyes).

thanks in advance.

Charles.
If you haven't already, read through this slightly long thread: http://forums.sonos.com/showthread.php?t=17835

It will attempt to clarify & answer many of your questions/issues.

Spoiler Alert: You may not like the current set of 'answers'. Either way, they are what they are...

Best of Luck
But another feature I would very much like to see is the ability to play music that exists on my iPhone or iPad through the Sonos systemThis is precisely the purpose of the WD100 Wireless Dock (the iPad needs an extender cable as it doesn't physically fit the dock).
Userlevel 2
So, one request would be to have iTunes somehow be able to speak to Sonos and see it as a device, the way it sees the Airport Express as a device.

This is more up to Apple than it is Sonos. Sonos Zone Players can be used a industry standard DLNA renderers. So for example, you could use Windows7 "play to" feature in Windows Media Player, and choose a zone-player to play to. There are also some smart phones out now that can play to DLNA devices, and they can also play to sonos zone players wirelessly with no extra hardware.

In other words, Sonos zone players DO expose themselves so that any device that wants to can play "to" a zone player. The player must support DLNA, which is an industry standard.

So what you should really do, is be lobbying Apple to support DLNA in their devices / software.

But another feature I would very much like to see is the ability to play music that exists on my iPhone or iPad through the Sonos system - through Airplay. I don't want to have to connect a cable from my airport express to my other sonos speaker to be able to do this.


Personally, I don't see what the real issue is here. You can connect a single Airport Express into any zone player, and then send that line-in to any zone player. Yes, you need ONE extra device (airport Express), and one extra wire (line from Airport Express to Zone player), to stream iDevice output wirelessly to ANY sonos zone player... but I don't see that as a big deal in order to get the functionality you want.

Having said that, as above, I do think that in a future version of the iPod Dock, Sonos should integrate an AirPlay receiver (and charge more for it.).
Userlevel 2
I also want to vote for the integration of Airplay to Sonos.

I bought a Sonos ZP120, assuming that I could play directly from my iTunes-library on my iPad. Now I come to the conclusion that when I want to play my local music collection without having my PC on, I have to buy a NAS also.
That's a bit of a disappointment for me.

To connect an Airport Express to the line-in is no option for me because I have a CD-player on the line-in of my (one and only) ZP120.

And to use an iPod Dock with extension cable to iPad.. Well, to have my iPad wired up is not why I bought my iPad. :rolleyes: 😃
Userlevel 1
Instead of "assuming" perhaps you should have done some basic research before spending your money? You can't blame Sonos for your erroneous assumptions.
Userlevel 2
Well I got my wish. Airplay integration has left me wanting nothing more of my Sonos. The quality has been flawless. Since the update I have not dropped a second of music. I found that even internet radio stations play better (larger buffer in iTunes?).

It's the added functionality of iTunes I love. Genius, ratings, streaming from all my Apple devices (beyond what I could have imagined!), no more updating, and the list goes on...

Friends walk in and open the remote app on THEIR phone and request and vote on the iTunes DJ, or they stream music from their device. This is a huge leap in functionality! I have iTunes stream to my Apple TV and the album art is on the screen as music plays throughout the house.

Let Apple do what they do best....functionality!

Couldn't have hoped for better. So far NO downside for me.

Happy Sonos customer,

Kev
Userlevel 2
but could the app stream to Sonos aswell?

Tried to add a new shared folder with the IP-address of my iPad but Sonos can not access, allthough I have the SongExporter activated. Might work on another port???

But if it is possible for SongExporter to stream music from an iPad, it should be easy to include in the Sonos iPad app aswell...
Userlevel 4
Badge +14
https://github.com/albertz/shairport

People have finally cracked open the encryption key used for receiving audio from an airplay stream.

You would probably be in a lot of trouble if you implement this in a commercial product, but if Sonos would implement the functionality, and let the user itself enter the encryption key, shouldn't that prevent any sue attempts from Apple?

Suggestion here (in the comments):
http://rogueamoeba.com/utm/2011/04/26/airfoil-works-great-with-third-party-airplay-devices/

This would actually open up for exposing every "zone" as a playable airplay device, without any hardware requirements.
Userlevel 1
You would probably be in a lot of trouble if you implement this in a commercial product, but if Sonos would implement the functionality, and let the user itself enter the encryption key, shouldn't that prevent any sue attempts from Apple?

Dude, this is the company that sue because someone else's product looks a little bit like one of theirs, of course it won't stop Apple from suing and I expect they'd actually have a reasonable case in this instance.