BBC & Tunein

  • 12 August 2019
  • 72 replies
  • 11242 views

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https://radiotoday.co.uk/2019/08/bbc-to-pull-all-radio-services-from-tunein-uk-platform

Implications for Sonos?

72 replies

Same issue as many. As of this morning I can no longer ask Alexa (via a Dot) to ‘Alexa, play BBC Radio 4 in Kitchen’. The kitchen being my Sonos Play 3. What it actually plays is ‘Four State Public Radio Pittsburgh’. I’ve put this post on the BBC Sounds page. I urge others to do so. BBC
Same issue as many. As of this morning I can no longer ask Alexa (via a Dot) to ‘Alexa, play BBC Radio 4 in Kitchen’. The kitchen being my Sonos Play 3. What it actually plays is ‘Four State Public Radio Pittsburgh’. I’ve put this post on the BBC Sounds page. I urge others to do so. BBC
Yeah I'm getting that one. It just isn't the same.....
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I can no longer command a BBC station onto my Sonos from Alexa.

Whether this is the fault of the Sonos skill, the tunein skill, or the bbc skill I'm not sure, but this change has been flagged for a month and despite all the negative feedback from users the BBC went ahead and Amazon/Tunein/Sonos have done nothing to mitigate the damage caused by the change.
I can no longer command a BBC station onto my Sonos from Alexa.

Whether this is the fault of the Sonos skill, the tunein skill, or the bbc skill I'm not sure, but this change has been flagged for a month and despite all the negative feedback from users the BBC went ahead and Amazon/Tunein/Sonos have done nothing to mitigate the damage caused by the change.

I doubt there is much anybody else can do.
FWIW I have found a way to use IFTTT to launch BBC Radio using Alexa. It is a rather limited workaround but is OK for my use case. Haven't got time to give details now but will post back later if anyone is interested.
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I can no longer command a BBC station onto my Sonos from Alexa.

Whether this is the fault of the Sonos skill, the tunein skill, or the bbc skill I'm not sure, but this change has been flagged for a month and despite all the negative feedback from users the BBC went ahead and Amazon/Tunein/Sonos have done nothing to mitigate the damage caused by the change.
I doubt there is much anybody else can do.
FWIW I have found a way to use IFTTT to launch BBC Radio using Alexa. It is a rather limited workaround but is OK for my use case. Haven't got time to give details now but will post back later if anyone is interested.

By all means
I was thinking of trying to use SmartThings as an intermediary but even if it were possible yopu would need a routine or "scene" for every station - its the voice to station mapping via alexa that is hard to get back.
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I can no longer command a BBC station onto my Sonos from Alexa.

Whether this is the fault of the Sonos skill, the tunein skill, or the bbc skill I'm not sure, but this change has been flagged for a month and despite all the negative feedback from users the BBC went ahead and Amazon/Tunein/Sonos have done nothing to mitigate the damage caused by the change.
I doubt there is much anybody else can do.
FWIW I have found a way to use IFTTT to launch BBC Radio using Alexa. It is a rather limited workaround but is OK for my use case. Haven't got time to give details now but will post back later if anyone is interested.


John B id be interested, i use ifttt for lighting etc, so id welcome your workaround
You could also tie it through HomeAssistant or somesuch. Personally I don't use the Alexa integration much
Yes - complete rubbish! I bought an echo show and echo dot to control my sonos system when sonos stopped supporting their hand held controllers. Now the whole set up is pointless. I can use BBC sounds to play the radio on the echo speaker but not link it to my sonos amplifiers and surround sound system (I have mainly the older sonos gadgets, as an early adopter). So now I have top of the range speakers that I can't listen to music via the radio on. Sonos tells me I can use the sonos controller app on my phone to still use Tunein - but they also told me less than 12 months ago to switch to using alexa to control my listening. What an absolute shambles and waste of money. I have complained via the BBC.
Yes - complete rubbish! I bought an echo show and echo dot to control my sonos system when sonos stopped supporting their hand held controllers. Now the whole set up is pointless. I can use BBC sounds to play the radio on the echo speaker but not link it to my sonos amplifiers and surround sound system (I have mainly the older sonos gadgets, as an early adopter). So now I have top of the range speakers that I can't listen to music via the radio on. Sonos tells me I can use the sonos controller app on my phone to still use Tunein - but they also told me less than 12 months ago to switch to using alexa to control my listening. What an absolute shambles and waste of money. I have complained via the BBC.
Nobody told you to switch to voice control. It was an extra option for control and has never done everything a controller could do. 'So now I have top of the range speakers that I can't listen to music via the radio on' is simply untrue.

I am annoyed at this change too, but hyperbole and factual inaccuracy don't help.
To use Alexa to play BBC radio on Sonos... (but please bear in mind my earlier comment that 'It is a rather limited workaround but is OK for my use case') You need an applet for every room-station combination, which is tolerable for me as I only listen to a couple of BBC stations in a couple of rooms.

  1. If you haven't used IFTTT before, download the IFTTT app and link your Sonos and Alexa accounts to it.
  2. Add any BBC radio stations to which you want to listen to your Sonos Favourites. I think this needs a desktop controller, because of the dog's breakfast that is 'My Sonos' etc nowadays.
  3. Create an IFTTT applet where the Alexa trigger is (for example) 'kitchen radio 6', and the Sonos action is 'Play a favourite'. Choose BBC Radio 6 Music' to play in room Kitchen.
  4. Make sure you tap the 'Finish' button to save the applet.
  5. To play BBC Radio 6 Music in the kitchen, say 'Alexa, trigger kitchen radio 6'.
..... if you think it's worth it.
IFTTT works for me. Brilliant, thanks John.

BTW for those of you who use the BBC radio channels as their alarms. I found that the Radioplayer service on Sonos will allow you to use their feeds on your alarms.
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The Beeb have shot themselves in the foot big time with this. I've discovered Radio Caroline and am loving it! Bye bye BBC.
I've created a petition at Change.org about the BBC removing TuneIn radio streams – please sign and share.

https://www.change.org/p/bbc-restore-bbc-radio-streams-to-tunein
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I have older (non Alexa enabled) Play5s that I control using voice via an Amazon echo.

I would like to understand why I cannot start a BBC Radio stream by voice any more. I understand that the BBC have made an exception to Sonos so via the Sonos App you can still access all BBC Radio using TuneIn but why has the Alexa triggering of this broken? The actual stream will still be direct from the Sonos player to TuneIn.

Can anyone who has a newer Alexa enabled PlayOne confirm if they can start a BBC stream via Sonos TuneIn using Alexa voice?

It's a shame Radioplayer on Sonos via Alexa is not supported yet:
https://support.sonos.com/s/article/3514?language=en_US
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Its unclear to me too but threres more information here https://en.community.sonos.com/troubleshooting-228999/information-bbc-on-tunein-6830711

One or two posters with high post counts are happy that its nothing to do with Sonos - we're just being annoying to want the functionality restored.
I'm not sure I agree with your characterization. Most folks who are posting are suggesting that this issue needs to be dealt with at the BBC, as it was not a decision taken by Sonos themselves. They have no power in this case, other than letting the BBC know how many customers they have. The issue is that Sonos customers (and TuneIn, for that matter) provide no money to the BBC, so the BBC feels they have the right to control the access to their streams so that they can get any revenue. For them, that means closing off any and all free streaming devices. Sonos, TuneIn, Amazon are all only distributors of their signal, not purchasers.
Its unclear to me too but threres more information here https://en.community.sonos.com/troubleshooting-228999/information-bbc-on-tunein-6830711
One or two posters with high post counts are happy that its nothing to do with Sonos - we're just being annoying to want the functionality restored.

I think that is a bit unfair. We would all like to see this functionality restored. What we do know is that this has been initiated by the BBC. We also know that Sonos can still play BBC radio using the Sonos app, which is better than it might have been. I suspect Sonos cannot do anything about this, but I don't know that for sure. Maybe there is something in the way that the IFTTT workaround works that gives a clue, but I just don't have the necessary depth of understanding of the relationship between Sonos, Alexa, TuneIn, the BBC and IFTTT. Does any of us?

Another thing I know - or think I know - is that Sonos has never used the TuneIn service proper. TuneIn just serves as a directory of URLs. Sonos says to TuneIn 'I want BBC radio 4', TuneIn says 'this is the URL you need', and Sonos goes direct to the URL, So perhaps the BBC recognises that as a Sonos request and allows it. Or maybe it cannot distinguish - it's just that requests from TuneIn simply cannot be made any more so any request is a legitimate request.

Now, if I had had to guess, I would have thought that a voice command to an Echo device would have ended up with a Sonos request to play a URL. But it now looks like that isn't so, and that Alexa's dependence on TuneIn is somehow the place it falls over, now the BBC has withdrawn from TuneIn.

So maybe things could be reconfigured in Sonos to get round this, in whatever way IFTTT gets round it. I plead ignorance on that.
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Its unclear to me too but threres more information here https://en.community.sonos.com/troubleshooting-228999/information-bbc-on-tunein-6830711
One or two posters with high post counts are happy that its nothing to do with Sonos - we're just being annoying to want the functionality restored.

This is nothing to do with Sonos in that they can do nothing to stop this. If you’re angry, like I am, over this then head over to the BBC and have your say. Lots of us are doing this and there are some very disgruntled listeners using a variety of devices. Sonos users are lucky so far.
There is a IFTTT 'routine' called 'Play a favorite with Amazon Alexa' that works . Just connect it in the IFTTT app, fill in the gaps and away you go.

I can say "Alexa trigger radio two" now and it plays.

Frustrating that the BBC broke it in the first place though...
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The BBC have posted a third blog https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/aboutthebbc/entries/ba37d6b5-59fd-470d-9da2-dec1b45b8bd5

This suggests that routines will become able to trigger skills (like the BBC skill) based on Alarms etc but I can't see mention of anything to restore Sonos speaker output.
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To use Alexa to play BBC radio on Sonos... (but please bear in mind my earlier comment that 'It is a rather limited workaround but is OK for my use case') You need an applet for every room-station combination, which is tolerable for me as I only listen to a couple of BBC stations in a couple of rooms.

  1. If you haven't used IFTTT before, download the IFTTT app and link your Sonos and Alexa accounts to it.
  2. Add any BBC radio stations to which you want to listen to your Sonos Favourites. I think this needs a desktop controller, because of the dog's breakfast that is 'My Sonos' etc nowadays.
  3. Create an IFTTT applet where the Alexa trigger is (for example) 'kitchen radio 6', and the Sonos action is 'Play a favourite'. Choose BBC Radio 6 Music' to play in room Kitchen.
  4. Make sure you tap the 'Finish' button to save the applet.
  5. To play BBC Radio 6 Music in the kitchen, say 'Alexa, trigger kitchen radio 6'.
..... if you think it's worth it.
i have the same use case for bbc radio 6 music!!

ive tried this but in ifttt my sonos wont show any favourites even though they are in desktop controller and app, so im stuffed.
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To use Alexa to play BBC radio on Sonos... (but please bear in mind my earlier comment that 'It is a rather limited workaround but is OK for my use case') You need an applet for every room-station combination, which is tolerable for me as I only listen to a couple of BBC stations in a couple of rooms.

  1. If you haven't used IFTTT before, download the IFTTT app and link your Sonos and Alexa accounts to it.
  2. Add any BBC radio stations to which you want to listen to your Sonos Favourites. I think this needs a desktop controller, because of the dog's breakfast that is 'My Sonos' etc nowadays.
  3. Create an IFTTT applet where the Alexa trigger is (for example) 'kitchen radio 6', and the Sonos action is 'Play a favourite'. Choose BBC Radio 6 Music' to play in room Kitchen.
  4. Make sure you tap the 'Finish' button to save the applet.
  5. To play BBC Radio 6 Music in the kitchen, say 'Alexa, trigger kitchen radio 6'.
..... if you think it's worth it.
i have the same use case for bbc radio 6 music!!
ive tried this but in ifttt my sonos wont show any favourites even though they are in desktop controller and app, so im stuffed.

****UPDATE**** deleted sonos and my account from IFTTT and reinstalled we are now sorted... John B thanks

To use Alexa to play BBC radio on Sonos... (but please bear in mind my earlier comment that 'It is a rather limited workaround but is OK for my use case') You need an applet for every room-station combination, which is tolerable for me as I only listen to a couple of BBC stations in a couple of rooms.

  1. If you haven't used IFTTT before, download the IFTTT app and link your Sonos and Alexa accounts to it.
  2. Add any BBC radio stations to which you want to listen to your Sonos Favourites. I think this needs a desktop controller, because of the dog's breakfast that is 'My Sonos' etc nowadays.
  3. Create an IFTTT applet where the Alexa trigger is (for example) 'kitchen radio 6', and the Sonos action is 'Play a favourite'. Choose BBC Radio 6 Music' to play in room Kitchen.
  4. Make sure you tap the 'Finish' button to save the applet.
  5. To play BBC Radio 6 Music in the kitchen, say 'Alexa, trigger kitchen radio 6'.
..... if you think it's worth it.
i have the same use case for bbc radio 6 music!!
ive tried this but in ifttt my sonos wont show any favourites even though they are in desktop controller and app, so im stuffed.

Do you get 'loading'' then a failure message? I had that at one point but it just seemed to resolve of its own accord. It might just be worth having another go tomorrow! Or maybe try playing direct from the Favourites for a few moments (not that I can offer any logic for that!)
I just got the same thing again. I triggered one of my existing applets and that also seemed to sort it. Although that isn't much help when trying to set up your first applet! Glad you have got it sorted now.
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@John B - what a great work around! Thanks. Seems to work on the mobile app version of both IFTTT and SONOS. Start the station in Sonos and add to My Sonos. IFTTT seems to recognise virtually immediately. Also using the Sonos existing applet means only one station/ room combo can be saved (for me anyway). So just create applet from scratch for the other room/ station combinations you want. If I can do it, anyone can!
Thanks again

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