Computer as Sonos Audio Source

  • 19 September 2012
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527 replies

Userlevel 1
Hey folks, I like all the activity on this thread and have asked Sonos to respond via Twitter, where I have had limited success before. If you're inclined feel free to also tweet at them: @sonos and @SonosSupport, or simply retweet my request:

http://twitter.com/renprovey/status/419158222206152704

It has been over a year since they last commented and I hope they might have an update. Hopefully, they can provide us information in regards to if they feel this is a priority.

Just an update to my own post, Sonos Support did respond, sadly it lacks any information, timeline, or expectation guidance:

"Hi, no updates at this time. We'll be updating that thread as soon as there's information to share."

Because, it has been over a year, I've asked them to at least let us know when we might expect a response:

"@sonossupport thanks for the quick response! If there is no update in a few days should I remind you? Or will a response take longer?"
Userlevel 2
Clearly not sounding as douche as Marc - not at all actually.  To your point though, I appreciate that Sonos would want to preserve sound quality...but can't I make that MY choice?  The bluetooth speakers, do defeat the purpose of one system for all audio.  Added to the aggravating factor of the limited functionality....is getting to be equalized by the silence of Sonos dev team for their customers ....the technology is one thing but this says a lot about the company!


Resorting to "name calling" shows only your own status as a human being, not that of a frustrated SONOS community member sick of people saying that SONOS does NOT provide what it claims to.

You've all been WRONG in your accusations of SONOS, not your request for FUTURE improvements to the system.  When you're on the same page, and start asking for IMPROVEMENTS not telling them they're failing, then maybe people won't get so sick to death of your incessant posts!
Userlevel 2
Okay I have read all the comments and I honestly have to say that Marc does have a point. I just did not read thoroughly through the description of what this sound system is capable of doing. I also thought that I could use it for my computer. I for example have my tv attached as a third monitor to my computer, hence all the audio for a movie played on that third monitor/TV goes through the computer. Could I get that audio on multiple sonos speakers by adding a playbar to my 2 play3's? Maybe Marc you could answer that question for me. Because that way the issue is more or less resolved. 

Thanks!
K.

I'm not sure that it would resolve your issue at all, as there are still others that wish for sources outside of this to be used. If and when they come here asking for a future improvement to the system whereby they are willing to pay for "something" that gives them free audio sources like those of us who pay for ZP90/connect boxes , then I think the thread is fair. My concern here is not the request of SONOS so much as all of the haters saying that SONOS does NOT provide what they say they do. And the idle threats of "I'm never buying another SONOS piece of equipment" are just juvenile and really started to p*** me off. I think your question has already been answered below, but basically anything you send into your playbar can be sent to the remainder of your system also.
Userlevel 2
Marc Webb, Corporate White Knight!

We bow before your irate and condescending attitude!
We revere your undying loyalty to Sonos' opaque business model!
And we tremble in fear of your fervent defense of their questionable advertising message!

From one and all, thank you Sir Marc!
Userlevel 2
Marc Webb, Corporate White Knight!

We bow before your irate and condescending attitude!
We revere your undying loyalty to Sonos' opaque business model!
And we tremble in fear of your fervent defense of their questionable advertising message!

From one and all, thank you Sir Marc!

Bit rude champ
Clearly not sounding as douche as Marc - not at all actually.  To your point though, I appreciate that Sonos would want to preserve sound quality...but can't I make that MY choice?  The bluetooth speakers, do defeat the purpose of one system for all audio.  Added to the aggravating factor of the limited functionality....is getting to be equalized by the silence of Sonos dev team for their customers ....the technology is one thing but this says a lot about the company!


In fairness, michel was responding to the post above where someone called you a douche bag (their profile doesn't have a username). 
Badge +3
This thread is getting a bit off-topic and some of the recent comments are overly confrontational and downright hostile. 

Please, we appreciate your passion for this request to have Sonos play music from a computer, but keep it on topic and refrain from attacking other users.  
Userlevel 2
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Thanks John M for trying to rein this in, and clarifying the purpose of the thread - " to have Sonos play music from a computer".

My opinion is it doesn't have to be wireless, even over ethernet to the bridge would work great for me. Is there a way to create a stream from MacOS that would act like a network-local radio station to Sonos? I just want to access audio sources that aren't directly available from inside the Sonos controllers. 
Userlevel 2
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Thanks John M for reining this in, and clarifying the topic - " to have Sonos play music from a computer".

Is there a way for me to direct an audio stream from MacOS to a network-local address that Sonos could recognize as a radio station? It wouldn't have to be wireless, just over ethernet to the bridge...?
This thread is getting a bit off-topic and some of the recent comments are overly confrontational and downright hostile. 

Please, we appreciate your passion for this request to have Sonos play music from a computer, but keep it on topic and refrain from attacking other users.  


@John M, Official Rep

This thread is getting a bit off-topic and some of the recent comments are overly confrontational and downright hostile. 

Please, we appreciate your passion for this request to have Sonos play music from a computer, but keep it on topic and refrain from attacking other users.

          I agree fully with your observations and comment, John M.

          But you must acknowledge that much, if not all, of the "drama" in this thread could have been avoided if only Sonos would speak more promptly, definitively and authoritatively to the issue at hand as to why this intuitively obvious feature is not yet available and for whatever reasons: technical, business model, . . ., etc.

          In other words, Sonos' long standing silence on this matter is a significant and major part of the the problem. Do you not agree?
This thread is getting a bit off-topic and some of the recent comments are overly confrontational and downright hostile. 

Please, we appreciate your passion for this request to have Sonos play music from a computer, but keep it on topic and refrain from attacking other users.  


@John M, Official Rep This thread is getting a bit off-topic and some of the recent comments are overly confrontational and downright hostile. Please, we appreciate your passion for this request to have Sonos play music from a computer, but keep it on topic and refrain from attacking other users. ======================= I agree fully with your observations and comment, John M. But you must acknowledge that much, if not all, of the "drama" in this thread could have been avoided if only Sonos would speak more promptly, definitively and authoritatively to the issue at hand as to why this intuitively obvious feature is not yet available and for whatever reasons: technical, business model, . . ., etc. In other words, Sonos' long standing silence on this matter is a significant and major part of the the problem. Do you not agree?
For God's sake Sonos! You even acknowledge the thread because it is so "hot" but still don't acknowledge the question! I have a pair of old Logitech 2.1 computer speakers that I bought on sale at Best Buy about 5 years ago. Paid $19.99 if memory serves, and they sound better than my brand new Play5 (also bought a Connect and Play3 and a bridge (was free through Amazon)). My laptop speakers suck, so I had been plugging my laptop into the Logitech speakers while in the kitchen cooking, doing dishes, etc. I also like to have movies playing in the background while doing those tasks. So, please tell me - if I have to plug in my laptop to the play5 to have the audio play from movies and whatnot, what the hell is the point in having the very, very, VERY much more expensive Sonos equipment? I can just as easily plug into the cheapie Logitech speakers and have better sound while listening to whatever source I want!!!
For God's sake Sonos! You even acknowledge the thread because it is so "hot" but still don't acknowledge the question! I have a pair of old Logitech 2.1 computer speakers that I bought on sale at Best Buy about 5 years ago. Paid $19.99 if memory serves, and they sound better than my brand new Play5 (also bought a Connect and Play3 and a bridge (was free through Amazon)). My laptop speakers suck, so I had been plugging my laptop into the Logitech speakers while in the kitchen cooking, doing dishes, etc. I also like to have movies playing in the background while doing those tasks. So, please tell me - if I have to plug in my laptop to the play5 to have the audio play from movies and whatnot, what the hell is the point in having the very, very, VERY much more expensive Sonos equipment? I can just as easily plug into the cheapie Logitech speakers and have better sound while listening to whatever source I want!!!
One additional comment, before anyone replies that "if you don't like it, leave!" crap, I bought sonos for the ease of use. If I have to jump through hoops to make things (especially simple things!) work, then you negate the value in the sonos system. I willingly paid a premium for that ease of use. If sonos chooses not to implement such a rudimentary request, then I'm sure some enterprising people can come up with an elegant way to interface with the Sonos system, with or without Sonos' help. Have any of you ever heard of XBMC? Would anyone like to place bets on which group can implement the desired feature set better? 1) Sonos 2) A crowd sourced software packaged, based on Raspberry PI, that can interface to any other sound system (self-powered or not).
For God's sake Sonos! You even acknowledge the thread because it is so "hot" but still don't acknowledge the question! I have a pair of old Logitech 2.1 computer speakers that I bought on sale at Best Buy about 5 years ago. Paid $19.99 if memory serves, and they sound better than my brand new Play5 (also bought a Connect and Play3 and a bridge (was free through Amazon)). My laptop speakers suck, so I had been plugging my laptop into the Logitech speakers while in the kitchen cooking, doing dishes, etc. I also like to have movies playing in the background while doing those tasks. So, please tell me - if I have to plug in my laptop to the play5 to have the audio play from movies and whatnot, what the hell is the point in having the very, very, VERY much more expensive Sonos equipment? I can just as easily plug into the cheapie Logitech speakers and have better sound while listening to whatever source I want!!!
You are right, the sound quality is bad. Even of the Play:5. The community-support is also bad (they are acting like Apple. User wishes? iihkkk.)
Also they are consuming to much standby-power.
I'm now returning my Sonus speakers.
Next step: buying Raumfeld Connector2 or using volumio.org + Nubert A-10 or A-100.
Userlevel 1
For God's sake Sonos! You even acknowledge the thread because it is so "hot" but still don't acknowledge the question! I have a pair of old Logitech 2.1 computer speakers that I bought on sale at Best Buy about 5 years ago. Paid $19.99 if memory serves, and they sound better than my brand new Play5 (also bought a Connect and Play3 and a bridge (was free through Amazon)). My laptop speakers suck, so I had been plugging my laptop into the Logitech speakers while in the kitchen cooking, doing dishes, etc. I also like to have movies playing in the background while doing those tasks. So, please tell me - if I have to plug in my laptop to the play5 to have the audio play from movies and whatnot, what the hell is the point in having the very, very, VERY much more expensive Sonos equipment? I can just as easily plug into the cheapie Logitech speakers and have better sound while listening to whatever source I want!!!
I am going to unsubscribe from this thread, its a complete waste of time.
Sonos you could have avoided all of this by simply responding to the questions raised instead you remain silent. all you have to do is say is it in or out of scope of your next drop and when is it scheduled for.

I also agree with an earlier comment, perhaps you should just make the code open source, the requests will start flowing faster that's for sure.
I was going to buy Sonos Products but the lack of computer support made me buying great AirPlay speakers last week from NOCS (NS2). Sounds great and no problem to play sound from MAC OS or PC if using Airfoil. I'm also happy to be able to use e.g. the orignal Spotify app on my iPad to play Music on my NOCS speakers. Maybe I'll buy Sonos speakers in the future if they make it possible to use computer and native apps as I like the design of sonos
For God's sake Sonos! You even acknowledge the thread because it is so "hot" but still don't acknowledge the question! I have a pair of old Logitech 2.1 computer speakers that I bought on sale at Best Buy about 5 years ago. Paid $19.99 if memory serves, and they sound better than my brand new Play5 (also bought a Connect and Play3 and a bridge (was free through Amazon)). My laptop speakers suck, so I had been plugging my laptop into the Logitech speakers while in the kitchen cooking, doing dishes, etc. I also like to have movies playing in the background while doing those tasks. So, please tell me - if I have to plug in my laptop to the play5 to have the audio play from movies and whatnot, what the hell is the point in having the very, very, VERY much more expensive Sonos equipment? I can just as easily plug into the cheapie Logitech speakers and have better sound while listening to whatever source I want!!!
that is what the point is for sonos...that we just go away....from the boards but eventually, as any bad business find out, customers also completely go away.
For God's sake Sonos! You even acknowledge the thread because it is so "hot" but still don't acknowledge the question! I have a pair of old Logitech 2.1 computer speakers that I bought on sale at Best Buy about 5 years ago. Paid $19.99 if memory serves, and they sound better than my brand new Play5 (also bought a Connect and Play3 and a bridge (was free through Amazon)). My laptop speakers suck, so I had been plugging my laptop into the Logitech speakers while in the kitchen cooking, doing dishes, etc. I also like to have movies playing in the background while doing those tasks. So, please tell me - if I have to plug in my laptop to the play5 to have the audio play from movies and whatnot, what the hell is the point in having the very, very, VERY much more expensive Sonos equipment? I can just as easily plug into the cheapie Logitech speakers and have better sound while listening to whatever source I want!!!
What is funny is that in one way or another, the desired feature set will be implemented - either by Sonos or by someone else. Had Sonos listened to this user feedback and implemented a solution, or even acknowledged that the desire for the feature still exists, people wouldn't bother writing these negative comments. The people who are paying for the ease of use that Sonos (almost) delivers aren't likely to throw good money after bad. There are lots of new players entering this market, and it WAS Sonos' market to lose. Good job guys, now you'll reap the benefits of ignoring your customer base. In any event, at the end of the day, this has nothing to do with Sonos business model, and for those that disagree, you are being short-sighted. The market for these products exists because there is demand. Continue to ignore the "demand" and Sonos will go bye bye.
You know, the price is high enough and the inconvenience great enough that I'm seriously tempted to break open my brand new Connect to see just what kind of incredibly high-end hardware must be inside to justify the $399 price I paid. It's basically just a network switch with an DA/AD converter and output ports right? It is firmware upgradeable, so I'd be surprised if it can't be flashed with some CFW to enable the features we want. Anyone interested?
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Here's an interesting workaround that a Sonos tech provided me. There's a delay, which sucks, but it's better than nothing:

____________

Thank you for contacting Sonos Customer Care. We spoke yesterday about streaming the audio from your computer (Mac) to the Sonos system. There was no direct way of doing this through the Sonos software, but I went home last night and came across a solution. 

The software is called Nicecast by Rogue Amoeoba (http://www.rogueamoeba.com/nicecast/). It is a free download. To unlock the full version it is a bit pricey at $59. However, you can use it for up to 60 minutes at a time before noise is overlaid on the broadcast. In short, it allows you to broadcast audio from your computer and create a radio station. The way this works with Sonos is by adding the URL for the radio stream in Sonos. I personally tested this last night and it worked well.

There is a caveat depending on how you plan to use the software. I recall that you mentioned the software had to do with drum kits. I was not sure if you were looking for a real-time response from the speakers. For example, you want to play live and hear the audio on Sonos. There is a delay from the audio streaming to the URL and finally reaching the Sonos system. The software creates two stream which both work. Once is local and the other is an internet stream. I thought the local stream would have less of a delay, but I found that the internet stream was a little quicker. If you were planning on creating a drum sequence on the Mac and listening to the playback through Sonos, this will work.

I know it is not a perfect solution, but something you can try for up to an hour at a time. I am assuming you can stop the stream and restart it to reset the 60 min restriction of the trial. Below I have outlined the basic setup.

NICECAST
- Download the Nicecast.zip
- Take the Nicecast application and drop it in your Applications folder
- Run the Nicecast software
- Under Source, click the dropdown and choose System Audio
- Click Install to install Instant On (Click the Install button in the botton right-hand corner) - you may need to type your Mac password for this
- Click on the Start Broadcast button in the top half of the application (the State should go from Standby to On Air)
- Click on Share and highlight the Internet URL (Example: http://12.18.361.193:8002/listen.m3u)
- Click the Copy button to the right

SONOS
- Open the Sonos application on the Mac
- Click Manage>Add a Radio Station
- Press Command+V on your keyboard or Edit>Paste to enter the URL for the stream
- Name the Station Name as you wish (Example: Macbook Pro Stream)
- To find the stream go to Select a Music Source>Radio>My Radio Stations and you will find the stream you created
- Choose a room on the left and double-click or click the drop-down menu to select Play Now

The station should connect and start streaming. At this time, whatever you are playing on the Mac's System Audio should be playing in the room that you selected. As I mentioned, there is a delay. You can try creating two streams (one local and one Internet) and see which one has less of a delay. Now, this is just the first solution that I could think of and I know it may not be ideal. Please let me know what you think or if you run into any issues we can setup a time to talk and I can assist you with installation and setup. 

I will also continue to look for other solutions that may work better and are not as expensive. Have a great holiday and I look forward to hearing back from you.

Warm regards,

Sonos Customer Care
Here's an interesting workaround that a Sonos tech provided me. There's a delay, which sucks, but it's better than nothing:

____________

Thank you for contacting Sonos Customer Care. We spoke yesterday about streaming the audio from your computer (Mac) to the Sonos system. There was no direct way of doing this through the Sonos software, but I went home last night and came across a solution. 

The software is called Nicecast by Rogue Amoeoba (http://www.rogueamoeba.com/nicecast/). It is a free download. To unlock the full version it is a bit pricey at $59. However, you can use it for up to 60 minutes at a time before noise is overlaid on the broadcast. In short, it allows you to broadcast audio from your computer and create a radio station. The way this works with Sonos is by adding the URL for the radio stream in Sonos. I personally tested this last night and it worked well.

There is a caveat depending on how you plan to use the software. I recall that you mentioned the software had to do with drum kits. I was not sure if you were looking for a real-time response from the speakers. For example, you want to play live and hear the audio on Sonos. There is a delay from the audio streaming to the URL and finally reaching the Sonos system. The software creates two stream which both work. Once is local and the other is an internet stream. I thought the local stream would have less of a delay, but I found that the internet stream was a little quicker. If you were planning on creating a drum sequence on the Mac and listening to the playback through Sonos, this will work.

I know it is not a perfect solution, but something you can try for up to an hour at a time. I am assuming you can stop the stream and restart it to reset the 60 min restriction of the trial. Below I have outlined the basic setup.

NICECAST
- Download the Nicecast.zip
- Take the Nicecast application and drop it in your Applications folder
- Run the Nicecast software
- Under Source, click the dropdown and choose System Audio
- Click Install to install Instant On (Click the Install button in the botton right-hand corner) - you may need to type your Mac password for this
- Click on the Start Broadcast button in the top half of the application (the State should go from Standby to On Air)
- Click on Share and highlight the Internet URL (Example: http://12.18.361.193:8002/listen.m3u)
- Click the Copy button to the right

SONOS
- Open the Sonos application on the Mac
- Click Manage>Add a Radio Station
- Press Command+V on your keyboard or Edit>Paste to enter the URL for the stream
- Name the Station Name as you wish (Example: Macbook Pro Stream)
- To find the stream go to Select a Music Source>Radio>My Radio Stations and you will find the stream you created
- Choose a room on the left and double-click or click the drop-down menu to select Play Now

The station should connect and start streaming. At this time, whatever you are playing on the Mac's System Audio should be playing in the room that you selected. As I mentioned, there is a delay. You can try creating two streams (one local and one Internet) and see which one has less of a delay. Now, this is just the first solution that I could think of and I know it may not be ideal. Please let me know what you think or if you run into any issues we can setup a time to talk and I can assist you with installation and setup. 

I will also continue to look for other solutions that may work better and are not as expensive. Have a great holiday and I look forward to hearing back from you.

Warm regards,

Sonos Customer Care

works for me - all I was looking for !  bought the full version - thanks
Here's an interesting workaround that a Sonos tech provided me. There's a delay, which sucks, but it's better than nothing:

____________

Thank you for contacting Sonos Customer Care. We spoke yesterday about streaming the audio from your computer (Mac) to the Sonos system. There was no direct way of doing this through the Sonos software, but I went home last night and came across a solution. 

The software is called Nicecast by Rogue Amoeoba (http://www.rogueamoeba.com/nicecast/). It is a free download. To unlock the full version it is a bit pricey at $59. However, you can use it for up to 60 minutes at a time before noise is overlaid on the broadcast. In short, it allows you to broadcast audio from your computer and create a radio station. The way this works with Sonos is by adding the URL for the radio stream in Sonos. I personally tested this last night and it worked well.

There is a caveat depending on how you plan to use the software. I recall that you mentioned the software had to do with drum kits. I was not sure if you were looking for a real-time response from the speakers. For example, you want to play live and hear the audio on Sonos. There is a delay from the audio streaming to the URL and finally reaching the Sonos system. The software creates two stream which both work. Once is local and the other is an internet stream. I thought the local stream would have less of a delay, but I found that the internet stream was a little quicker. If you were planning on creating a drum sequence on the Mac and listening to the playback through Sonos, this will work.

I know it is not a perfect solution, but something you can try for up to an hour at a time. I am assuming you can stop the stream and restart it to reset the 60 min restriction of the trial. Below I have outlined the basic setup.

NICECAST
- Download the Nicecast.zip
- Take the Nicecast application and drop it in your Applications folder
- Run the Nicecast software
- Under Source, click the dropdown and choose System Audio
- Click Install to install Instant On (Click the Install button in the botton right-hand corner) - you may need to type your Mac password for this
- Click on the Start Broadcast button in the top half of the application (the State should go from Standby to On Air)
- Click on Share and highlight the Internet URL (Example: http://12.18.361.193:8002/listen.m3u)
- Click the Copy button to the right

SONOS
- Open the Sonos application on the Mac
- Click Manage>Add a Radio Station
- Press Command+V on your keyboard or Edit>Paste to enter the URL for the stream
- Name the Station Name as you wish (Example: Macbook Pro Stream)
- To find the stream go to Select a Music Source>Radio>My Radio Stations and you will find the stream you created
- Choose a room on the left and double-click or click the drop-down menu to select Play Now

The station should connect and start streaming. At this time, whatever you are playing on the Mac's System Audio should be playing in the room that you selected. As I mentioned, there is a delay. You can try creating two streams (one local and one Internet) and see which one has less of a delay. Now, this is just the first solution that I could think of and I know it may not be ideal. Please let me know what you think or if you run into any issues we can setup a time to talk and I can assist you with installation and setup. 

I will also continue to look for other solutions that may work better and are not as expensive. Have a great holiday and I look forward to hearing back from you.

Warm regards,

Sonos Customer Care

hey there

jamcast does it too for me, is 15$
ip + :58642/Media/audio/mpeg/CaptureStream
delay approx 1 s
for videos: use vlc media player, with button "j" you can delay the audio to the video playback - and you have synchronous picture & sound
I dont have a solution for youtube/online streams yet..

regards
Userlevel 2
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Does Jamcast have a MacOS version? If so, this seems like a less expensive solution than Nicecast...
I have this feature you are asking for installed at home for some years already, it was made by Sondigo and it was called the Sirocco (aka Wireless Audio Bridge). It functions as an external sound card to your PC really, streaming your sound to the Sirocco box through wifi. The Sirocco in it's turn can be connected to any output device using a digital output socket. Perfect sound quality, easy to operate from the PC. The drawback however (of course there is one) is that Sondigo stopped making the Sirocco several years ago. The software needed as the driver for this external card only functions up to W95, so it gets rapidly out of function everywhere. There are alternatives but they all seem to either have far less quality (due to using bluetooth or radiowaves instead of wifi, or lacking digital output) or unbelievable price tags (the Sirocco costed an awesome 50 to 100 bucks). So when you talk about the Sonos business model, don't be fooled. This is no coincidence - the functionality we are looking for would give as so much more potential to reuse our existing sound systems that the sales of Play-3 and Play-5 would fall dramatically. I really hope that a new party in this business will start creating a Sirocco-like box again, because for that particular producer there is a large market to win.
I don't agree.  If I could stream the audio from my MAC, laptop etc I would but more.  More Play 1 speakers so I could up the anti on Netflix and other movie/tv-like viewing from our i-Mac (which is the "television" in my great room...I would then likely invest in some of the larger format speakers and maybe even the bar and  a Connect amp...as it is - am sticking with the 1 Play 1 I have and I like it a lot...if anyone has a way to stream audio from the Mac to Sonos - that would be great.  Opening up streaming from "audio out" would expand Sonos' model not the other way around.  You logic would actually run contrary to the connect amp where you can connect traditional sources and stream or connect streaming to a stereo...So, just seems the Sonos folks are stubborn, or lazy, or both.  Sonos?
Stream all the music on earth??? False advertising for sure.

What is the problem with implementing 

I stand corrected about false advertising. Came on forums to find out how to play local MP3 files on PC through Play:3 and posts made it look like you couldn't.

If you dropped money on a Play:3 with bridge, you are not a cheap skate tight @$$. You bought what's needed for wireless audio. Stupid to have to buy more.

The length of this thread and lack of response is in itself fail tbh.