Computer as Sonos Audio Source

  • 19 September 2012
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hi all, 
jamcast is not free anymore
i have found something, free, for pc that will achieve what we want to do. 
it work more or lkess the same as jamcast, it's called stremwhatyouhear.
got there, download the app, install it
http://www.streamwhatyouhear.com/?source=swyh
once installed and running right click the tray icon, select tool, http live streaming, copy the url.
then in sonos application, go to manage, add radio station, paste the URL and name it.
go to my radio station, select the radio you just created, play, et voila!! (of course, play something on your pc first..) 
what is good with this app is that it's free, and if you put down the volume of the pc the music still plays in the sonos.
this way you can play sound cloud, mixcloud or any other stuff, it is being replicated to the sonos!

hope this help for the time being, while sonos sort their stuff out.. 🙂
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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

Kaspar you are genius - swyh - I couldn't get it to work before but it is fine now. So no need for Apple Airport really....no problem. Thanks. Someone just readvertised swyh but I knew you had mentioned earlier! Great find.
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Thanks Stephan !! Someone mentioned it earlier but without the dummy guide!!! Best, kibbs
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it would not work with video though as there is a slight delay.. but this is better than nothing, at least i can listen to my soundcloud sutff 🙂
You know that there is an unofficial (but nevertheless flawlessly working) application for adding SoundCloud to Sonos? I think that's far more comfortable than using Stream What You Hear.
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hi Simon, 

it is indeed, and much more practical at that.
however, what about mixcloud? mix.dj? beatport player? mix from traktor or other music app?  and i am sure there is much more sources, like the one from the original poster of this thread..
all in all, sonos could (should) provide this basic feature of playing the sound coming out from your pc/tablet/phone... not just the local audio files..
let's say i want to get 2 player 1 just to replace my bad quality sound pc speakers? well.. i cannot, since, not only there is no audio in but i cannot listen to the video or application that make audio out to my soundcard.. 
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and frankly, i take them more than a year to find a way to put soundcloud as a legitimate throught their system, and even, it is not ready yet!! all the music in the world? i cannot even listen to the song i make with a music app on the fly? all the music in the world? well.. not to be diffamatory but this is false advertizing. they should more say something in the line of "all you audio files and most of the world streaming radio" that would be closest to the truth..
hi all, 
jamcast is not free anymore
i have found something, free, for pc that will achieve what we want to do. 
it work more or lkess the same as jamcast, it's called stremwhatyouhear.
got there, download the app, install it
http://www.streamwhatyouhear.com/?source=swyh
once installed and running right click the tray icon, select tool, http live streaming, copy the url.
then in sonos application, go to manage, add radio station, paste the URL and name it.
go to my radio station, select the radio you just created, play, et voila!! (of course, play something on your pc first..) 
what is good with this app is that it's free, and if you put down the volume of the pc the music still plays in the sonos.
this way you can play sound cloud, mixcloud or any other stuff, it is being replicated to the sonos!

hope this help for the time being, while sonos sort their stuff out.. :)

Thanks for the tip and especially thanks for the list of steps that detail how to get there. (It all worked fine for me.)
Hi Kevin, Thanks for sharing your idea. At the moment that's not possible, though there are other options. I'm not sure which Sonos products you are using. For example, the Play:5, Connect and Connect:Amp have a line-in connection allowing you to connect any external device, like a pc, and play the audio throughout your house using your Sonos system. See https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1091/kw/line-in for more information. You can also add the stream in your Sonos Desktop Controller. Go to Manage Music and then click on Add Radio Station. You can copy the stream you want to add from www.liveatc.net which will be saved in your favorites. I tested it with a MP3 stream from www.liveatc.net and it worked. See https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/264/kw/add+radio for more information on adding radio streams. I hope the above is useful. Gonzalo V
Hi Gonzalo, it seems that this issue is kind of old now, do you know if Sonos will do anything about this feature? To be able to "stream" to the loudspeakers from a PC without using "Sonos Controller For PC". I would like to use PCDJ, for example.  Thanks for your help beforehand!
Hi Kevin, Thanks for sharing your idea. At the moment that's not possible, though there are other options. I'm not sure which Sonos products you are using. For example, the Play:5, Connect and Connect:Amp have a line-in connection allowing you to connect any external device, like a pc, and play the audio throughout your house using your Sonos system. See https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1091/kw/line-in for more information. You can also add the stream in your Sonos Desktop Controller. Go to Manage Music and then click on Add Radio Station. You can copy the stream you want to add from www.liveatc.net which will be saved in your favorites. I tested it with a MP3 stream from www.liveatc.net and it worked. See https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/264/kw/add+radio for more information on adding radio streams. I hope the above is useful. Gonzalo V
Hi Gonzalo, it seems that this issue is kind of old now, do you know if Sonos will do anything about this feature? To be able to "stream" to the loudspeakers from a PC without using "Sonos Controller For PC". I would like to use PCDJ, for example.  Thanks for your help beforehand!
Hi Kevin, Thanks for sharing your idea. At the moment that's not possible, though there are other options. I'm not sure which Sonos products you are using. For example, the Play:5, Connect and Connect:Amp have a line-in connection allowing you to connect any external device, like a pc, and play the audio throughout your house using your Sonos system. See https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1091/kw/line-in for more information. You can also add the stream in your Sonos Desktop Controller. Go to Manage Music and then click on Add Radio Station. You can copy the stream you want to add from www.liveatc.net which will be saved in your favorites. I tested it with a MP3 stream from www.liveatc.net and it worked. See https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/264/kw/add+radio for more information on adding radio streams. I hope the above is useful. Gonzalo V
Hi Gonzalo, it seems that this issue is kind of old now, do you know if Sonos will do anything about this feature? To be able to "stream" to the loudspeakers from a PC without using "Sonos Controller For PC". I would like to use PCDJ, for example.  Thanks for your help beforehand!
Hi Kevin, Thanks for sharing your idea. At the moment that's not possible, though there are other options. I'm not sure which Sonos products you are using. For example, the Play:5, Connect and Connect:Amp have a line-in connection allowing you to connect any external device, like a pc, and play the audio throughout your house using your Sonos system. See https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1091/kw/line-in for more information. You can also add the stream in your Sonos Desktop Controller. Go to Manage Music and then click on Add Radio Station. You can copy the stream you want to add from www.liveatc.net which will be saved in your favorites. I tested it with a MP3 stream from www.liveatc.net and it worked. See https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/264/kw/add+radio for more information on adding radio streams. I hope the above is useful. Gonzalo V
Hi Gonzalo, it seems that this issue is kind of old now, do you know if Sonos will do anything about this feature? To be able to "stream" to the loudspeakers from a PC without using "Sonos Controller For PC". I would like to use PCDJ, for example.  Thanks for your help beforehand!
The only way to address this request without adding new hardware is to develop a virtual sound card driver. It's a lot of work. And even, if Sonos could make it available for Win, Linux, Mac, it won't take long before users request the same for some other OS. So, I don't think this would be a good solution. For me the only solution is to build a new CONNECT:IN. This device would be small and would only have Line In and network connectivity. If such a device was available at a low price (99$), People would buy it a and plug it to the line out / headphone jack of their computer, or any other audio source they may want to stream (Wall mounted tablet, standalone CD player, TV, BT Receiver, ...) Such a device would greatly extend the possibilities of the SONOS System. OK, the CONNECT already exists, but it is way too expensive.
I'm currently steering all my friends away from Sonos because of this dumbfounding gap in functionality. Any set of cheap bluetooth speakers is much better than the restrictive Sonos system. It's not a surprise so many people are upset, given how obvious the desired feature is.

I appreciate the responses the the Official Rep has given above, but I have to say, streaming audio directly from a sound card (phone, pc, etc.) is not a "fairly complicated request." Your customers are forced to consider two possible explanations:
(1) - You don't want to provide this feature, due to misguided business tactics.
(2) - You don't know how to implement this, due to shortcomings in your technical capabilities.

Both explanations are equally disappointing. Your customers are unhappy.
I'm posting this again as a reply (copy from an earlier comment I made), because it helped someone and was rather difficult to find again as a comment.

---

If you don't care about a delay of several seconds, use http://www.streamwhatyouhear.com to stream your (Windows) audio output. Then use the sonos controller to create a new radio station (use manage > add radio station) that points to that stream. Et voilà.

- Make sure you turn off your PC's audio (setting the control to mute or disconnecting speakers does the trick)
- Unfortunately SWYH creates a new port every time you do this again, which means that you will have to create a new radio station (or rather: edit the old one) every time
- BUT: it's free, it works for audio (not for movies due to delay) and it's not too much of a hassle to set up

In conjunction with VLC where you can time the delay between audio and pic this might even be a solution for DVD playing (or movie files on your computer).

If you're on Linux or if you're into scripting have a look at http://ffmpeg.org/ (uuh, techie stuff).

Have a good one!
Kaspar

PS: This thread bugs me mainly because I need to be close to a connect to play video sources. I do think too, that opening up the platform/API would lead to solutions automatically: Better Apps, different Apps, richer eco system. It's the old "enable instead of control" thing.
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hi cheppsn, 

sorry if i stole your idea, it was not my goal and i got the tip from another forum that has nothing to do with sonos :)
what's more, this format of thread is very difficult to read, like i have to click several time on view next to go to the last post.. 
on the other hand, there is a setting in stremwhatyourhear where you can fix the html port so you don't have to change the radio setting all the time 🙂
Look at This solution http://www.audiopro.se/products/living-lv2e
hi cheppsn, 

sorry if i stole your idea, it was not my goal and i got the tip from another forum that has nothing to do with sonos :)
what's more, this format of thread is very difficult to read, like i have to click several time on view next to go to the last post.. 
on the other hand, there is a setting in stremwhatyourhear where you can fix the html port so you don't have to change the radio setting all the time :)

no worries stephane. i just saw that your post above and realized that mine is completely unnecessary now. you described it in more detail and better than I did. I just reposted, because someone replied to my original content much farther up. I guess now each reader really should get it 🙂
I finally got it.  streamwhatyouhear works awesome.  I am not using a wireless speaker to view video.  Any delay is not an issue.  Thanks everyone.  If there is an answer, the internets has it.
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 going to have to say after doing a lot of research and reading through this thread.  I find it lacking for SONOS not to create something like a CONNECT Express that allowed [at least] a wired device to connection to the ecosystem and price it in the $49 range.  

Being forced to spend $349 on the CONNECT and not have a speaker, or just shell out $399 for the Play:5 (which I will do) is short sided of the use cases when people already have a Play:1 or Play:3 they'd like to use.  Which I think many have expressed here.

I understand they don't want to use Bluetooth.  And won't create a dongle to work on their frequency.  But at least create a small simple, affordable device that allows for expansion into these rooms people want.
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I'm posting this again as a reply (copy from an earlier comment I made), because it helped someone and was rather difficult to find again as a comment.

---

If you don't care about a delay of several seconds, use http://www.streamwhatyouhear.com to stream your (Windows) audio output. Then use the sonos controller to create a new radio station (use manage > add radio station) that points to that stream. Et voilà.

- Make sure you turn off your PC's audio (setting the control to mute or disconnecting speakers does the trick)
- Unfortunately SWYH creates a new port every time you do this again, which means that you will have to create a new radio station (or rather: edit the old one) every time
- BUT: it's free, it works for audio (not for movies due to delay) and it's not too much of a hassle to set up

In conjunction with VLC where you can time the delay between audio and pic this might even be a solution for DVD playing (or movie files on your computer).

If you're on Linux or if you're into scripting have a look at http://ffmpeg.org/ (uuh, techie stuff).

Have a good one!
Kaspar

PS: This thread bugs me mainly because I need to be close to a connect to play video sources. I do think too, that opening up the platform/API would lead to solutions automatically: Better Apps, different Apps, richer eco system. It's the old "enable instead of control" thing.

Actually SWYH doesnt need to use a new port each time you start it. Check the settings.
Whilst you're there, set it to use PCM rather than mp3 for better sound quality.
As for the delay, most decent media players (Zoomplayer, VLC) have a variable AV sync delay setting. This completely removes the problem of the delay. If your media player cant do that just use one that can.

SWYH does exactly what Sonos should have made their PC controller do years ago. They have put the same function into their Android controller and it beats me why they just dont do it on the PC one.
I would love this and use it all the time - for example, I go to a band's website and they have a music stream. I want to check them out, but I don't want to download them to my computer necessarily.  There are many other uses for this that I would really like to see it happen!
Mac ;0)
Stream all the music on earth??? False advertising for sure.

What is the problem with implementing 

Marc,
  I am following you on this, but how do I use a connect from my Mac output? The Mac does not have analog output and it looks like the connect uses an analog input. Did you use a converter or did you run off of the "headphone" jack with a converter?

Thanks
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.
So its under consideration for two years plus now. Don't get me wrong I love my sonos system(s) but we aren't talking about a shuttle launch here. Seems like enough people have clamored for it that it might be worth the effort. Analog shouldn't be an option after the expense.
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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.
C'mon Michael, those of us who've spent hundreds on our Sonos systems... we're Analog Men: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEoWaP4skv8