Computer as Sonos Audio Source

  • 19 September 2012
  • 527 replies
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Userlevel 3
What do you think of the idea of making it possible for one's Sonos setup to stream whatever is being streamed by a computer networked with the Sonos system? I'll give you an example. I want to get my pilot's license, so I like listening to air traffic control channels. There is a web site dedicated to that: www.liveatc.net I can open an app I have for that in my iPhone and then stream it via Airplay into an Airport Express and through my Sonos system, but it's a little kludgey and just as importantly, drains my phone battery if I want to walk around with it. It would be much more convenient to just set my computer to streaming it and then have the Sonos system monitor that. Maybe too many permissions needed between the computer manufacturer, liveatc.net, etc, for this to work easily, but thought I'd raise the question. Anyway, still getting lots of enjoyment out of my Sonos system!!

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527 replies

Userlevel 3
Perhaps I'm not understanding the original poster's request, but his use case seems quite obscure. What I'd love for my Sonos speakers to do (frankly, I'm shocked it doesn't do this already) is to be able to wirelessly play whatever audio that is coming out of my computer and function as my computer's external speakers. Any cheap Bluetooth speakers can do this, what is keeping Sonos from integrating this feature? Are there any plans for this in the near future? (I got the speakers as a birthday present, but am considering returning it because it doesn't perform such a basic function.)
Userlevel 2
Bump. I can't believe that my computer audio cannot be streamed through sonos. Why would I spend $350 on such a constraining system? Returning product.
Userlevel 3
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Why on earth doesn't Sonos support this feature already? This is so basic. If Sonos is your sound system, you should be able to stream anything to it, from any source that has the controller on it!
Userlevel 1
We just purchased a bridge and the Play 5. We were considering expanding to several more rooms in our house. The fact that we can not stream audio from the computer to the speaker wirelessly is holding us back. We should be able to stream audio from the computer (Youtube, Netflix etc.) WIRELESSLY. That is why we made this expensive purchase.
Userlevel 1
I received my Sonos Play 5 and bridge as a gift and I like the system very much. But it would be SO much more useful if I could route my laptop's audio to it. Programs like FL Studio, Audacity and a myriad of others that produce audio are relegated to the puny system speakers. Big downside for me and other I know.
Userlevel 1
We have a Play 3, Play 5 and Connect so that we can listen to music throughout our house. We love the system and sound quality but like others, believe that adding the functionality to stream audio from the device that is running SONOS, regardless of what it is; PC, phone or tablet would be a great feature. The experience of watching a movie with the tablet sitting on the kitchen counter, sipping wine while cooking dinner would be enhanced so much more with the sound streaming through my SONOS!
Userlevel 2
Another way of putting it, for people interested in using sonos with their computers: Why invest in a wireless speaker system? Convenience, and to make my wired speakers redundant. Sonos does not do this.
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Well, let me put it the other way: if Sonos does not listen to it's customers, the buck stops here. I will not expand my Sonos system to other rooms in the house.
Hi Sonos team, So, this isn't the busiest post but there are plenty of people here that'd like to see this done. Any news on it? I see you've added streaming from Android (although I can't seem to make that work at all). https://ask.sonos.com/sonos/topics/software_version_4_1_1_for_android_now_available Can we see this on Mac/PC soon?
yes, i have a playbar, 3 play5 and 2 play3 and realized after the fact that this cannot be achieved - what a letdown...i keep revisiting hoping that they listen to their customers....but doesn't seem to be the case..
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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, don't you agree that this is a very difficult workaround for something that should be pretty basic in the first place? I am not a newbee when it comes to computers, but this still puzzles me. We just want a feature that allow any device that has the controller to stream audio to the speakers in one or multiple rooms, through WiFi.
Userlevel 1
I would really like to see something happen with this - I'd love to be able to stream from traktor on my mac to the different zones in my house without buying (and being in the same room as) a component with a line-in.
I also would like to see this functionality for windows. I understand line-in is the current method and I respect that, I just feel like this functionality built into the controller application would be kick-ass and maybe help to sell some of the lower-priced play:1's (like what I've got.)
Thank you for your answer, i appreciate your attempt to help me. But so far these methods have proven insufficient for my needs. Having a Connect hooked up to my laptop is obviously not an option.

All the ways of streaming i have tried have either huge or just a lot of delay, far to much to watch videos in every single case.

And there´s not full radio functionality and far from full Spotify funtionality yet, at least i for an example cant play radio based on a song like i can in real Spotify. There are many small features that isnt implemented in the Sonos Spotify.

I also want to consider Sonos a great product since i have a lot of money invested, and it is great in may ways. But its getting harder since customers have been annoyed for years over seemingly small things while we see no development in these areas.
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Hi everyone,

We've removed a few posts due to personal attacks. Please remember to be respectful. If you are unsure, please refer to our community code of conduct.

Using the Sonos system as speakers for computers wirelessly is a quite popular feature request. We have taken note of the interest and though we don't comment on possible future features, we'll be sure to make an announcement if we have any new information to share.

Also, just so there is no confusion, Sonos employees are always marked as such.
We'll see what's coming up on Aug 30.

Regardless I would say to @jgatie and others that responded similarly: I understand your input and respect your perspective. However, you're trying too hard to "control" what I consider legitimate feedback.

I (and many like me) am a customer. I am lacking some functionality in a product I had purchased. I am approaching the vendor and am asking if they could implement this missing functionality. The vendor (Sonos) can (A) respond favorably (regardless of the delivery time frame), (B) respond negatively, (C) not respond at all, or (D) respond that they cannot respond (which is what is happening here). The comparison to Ferrari is 100% irrelevant. I have the product, I'm happy with most of its functionality but I have a desire for more functionality. What exactly is the problem here?

I understand that it's not simple to solve certain problems. So what? It was also difficult to get to the moon and people thought it impossible until somebody found a way to do it. It's ridiculous to keep bringing up how hard the challenge is. Instead of trying too hard to tell everyone why something is hard to do, maybe the energy could be redirected to making things happen. I don't care how it's implemented (blue tooth, green arm or red nose), I'm just looking for a solution.

To make a long story short, I'm good with a negative answer from Sonos. It's a free market and I can decide that I see more than positive than negative and continue to buy the product or maybe I decide to go elsewhere. The only thing that is again disappointing is a response-less response such as "our policy is to not respond to feature requests".
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After 4 years of posts, insults, polemics and more useless posts we can't understand from SONOS why we can't use our Sonos as an output sound device (as airplay easy)! Why this secrecy and this stubborn refutal of customers' requests?
DJR,

I'm truly sorry that you didn't take the time to do some research before acquiring your Play:1. Sonos is rather clear about the fact that they're not a computer speaker, but a multi-room music system. And to be honest, I use my old Play:5 Gen 1 to function as a computer speaker for my Mac, by the simple process of attaching a mini-plug to the headphone jack on my Mac, and then inserting the other end into the Play:5, I purchased the Play:5 for exactly this purpose, to be used as a method by which I could stream all audio from my Mac to the Sonos system. You're hampered by the fact that the Play:1 has no input, being their bottom of the line speaker. But I can assure you, the system, when used for its intended and advertised use, is outstanding. I use my Play:1s and Play:3s all the time to stream music from my iTunes library, without bothering to go through the headphone jack, and the sound is spectacular, and spans the many rooms in my house without problems with synchronization or audio dropout caused by Bluetooth or Airplay issues.

But I did have to ramp up on how the system worked before I was fully aware of how it functioned, and you didn't have that opportunity. I'm sorry it doesn't meet your needs.

If you happen to be returning it to a Best Buy here in the SF bay area, please post to let me know which one, I wouldn't mind another (16th? 17th?) to put into my garage, and getting an open box special tends to be my usual method of purchasing. I've got about 5 years of ownership under my belt, and I'm quite pleased with the system and the way it was designed and works.
I would LOVE to stream, via Bluetooth, from my laptop running Slingbox to my Sonos Zoneplayer S5...
You can. Just plug a Bluetooth audio receiver into the PLAY:5's Line-In. Set it to Autoplay and you're done.
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How? If it's possible, it's not an easy setting from the Sonos Controller. That's what we want!
It makes sense that Sonos will not play system sounds and music going through the PC speakers. However, the question I asked is what application actually plays the music files? If I have say an mp3 file on my PC is it the Sonos app that reads and plays the file?

A little more complicated than that. The Sonos app is a controller, not a player. It tells the Sonos devices what to play and where to play it from. Then the Sonos device fetches the music files from the source and plays them. The app does not stream anything, you could turn your phone/tablet/computer completely off and the Sonos devices will keep playing (as long as the source is not on the phone/tablet/computer).
Cant find any solution to use Sonos as a speaker for my PC or Synology NAS. Would appreciate support on this.
Userlevel 2
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
Here's a solution I just tried, and found that actually works!   I've listed it as an *idea* because I would assume that SONOS might be able to offer a similar solution, unless (of course) licensing issues prevent them from doing it without permission from Apple.  (Don't know... just speculating here).

This software solution provides an "airplay" driver on your mac that points to one of your Sonos players.  Once it's installed, you use it with three simple steps.

Step 1)  Open a terminal prompt (command prompt) and type airsonos.  This starts the driver.
Don't close the session.  It's OK to minimize the window.

Step 2) You use the Mac's "System Preferences..." , "Sound" to select the sonos as the output for your sound.  Now, play some music on your mac, and turn up the volume, and the sound comes out of your Sonos" instead of your Mac.   No wires.  No hassle.

Step 3) Grin from ear to ear as any and all Mac sound streams wirelessly to your Sonos!

HERE'S HOW TO INSTALL THE DRIVERS, 
PLUS LINKS TO WHERE I FOUND THE SOLUTION.

(I can't take credit for creating it, but I'm so happy to have found it... thank you Stephen! ... that I'm willing to share it far and wide!)

airsonos a Node.js application, and it's free!   

You need to install the right version of Node.js (it's an older version),

and then you need to use npm (the Node package manager) which will download, compile and i

install airsonos.   It's all pretty easy.  You don't need more than basic computer skills to get it done.

-----------------------------

I found info here:  

 https://medium.com/@stephencwan/hacking-airplay-into-sonos-93a41a1fcfbb

and installation instructions here:

https://github.com/stephen/airsonos

IMPORTANT NOTE: It states it requires Node.js version v0.10.33 or greater.

I tried it with the current release of Node.js (v0.12.xx) and it wouldn't compile. 

When I downloaded and installed Node.js version v0.10.33, and then tried to install it everything worked!

Here are the brief instructions:

Step 1)

Download Node.js v0.10.33 from here: 

http://blog.nodejs.org/2014/10/23/node-v0-10-33-stable/

or use google to find it.

Step 2) Run the install (node-v0.10.33.pkg) to install Node.js

Step 3)  Open a terminal prompt, and at the command line type:

sudo npm install airsonos -g

This will cause the npm (the node package manager) to download, compile and install airsonos and the packages it requires.  It took about 5 or 10 minutes to complete.

Now it's installed!

To use it, it's two simple steps:

*** First) open a terminal and at the command prompt type:

  airsonos

./

You should see output similar to:

MacBook-Pro:~user$ airsonos 

Searching for Sonos devices on network...

Setting up AirSonos for Basement {192.168.0.10:1400}

Setting up AirSonos for Office {192.168.0.20:1400}

On my machine these messages were repeated several times.  

LEAVE THE TERMINAL WINDOW.  Don't close it, or kill the airsonos app.

It *IS* OK to minimize the window.

*** Second)

Go to system preferences... (under the apple menu), select "Sound" and for "Output" create one of the airsonos outputs.  For instance, in my situation I selected .

"Office (AirSonos)                  AirPlay".

Now play some music on your mac, turn up the volume on your mac, and listen the music come out through Sonos!

This is awesome.  You can now send steaming services to Sonos, you can output your itunes music to sonos.  Want to hear a playlist of songs from youtube... done,  amazon music prime... it now works!, etc, etc.

Many, many thanks to Stephen for creating this and sharing the info.

I didn't create any of this, I'm just sharing the information since I've wanted this feature for so long, I'm happy to finally find a quality solution that works!

-Phil
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Marc, can you elaborate how to do this on a Mac? Through Midi?
Got it! Many thanks.