Question

future of the 65k limit


I'm really impressed by the speakers and basically the idea of the system. But what's really frustrating is the song-limit of almost 65k...

Will (and when?) this be corrected somehow? This is the only (but heavy) obstacle for me to buy a sonos solution for almost every room in my house (by the way how many speakers can be connected AND is it working across 4 floors?). Lets assume this barriere is been gone some day - will the current speakers work in that "new" environment or does it means, that I need all new products? What products do I have to change?

I really cannot understand why sonos is so bullish in this point - hopefully I get a positive answer (cause exept this issue I like it very much!)

Thanks for any (positive) information!

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155 replies

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Hello JSchulte,

We don't have any updates right now about the 65k track limit. This is a hardware limitation based on the amount of memory on Sonos components which can be allocated to storing our Music Index. As Sonos adds new components to the system, we're constantly trying to keep legacy units fully compatible so our customer's don't have to go out and buy the newest model.

You can have up to 32 Sonos components setup in your home and each one with extend the Sonos wireless network, so if you're putting on on each floor, they should all be within range. Depending on environment, this range is about 30-50 feet.

There are workarounds for the 65k track limit posted here; but our recommendation is a music service such as Amazon Cloud Player (in countries where it's available) or using Plex.

Cheers

Moderation edit: Updated on 1/20/17 to fix links and add Plex now that it's available.
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Hello JSchulte,

We don't have any updates right now about the 65k track limit, the Idea thread for this can be found here. This is a hardware limitation based on the amount of memory on Sonos components which can be allocated to storing our Music Index. As Sonos adds new components to the system, we're constantly trying to keep legacy units fully compatible so our customer's don't have to go out and buy the newest model. 

You can have up to 32 Sonos components setup in your home and each one with extend the Sonos wireless network, so if you're putting on on each floor, they should all be within range. Depending on environment, this range is about 30-50 feet.

There are workarounds for the 65k track limit posted on our User Forums but our recommendation is a music service such as Amazon Cloud Player (in countries where it's available). 

Cheers

Hi Ryan,

Your response is very helpful and brings up a couple of quick questions:

1. Do newer devices (e.g. Playbar and Sub) have larger amounts of memory? If so, why not just allow the controller software to use the maximum amount of memory available on the device?

2. Why not create a separate device for those of us with large collections that could store the index?

3. Any thoughts to open-sourcing the controller software or adding media server support for popular NAS devices (e.g. Synology)? I know that I can play to my Sonos system through my Synology DSaudio application but it would be nice to do it through the Sonos controller.

4. How about allowing the controller to spread the index over multiple devices? The index is currently not stored on every device in a room and the limit could be 65000 per device.

Thank you again for your assistance and I have already found the Idea thread. Although I am sure that there are not many of us with these very large collections, it is a significant problem and most of us do not want to use a streaming music service for music we have locally (i.e. why should we use internet bandwidth for poorer quality files than we can stream locally?).
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Hello JSchulte,

We don't have any updates right now about the 65k track limit, the Idea thread for this can be found here. This is a hardware limitation based on the amount of memory on Sonos components which can be allocated to storing our Music Index. As Sonos adds new components to the system, we're constantly trying to keep legacy units fully compatible so our customer's don't have to go out and buy the newest model. 

You can have up to 32 Sonos components setup in your home and each one with extend the Sonos wireless network, so if you're putting on on each floor, they should all be within range. Depending on environment, this range is about 30-50 feet.

There are workarounds for the 65k track limit posted on our User Forums but our recommendation is a music service such as Amazon Cloud Player (in countries where it's available). 

Cheers

Hi 1bit,

Thanks, those are some great suggestions and questions. We're aware of the interest in getting the index size increased and love your enthusiasm. We don't have any details that can be shared about future changes, but we'll make sure to let everyone know if there's any news.
Thanks
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Hello JSchulte,

We don't have any updates right now about the 65k track limit, the Idea thread for this can be found here. This is a hardware limitation based on the amount of memory on Sonos components which can be allocated to storing our Music Index. As Sonos adds new components to the system, we're constantly trying to keep legacy units fully compatible so our customer's don't have to go out and buy the newest model. 

You can have up to 32 Sonos components setup in your home and each one with extend the Sonos wireless network, so if you're putting on on each floor, they should all be within range. Depending on environment, this range is about 30-50 feet.

There are workarounds for the 65k track limit posted on our User Forums but our recommendation is a music service such as Amazon Cloud Player (in countries where it's available). 

Cheers

Thanks, Ryan. I am determined to fashion a solution for myself but would hope Sonos would do so for all their owners.

Although enthusiasts with large collections make up a small portion of the user base, they are typically the ones who make trusted recommendations to friends and family. As more competition enters this space, Sonos would be well served to solve this needless crippling of an otherwise exceptional sound system.
Honestly this just simply needs to be changed now.   Its been over 10 years since Sonos has been in business.    In the same time memory, storage and the ability for platforms (software and hardware) to process large volumes of data have moved the equivalent of a century in technology terms.   Its time Sonos just take care of this and keep to its roots of being an innovative company.   If I were the Sonos CEO, a retail rep or any level in between I would be embarrassed to have to explain this limitation.   Really Sonos?
I have decided to not buy this system. There are many new products coming out NOW that exceed features and sound quality of the 10 year old Sonos product line. I really do not understand people spending 400.00 on dated technology with memory limitation????? lol......these might be the same people who bought homes on 5year fixed and lost everything later. There are really nice new products out there now....compare !!!!!
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Lets see - I have 10 Sonos devices . . . and have heard the same non-answers for 3+ years. The guys in Product Management obviously don't care about solving this issue - otherwise Development would have solved it. It can be solved - not a question . . . it is just not a priority as the pain of serving those of us with 65K songs is not a priority. The part that kills me is that folks like me have spent a TON of money on this system - NOT knowing this limitation . . . and have yet to hear a clear commitment to solve the issue. Sonos keeps releasing new products - all of which have this limitation . . . but the problem remains unresolved. So - should I just sell my Sonos 'collection' and never come back? That is what you're telling me as a customer . . . the message is clear, you don't care enough about me - you want the NEXT customer. You've communicated very clearly through you lack of action. My turn to communicate back - by NOT spending any more money on Sonos. If you want to discuss this - fine, then reply to this thread on WHO to contact who gives a REAL crap about this. Hmmmm - seems I make this same post about every year or so . . . yawn . . .
I've recently bought a playbar and 2 play 1's. Not cheap! They show the same non-answer attitude when asked about controlling from a phone while locked. I find the attitude poor to replying on software based questions. Seriously on the verge of ebay as well.
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If the product is not for you then sell it. You can only buy or use what suits your own personal needs. Is it dated technology? Speaker design hasn't changed much for about 50 years. Components have been upgraded but in essence its still a cone, a magnet and an electrical current.My sons system sounds amazing, & I do have some high end audio for my DJ work. Is 65,000 tracks a limitation? (iTunes has a 20,000 limit I think) As a DJ I have collected music for over 20 years. My collection is around 25,000. I'd call that fairly exceptional. But there will be people who have massive collections. However, can you actually listen to every track in your collection? (possibly. 8 hours a day would take approx. 20 months) Like I said, you have to buy the tool that is right for you. If its not Sonos then fine. But don't slate the system if you don't even own it! For those with support issues I can understand your frustration.
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I think you make a really good point. I'm frustrated by Sonos' non-action on this but the clear (and relatively easy) workaround right now is to leave a Windows computer on somewhere in your network and have it index your music and then play it with the Sonos. Any cheap laptop will do the trick and if you can afford 65,000+ tracks of music then this is not an issue of money.

As for me, I think I'll try getting Sonospy to work on my NAS and that will be the end of it.
Hopefully this will help some people.

Below is a simple script for Mac OS X users (probably will work on other *nix systems but hasn't been tested) that will create all your m3u playlists for you from your library.  There are a few caveats:

  1. The script is setup to work with a NAS - it will need to be modified to work with local file systems
  2. When setting up your NAS you'll need two shares - one for the actual MP3 files and one for the playlists
  3. Sonos will need to be able to access the MP3 share with public rights - but the share should NOT be added to the Sonos music library
  4. The playlist share is the share that is added to the Sonos music library
  5. In the script it's assumed you've mapped volumes to your NAS for both the mp3 files and the playlists - change as appropriate 
I've used cron to schedule an hourly update of playlists by running this script (I call it makeM3U.sh) and then just use the Sonos music library update processing to keep Sonos updated.

Your music files will show up under Sonos' Imported Playlists - music will not be indexed by artist, album or track.

The script:
MUSICBASEPATH="/Volumes/mp3/"
MUSICPATH="${MUSICBASEPATH}*"
PLAYLISTPATH="/Volumes/sonos/"
MUSICSHAREPATH='\\\\192.168.1.9\\mp3\\'
for artist in $MUSICPATH
do
  if [ -d "$artist" ]
  then
    echo "Processing $artist"
    artistName=$(basename "$artist")
    echo "  Artist $artistName"
    cd "$artist"
    for album in *; do
      echo "  Album $album"
      if [ -d "$album" ]; then
        if [ ! -d "${PLAYLISTPATH}${artistName}" ]; then
          mkdir "${PLAYLISTPATH}${artistName}"
        fi
        find "${artist}/${album}" -type f -iname "*.mp3" | sed "s%$MUSICBASEPATH%$MUSICSHAREPATH%g" | sort > "${PLAYLISTPATH}${artistName}/${artistName}^${album}.m3u"
      fi
    done
  fi
done
Wow, I've just started my Sonos journey! So far my experience has been less than expected.
The Android controller hides certain things and doesn't make it easy to use and now I've just learned about the 65k limit which  is a little disconcerting, I have 37,000 music and podcast files. I will hit this limit soon
I was an early adopter and bought an entire suite of Sonus equipment way back when they were first available. I thankfully hit the dreaded track limit in time to return all of it. It was a shame, really. Back then as it is now, there were few wireless multi-room solutions that “just worked” (consistently synchronized and glitch-free playback, brainless installation, user friendly operation, great sound quality for normal consumers, and “sufficient” quality even for most audiophiles given the intended purpose and all around benefit.) Since then I’ve either moved into perhaps a couple dozen residences and offices and each time I “checked back in” to see if there was any progress here. There is still no “real” contender in this marketspace that makes a “definitely better” solution and I’ve gone to extremes with dedicated airplay servers, dedicated enterprise grade networking, and countless higher and highest end brands I’ll refrain from calling out here. In Sonos’ defense this is a shortsighted compromise made in the early days of creating their architecture to accommodate all the other benefits of their system (see above). To their detriment, they have lost not only enthusiasts such as myself as customers (I’d say potentially 20 or 30 units worth of equipment) but more importantly as user “1bit” mentions we are the most vocal evangelists. As a CTO with over 20 years in the industry my opinion is sought regularly and as with most tech (which I’m not a fan of ironically) there is this big footnote of the track limit on sonos systems which years ago were met with a shrug but increasingly it is NOT uncommon for that to be a low enough limit to dissuade buyers with my trickle-down opinion when they are asked why they “didn’t go Sonos”. I feel for Dale Hays – I know what it’s like to sign onto something with the faith that a shortcoming will be addressed (almost all tech ha). I feel for the Sonos moderators and representatives who clearly have nothing new they can add to the core question nor are their upstream comments to management and engineering being considered seriously enough for there to have been even a roadmap commitment. In Sonos management’s defense (and having been a part of several startups myself) I understand this is about user base growth and how best each dollar will yield a sharper curve. The real danger here is that frankly 65k tracks is NOT a lot - definitely not for the Long View. To me, it never was – even back then I had well over that amount. But now with music being so plentiful, cheap, and easy to amass legally 65k is something that will need to be addressed to prevent a ripple affect not only with user acquisitions but with customer retention. People who spend this much money (it’s no longer what I’d call cheap) will increasingly have this type of library and more importantly will NOT appreciate this “footnote” not being a CLEAR and honest marketing point up front. Would it really be so detrimental to spin it on the box (I mean EVERY retail box and on the opening page of every product on this site) to feature “control tens of thousands of songs in your personal library*” *footnote up to 65,000, or even “have fingertip access to over 50,000 of your songs in addition to the millions available at blah blah”? I only advise Sonos to really take a look at an argument made by Matt (the only real Sonos defender here) and think – do you want to sound like Matt? Is it really relevant that iTunes match has a lower limit (it’s not even a similar product). Does it really matter that in the real world Amazon’s matching service (available long before Apple’s) always crashes around 20 or 30k into the process and can go no further either? I admire Matt for – as a DJ “collecting music for over 20 years” – to have exhibited either restraint in his purchasing, have been very selective when adding to his library, or perhaps disciplined about selling music once no longer relevant to him. For me every CD good or bad represents a memory and thanks to data density doesn't take up cubic space that would make me look like a reality TV show hoarder (A 20-year DJ to have only 25k tracks is low by any measure and either points to a highly curated collection for a very specific client-base, or perhaps one that is mostly vinyl and unlike demented people like us, never made digital and meticulously tagged). And I don’t mean to bash Matt here because in principle I agree there is rarely a one-size-fits all solution for anything let alone in this space. But as an avid collector he should know that one would not visit a house with a large dedicated book library and criticize the an avid reader for not being able to read the books in one’s library in his/her lifetime based on the linear calculation. (even in backhand remark that with n books x n pages div ppm = 20 months which isn't impossible). Whether or not you are a bookworm, have you never gone into your own library of books and “gone shopping” for a single book (or even a single passage) that has yielded an excellent weekend reading session with a few other books in hand? Or had friends over and mid-discussion pulled out a great memory from a book you'd otherwise never read again that enriched the dialogue or ended up as more book sales for that author? Likewise no, I don’t listen to my 30k+ CD’s linearly (actually maybe more I’ve lost count after 20k frankly) and the argument that the calculated total play time exceeds practical limits is weak at best, uninformed at worst. Most wouldn’t have the time to even post these comments but I do it every few years - since I was “checking in” to see if I could keep it simple outfitting my new office with a wall mounted playbar, sub, and several plays I came across this thread and am doing my once-in-a-few-years civic duty. Having access to my entire library indexed and online makes for a great “always discovering new music” scenario when in shuffle mode. It’s always nice to hear a sort-of-familiar song on TV and use a song-recognition program to realize I already own something, had paid the artist my ,002 of royalties and just didn’t know the name of it (and now I do). As an aside, the weakest argument so far the collectors make is the sound quality argument which really doesn’t apply here – let’s be real this is a big-box store setup with many other merits (simplicity, ease of use, etc.) and sure we’d love an uber-SQ version but that’s not what this is for. That’s why when no one’s home we drop the needle on the record or bring out the master tapes and sit back for half an hour in bliss. And for the ardent few, come back to me after setting up distributed synchronized airplay and tell me how you feel after that! Matt, as a DJ of “over 20 years” must know the trend has dropped sharply of “good tracks per album”, and most collectors (of CD’s anyway) would rather rip the entire CD that decide CD-by-CD and track-by-track what will be worthy to fit into a track limit constraint. Perhaps a DJ’s collection is heavy on 45’s, but given the sheer amount of vinyl I’ve digitized (more than once with technology improving) I’m certainly not going stare at the needle and fiddle with which remix I want to keep or edit them out in post! If I had that kind of spare time I certainly wouldn’t be buying consumer Sonos gear! (For lack of this luxury of time, I’ll preempt the dubious by stating I started ripping a few CD's a day manual to now using two robotic 75-disc capacity rippers on dedicated workstations for as long as I can remember to digitize over years of effort to (what this year is) a 96TB capacity media server that houses among other things the songs once housed in dozens of 400 networked disc changers before ripped to WAV then trans-coded to various compressed forms to accommodate the likes of Sonos, iPhones, etc). Anyway, since I don’t have that kind of spare time but now more readily afford the Sonos gear, I’m afraid to say yet again I’m probably going to “pass” on what probably would have been a 2-3k big-box store run today. Who knows maybe I’ll do it again on a whim as the fact is I do listen to more pandora/apple/amazon/etc but only because I have 45 day return privileges. Place your bets now! Sonos moderator: I hope this post covers enough of the salient points your board needs to hear for it to be worthy of sending upstream to management. I get it, it’s not easy and it has been an educated choice by your committee(s) from the outset. You’ve done well so far. But this market moves fast (think of how many competitors have come and gone) and though it’d be best to attach some resources to a next-gen solution, at the least this “limitation” can be spun into a marketing line and slapped on each and every box so less-understanding early adopters and enthusiasts (read: evangelists) consumers aren’t infuriated after waiting through the process to hit that limit. If your marketing department has identified the 65k+ track crowd as outliers, then why not simply state it on the box? That’s the money-where-your-mouth-is constructive criticism I have for you: Put it ON the box. Put it ON the website. This is not for a support article we “check in with.” Make a mailing list specifically for this issue for the outliers and let us know when/if there’s a v2. (and "no update" updates are appreciated by our crowd if it means not having to "check in") If your research proved us to be an insignificant portion of the market (and hey you’re still around so they can’t be too wrong – SO FAR), that kind of up-front marketing message (eg. “holds over 50k of your tracks and stream millions more!”) should ENCOURAGE the valued majority of your about-to-be-new-users and reduce the impact of return policies the big box stores impose on you and more importantly minimize the incalculable “bad private press” you will increasingly receive from trusted opinion nodes who were frustrated and felt misled after having gone through all the setup only to find out what has been a day zero issue that could have been disclosed. (of special note to classical music collectors admittedly perhaps the smallest of the small bunch – the 65k limit is not a track limit but one calculated based on size of meta data, I believe – Sonus please correct me if I’m wrong! Ie, if you had a bunch of songs and albums that were only a few characters in length then you may hit a 2^16 issue but for those of us with significant classical music that are always bumping into 255 character limits in our file system pathnames expect the sonos “track limit” to be even smaller as it is technically an “index size” limit based on aggregate metadata. SO unless I have it wrong you may want to better characterize the limit in your FAQ's.) Let’s not forget Sonos – you don’t own the media rights in what is sure to be an even more heated round of battles among the media and tech giants. Streaming device platforms are allowed access to these services only because they are warring each other right now and need those eyeballs. But as the players who own the rights (or contracts directly with rights owners) start to make devices (you know who they are), and once that becomes ubiquitous, at the end of the day you have an amazing mesh audio network and some solid products. I can’t watch 4k movies on my Curved Samsungs (yet) since that media server Sony-the-also-content-company makes only works on my Sony set. Wanna watch House of Cards or Orange? Thankfully everything still plays Netflix (yes Vudu, that's you I'm jabbing). Sonos, your index is the only content differentiation for which you own the IP. It’s a good index no doubt but the limit has been obsolete for a select crowd since day 1 so either roadmap it for us or heck why not just take it away entirely? At the very least please make this limitation clear, if only in a spun “feature” ON the box and ON the retail site – if only so Sonos can live long enough for me to “check in” to a buried support article every so often and see there’s been no progress (I’d miss that).
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You make many very salient points here. But I am plagued by one question for you: you have a dedicated media server that is on full-time so the limit does apply to you. Indeed, for most, a simple solution is a cheap laptop running Windows Media Server or Rhapsody. This adds a (needless, in my opinion) step but would be an adequate fix for many.

I think those of us with large libraries may be going the way of the dinosaur as personalized streaming seems to be the direction many companies are moving towards. I assume Apple will make a big push into Sonos' territory over the next couple years with its purchase of Beats. Meanwhile, Sonos has hired a former MS executive and I can't help but feel that Sonos may end up in the MS camp down the road (like Nokia) if it needs to compete. There is a great deal of convergent evolution going on at Apple, Google and Microsoft.

Then again, maybe they hired someone from MS so they can finally make a Windows Phone app!
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Some great replies, by people who want Sonos to succeed and prosper . . .  the funny thing is there is no reply, no position, nothing  . . . again. This tells us 'consumers' and owners that it is not important and even worse, that you aren't willing to participate in the discussion, to make your points, to argue your position . . .  nothing . . .  running from the controversy or not paying attention -- both will hurt your future.

PS:  Did you happen to read the post by 'Cactus' . . .  seems like somebody who has a clue and wants you to pay attention, to succeed, to be relevant - taking a LOT of time out of his day to compose and write such a reply - with a lot of empathy to you, objective statements and facts worth noting.   One would think that somebody with a marketing clue at Sonos would have the smarts to reply.

But . . . the sound of our trees falling in the land of Sonos . . . cannot be heard . . .
I think that someone at SONOS who has a narrow view of what their customers want given how much they have paid for it, is making the decisions here whilst thinking they are right and no one else knows what they want. Responses to requests are poor, vague, hollow and disinterested in suggestions that would improve their product. Ps. Lock screen volume control and track changer? Come on. It's a basic functionality that ruins the product with its absence. (Sorry for talking about something else here but he never I get the chance and all that. )
Devastated to find that Sonos have this 65k limit if I had known I would not have bought their system.  It really needs publicising so that consumers know prior to falling into this trap.  I had plans to put their system throughout our property but after finding this out I shall now have to reconsider.  I have just installed their amp and roof speakers and the sound and application is fantastic but I now have a product with limitations.  I shall not be expanding the system as expected until this limit is removed or I find another system to replace their amp.  I'm not happy and very disappointed with Sonos and after reading the above comments all i can say "is come on get your act together Sonos and stop upsetting your customers"
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Yep - another one who is 'surprised' with the limitation that I found out the 'hard way' as well.  It has definitely tainted my perceptions of Sonos as a very customer friendly company - seems this is an area where they are just not concerned.  Enjoy what you can .  .
I guess I'm another person that fell for this deception.  People seem to always talk positively about Sonos and their products but after my experience over the last few weeks I certainly do not see them as a customer oriented type company at all.  This whole 65K limit thing is just silly and not telling people about it openly and being upfront about it from the start is pure deception.  A lot of us seem to have fallen into this trap which has been going on for many years it appears from looking through all the questions posted.

Shame on you Sonos!

If you really are proud of having this limitation then be very up front about it and take your lumps of not selling your products to the higher end of the market.  You know the people that enjoy music and spend money on having a large music library.  It's very sad that you have to use deception to sell your products to these people.

If you have a staff that is incapable of fixing this problem over many years including new releases of HW and many SW revisions you need to find better talent.  I work for a very large computer company which would have never put up with something like this.  We would have either update the HW to remove the limit (if this is really the case, it's unclear at this point from my research) or found a workable SW solution to the problem.

Deception by obfuscation is no way to sell products, especially high end ones.  Sad days indeed!
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And the Sonos Silence is deafening . . .  just don't care now do they . . .
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May I ask if you all purchased your 65 thousand plus songs.
And the Sonos Silence is deafening . . .  
The silence is deafening because the question was asked and answered.  If the answer changes, I'm sure the silence will be broken. 
And the Sonos Silence is deafening . . .  
Thanks for the advice.  Lets all never "question authority" again on any level and use that as the guiding principle for effecting change.    Really?
And the Sonos Silence is deafening . . .  
I never thought Sonos was an "authority" from which I had to escape its chains, I thought they were a music hardware company. I stand corrected. I now know I should put them in the same light as totalitarian governments and slave masters.
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And the Sonos Silence is deafening . . .  
Whatever . . . Jgatie, your rhetoric is quite 'thin' to me.  The 'answers' from Sonos are quite 'grey' and no real position was taken . . . AND nothing was done to clarify the issue with future buyers (as that might lose a sale). I understand how company 'Management and Marketing' walks that walk - have been on both sides of that argument . . . and I've reaped the repercussions of my/our actions.

Some companies are clear in publishing their product's capabilities, acknowledge their limitations and communicate with their prospects and customers.  Others tend to hide the inconvenient truths or justify their position (or lack thereof), give 'grey' answers and treat their current customers worse than the ones they hope to acquire.  Those who underwhelm their customers will lose market share (over time - if there is a better option), those who continue to impress with great products AND great customer service . . . will flourish.  Usually the 'truth' will pave the best future . . .

You choose which side of that coin you'd rather be on as "the customer" . . .