Macro / presets

  • 22 September 2005
  • 61 replies
  • 14606 views

Just got the intro bundle, and I am impressed. I did a search and did not find this suggested, but I would save Zone links as favorites. With only 2 ZPs it is not a problem yet, but when I add more it maybe. I would like to setup say Morning mode for the units I want in the morning and a preset volume between the units. Another example I would have 2 party modes, Summer and Winter. The Summer mode would include the deck speakers and the Winter mode would not. Also it would be nice to have playlists or radio station associated with each mode. So when I get up I press Morning the DI Chill radio station plays.

Jeff

Would you use 'house-presets'?


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61 replies

Userlevel 2
I would find this functionality useful as well... I find myself manually linking and unlinking zones and setting volumes in a very repetitive way. I would think that a macro type function would be able to save those manual steps into a single selection of a favorite.
Yes this sounds good.

Something like the ability to create a "zone group" which appears on the zone list, and perhaps the ability to hide/lock individual zones.

I'm not sure how the "Preset volume" and source/playlist would work in this context. You wouldn't necessarily want this activated every time you selected the zone group, or how would you select the group to change the volume, etc.?

Perhaps we need a "presets", page (perhaps using the soft-keys on the Zone screen) to allow a preset to be initiated. This preset could comprise a zone (or zone group), a volume profile, and a source or playlist, or it could be a macro sequence.

Discuss..... :)

Cheers,

Keith
Userlevel 2
Great idea. A macro-like scripter would enable you to set groups of zones, associate playlists/i-radio, volumes, etc. You could do these as dynamic "presets" based on the Party Mode--which the spouse would love--like Entertaining, Romantic Dinner, Ambiance, etc.

This is a great like-to-have.
Userlevel 2
Just stumbled across what might make for an interesting feature. This came from discussion with my wife over an easier way for her to operate the remote controller. More specifically, the idea was born as we were having a glass of wine on the patio the other evening (listening to Sonos near the pool of course).

So you spend some time building a playlist and decide to let er rip throughout your house. My wife will spend a while (sometimes a long while) tweaking the volumes by zone, zone structure (play here - not here, etc) and pretty much fine tune the listening environment in our house to enjoy as she goes about her daily activities. It might be a hard rock playlist one day, or a love song playlist the next, each having a seperately crafted listening ambience as one moves throughout the house.

(Anyone guessed the feature yet?)

Yes, why not incorporate a feature when special playlists are saved/stored the user can set the zone structrures, zone volumes, zone on/off, etc and allow it to be SAVED with the playlist. This way you go to playlist, select your carefully crafted artistic masterpiece and the whole environment adjusts right before your very ears (so to speak).

So when I go to work in the morning, and my wife fires up the playlist she wants, all things adjust automatically just the way she likes it, every single time.

Talk about upping the WAF radically ... this could do it.

P.S. I like it too ....... what say you Sonos?

{Sorry if this is repeat of earlier recommendation I did search under keywords "memorized features"}
This could be called "Scenes".

Cheers,

Keith
Userlevel 2
I like the concept but would prefer saving the configuration under System Settings - ZonePlayer Settings.
I like the 'scene' concept, but also agree that this is not related to playlists. You should be able to select a scene regardless of what you are playing - on the fly queue, radio, playlist etc.

I guess optionally, a playlist could be associated with a scene. But a scene is distinct, and not limited to a playlist is my point.

db
Userlevel 2
Ok. I see the valid point of stored settings for the Zone Players in lieu of "in association with" playlists. However, being able to attach/link a playlist to a zone player "scene" would be most useful. This would keep the user from having to select the "scene" each time for a selected playlist establishing a consistent listening experience. The "scene" definition was brilliant BTW. You could develop romantic diner at home scene, pool party scene, baby asleep scene, working in home office scene, etc.

Still think it sounds like it would be worth looking into as I can not see that it would be too complicated to accomplish in future software upgrades.
Userlevel 2
For instant play of main folders without getting into the menu.
Userlevel 2
Such as "shuffle". I'm tired of having to turn on the shuffle mode!!!!!!!!
Userlevel 4
Badge +2
What folders?
Userlevel 2
Whatever folder you assign as your favorites. Perhaps 3 or 4 folders, one for each person in the family. So "A" could be "dad's", "B" could be "mom's", etc. Or a single person might have "A" attached to his "R&R favorites" and "B" attached to "Music for dates". Then all you have to do is press one of the buttons and *blammo*, the folder starts playing with a pre-programmed setting of whether it in random or not.

I am assuming you understand that Sonos uses folders, right? Or should I call them "playlists"?
Playlists makes more sense in a Sonos context.

A "folder" is where you store the music at a file-system level.

Now I understand what you're suggesting, I have to say I'm not in favour. There are a limited number of controls (and therefore functions) on the Sonos controller interface, and I'm not sure I would like to see them used up on something so trivial and that, I suspect, most people won't use.

Cheers,

Keith
No one is trying to be difficult re folders vs playlist. Folders to pretty much everyone would mean operating system directories, not groups of tracks. These are almost universally referred to as playlists, not just within Sonos, but any digital music player.

I think I'm with Keith on this. The playlist list is only a click or so away, and given the limited number of buttons, I don't think this is good use of them. It would mean removing view queue, add to queue type functionality - functionality that will likely have higher use than favorites.

Having said that, I think John touches on a good point. I believe the organisation of imported playlists, Sonos playlists and personal radio streams could be better organised. The user should be able to merge these and create hierarchies. Although I appreciate the technical angle, from a pure user perspective having to go into different menus to access these, and seeing only 1 giant level is not enough. For example, the top level should simply be favorites (for which a soft button could jump to), then beneath that a user could have Mum, Dad, Johnny for example, then in each of those subgroups, playlists and/or further subgroups. In other words, allow the user to decide how he/she wants to organise it. Similar to Favorites in IE.

db
Userlevel 2
Well, look, I'm a dealer and having a "one touch" operation would be a HUGE selling point. As in "here, press this". Here's what I have to do to get *my* music going:

Press "Music"
Spin dial
Press "imported playlist"
Spin dial
Press enter to select
Press enter to say "play now"
Press play mode
Spin dial
Press enter to select shuffle

I think I even missed something. So there's nearly 10 steps to get my favorite "playlist" going the way I want.

Also, I'm not suggesting that the current unit should have this feature, but there will be a next generation controller and this feature should *absolutely* be on there. To suggest that the feature is "trivial" and that "no one would use" it is grossly out of touch with the people that use the system. One touch? Or ten? Gee, what do I prefer?
John Ashman,

If "efficiency", as measured by number of buttons pressed, would be the most important aspect of a user interface, RPN calculators would be the rule.
You've missed about 100 steps in your "1-touch" scenario: those required to construct all of the different playlists.

Whilst this might be useful as a quick dealer demo, I can't see people wanting it in real life.

The "1-touch" benefit completely goes out the windows as soon as you add in the playlist maintenence. I actually doubt very many people listen the the same, small, fixed set of playlists day in-day out.

For instance, I have a set of playlists for different things (e.g. 60's music), but I rarely use them. I normally prefer to select my music on a whim, based on scanning through my collection and seeing who I fancy listing to at a particular time.

You haven't convinced me that this isn't a trivial feature. There are a large number of other functions that could apply to having their own dedicated button. Given a choice of these I would reckon "selecting a predefined playlist" would be quite far down on most people's list.

As a user I would be totally against having a feature whose main use was as a Sales tool, but which was of little use under normal conditions.

Now, if you expand this to some sort of "macro" button where people (including Salesmen) can pre-define their own preferred actions against a "1-touch" button, then it starts to make some sense.

Cheers,

Keith
Userlevel 2
You've missed about 100 steps in your "1-touch" scenario: those required to construct all of the different playlists.

Perhaps, but you only have to do that *once* with a few minor updates a few times a year. You don't have do it *every* single time as you do with starting a playlist


Whilst this might be useful as a quick dealer demo, I can't see people wanting it in real life.


You should get out more and actually speak with end users. I guarantee every one of my customers would use this virtually every day. I certainly would.


The "1-touch" benefit completely goes out the windows as soon as you add in the playlist maintenence. I actually doubt very many people listen the the same, small, fixed set of playlists day in-day out.


That's why I call it a "favorite" button. I actually *do* listen to one playlist just about every day, unless I'm specifically in the mood for a specific genre. And it would be *far* more useful for a family.


For instance, I have a set of playlists for different things (e.g. 60's music), but I rarely use them. I normally prefer to select my music on a whim, based on scanning through my collection and seeing who I fancy listing to at a particular time.


That's you. But you shouldn't be telling other people what they won't use. I can get a list of people who *will* use the feature if need be.


You haven't convinced me that this isn't a trivial feature. There are a large number of other functions that could apply to having their own dedicated button. Given a choice of these I would reckon "selecting a predefined playlist" would be quite far down on most people's list.


Thankfully, I don't care if you're convinced or not. You don't have to buy it or use it. I just care if Sonos is listening. But I'm kind of annoyed that you're standing in the way of progress here.


As a user I would be totally against having a feature whose main use was as a Sales tool, but which was of little use under normal conditions.


Don't use it then. Then I'm "totally against" internet radio or Rhapsody because *I* don't use it. Get rid of the color screen. I don't need a sub out, take it away. See how that works? I can come up with half a dozen useful features that I don't use that *you* probably couldn't live without.


Now, if you expand this to some sort of "macro" button where people (including Salesmen) can pre-define their own preferred actions against a "1-touch" button, then it starts to make some sense.


Nothing wrong with that. It could even be your favorite internet radio station. See, adding to an idea is better than complaining about it. Of course, I'd love to know what is behind your negative, anti-sales person attitude. We're the guys that actually talk to customers on a daily basis and support the company with actual income.
Userlevel 4
Badge +2
Here's what I have to do to get *my* music going:

Press "Music"
Spin dial
Press "imported playlist"
Spin dial
Press enter to select
Press enter to say "play now"
Press play mode
Spin dial
Press enter to select shuffle

I think I even missed something. So there's nearly 10 steps to get my favorite "playlist" going the way I want.


This is what we call a training issue...

Firstly, if shuffle is on...it's always on...so you don't need to keep turning it on. Secondly, you had _far_ too many steps. May I show you the quick route?

Press "Music"
Spin dial
Press "imported playlist"
Spin dial
Press Play

3 button presses. Now that didn't hurt did it? 😃
You should get out more and actually speak with end users.

Perhaps youy should get out a bit and speak with end-users too.... ones that have actually been users of the system for 6 months or so.

Having been a Sonos user for over a year (long enough to know the difference between "folders" and playlists"), and having been a member of this forum for most of that time, I think Ihave a good view of what users are asking for.

One of the most common requests on this forum is better playlist/queue management. This implies people don't program up a handful of playlists and then listen to the same one day in, day out for the next 6 months.

Conversely this is the first time I can recall anyone asking (or even suggesting) a dedicated playlist hot-button.

Most of the suggestions on this forum that have merit are quickly followed up be other users saying "yes please", or "sounds like a good idea". This one hasn't so draw your own conclusions.

I guarantee every one of my customers would use this virtually every day. I certainly would.


I think you are wrong. I'm not a betting man, but if it was feasible I would put a bet on the vast majority of your users NOT using this (in the limited form you suggest) regularly after a year. The fact what you're suggesting is simply too restrictive, and adds very little benefit. In essence it is placing too much value on a relatively trivial function which takes a small number of button presses in reality.

Now, user-programmable macro-buttons... that would have some merit.


That's why I call it a "favorite" button. I actually *do* listen to one playlist just about every day, unless I'm specifically in the mood for a specific genre. And it would be *far* more useful for a family.


I have some playlists for some members of my family. Guess what? They never use them. Playlists has to be one of the most underused features of Sonos in our household. I may be unique, but I don't think I am, and even when they are used, we mix a match (maybe select 2 different playlists and add to the queue and randomise).

I think one of the joys of Sonos is the ability to explore the music we have. Having a fixed playlist which to use every day doesn't appeal to me.

That's you. But you shouldn't be telling other people what they won't use. I can get a list of people who *will* use the feature if need be.


And what you are describing is you. You can't honestly speak for your customers unless you go around each of their homes several months after they have bought their Sonos system, and spend a few days observing their useage habits.

If you said your job was a GUI designer I might have placed more credence on your views. I find it noteworthy that of all of the music systems out there, most of whom have been designed with professional experts in ergonomics, usability, and interface design, I can't think of a single one that has the feature you propose.

But I'm kind of annoyed that you're standing in the way of progress here.


This is NOT progress, and the fact you make such a facile statements as this makes me lose a lot of respect for your suggestions.

Progress is a steady improvement. This, to me, is just a change with a limited benefit to a very limited portion of the user base.

See, adding to an idea is better than complaining about it.


You should also pay more attention. I did add to that idea. I said it would have more merit if it was they were generic programmable hot-buttons, not fixed-function playlist-only ones.

I'm not arguing against progress, I'm arguing that the idea should needs more research and thought. That in itself it is too limited to be of use for most people.

I'm also not arguing against brainstorming. Brainstorming is coming up with lots of spur-of-the-moment, random ideas. The next stage of this is to qualify them, work out if they are useful or not, and discard the ones which are not. The ones you keep you then refine and work out the wrinkles. If you post such a proposal on this forum then you have to expect some criticism, objections, discussion, and even modification of that proposal.

This is what qualifies these ideas and crystalises peoples views on them, and eventually leads to sensible discussion about new features that would benefit everyone, not just a few, vocal people who dig their heels in because they are emotionally attached to their idea.

I've made suggestions myself, and others have said, "not for me", or "that wouldn't work". The trick is not to take it personally.

Most of the forum members, including myself, are keen to explore and debate new ideas in order to improve the product. Sonos does appear to listen to these, but they debate is often as important as the idea itself. This helps to show the level of desire/support in the user base as well as the users concerns, and often good feedback on how the original suggestion could be improved.

I have provided this feedback: I said the facility was too limited for most people, but expanding the idea to be a generic macro/function button would be better.

Note that this has already been suggested on the forum, and had some support.

Of course, I'd love to know what is behind your negative, anti-sales person attitude. We're the guys that actually talk to customers on a daily basis and support the company with actual income.


I'm not anti-Sales people at all. I've worked in Sales and Sales support myself across a range of markets from retail through to Corporate Sales to large multinationals.

Tring to twist my arguments into being "anti-Sales" is another example of you being facile and devisive.

What I'm against is making significant changes to a product simply to make a Salesman's life easier. Actually I'm not even against that. If the changes are simple, cosmetic, and effective then I'm all for it. If, for instance, changing the color of the Sonos logo a shade increased Sales by 10% then I'm all for it.

On the other hand, with so many other truly beneficial improvements to the system that could be made, I'm against major changes to the system functionality (especially ones which are significant and expensive) which most people will not use if the primary reason for that change is to make it easier for a Salesman to demo it.

Cheers,

Keith
I'll try to get this back on track. In no way are my comments intended to target a particular view (or person) on these forums....:)

Just trying to understand how most people use Sonos. Playlists are without doubt very useful, and something I use frequently. But it's not my most used feature. More often, I randomly queue up tracks/albums/artists etc. No particular pattern etc - just depends on mood, time of day, color of the sky (or type of beverage 😉 ). I would get very bored, very quickly if I just played a particular playlist over and over.

I do like the idea or better organising the library, with a favorites concept (not limited to playlists), user defined hierarchy folders etc etc. So I could have groups of artists together, or playlists, radio stations etc. All 'mixed' up (differentiated by icon). Similar to a favorites menu in IE etc.

Where the above discussion breaks down for me, is dedicating a button to link to one specific item. I'd rather have the freedom to define my own structure, folders, subfolders etc. Then I can have most used near the top level, and barely used buried deeply in my own folder structure.

Just my 2c.

db
Userlevel 2
This is what we call a training issue...

Firstly, if shuffle is on...it's always on...so you don't need to keep turning it on. Secondly, you had _far_ too many steps. May I show you the quick route?

Press "Music"
Spin dial
Press "imported playlist"
Spin dial
Press Play

3 button presses. Now that didn't hurt did it? :D


This is more like a "you don't know what you're talking about" issue. Every single time I pull up a playlist, *every* single time, I have to shuffle it. If there's a way to save "shuffle" as the preferred method of playback, I'm all ears.
Userlevel 4
Badge +2
This is more like a "you don't know what you're talking about" issue. Every single time I pull up a playlist, *every* single time, I have to shuffle it. If there's a way to save "shuffle" as the preferred method of playback, I'm all ears.

Don't turn it off!

I've never seen shuffle turn itself off, unfortunately. If you link 2 zones together though and the zone you merge into has shuffle off, then the linking zone will also have shuffle disabled.

So, enabled shuffle on all the zones and they'll never turn themselves off...barring a power cut.

I know, my other half loves shuffle and I spend half my life turning it off.
Userlevel 2
I'd like to personally invite all moderators to please delete their unhelpful messages, thank you. Otherwise, I'll have to restart this thread and specifically request at the top "no moderators" and then have a chat with Sonos. If I wanted sarcastic, unhelpful people in my life, I'd sell Sony, thanks.

Back to the subject. I called it "favorite folders" because it's NOT just playlists. It's genres, artists, *whatever*.

Here's the thing about these buttons. They could:

1. Recall a favorite radio station so one press activates it.
2. Recall a single playlist, genre, artist, etc for instant access.
3. Recall *multiple* playlists for instant access, such combining two similar genres or your three different bands or shuffle both you and your wife's music. Your choice.
4. Alternatively, for those that despise the idea so much, have "saved configurations", like saving your linkages for "Party Mode" in which 3 or 4 zones are automatically linked and, optionally, a particular playlist started.

And it would save your preferred play mode as part of the memory.

For those that won't use it, sorry. Not everyone will use every feature, I sure don't. But it would be nice to see a little respect for those that have different needs and wants that yourselves. I don't go around from thread to thread attacking other people's ideas. Let them stand or fall on their own merit. And for god's sake, if you're a moderator, remember what the job entails. You're a referee, not quarterback and certainly not the team owner. Stop trying to throw the game.
Userlevel 2
Don't turn it off!

I've never seen shuffle turn itself off, unfortunately.


Mine does regularly. Every time I start my playlist, I have to go to shuffle, without exception. Sure, as long as it is uninterrupted, fine. But if I do something else, then reload my queue, I have to go back to shuffle. Not that this has much to do with my idea, exactly.