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Playing Youtube via SONOS.

  • 18 November 2012
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The idea is simple; to have a feature to play Youtube videos directly via the Sonos controller on iPod etc.
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Best answer by Ryan S 2 March 2018, 23:36

Hi everyone, there’s been a lot of discussion here with great suggestions and feedback. We make sure to share all that internally with our teams. I wanted to make an official post here for anyone joining the discussion regarding YouTube and Sonos. There are also some requests in here for sending all the audio from your device (computer or mobile) right to Sonos. I'll pass along those requests too.

We don’t have any announced plans regarding adding YouTube as an official service for Sonos. We’ll let everyone know if that changes in the future. That said, there are some ways to get the audio from your videos playing on your Sonos speakers. Take a look here:

Line-In



A great way to get any audio into Sonos that isn’t available through our software is to use the line-in on a Sonos PLAY:5, Connect, or Connect:Amp. Using the line-in, you are able to bring any audio content from a device with an audio output to play across your entire Sonos system. The line-in can be played from the player it’s connected to to any combination of players in your home.

Taking the audio signal from a streaming video and playing it through Line-In will introduce a latency of around 70ms. In most cases this isn’t noticeable, however, you may experience lip sync issues if you’re watching critically. If you’re looking for a speaker to pair your audio and video with, you may want to take a look at the Playbase or Playbar. These use optical audio connections which give a higher quality and lower latency.


Smart TV to Sonos Home Theater



This is personally my favorite way. If you have a smart TV or something connected to your TV that can receive a YouTube signal, you can even have a Playbase or Playbar connected to that TV playing YouTube on Sonos. The audio from the Playbase or PLAYBAR can also be grouped with other players to send that audio around the house.

This way sounds great. You’ll be able to see the video on a large screen and hear the audio coming from the same place, the way it’s intended.


Airplay 2



Now available, we’ve introduced Airplay 2 to Sonos players. Using AirPlay 2 you can send the audio from your iOS device to a compatible Sonos player (Sonos One, Beam, Play:5 gen2, Playbase, or Sonos Amp) and once that audio is into the Sonos system, you can group that player with any other Sonos devices to play your audio in all the rooms you want. You can find the full details on Airplay 2 with Sonos here.

AirPlay 2 will allow you to send most audio content being played on your iOS device on Sonos; that includes videos, games, podcasts, and music.


Try out Google Play Music



It’s not YouTube support, but if you have a YouTube Red account, you likely have access to Google Play Music as well. This is an official music streaming service on Sonos and has quite the large selection of music of over 35 million songs. You can also use an Android device to send the audio on your Google Play Music app directly to Sonos players.


Unofficial Solutions



There are some other great ways to get YouTube audio playing on Sonos, though we don’t have any specifically to recommend. You can find some good suggestions and ways to go hidden in this thread, so feel free to peruse the comments.


We recommend keeping an eye on this thread for further updates regarding this feature request. As soon as there’s anything new to share, you’ll be among the first to know here.
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Hi everyone,

I wanted to let you all know that Airplay 2 is now available through our latest update. Using Airplay 2 you can stream YouTube audio from your iOS device to the PLAYBASE, Beam, Sonos One or PLAY:5 gen 2 speakers.
Add the Youtube Music service, thanks
As Sonos speakers will become airPlay 2 compatible, some time this year, I'm presuming this will solve this issue (on IOS devices), as that will allow you to stream any media content that is currently available to airPlay, including locally saved music/movies?
Apparently i connect my tv audio line out onto my play 5 line input. Use the sonos app to activate the line in function using thr room setting. The youtube karaoke video will be displayed and the sound channelled thru my play 5 and 2x play 1 setup. For mic, im using the bluetooth mic to channel my voice. (For karaoke enthusiasts). Ps: it is possibke to stream youtube frm ur smart tv into sonos speaker. Cheers guyz.

We recommend keeping an eye on this thread for further updates regarding this feature request. As soon as there’s anything new to share, you’ll be among the first to know here.


This sounds like a teaser from Sonos.

Word on the street is that Google is prepping a grand unified version of YooToob Red and Google Play Music. Wouldn't surprise me if Sonos is currently working with Google to integrate this, perhaps with Sonos Direct Control.
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But Sonos is not legally allowed to integrate it into their application. It is YouTube that doesn't allow it and would be a lawsuit if they did. The SonosTube app just flys enough under the radar - - I'm still always surprised it still exists and they haven't come down on him.

Since YouTube doesn't allow any direct audio connections to it (like I said not even with their Chromecast Audio) then the only way is for the audio at the phone/device level to be captured and streamed (ie. Bluetooth, airplay on ios, chromecast capturing on android, or direct wiring). The only thing Sonos could do would be add Bluetooth (they won't you have to manually add dongle with play:5 or Connect), Airplay (they are adding), Chromecast (we don't know if that is coming with Google Home), and direct wiring (of course need a play:5 or connect then again).
From a dev/tech perspective I understand the situation here. Looking at it from a user lens, it is a poor customer experience.

Personally, I can use third party apps to stream audio to Sonos. I even do that through my laptop albeit with a lag as I have to stream the audio as a station and make Sonos pick up the stream as a radio station. Again, like I said poor customer experience.

The point here is not whether Sonos is good or not. It is an excellent quality product and in today’s world an average customer would expect this.
Userlevel 7
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Well ..... YouTube doesn't even allow it via their Chromecast Audio .... so its not unusual at all.

For ios there is the SonosTube app which is a work around way to do it. Also with Sonos adding Airplay2 later this year that will be a more direct way to do it.

We don't know if google home ability later this year will bring chromecast ability to Sonos (which would allow a work around casting from phone audio).

of course the old fashion way is add a Bluetooth dongle to a Sonos input.

Fact though is .... your biggest streaming platform doesn't want you to be able to stream audio only as they make money on video.

There is YouTube Red service that they expect to be used for audio / which also gives you google play service that streams direct from app to Sonos.
Sonos should find a way, work with YouTube may be, and incorporate the biggest streaming platform there is via its app.
Userlevel 7
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Hi everyone, there’s been a lot of discussion here with great suggestions and feedback. We make sure to share all that internally with our teams. I wanted to make an official post here for anyone joining the discussion regarding YouTube and Sonos. There are also some requests in here for sending all the audio from your device (computer or mobile) right to Sonos. I'll pass along those requests too.

We don’t have any announced plans regarding adding YouTube as an official service for Sonos. We’ll let everyone know if that changes in the future. That said, there are some ways to get the audio from your videos playing on your Sonos speakers. Take a look here:

Line-In



A great way to get any audio into Sonos that isn’t available through our software is to use the line-in on a Sonos PLAY:5, Connect, or Connect:Amp. Using the line-in, you are able to bring any audio content from a device with an audio output to play across your entire Sonos system. The line-in can be played from the player it’s connected to to any combination of players in your home.

Taking the audio signal from a streaming video and playing it through Line-In will introduce a latency of around 70ms. In most cases this isn’t noticeable, however, you may experience lip sync issues if you’re watching critically. If you’re looking for a speaker to pair your audio and video with, you may want to take a look at the Playbase or Playbar. These use optical audio connections which give a higher quality and lower latency.


Smart TV to Sonos Home Theater



This is personally my favorite way. If you have a smart TV or something connected to your TV that can receive a YouTube signal, you can even have a Playbase or Playbar connected to that TV playing YouTube on Sonos. The audio from the Playbase or PLAYBAR can also be grouped with other players to send that audio around the house.

This way sounds great. You’ll be able to see the video on a large screen and hear the audio coming from the same place, the way it’s intended.


Airplay 2



Now available, we’ve introduced Airplay 2 to Sonos players. Using AirPlay 2 you can send the audio from your iOS device to a compatible Sonos player (Sonos One, Beam, Play:5 gen2, Playbase, or Sonos Amp) and once that audio is into the Sonos system, you can group that player with any other Sonos devices to play your audio in all the rooms you want. You can find the full details on Airplay 2 with Sonos here.

AirPlay 2 will allow you to send most audio content being played on your iOS device on Sonos; that includes videos, games, podcasts, and music.


Try out Google Play Music



It’s not YouTube support, but if you have a YouTube Red account, you likely have access to Google Play Music as well. This is an official music streaming service on Sonos and has quite the large selection of music of over 35 million songs. You can also use an Android device to send the audio on your Google Play Music app directly to Sonos players.


Unofficial Solutions



There are some other great ways to get YouTube audio playing on Sonos, though we don’t have any specifically to recommend. You can find some good suggestions and ways to go hidden in this thread, so feel free to peruse the comments.


We recommend keeping an eye on this thread for further updates regarding this feature request. As soon as there’s anything new to share, you’ll be among the first to know here.
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@bockersjv: For me it's not a question about Youtube, I understand that its TOS is the problem here. My proposal is just a new feature for SONOS app for Macos and Windows: being able to send sounds from computer to SONOS system. Actually I like that idea. Sonos take a feed from PC/Mac, which effectively has the steam that would have gone to the audio card, and send to Sonos as if it were a feed like Spotify or Tunein?
@bockersjv: For me it's not a question about Youtube, I understand that its TOS is the problem here. My proposal is just a new feature for SONOS app for Macos and Windows: being able to send sounds from computer to SONOS system.
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I don't understand what you mean about it working out of the box. YouTube is a video service, why would a wireless speaker have this working out of the box when they make the Playbar for video sounds that works very well. It's never going to happen in the way you want it till Google change their the ts and cs.
@chicks: thatt's true, but it only works with some SONOS products and it requires anyway something similar to a streamer. As I said, solutions for PLAY speakers and CONNECT(:AMP) exist too if you are using a computer, but I think that a lot of costumers expect this should work out of the box. And I think it would be possible for most cases (not mobile devices).
Sonos can already play YouTube videos just fine. Video portion via Roku, Fire Stick, AppleTV on your TV, Audio through Playbar / Playbase. “Problem” solved.
@jgatie: It's not possible from mobile devices, and probably it will never be. This is a reasonable Android and iOS limitation. Using Chrome browser in a computer works correctly out of the box: https://support.google.com/chromecastbuiltin/answer/6375070?hl=en

Sorry if my words weren't clear enough. My proposal is for computers, not mobiles or tablets.
Since when does Chromecast Audio allow you to stream YouTube via mobile devices?
Considering Youtube's TOS I think that solution must come with a controller app upgrade. It should do something similar to SWYH (http://www.streamwhatyouhear.com/) is doing for Windows or Nicecast (http://rogueamoeba.com/nicecast/) for Mac. The latest is able to select which application you must listen to (so you can hear to web browser sound and not being disturbed by an incoming mail). I suppose that what these applications are doing is perfectly legal, or at least it leaves responsibility to the user.

The bad thing about these apps is that they are complicated for some users and they introduce lag (like 10s using Nicecast). So I think that these must be solved by SONOS app itself. Unfortunately, I think that the same approach won't be possible using mobile devices (Android or iOS).

This approach would be ok not only for Youtube, but for other cases to listen to:
  • A movie being watched on my laptop
  • My own music creations (Logic Pro, Ableton Live, ...)
  • Noise sound services like https://mynoise.net/ or https://asoftmurmur.com/

I'm a software developer and I understand is not an easy functionality. But it should be a priority for SONOS. I always recommend their products but I have to warn about this problem. After that they prefer alternatives such as bluetooth or Chromecast Audio. I'll probably move away from home in some months and I hesitate about going through an all SONOS home or other alternatives.
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I've tried the SonosTube Android app today, it works but doesn't support playlists unfortunately.

As for having TV on, my YouTube use is mainly obscure songs that are not available on Deezer and would rather not have the TV on just for the audio, especially upstairs. Just seems a waste.

There is another App that will cast any audio on Android to Sonos but it requires rooting the phone and I'm not keen on that.
Userlevel 2
SonosTube works great.
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I have a Sonos One and this worked for me: https://www.howtogeek.com/292842/how-to-stream-any-audio-from-your-pc-to-a-sonos-player/
The instructions seem a bit odd in that they instruct you to push the stream to Sonos AND pull the stream by setting up a station.

I found that I got much better performance by just using the streaming URL as a station.
I have a Sonos One and this worked for me: https://www.howtogeek.com/292842/how-to-stream-any-audio-from-your-pc-to-a-sonos-player/
Isn't that illegal?

Yes, this SonosTube software clearly violates Google's TOS. I’d be very surprised if Google allows it to be published in their Play Store. Perhaps they will eventually discover it on Apple’s store and have Apple remove it, or sue its publisher, as they have every right to do.
thanks. it was the info i needed. but.... could i just draw your attention to one small thing. "Despite your dripping condescension, I'm still going to lend you a hand in reading comprehension" sounds like... you know what :)
And i mean it re the thanks.
Despite your dripping condescension, I'm still going to lend you a hand in reading comprehension. There is no way to stream YouTube over Sonos because the YouTube Developers TOS forbids any third party applications from separating the video from the audio. Since Sonos streams directly from the source, separating the audio from the video would be required in order for the speaker to fetch and play it, and thus all direct from the source streamers are forbidden access to YouTube. This includes Google's own Chromecast Audio device, and Google actually owns YouTube.

So you see, your beef is not with what Sonos is "thinking of?????????????????????????" for there is absolutely nothing Sonos can do. Your beef is with the YouTube Developers TOS.