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Slow internet and understanding the Sonos setup.

  • 21 April 2019
  • 5 replies
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We recently moved to a rural address and the internet is fairly slow. Since moving I'm getting issues playing music from apple music. I understand that streaming will be a problem, so have downloaded music to my phone but still get issues. Randomly a song will just stop and skip to the next track.

I thought that downloading first would help and it may be slightly better but still seems to skip fairly often.

I have a play bar connected to the TV, with a sub also. The playbar is connected to the router via a cable, the router also provides wifi to my iphone and all the other sonos speakers.

I have two other play 3's in separate rooms and a play 1.

It seems that when playing from my phone through the sonos app, even if I play apple music that has been downloaded, it still seems to stream it from apple. I have no skipping when watching netflix or anything similar, only apple.

I've tried downloading Apple Music tracks to my PC and adding the downloaded folder in Sonos App as a music library, but the tracks don't show in the app (I assume due to the DRM)

My question is: If I have music downloaded on my phone, and the phone is connected via Wifi, does the music stream via Wifi to the router, then to the wired playbar, then to any other speaker in the sonos mesh network? If this is correct, then my issue could be either poor wifi (which doesn't appear to be the case) between the phone and router or an Apple Music fault.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Best answer by Airgetlam 21 April 2019, 05:17

Assuming you have an iPhone, downloading the music to your phone is a bad idea right now. See the box at the top of iOS issue.

If you've purchased the music, then yes, they should show up properly on your PC. It would only be music that you haven't purchased that would have any DRM, requiring an Apple player to play the content, rather than the player that exists on the Sonos speakers.

So, in light of that link I've supplied, putting the music on your iPhone isn't a great solution right now. If you own the music, putting it on the PC (or Mac) would be a good idea, and if you're still getting dropouts when playing from that, then we've got other issues to track down and fix.....again, assuming that you "own" this music.

The Sonos software is designed to use the "lowest cost" path from the music to the speaker. So, in your case, normally it should indeed be going to the PLAYBAR, and then going out across the mesh network. You might want to make sure that there aren't any wifi details in your Sonos system. If it knows both about your local wifi network, and the SonosNet network, it can actually flap in between the two, if there's interference on one and the other becomes a lower "cost"

Are you getting any specific error messages? The reason I ask is often people misunderstand the error that Sonos presents which says something along the lines of "Network speed is insufficient...", which most often means the speed of the LAN, rather than the speed of the router to the outside world.

But if the music on your PC is skipping, that points most likely to wifi interference. Check through that for potential issues in your system. And take a look at your wifi channel versus your SonosNet channel, they should be at least 5 channels apart.

If none of that helps, I'd certainly recommend that yousubmit a system diagnostic within 10 minutes of recreating this issue, and either post the number here, or contact Sonos to discuss it. I tend to suggest the phone folks, they have more tools available, but are only available during business hours. Both the Twitter and Facebook support folks are available 24/7.

There may be information included in the diagnostic that will help Sonos pinpoint the issue and help you find a solution.
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Assuming you have an iPhone, downloading the music to your phone is a bad idea right now. See the box at the top of iOS issue.

If you've purchased the music, then yes, they should show up properly on your PC. It would only be music that you haven't purchased that would have any DRM, requiring an Apple player to play the content, rather than the player that exists on the Sonos speakers.

So, in light of that link I've supplied, putting the music on your iPhone isn't a great solution right now. If you own the music, putting it on the PC (or Mac) would be a good idea, and if you're still getting dropouts when playing from that, then we've got other issues to track down and fix.....again, assuming that you "own" this music.

The Sonos software is designed to use the "lowest cost" path from the music to the speaker. So, in your case, normally it should indeed be going to the PLAYBAR, and then going out across the mesh network. You might want to make sure that there aren't any wifi details in your Sonos system. If it knows both about your local wifi network, and the SonosNet network, it can actually flap in between the two, if there's interference on one and the other becomes a lower "cost"

Are you getting any specific error messages? The reason I ask is often people misunderstand the error that Sonos presents which says something along the lines of "Network speed is insufficient...", which most often means the speed of the LAN, rather than the speed of the router to the outside world.

But if the music on your PC is skipping, that points most likely to wifi interference. Check through that for potential issues in your system. And take a look at your wifi channel versus your SonosNet channel, they should be at least 5 channels apart.

If none of that helps, I'd certainly recommend that yousubmit a system diagnostic within 10 minutes of recreating this issue, and either post the number here, or contact Sonos to discuss it. I tend to suggest the phone folks, they have more tools available, but are only available during business hours. Both the Twitter and Facebook support folks are available 24/7.

There may be information included in the diagnostic that will help Sonos pinpoint the issue and help you find a solution.
Apple Music tracks that you download to the phone for offline listening work only when the phone is offline and as long as your music subscription is paid up. But this music will not be played via Sonos because the phone needs to be online to order Sonos to do so; Sonos therefore will only play Apple Music via the internet, never that which is downloaded on your phone for offline listening. If the internet is not reliable, it will suffer interruptions.
One possible workaround other than the one Bruce suggests - of putting purchased music on the computer - is bluetooth, but the constraint there is you need to have a Sonos unit that has a line in jack. You could then wire a Bluetooth receiver to those jacks and, leaving the phone in offline mode, play downloaded Apple Music ( as opposed to just purchased) tracks via the Bluetooth receiver. Or, if the phone can be wired directly to the line in jacks, you don't need Bluetooth.
Thanks guys. Both your replies were fantastic and helped me understand the Sonos a bit better. I checked and the Wifi was turned on for my wired Playbar. I turned this off but immediately lost connection to the sub. I tried to connect the sub again multiple times but couldn't get it working at all so had to turn wifi on again and it connected immediately. I thought the Wifi option would be to disable the wifi connection to the router, not the mesh network. Anyway, all is going again.

I don't get any error messages at all, just apple music skips to the next track. I tried connect Iheartradio, and found that the stream pauses pretty regularly as well. Still annoying, but at least it carries on where it left off, doesn't skip to the next station.

I tried altering the channel as well but no difference.

At this point, I think I have to accept that the cause is just slow internet and as I can't change this, need to accept that maybe Sonos isn't for me (a pity as I love it and have spent thousands already).

Kumar, Thanks for your suggestion of bluetooth, this may be worth a go before I ditch the whole setup. Obviously would need to get a line input into the system which I don't have currently. I assume this would mean spending another $600 NZD to buy a Sonos amp?

Does anyone know if Spotify has the same limitations as Apple Music? If not I could try this and hope I can download to a phone and then play without streaming.

Thanks for your help so far.

Cheers,

B

Kumar, Thanks for your suggestion of bluetooth, this may be worth a go before I ditch the whole setup. Obviously would need to get a line input into the system which I don't have currently. I assume this would mean spending another $600 NZD to buy a Sonos amp?

Does anyone know if Spotify has the same limitations as Apple Music? If not I could try this and hope I can download to a phone and then play without streaming.

Music does not need a high speed internet to the extent that streaming video does, but it does need for the internet service to be not patchy.
Unfortunately, you would need to spend more to get the line in; but in your case, the Sonos Amp isn't the way to get it. Both the Connect and the Play 5 also have line in jacks. The Connect is cheapest, but the play 5 has the advantage of giving you one more speaker as well, if you can use one. And before investing in a bluetooth receiver, wiring the phone to the line in jacks would tell you if the problem of the internet speed gets addressed via this route. Ideally therefore, a play 5 on a returnable basis to test first is the way to go.
All streaming services have the same limitation as Apple Music; it is dictated to them by having to make sure that streamed music is only accessed with a valid subscription, as part of DRM. You can play music downloaded to the phone via Sonos without needing any internet only if you have bought it outright as opposed to subscribed for it. It then is carried in a different place in the phone.

At this point, I think I have to accept that the cause is just slow internet and as I can't change this, need to accept that maybe Sonos isn't for me (a pity as I love it and have spent thousands already).

For Sonos to work with purchased music, it needs as a foundation a stable WiFi environment IN the house. For it to also play music from the internet, it also needs a decent sized pipe - internet speed - TO the house.
If these are not available, Sonos isn't the most cost effective solution for you. Better a bluetooth equipped speaker, to which you can then stream music stored in offline mode from Apple Music from your phone. Better still, from another cheap or old phone that can be dedicated to this purpose - it need not have a Sim card in it. And in both cases, and more easily in the latter case, via wired connection to a line in jack on the bluetooth speaker; most have these as a standard feature. There are now many such speakers, powered by either the mains, or via a rechargeable battery, that sound excellent, at excellent prices. If you want to use them out doors or on the road while travelling, there are portable/weather proof models as well. I use one of these outside the home, with a now out dated phone used as a source. The latter also serves as a source for the audio system in the car.

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