Sonos should offer a BBC iPlayer Radio App in the controller

  • 25 September 2014
  • 297 replies
  • 42795 views

Userlevel 4
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A lot of people have been asking for BBC iPlayer Radio. Since Sonos only appear to respond to new posts I have decided to suggest this again. 
None of the responses from Sonos on this is issue so far have been satisfactory. These have included:
- Apple Licensing. This is irrelevant and probably indicates that Sonos don't actually know what iPlayer Radio is.
- Use Apple AirPlay. No. I am not going to go and spend a load more money on some other system because the one I bought off you doesn't do what it is meant to do.
- Plug a separate source into a Sonos amp or speaker. No. This is meant to be a wireless system so I am not going plug a wire into it to make it work. Further, the system is meant to work from one control panel. That's one of the features. So I don't want to have to work it through two control panels.

What people want to know is if Sonos HAVE ANY PLANS TO PROVIDE iPlayer or is it just OFF THE TABLE? 

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297 replies

Userlevel 2
I completely agree. BBC iPlayer is excellent and I bought Sonos so I could listen to anything wirelessly.
I'm also finding that Spotify doesn't add new playlists as easily as it should. I've had to remove and reload Spotify a few times already. Come on Sonos - sort it out!
Userlevel 3
Seconded. (Thirded?) When I first got my Sonos I was gutted to find out you can't access iplayer directly. I'd researched, and was led to believe I could access BBC archive programs, but the Tune-in service is pretty much useless. The interface is terrible, and much of the time it just does not work. A couple of years on and I'm getting seriously hacked off with my system, to the point where I'm considering ditching it in favour of a system that's not so restrictive. I absolutely love the hardware, but the controller is just an almighty pain, the interface is dire. There are better and easier to use apps for pretty much all of the music services I access through the Sonos controller (iplayer, Spotify's own app...) so WHY do Sonos insist on dragging everything through their own lumpy interface? In addition, I'd say the Sonos app has actually got worse with the latest release.
Userlevel 2
How is this issue still open? Clearly there is a huge demand for this service
Userlevel 1
Sure. Eleven Likes and 3 Post. That's a real huge demand.

Rainer
Userlevel 2
Sure. Eleven Likes and 3 Post. That's a real huge demand.

Rainer

Haha, OK there are multiple threads on this subject dating back over 2 years. His request keeps being asked a rejected for unknown reasons.
Userlevel 2
Agreed and noted. This is a feature I want / need. I was about to spend a lot of money on a new system on the assumption that BBC iPlayer would be available wirelessly. I don't want "workarounds". I want what is a good product to satisfy a need that I and many many others have - which it does not That it does not has made me reach a decision NOT to purchase.

Come on Sonos. This has been a debate for a number of years. Jostle as that it is NOT on your agenda

I am a disappointed potential customer

Bill
Userlevel 2
"Jostle as" = Just tell us
Userlevel 2
I'll add my voice to this. Have been using the system for over 5 years and the BBC stuff is really flaky and listen again is REALLY IMPORTANT to me!
Userlevel 7
Badge +17
add me also.  BBC shows and programs on Tune-in are very much behind (or totally lacking) what is available in iplayer directly.  I should point out to sonos, this has NOTHING to do with Apple - just because it starts with an 'i', dont think you shouldnt touch it !

BBC Iplayer has been integrated into other systems in the past e.g. Squeezebox so it should be possible with Sonos also to add it as a separate service rather than part of Tune-in where its very much a half baked effort.
Userlevel 3
I would have to agree with your decision. Had I known before buying how restrictive the Sonos controller services are, and specifically how useless and irritating TuneIn is, I would not have bought into Sonos. In fact I recently advised a friend against, and steered them towards a Denon network music system instead. 
It's so frustrating, because the hardware is GOOD. As part of my setup I have a Bridge connected to my main Linn system, and it sounds so much better than it used to with a Mac plugged straight in to the stereo (better DAC). However, the software really takes the shine off.
Userlevel 1
Totally agree.  I have two pair of Sonos 1s, but if I cannot get BBC Radio iPlayer to work I am seriously considering ditching Sonos for something more user friendly.  When it works, it's good but items seem to be on the menu one day, then there is an update and they're gone.  I was considering my next upgrade to be a PlayBar but I'm not so sure now.  Some menu items are only available on PC but not on iPad/iPhone.
Userlevel 3
I have to agree with all of the above. After spending nearly £2k on a speaker system I have just found out that my partner walks around the house with an iPhone connected  to a Bose mini Bluetooth speaker instead of using the Sonos.

Apparently (and I have to agree) its much easier to control Spotify, Qobuz and BBC iPlayer with the native apps.

Sonos should just ditch their app and let third party apps connect and play direct.

Either that or just sort it out.
I confess to have been reasonably happy with playing bbc shows via tuneins (rather limited) offering. Maybe that's because I tend to listen mainly to radio 4 extra. However, for the last two weeks everything is coming back 'file not found'. Has anyone else experienced this? A quick nose around the BBC website seems to imply that they have recently changed the streaming format. Is this the catalyst sonos need to provide direct access to iplayer?
Userlevel 2
Yes of late is has moved from "unreliable" to "not working", but since Sonos clearly don't seem to have any interest in supporting BBC streams properly (for whatever reason) I am unsurprised to find no solution forthcoming...
Hi Dave, I have the same problem.  I can no longer access any of the archived BBC radio shows via TuneIn and now always get the 'file not found' error message.  Its so frustrating!
Userlevel 1
TuneIn has always been inadequate as means of listening to archived BBC radio programmes and is now, as others have said, entirely useless. (All Radio 3 content apart from the live stream has been inaccessible on Sonos for many months; now no BBC material of any kind, apart from a few podcasts, seems to be available.) This is deeply frustrating for the many Sonos users in the UK and elsewhere for whom BBC radio is an essential everyday resource, and who naturally resent being obliged to plug an external device into what was sold to them as a comprehensive and self-contained system. Sonos is an excellent product and I'm still glad to have made the investment, but it would be marvellous to be told that something was at last being done to remedy the BBC radio problem.
Userlevel 1
Totally agree.  We are great fans of BBC radio programmes and earlier this year started to invest in Sonos products; we now use Sonos in two rooms with plans for the rest of the home.  But, what BBC iPlayer or listen again there was appears to have disappeared and now it is difficult or at times impossible to play live BBC broadcasts.

We have put on hold plans to expand our system while we consider alternate products and await some sort of action from Sonos.
Hi all. I've just received the following update from Sonos Technical Support. Thought you might be interested... "We are aware that some of BBC's podcasts doesn't play via Sonos - Our radio partner TuneIn has identified the problem with BBC and they are working together towards a solution. At this moment we don't have any information about when it will be solved, but as soon as we do we will provide you with an update."
Userlevel 2
Hi all. I've just received the following update from Sonos Technical Support. Thought you might be interested... "We are aware that some of BBC's podcasts doesn't play via Sonos - Our radio partner TuneIn has identified the problem with BBC and they are working together towards a solution. At this moment we don't have any information about when it will be solved, but as soon as we do we will provide you with an update."
Thanks for this Kate. On the back of your message I contacted Tunein straight away and got this reply: "Thank you for contacting us. Where are you located? We're currently working with the BBC on an issue that affects listeners in the UK. Thank you for your patience." I owe you an apology Sonos!
Hi all. I've just received the following update from Sonos Technical Support. Thought you might be interested... "We are aware that some of BBC's podcasts doesn't play via Sonos - Our radio partner TuneIn has identified the problem with BBC and they are working together towards a solution. At this moment we don't have any information about when it will be solved, but as soon as we do we will provide you with an update."
+1 for all the comments in this thread. TuneIn needs fixing to provide a stable service but I would really like to see native support for bbc services in the sonos app.
Userlevel 2
Hi all. I've just received the following update from Sonos Technical Support. Thought you might be interested... "We are aware that some of BBC's podcasts doesn't play via Sonos - Our radio partner TuneIn has identified the problem with BBC and they are working together towards a solution. At this moment we don't have any information about when it will be solved, but as soon as we do we will provide you with an update."
That's what it should all be about Jon. This thread is riddled with -ve words ... among them "restrictive ... frustrating ... can't access ... hacked-off ... dire ... lumpy ... inadequate etc. There are more. Albeit the thread (and others relating to this issue) talk about the excellence of the product the real need is "native" support for "BBC services". Indeed, for other services too. As the internet becomes even more dominant in broadcasting (and consumers' use of it therefore) then this is matter to which SONOS should pay heed. In dealing with any legitimate concerns a good strategy is  to address it  by at least responding. Hey Ho, SONOS, I guess this is not a legitimate concern.
I agree with the previous comments - I am new to Sonos but was very disappointed to learn that the BBC radio on demand does not actually work. I can see the shows but they don't play. Listen to your customers please Sonos ...
Userlevel 1
I confess to have been reasonably happy with playing bbc shows via tuneins (rather limited) offering. Maybe that's because I tend to listen mainly to radio 4 extra. However, for the last two weeks everything is coming back 'file not found'. Has anyone else experienced this? A quick nose around the BBC website seems to imply that they have recently changed the streaming format. Is this the catalyst sonos need to provide direct access to iplayer?
I echo Dave's comments, and my main use for my 3 players (is) WAS to listen on demand to BBC radio 2 and 6music programs. I too have been unable to do this for about a month, due to 'file not found' or incorrect format messages. Tunein has previously been unreliable, and if it stops midstream I can normally guarantee it will be 9 or 10am GMT; and further attempts to connect to tunein (via sonos) won't work for about 5 minutes (?server rebooting?). Having now got a tunein account, it does seem that they do have some problems with iplayer content, but there doesn't seem to be a direct correlation, and is there more content on tunein than sonos? (The next question is will tunein/sonos support the 4 week retention period that the BBC have - oo that's another reason to find some way to support native iplayer...). Sonos great sound, rubbish app (try Sonopad), rubbish tunein.
I was about to order Sonos system as an upgrade to Squeezebox setup but I have paused after reading issues around the BBC iplayer and if Sonos cannot respond to issues then I must be off to research alternative.. Bose? Tintin
Userlevel 2
Badge +1
There should be a direct BBC iPlayer function on Sonos. We know it's possible because my Logitech Squeezebox can hook in to all the BBC Listen again feeds via a plugin. The difference is Logitech's server is open source but Sonos is proprietary.

It is possible to copy the WMA (and UK and International) URLs from www.iplayerconverter.co.uk and add each individual show as a new radio station on your Sonos. However, it's fiddly and far from ideal. Additionally, it's not possible to pause playback. So unless you know you're not going to be interrupted, it's a right pain to find your place again.

I gave up on listening to the TuneIn 'recently played' feeds a long time ago because they were so prone to dropping out. If you were listening to a 3 hour long show, you'd have to keep restarting it and quite often it would tell you 'file not found' so you'd have to tune in to live radio first and then retune to your programme and find your place again.

For a while I used Radio Downloader until the BBC shut it down and now I am using get_iplayer which is brilliant. However, it's still a bit fiddly and I wouldn't expect non tech savvy users to have to get involved with pid's etc.

In any case, I haven't invested all this money in Sonos to have to resort to workarounds. Come on Sonos - get your act together!