Sonos should offer a BBC iPlayer Radio App in the controller

  • 25 September 2014
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297 replies

I have the 4 speaker Sonos system up and running at my retail shop in London after a few teething problems.  
I completely agree - I have a 5 speaker sonos system at home and am bitterly disappointed that the iplayer app is not supported - I've spent a lot of money on your products sonos...come on, do the right thing by your customers.
The one thing that really bugs me in all this, is that the search is so clunky and unreliable in sonos/tunein. I can go to iplayer, find the exact show name, date of broadcast etc, check it is available online, but still not locate it in sonos.
However, for those shows that do get found, sonos plays them well and reliably.
Userlevel 1
Well what do you know? I just tried my normal use as above (that hasn't worked for months) and lo and behold, the Tunein listen again service seems to have been restored to its previous state; I managed to play 3 out of the 4 streams that I tried (all were from Sunday 28 December 2014) the 4th would have been from the previous day, but there was no program shown as available, so may be it will now work from Sunday? Obviously still had trouble skipping forwards, and 'cannot connect to Tunein' but overall something positive... Currently enjoying Guy Garvey on 6music (bbc) 🙂
Just to add another "me too", the lack of decent or working BBC iPlayer Radio support on Sonos is the one thing I warn my friends about when they consider purchasing a Sonos. When I got my first Play1 (last Christmas) I'm sure it was advertised with the BBC iPlayer logo (though that seems to have quietly been removed).

When it works, the TuneIn service is almost adequate, but not nearly as useful as a proper iPlayer Radio service would be. I guess it might be as simple as it doesn't make financial sense for Sonos to invest time and effort to support a local broadcaster. If we were to get ours, presumably owners in other countries would expect the same for their state broadcaster (assuming such things exist).

Neil


A message to Sonos. I just purchased a 4x speaker system for work to only realise I can't use iplayer which is really annoying. I was going to buy a 6 x speaker system for home but will not be purchasing anymore sonos products until they sort out this bbc iplayer app, it's incredible that the major broadcaster in the UK is not supported. You are losing a lot of business throuimo not providing this service and in turn the poor word of mouth in the UK. Please fix ASAP, BEST CASSIUS
Just to add another "me too", the lack of decent or working BBC iPlayer Radio support on Sonos is the one thing I warn my friends about when they consider purchasing a Sonos. When I got my first Play1 (last Christmas) I'm sure it was advertised with the BBC iPlayer logo (though that seems to have quietly been removed).

When it works, the TuneIn service is almost adequate, but not nearly as useful as a proper iPlayer Radio service would be. I guess it might be as simple as it doesn't make financial sense for Sonos to invest time and effort to support a local broadcaster. If we were to get ours, presumably owners in other countries would expect the same for their state broadcaster (assuming such things exist).

Neil
Thanks for this workaround! Much appreciated.  
I'm just looking at the speakers on the market and this will be a game changer for me. A certain Dab company seems to run a speaker with wifi and Bluetooth. Don't know why sonos can't! If they said it was on the cards I'd hold on.
Userlevel 2
I have posted above and have been pondering Sonos disgraceful lack of response. I wonder if we should take our complaints onto a more public platform so I'm off to Tweet @Sonos. Why no think about joining me to highlight this major shortcoming by Sonos for UK customers? Tintin
Good plan. Don't forget @sonos and @sonossupport. Maybe this will help if we all do it - worth a try anyway!
Userlevel 1
New Sonos owner here. I knew about this issue when I purchased the system, under the hope that an iPlayer app will be forthcoming. The BBC are very engaged in making their services accessible to through as many channels as possible, and have worked to create links between their services and other third parties, such as spotify. Step up Sonos, and sort it out!
I submitted diagnostics to Sonos support over a month ago when TuneIn failed to play anything from recent shows. The response from Sonos was that TuneIn were aware of the problem and looking into it. It should not take so long to fix code that you've broken. They could start by looking at why none of the show lists are refreshed, then at least we know we are dealing with a current URL to an iPlayer show. For the time being I have to revert to using get_iPlayer to record to my music library and select from there. That's a horribly clunky solution, so come on Sonos and TuneIn, get your software to do what you intend it to do at least. Then you can get it to do some of the other things we'd like it to do. I have been a Sonos user and advocate since 2005, but I am losing patience with the speed of your response to fix this issue. Demonstrate that you are taking it seriously please.
I have posted above and have been pondering Sonos disgraceful lack of response. I wonder if we should take our complaints onto a more public platform so I'm off to Tweet @Sonos. Why no think about joining me to highlight this major shortcoming by Sonos for UK customers? Tintin
Agree, really frustrated at not been able to listen again.  Please sort this out.
Likewise. 
Sonos, you are losing customers here - PLEASE FIX!
Userlevel 1
Likewise.  I have two pair of Sonos 1s and was planning to add a Playbar and Sub as a self Christmas present but have now put Sonos on hold while I look around for a system which will access BBC radio iPlayer.
Another +1 on the issue. Being unable to listen again to BBC radio shows is beyond frustrating. I was going to add another speaker to my system for xmas but this ongoing issue has put me off   
Sonos Play 1 newly purchased, and I am very disappointed to find that the BBC iPlayer "listen again" function is not available. I shall not invest in expanding my system until it is, and I shall advise others to make a wiser purchase.
Sonos Play 1 newly purchased, and I am very disappointed to learn that "listen again" on BBC iplayer is not available. Will certainly not invest in expanding my system until it is, and will advise others to make wiser purchases.
This is profoundly frustrating. But worse is the total lack of concern or attention shown by SONOS. For years, this has been requested. In the early days, SONOS replied - albeit confusedly and inadequately. Now it does not reply at all. The whole philosophy of the prison-garden app is hideous. This is the most obvious manifestation of it. That SONOS have spent years getting nowhere here whilst many of their open-source competitors have achieved this service without breaking a sweat is testament to the rotten core of their restrictive model. Shame.
Userlevel 2
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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!
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 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 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 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.
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."
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!