Sonos should offer a BBC iPlayer Radio App in the controller

  • 25 September 2014
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297 replies

Userlevel 7
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I spent weeks/months last year, to-ing and fro-ing with Sonos support trying to decipher what was causing my ageing Sonos kit to hang (and need a reboot).
I’d explained all along that I thought it was connected with BBC radio streams and Tunein. They were having “none of it”.
I gave up trying to diagnose in the end.

Interestingly other radio stations (non-BBC) seem to stream very well and without any lock-ups.

I’ve had my sonos kit for years, probably about 8 or 9 now. This never used to happen with BBC stations.

I think the BBC’s migration to a new steaming platform, plus Tunein’s uselessness keeps us where we are today.

Pretty sure in the old days, Sonos used a different streaming partner to serve all their stuff. Can’t remember what it was... but it was always reliable.

Can’t believe this fiasco is still ongoing.


@Mark, the main thread for adding support for the new BBC streams is located here, that's the one to follow for updates. We just recently updated it, letting everyone know that we are working to get the new HLS streams working for the end of the year. We're in the middle of adding full HLS support to Sonos not just for these HLS streams, but for other stations and services.

We're getting off topic here so I'd like to remind everyone that this thread is a request to get BBC iPlayer Radio added to Sonos as a native music service. There currently isn't a plan to add it in, but the HLS development that's taking place would be applicable if the BBC and us start to work together to add iPlayer to Sonos natively. The iPlayer app uses HLS for streaming which is a format we have only partially supported in the past.

On the original post in the thread from Tim, we've been using TuneIn radio as our Internet radio catalog for a long time, they were previously called RadioTime but it was the same company. There was a dark time when we There have been more issues of late with BBC radio in general, for reasons we've talked about at length in the thread above. We're working to improve the overall BBC listening experience on Sonos for everyone.

Let's all try to be mindful of each other and not start attacking people. Name calling and personal attacks will be removed from the community so that everyone can feel welcome to participate. Thanks!
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.

Userlevel 7
Badge +22
They had no idea what they were saying. You could by a $20 Bluetooth Singke or a google cast dongle to add capability to the play:5...or return the play:5

Adding dongle would allow you to Bluetooth or cast any future Sonos speakers in house as well.
Missing or not available ?......Many people are disappointed that a piece of equipment of this value does not support iplayer, fact. I just hope that the new formats come to fruition soon. Many thanks for your comments, Chris.
Yes and adding mine too. After being told it would work upon purchase, Where is the bbciplayer. Is any one aware if Sonus is listening to any of this. Has there ever been a reply. Or is it just another giant American tech co that gives not a hoot for consumers in as they call it ROW ( rest of world) outside the US. ( where's that). Come on boys at least tell us where you are with it. Thank you.
I'm just giving my support for adding BBC iPlayer to the Sonos app. I've recently joined the 'family' with a Play 5 and Play 1. They are working seamlessly in our house (super kit) but I've had to connect an old iphone 4 to the Play 5 to receive iplayer. This does work quite well but seems to me a tad unnecessary and i would love to have integration with the Sonos app.
It would also be great if a Play 1 could be paired with a PC/ Mac as a speaker. I'm very disappointed that I can't buy another Play 1 for both my husband's and my computers in our separate work rooms.
Please do listen to our UK requests, Sonos, and make your attitude a bit less blinkered and restrictive.
Many thanks,
Janet Elwin
Userlevel 5
Badge +11
I have just discovered BBC iPlayer Radio on my android phone. I like it. A lot. It is the first thing that I have listened to in a while that is tricky to get on to Sonos. Even if downloaded to my phone I can only play the content on my phone, I can't get it to Sonos.

So I would personally vote for some kind of proper integration which to my mind would be better than adding a selection of podcasts/playlists/programmes to TuneIn.

Or even a button in the iPlayer app that just says stream to Sonos. That would work too!
Another vote for inclusion of iPlayer radio in Sonos.
In the meantime, a cheapish workaround exists if you own the Sonos 5 player (which has line in). Today I bought for £14 a Chromecast Audio device from Curry's and plugged this into the 5. The iPlayer has native support for casting to the little Chrome device and it works flawlessly. Just select the line-in input in the Sonos app and you are away, with all of the content and functionality offered by the excellent iPlayer. So far I have had far fewer dropouts while listening to BBC Radio 6 Music - a sadly regular occurrence when listening via Tunein.
Tis just a shame that this isn't offered by Sonos.
Userlevel 5
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What has the BBC told you when you asked them to include their service in Sonos?
Userlevel 4
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BBC iRadio Player PLEASE!
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
I have invested a lot in Sonos but repeatedly get "unable to play the radio station" when trying to listen to bbc live feeds. Tune in is Crap. There has to be a better solution.

Nothing wrong with the BBC live radio stations since the playing of the HLS streams was fixed.

Assuming you are up to date on the Sonos software and firmware then there will be an issue with your system.

I suggest you post a topic in the Troubleshooting section and submit a diagnostic number in there.
To stream listen again, make sure you are using the latest version of the app and firmware (6.3). All listen again material is available in the Radio section under "Shows". You can search for a show by name and you will find them grouped by recent shows (listen again) or upcoming/now playing.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
So, back in the box my new Sono goes - it's had about 30 minutes of light. Have just spent very happy moments unwrapping and setting up my birthday present. On discovering I can't stream radio easily through it, listen again, iplayer etc, it becomes completely useless to me.

Is this true I can't play listen again? Please can someone tell me before I take it back to the shop......


Don't take this the wrong way but is there any chance you can borrow an 8 year old for half an hour?

Seriously though, live radio is absolutely fantastic. You can get all the BBC stations including the regions and on top of that thousands, some in weird languages like American English. As Maggie mentions you can search for all the podcasts/listen again shows that are available in TuneIn - I'll admit that since Sonos fixed the HLS stream issue for listen again I have noted that the results returned aren't always complete plus I get duplicates. It's probably been like that for a while but I didn't notice because I want using it whilst Sonos wouldn't play them.

Don't give up so easily.
Userlevel 2
"Jostle as" = Just tell us
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
Yes, just for clarity.

All the BBBC radio stations are available via TuneIn Radio on Sonos. When you factor in the local stations I wouldn't even want to guess how many. But more than you can shake a stick at. The only caveat is that there is some geo-blocking involved even within the UK - EG if I want to listen to commentary of my beloved Canaries I can't through BBC Radio Norfolk on Sonos as the BBC only has the local broadcast rights so the on-line version get's a "Rights restriction" looped message.

The BBC stations are having some issues via TuneIn at the moment - cutting out and so on - It's not un-listenable but irritating.

As to podcasts. This is a public forum and they don't like searing but let's just say that it's pants shall we? If you can find a program (podcast) of the BBC in TuneIn it plays fine - it's just that most of them don't show up. Frankly it's garbage. I don't know if it will ever be improved but I suggest you investigate alternate methods (rather than via TuneIn) of listening to podcasts from the BBC on your Sonos.
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?
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
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."
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 ...
Well I don't know anything about pandora, so I missed that it would be free, we will see when it happens.
There was no mention that spotify had to be a premium account till the beta started yesterday.


Did you ever think that maybe you shouldn't speak with such authority about things which you know absolutely nothing about? Because your track record for truth is pretty poor when it comes to Sonos and subscription services.
Would love Sonos integration into BBC iPlayer similar to how they've worked it with Spotify.

TuneIn Radio just doesn't cut it I'm afraid.

Come on Sonos!
Userlevel 2
Badge +3
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 can not believe this.

I'm getting one a Play1 for Christmas. Or at least I was. All I wanted was to stream BBC Radio 6 Music to a decent wireless speaker. I've heard great things about Sonos but not being able to stream BBC. That's bananas!!

I agree, tunein app is terrible. Takes ages to connect and often crashes.

Come on Sonos. Listen to your market!!!
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.