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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Tunein might be crap, but this thread is for BBC iPlayer radio App integration.

But anyway, Sonos have been ignoring their UK customers for years over this, and now their CEO has allowed an article to be published that is extremely misleading. Predictably, I've no response from tweets to John MacFarlane, Sonos Support or the journalist who wrote the article.

I am waiting for one of their competitors to integrate with iPlayer to allow their customers to 'listen again', then I'll sell my Sonos kit.

I don't actually j set stand the little cup reference
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Tunein might be crap, but this thread is for BBC iPlayer radio App integration.

But anyway, Sonos have been ignoring their UK customers for years over this, and now their CEO has allowed an article to be published that is extremely misleading. Predictably, I've no response from tweets to John MacFarlane, Sonos Support or the journalist who wrote the article.

I am waiting for one of their competitors to integrate with iPlayer to allow their customers to 'listen again', then I'll sell my Sonos kit.

I'm going to avoid posting further on the subject
Userlevel 7
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I does strike me that others DO have a BBC problem too.  

EG Virgin Media from whom I buy broadband and cable TV.  The Tivo box has an iPlayer App that allows access to a reduced range of live and catchup programs and which constantly freezes up .. we sometimes resort to plugging a laptop into the TV and running iPlayer on that - upon which it works almost flawlessly .... which is really weird as the data for the laptop and the Tivo box are coming down the same cable from the same server, only the laptop's data also has to come through the home wifi network!  

So having a dedicated app won't necessarily solve everything.  And frankly I'd like it all integrated rather than having to use a separate services.  Just MHO.  An app would be great if it worked. I want my radios 3, 4 & 6 back - especially as I can't get 6 by routing the FM tuner as a line-in to a connect in a different room ...

John. Sonos has said that they already on device do something similar to HLS so I personally don't think they have an issue with HLS itself. The most concerning to me right now is that the BBC seems to be moving now toward the more open sourced DART. Are we in for another change? I hope Sonos doesn't wait for DART but maybe in their working with BBC they decided they have to implement both HLS and Dart or go through this whole thing again next year. We don't know but I think BBC isn't helping he matter any easier. I still hope we see at least HLS in next month or so. But I guess my point is that Sonos has eluded to the fact that HLS implementation should not be something that the units can't handle.
Userlevel 2
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I does strike me that others DO have a BBC problem too.  

EG Virgin Media from whom I buy broadband and cable TV.  The Tivo box has an iPlayer App that allows access to a reduced range of live and catchup programs and which constantly freezes up .. we sometimes resort to plugging a laptop into the TV and running iPlayer on that - upon which it works almost flawlessly .... which is really weird as the data for the laptop and the Tivo box are coming down the same cable from the same server, only the laptop's data also has to come through the home wifi network!  

So having a dedicated app won't necessarily solve everything.  And frankly I'd like it all integrated rather than having to use a separate services.  Just MHO.  An app would be great if it worked. I want my radios 3, 4 & 6 back - especially as I can't get 6 by routing the FM tuner as a line-in to a connect in a different room ...

Chris, I,too, am encouraged by that allusion (and I did mention it in my post). I think we're all frustrated by Sonos's unwillingness to give us any timelines or development roadmaps. But that is their policy so I guess we just have to live with it until they're ready.
I think it's this frustration which leads to all the sniping and personal insults we see in the forum.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
I does strike me that others DO have a BBC problem too.  

EG Virgin Media from whom I buy broadband and cable TV.  The Tivo box has an iPlayer App that allows access to a reduced range of live and catchup programs and which constantly freezes up .. we sometimes resort to plugging a laptop into the TV and running iPlayer on that - upon which it works almost flawlessly .... which is really weird as the data for the laptop and the Tivo box are coming down the same cable from the same server, only the laptop's data also has to come through the home wifi network!  

So having a dedicated app won't necessarily solve everything.  And frankly I'd like it all integrated rather than having to use a separate services.  Just MHO.  An app would be great if it worked. I want my radios 3, 4 & 6 back - especially as I can't get 6 by routing the FM tuner as a line-in to a connect in a different room ...

I know. I too have said repeatedly Sonos needs to communicate the timeline better....more then their we are working on it. It is frustrating.
YES YES YES...!!!

Sonos we need iplayer on Sonos...!!!
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Any Sonos response to these posts that don't mention Tune in
Userlevel 1
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John, another nice solution and much easier than minimserver, so a good workaround but sadly a workaround. Very frustrating that Sonos are in bed with tunein, who seem to be (from what I keep reading here) the problem. If tunein can't deliver stable streams to Sonos then why don't Sonos team up with someone else who can deliver quality source - I can't believe that tunein are the only providers? But great post and thanks for the heads up on this. Hopefully someone from Sonos will start to take an interest... but highly unlikely.
Userlevel 7
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Tune in doesn't provide streams it is just a catalog. The streams come directly from the station and quality is dependent on the the stations. The BBC issue is that tune in doesn't have the his streams in their catalog because currently Sonia is unable to play them. You can also add you own stream addresses intonsonosnif you want to play a stream not catalogued by sonos.
Tune in doesn't provide streams it is just a catalog. The streams come directly from the station and quality is dependent on the the stations. The BBC issue is that tune in doesn't have the his streams in their catalog because currently Sonia is unable to play them. You can also add you own stream addresses intonsonosnif you want to play a stream not catalogued by sonos.
How do you add your own streams.

eg bbc radio 2?
Userlevel 6
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Tune in doesn't provide streams it is just a catalog. The streams come directly from the station and quality is dependent on the the stations. The BBC issue is that tune in doesn't have the his streams in their catalog because currently Sonia is unable to play them. You can also add you own stream addresses intonsonosnif you want to play a stream not catalogued by sonos.
Hi David,

Have a look here this should help  
Userlevel 7
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Tune in doesn't provide streams it is just a catalog. The streams come directly from the station and quality is dependent on the the stations. The BBC issue is that tune in doesn't have the his streams in their catalog because currently Sonia is unable to play them. You can also add you own stream addresses intonsonosnif you want to play a stream not catalogued by sonos.
You get the stream url. Go to a desktop controller and under manage you can add a custom radio station. Not available on mobile app. Once you enter under tunein it will show under your radio stations. I've done it with stream what you hear to add the radio stream created from the program into sonos.
But the BBC streams don't work either. Add one and you'll notice that it cuts out all the time. Sonos blame the BBC but the reality is they have been slow to react to a change in how the BBC code their feeds. So we don't get a BBC iPlayer app and we can't get BBC radio stations that work.
Userlevel 1
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Tune in doesn't provide streams it is just a catalog. The streams come directly from the station and quality is dependent on the the stations. The BBC issue is that tune in doesn't have the his streams in their catalog because currently Sonia is unable to play them. You can also add you own stream addresses intonsonosnif you want to play a stream not catalogued by sonos.
Thx Chris, tried this but the two stream URLs I could find for BBC Radio 2 don't work with Sonos: http://bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r2.asx & http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/realmedia/fmg2.ram
Userlevel 7
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correct - once Sonos implements HLS you can put the HLS streams directly in (but TuneIn will have them automatically mapped).  Currently Sonos doesn't decode HLS which BBC went to ... they are working on.
Userlevel 1
Tune in doesn't provide streams it is just a catalog. The streams come directly from the station and quality is dependent on the the stations. The BBC issue is that tune in doesn't have the his streams in their catalog because currently Sonia is unable to play them. You can also add you own stream addresses intonsonosnif you want to play a stream not catalogued by sonos.
Try: http://open.live.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/5/select/version/2.0/mediaset/http-icy-mp3-a/vpid/bbc_radio_two/format/pls.pls The BBC live radio streams seem to be ok for about an hour, for me, but then drop outs start and get more and more frequent, and it usually stops the playback. It seems that the error handling cannot cope any longer it just gets worse and worse. However if you pause the stream for a few seconds (about 10) it will then work for another hour. If the problem was down to external influneces then pausing would not reliably allow another hour of listening. Radio paradise and Planet Rock can also exhibit the problem (but less frequently).
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Tune in doesn't provide streams it is just a catalog. The streams come directly from the station and quality is dependent on the the stations. The BBC issue is that tune in doesn't have the his streams in their catalog because currently Sonia is unable to play them. You can also add you own stream addresses intonsonosnif you want to play a stream not catalogued by sonos.
BBCiPLayer - Thanks - working so far 🙂
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.
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.


It's stories like these that make me hesitate to buy more units.

As I see it, it's pretty risky to buy a product that is 'still supported' (for the lack of a better term) yet that support has taken absurdly long to get one of the most listened to radio services the world over to work properly - and (it appears, from your post) denied that there even was a problem on their end for far too long.

If Sonos as a company goes under we'll all have kinda fancy looking paperweights and doorstops - and not much more. 
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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.


When Tune in were providing a stream that Sonos could play, the catchup available was still woefully inadequate and requests were made for Sonos to support BBC iplayer. The requests were ignored because Sonos thought iplayer was an Apple service. The change in the streaming system that Sonos were warned about has provided Sonos with a diversion to cloud the catchup failings. I have an Internet radio that used the Reciva system. If that still works I could dig that out instead of feeding a Bluetooth speaker with an iPod .
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.


"The requests were ignored because Sonos thought iplayer was an Apple service."

Do you have a citation for this statement?  Because I find it incredibly hard to believe.
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.


There are posts to this respect here. Furthermore, when I contacted them about this a year or so ago, they suffered a similar delusion, assuming that because it has an 'i' prefix, it was an apple product like iTunes or iPod. This is the level of idiocy we're dealing with here, sadly.
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.


Link to the "posts to this respect here" from a Sonos employee, please?  Because I have also been in contact with Sonos employees about iplayer for BBC and not once did I get the impression they though it was an Apple product.  Quite the opposite, in fact.
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.


Sonos are obviously doing a big push in the UK at the moment with some large displays in Curry's, Dixons etc. I went to Dixons the other day to get something else and felt the need to tell two different prospective buyers about Sonos failings. No BBC, two less units sold.

Hopefully at some point Sonos will sit less comfortably behind the curtain of TuneIn Radio. I often wonder what Sonos would do if Z-100 New York or 102.7 KIIS-FM – Los Angeles suddenly didn't work (the two most popular stations in the US).
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
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.


Actually i think those are iHeartRadio radio station. IHeartRadio has its own sonos app. But personally I do listen to them changing stations in car but I don't know that a lot of people in US listen to in the home.