Sonos should offer a BBC iPlayer Radio App in the controller

  • 25 September 2014
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297 replies

Thank you Stuart

I will have another go this evening - it appeared to be picking up obscure (for me anyway) variations of BBC Radio, that I had not heard of and only looked at local selection, as close to me as possible geographically.

Based on the amount of posts you have, you appear to be more knowledgeable in respect of Sonos - I have a new LG TV with same brand sound bar, and I wished to steam the sound to the rest of my system through the connect. The sound bar has two optical outputs, but appears to be able to use just one output at a time, as you have to select the output (although I don't have 2 cables) and have therefore connected via the line in with RCA, my TV appears to want to select either or for sound output and I do not want to lose the sound bar output, but still want to connect to Sonos - Is this a common issue
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I don't forsee BBC doing a version of their iplayer app withing sonos. If they were it would have happened by now.

There may be hope in the August 30th press conference regarding voice control and 3rd party app support. I wouldn't be surprised to see some type of ability to stream direct from BBC app. Guessing here but if any third party should jump on Sonos it would be BBC with all the requests.
Dear Sonos,

Please note the strong demand for BBC iPlayer as a dedicated music service. The quality of programming is something you should want to be associated with and to me, with a focus on streaming, this is EXACTLY the partner you need.
Aurorob,

The plain and simple fact is that it isn't up to Sonos. It's entirely up to the BBC as to whether they "allow" or "support" Sonos in being a partner. I'm sure they're well aware of the large number of people who are unhappy, and are doing everything possible to resolve the issue, if it can be.
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Aurorob,

The plain and simple fact is that it isn't up to Sonos. It's entirely up to the BBC as to whether they "allow" or "support" Sonos in being a partner. I'm sure they're well aware of the large number of people who are unhappy, and are doing everything possible to resolve the issue, if it can be.


Then how come it works on Squeezebox systems, via plugins written by the community? Sonos have been aware of this problem for well over 6 years, and have done nothing about it. Pathetic.
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BBC can chose to be partner with new direct from their i player streaming. That would resolve BBC issue.
A further comment, with the caveat that I don't work for any of these companies, and am an outside observer.

Generally, when it's a large company, they tend to have to respect legal issues, such as streaming rights, etc, and not overstep the bounds of what the law says. Plugins written by a community often ignore those issues. So it's possible (and I've not looked in to it, so I really don't know) that there's a reason why BBC chooses not to support Sonos with a fix for this issue. Or, it's possible that there is a fix in the works, but it's lower priority than other issues for them, so it's taking longer than necessary.

In my past, I've had to deal with legal clearances on music, and I can assure you it's one of the most convoluted and arcane legal quagmire I've ever seen. I was a in a division of the rights holder, and still had to deal with 6 different lawyers on 8 tracks of music that I wanted to use. It strikes me that BBC may not have blanket approval from the individual holders of the copyright of the content they have beyond very specific distribution (i.e. over the air, and in some possibilities, their own player, but not rebroadcast on other systems). Getting rights to this kind of thing is a very complex legal issue, and if you've ever dealt with anything related to legal issues, you know it takes lots of time and monies to get things fixed.

But that's just a scenario I've given thought to in my own mind as to why it's been a problem for so long. It could be that they just don't care about their customers. But I have a hard time believing that, of either the BBC or Sonos. I'm certain that they "hear" us complaining, and want to or are working on a fix, if it's possible.

I've never found negativity to be helpful in getting a situation resolved. I know that when someone calls me "pathetic", there's not a rush of desire to assist them in resolving their issues. But that's me. There are many different types of motivation.

However, I would certainly be pleased if this were to get resolved. While I'm not a significant consumer of BBC material, being based here in the US, I will admit to some amount of angst over the multiple and repeated threads in this community. I just wish there were some way to be helpful. Instead, I write these lengthy replies, hoping to provide alternate perspectives.
Wise comments Airgetlam, thanks for your input and insight, that is a very thoughtful analysis. It can also be that the BBC wants full and compete control over the look-and-feel of its presentation, preferring the iPlayer as the only UI. I'm not sure of the level of in app advertising or user "recommendations" in the iPlayer app, but that is certainly one area where the BBC may want total control, something they are not apt to get with the Sonos app. The lack of control over look-and-feel has certainly stalled services from integrating before. Of course this is not to discount your excellent post; just to show that there may be many and varied reasons why the BBC and Sonos have not collaborated, with the ones you listed probably very high on the list (legalities always are).
Yep, have worked on many a major software project that came to a screeching halt whenever the lawyers needed to be consulted for some seemingly insignificant issue. Sometimes caused months of delay.
And I hadn't even given any thought to the lost advertising revenue they might think of being a significant issue. Great point, jgatie. And chicks, many of us in software development have that as an ongoing issue, don't we?

Just goes to show that there are often issues that may be paramount to someone in the main company that aren't always as apparent to we, the hoi palloi.

To be honest, we all are shooting in the dark on this, since no one in their right mind at the companies involved would want to, or be allowed to explain. But we'll continue to remind them that we're waiting, and hope that in fact there is forward motion on the issue.
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And I hadn't even given any thought to the lost advertising revenue they might think of being a significant issue. Great point, jgatie. And chicks, many of us in software development have that as an ongoing issue, don't we?

Just goes to show that there are often issues that may be paramount to someone in the main company that aren't always as apparent to we, the hoi palloi.

To be honest, we all are shooting in the dark on this, since no one in their right mind at the companies involved would want to, or be allowed to explain. But we'll continue to remind them that we're waiting, and hope that in fact there is forward motion on the issue.


Advertising on BBC platforms is a very contentious issue! Essentially the BBC is advert free (thank goodness!) - there are limited adverts on the BBC 'commercial' TV platforms, eg. BBC World News, BBC America, etc. I feel there'd be a massive outcry from the listener/viewer audience if commercials were ever introduced on the mainstream UK radio and TV channels ....

But who knows, the world has gone mad with Brexit and Trump!
I couldn't agree more. I just got my first Sonos product which I love and am planning to build but 2 days in I find we can't stream the BBC. It's a shock and an embarrassment to the Sonis brand. Come on guys, sort this out. Do you have any concept of the stellar credibility of BBC Music.

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? 
Sonos does stream BBC stations via TuneIn. There is also a limited selection of archived play again content, not as extensive as iPlayer,but it is there. Go to the Tune In source and search for the station or show you want.
Thanks for tjati fo jgatie but that just reinforces the brand damage to Somos. Why not just say I can get my preferred service on dial up. It's the same customer experience. Sonos needs to step up tot jeolarw and integrate BBC.
Thanks for tjati fo jgatie but that just reinforces the brand damage to Somos. Why not just say I can get my preferred service on dial up. It's the same customer experience. Sonos needs to step up tot jeolarw and integrate BBC.

Well, you definitively stated that you cannot stream the BBC on Sonos. This is incorrect. Now I didn't know if my corrections would be helpful to you or you were dealing in hyperbole, but perhaps even if you cannot benefit from the truth, maybe someone else will.
Ouch. Firstly apologies for the typing. Need to spend more time in review. I didn't think I was dealing in hyperbole when asserting the premise that if Sonos wants to live up to its brand promise and customer experience that the foremost musical sources need to be available in an unmitigated full fat format via Sonos.
Ouch. Firstly apologies for the typing. Need to spend more time in review. I didn't think I was dealing in hyperbole when asserting the premise that if Sonos wants to live up to its brand promise and customer experience that the foremost musical sources need to be available in an unmitigated full fat format via Sonos.

You said, and I quote
just got my first Sonos product which I love and am planning to build but 2 days in I find we can't stream the BBC. It's a shock and an embarrassment to the Sonis brand. Come on guys, sort this out. Do you have any concept of the stellar credibility of BBC Music.


Given the BBC stations available on TuneIn, this is fundamentally incorrect. I honestly was not sure if you were aware of the TuneIn BBC stations or not. So I offered my correction to your incorrect statement in the hope it may help you or someone else out, on the oft chance you were not interested, No ouch intended.
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We could state the classic , "does it state BBC iplayer anywhere on the box", no , do not be surprised if it doesn't work with bbc iplayer.
In fact it doesn't sate anything on the PLAY:1 box, as far as I can remember 😃
I'd like to add my voice to the requests for adding BBC radio player to Sonos. The ability to listen to on demand programmes easily would be great (and clearly something loads of us would love to see).
I'd heartily recommend you taking your voice over to the BBC with that request. I would be confident that Sonos has already expressed the desire, and it's up to the BBC and their lawyer as to whether they would want to implement such a thing.
You do know that you can work around this by using a chomecast audio and connecting it to the line in. Its not ideal having to pay extra get functionality that Sonos should provide out of the box.
The upside is that apart from selecting line in on the Sonos app you can now ditch the appalling Sonos app interface and use the native iplayer and Spotify apps to control the playlist.

All Sonos need to do to remedy this it to allow users to stream what is playing on thier phones like chromocast does - simple!

Should be no licensing issues should be really easy to do - why do they insist on reinventing the wheel when we have excellent interfaces already built by the services we subscribe to.
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I would send message to BBC wanting BBC iplayer to be able to direct stream to Sonos. Sonos has the infrastructure for those wanting to be able to direct stream from the native app (Spotify version is in beta now). If the BBC is willing to work with Sonos they can make their iplayer app send direct to sonos speakers.
Is the direct stream being opened up to every service who wants access?
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yes - the BBC should be able to work with Sonos to implement
Interesting times.