Sonos wont play songs without internet connection

  • 7 February 2019
  • 10 replies
  • 438 views

Yesterday morning our ISP took down our internet for repairs (router still up but no internet), but suddenly i wasnt able to select any songs from my Samsung phone to play (nor could my Fiancee on her iPhone) - I downloaded the BBC world service podcast .. but it was just greyed out and sonos refused to play it....
i wouldn't usually be bothered but we were going to take all the sonos equipment to our wedding and use it for music (and purchase the amp to connect for the dj) .. but suddenly it was useless for music from our devices without an internet connection .. anyone had a similar issue .. not being able to play local music if you dont have an internet connection ? (its definitely not DRM music).

Its annoying - but probably saved our wedding party. .. and i can spend the money that i would have spent on the amp on renting the speakers .

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10 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +19
Hi, furtle67. I think that when you "save" a podcast from BBC, it doesn't physically download it, but it creates a shortcut to online content. This is likely why you were unable to play it without an Internet connection. If you have other tracks stored on the device itself, it should very well be possible to play them offline. In addition, the AMP has a line-in capacity, which also requires no internet connection.
So is that music purchased outright and stored on the phone, or downloaded offline content from a streaming service like Spotify? If the latter then your experience is exactly what I would have expected and how it has always been (because of DRM protection by the streaming services). If the former, then I am surprised, provided your LAN was up and running.
Userlevel 7
Badge +19
Exactly as you say, John, it may also be identical to Spotify's capacity to download tracks for offline play. In which case, that would also not work.
In fact with the Amp, if you have an up-to-date iOS device you could (I think) Airplay 2 the offline content to Sonos. But I would not personally risk any wireless system at a wedding (because large crowds adversely affect wireless performance), and of all wireless I would trust Airplay least.
Hi, it wasnt a link - its the full file, i often use it when sailing (and thus offline ) - i download the file(s), and play it over a speaker with my phone. [https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02nq0gn/episodes/downloads] . M on my phone are DRM free (soundlcoud dj set downloads in mp3). But all were grey (which is why i found it wierd):? .. if the internet link is down for some time - would it cause issues ? perhaps it wanted to check for updates to sonos speakers OS first? Not sure... hence why i thought i would ask. either way, if we take our sonos 5's it will be just for a backup now, and we will use rented equipment. Shame tho . was tempted by a turntable and the amp.. 🙂
Hi, furtle67. I think that when you "save" a podcast from BBC, it doesn't physically download it, but it creates a shortcut to online content. .That may be true, or it may be that it is locked inside the DRM protection of the BBC Sounds app, in the same way that the music streaming services do. I honestly don't know, but the effect would be the same - to play through a third party integration such as Sonos you would actually need to stream it from the internet, even if it appears to be downloaded to your device.
Hi, The Podcast is definitely a download - i often download them when sailing (where i have no phone coverage) , so i can listen to the news , and i can confirm that majority of music is DRM free. (mainly DJ mix downloads from soundcloud)... which is why i found it strange... given that the broadband was probably down for some time .. would it cause an issue - if the sonos software wants to check for updates first? (oh .. also i rebooted the phone .. and it was same issue) . when i got home later and the internet was back , the podcast was accessible...
I quite often listen when offline to local fully owned music on Sonos - that I have paid to download or ripped from purchased CDs. I strongly suspect that your content IS DRM protected and use on third party integrations is restricted by the BBC and Soundcloud. When you have this issue with music you have actually bought, then there really is a problem.
Userlevel 4
Badge +11
I have downloaded a BBC podcast before and I also couldn't play it over Sonos from my phone. I could listen to it on bluetooth headphones. It has been a while since I have played locally stored music whilst the internet has been down, but it used to work. That was not from a phone but from a PC on the network.
I have downloaded a BBC podcast before and I also couldn't play it over Sonos from my phone. I could listen to it on bluetooth headphones. It has been a while since I have played locally stored music whilst the internet has been down, but it used to work. That was not from a phone but from a PC on the network.I cannot test this right now, but it was working a few days ago for me. You HAVE to distinguish between owned music and downloaded offline content. The latter is playable only on the device (I include casting the sound via Bluetooth in that). When you attempt to play Spotify etc offline content to a Sonos speaker, the system actually streams from the internet. So no internet connection, no dice. It was ever thus.