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Support for BBC Radio HLS Streams



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I’d like to take a few moments to respond to some of the recent discussion that’s taken place in comments in this thread, and add some additional context to the email from our CEO which was shared earlier this week.

The timing of our work on HLS for the BBC and the Apple Music announcement is coincidental. We’d already committed to development and begun work on HLS for the BBC prior to Apple’s unveiling of Apple Music.  Priority for HLS development has not changed as a result of Apple Music, it’s our plan to develop a fix for the BBC issue using HLS first.

HLS is not a standard, so the form of it in use now for MLB isn’t suitable for direct comparison. The work being done for BBC streaming is not related to that implementation.  MLB was not rushed through development, it was first requested long before the work could fit into our schedule and be fully completed and released.

We acknowledge that we’ve made mistakes in how we’ve addressed this issue, and in how we’ve communicated our progress.  There are many factors that have contributed to this situation, but the UK region is not one of them.  I want to make it absolutely clear - we have not prioritized HLS lower than other work due to the fact that this problem primarily affects Sonos customers in the UK.

Solution works fine - it's just the radio itself is less than exciting!
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BBC now offers radio streams in DASH (both live and listen again).

Anyone using their Sonos as a squeezelite player can get these streams by updating the iplayer plugin.

Happy listening.
I have just purchased a PLAY:5 in the last couple of days and as an avid Radio 5 listener, it came as a bit of a shock when the commentary was replaced by the looped rights message.

After many months deliberating and then deciding to take the plunge, I would like to keep my purchase but it is sadly not fit for purpose at the moment - especially with no timelines on when this will be resolved. At the moment, it looks likely I'll be reboxing and organising a courier (at some expense) to take return it to the retailer.
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User695253  O.K. so you sell off your Sonos kit, so just what do you expect to get for it? Neglecting to tell potential buyers of the bbc issue, would be seen as leaving out significant information likely to influence their decision. Then if that is not a problem, what do you replace it with, nothing Roberts I hope?

"Neglecting to tell potential buyers of the bbc issue, would be seen as leaving out significant information likely to influence their decision " profanity

Sonos don't tell customers about the problem. They keep very quiet about it and they avoid answering all direct questions.
Dear Sonos, am going to stick your stuff on eBay. It's going to be expensive but Naim beckons. Piss poor show on your behalf!
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Has something changed? I just tried one of the listen again links and it works! (archers omnibus if it matters)

Edit after some time with tcpdump.

Looks like BBC have switched back to non-HLS for listen again content. It ends up streaming something like

http://open.live.bbc.co.uk//mediaselector/5/redir/version/2.0/mediaset/audio-nondrm-download/proto/http/vpid/p039tszj.mp3 for the 01/12/2015 episode of the archers
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We stream BBC Radio 2 at work and I'm having to reset the feed every 2 - 3 minutes at the moment today. I'm going to have to unplug it and go back to a regular radio at this rate.
I agree, Sonos is not fit for purpose at the moment - it would be good to hear from Sonos as to whether they have advised their UK resellers of this, as they will surely otherwise have more disappointed customers. If Sonos have not advised retailers such as John Lewis, Currys, Richer Sounds and so on, then they ought to. Sonos - can you respond please? Have you/do you intend to do this? If not, I think I will.
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User695253  O.K. so you sell off your Sonos kit, so just what do you expect to get for it? Neglecting to tell potential buyers of the bbc issue, would be seen as leaving out significant information likely to influence their decision. Then if that is not a problem, what do you replace it with, nothing Roberts I hope?

Sonos are no different from all other manufacturers - there is only one native working solution -  buy a Pure radio (but only certain models).  Other bodge solutions involve running minimserver or LMS on another PC (eg. a Raspi, or laptop, etc).   You'll then get live hls streams (minimserver) and both live/on demand streams (LMS).  Otherwise, you're stuck with the problematical mp3 streams from Tunein)
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Chris--Good luck with your ebay listing-Any possibility that you could share the listing number please?
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Has something changed? I just tried one of the listen again links and it works! (archers omnibus if it matters)

Edit after some time with tcpdump.

Looks like BBC have switched back to non-HLS for listen again content. It ends up streaming something like

http://open.live.bbc.co.uk//mediaselector/5/redir/version/2.0/mediaset/audio-nondrm-download/proto/http/vpid/p039tszj.mp3 for the 01/12/2015 episode of the archers


For the shows that have the MP3 format streams they'll absolutely show on Sonos. Hopefully they do this with more shows while we get the HLS streaming for on demand shows. Thanks for sharing.
We stream BBC Radio 2 at work and I'm having to reset the feed every 2 - 3 minutes at the moment today. I'm going to have to unplug it and go back to a regular radio at this rate.
I've purchased through Amazon and there was no mention of this.

If there had have been then I wouldn't have purchased or at least held off until a solution was found.

The most frustrating thing is the lack of a timeline on resolving this - if it can be resolved. Sadly I wasn't aware of this issue before I purchased but from looking through months of comments on this and other forums, it doesn't look like there is much hope for it being fixed any time soon.

I would say around 60-70% of my sound system use is for BBC stations, and 5 Live in particular. Not much use paying hundreds of pounds for a sound system that can only be used 30% of the time and one that takes the room space of a hi-fi system that would be fully functional.
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User695253  O.K. so you sell off your Sonos kit, so just what do you expect to get for it? Neglecting to tell potential buyers of the bbc issue, would be seen as leaving out significant information likely to influence their decision. Then if that is not a problem, what do you replace it with, nothing Roberts I hope?

I wonder why Sonos posts all the time that they are working on it if they are very quiet about the issue - like this thread created by Sonos.
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Dear Sonos, am going to stick your stuff on eBay. It's going to be expensive but Naim beckons. Piss poor show on your behalf!
Check out the emerging Qualcomm AllPlay system before settling for Naim. They all do hi-res and SOME do HLS BBC streams. The beauty of AllPlay is that ot works between all manufacturers and 'Connect' type units start at $49!
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So have the bbc readded mp3 streams? as the archers hasn't worked for months on listen again.

All the hls-only listen again shows were showing up but then gave an error when you tried to play them.

There is no visible indication of if a show is mp3 or hls so do we just have to try them and see if they work now?

Just trying to understand if this is a fix the bbc have applied, tunein have applied or something sonos have done.

More comms from both sides would be good!
I have to say, today, playback has been totally seamless the best it has ever been. From other comments it seems that yesterday's issues were down to the BBC and nothing to do with Sonos, they can only reply on the streams the BBC provides. Thankfully things seem to have been fixed for now. 
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User695253  O.K. so you sell off your Sonos kit, so just what do you expect to get for it? Neglecting to tell potential buyers of the bbc issue, would be seen as leaving out significant information likely to influence their decision. Then if that is not a problem, what do you replace it with, nothing Roberts I hope?

Created by sonos three months ago, and no update since then. If you can't see that's the problem, then not sure what anyone else can say to convince you of why we're all frustrated.
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Dear Sonos, am going to stick your stuff on eBay. It's going to be expensive but Naim beckons. Piss poor show on your behalf!
WHICH do HLS BBC streams?
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So have the bbc readded mp3 streams? as the archers hasn't worked for months on listen again.

All the hls-only listen again shows were showing up but then gave an error when you tried to play them.

There is no visible indication of if a show is mp3 or hls so do we just have to try them and see if they work now?

Just trying to understand if this is a fix the bbc have applied, tunein have applied or something sonos have done.

More comms from both sides would be good!


The HLS shows that were showing and unplayable should now be addressed. We were working to make recorded stations which wouldn't play not show instead of offering a non-working stream. Have you noticed some shows which you try to play and they don't work?

As to this show working now, it would be a change that's been done on the BBC end of things. What would have happened is that they decided to record the stream of that show in an MP3 format, instead of the HLS most are streamed in. That content would then be shared with TuneIn and automatically show up in your Sonos players. That process simply comes down to the players displaying what streams are provided by TuneIn, and that they're capable of playing.

This may be a larger shift on their end, or it might just be specific to the one show. We'll look into it, but which shows will show in this was is pretty dependent on the way they're going to record them. Thanks for sharing.
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Yes, today things have been more reliable. But we listen to the BBC through Sonos equipment, and these temporary BBC streams are known to be unreliable. I think Sonos needs to be working in partnership with the BBC to ensure that we have a workable solution both pre and post-HLS implementation. The fact that things were so flaky yesterday does not fill me with confidence.
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User695253  O.K. so you sell off your Sonos kit, so just what do you expect to get for it? Neglecting to tell potential buyers of the bbc issue, would be seen as leaving out significant information likely to influence their decision. Then if that is not a problem, what do you replace it with, nothing Roberts I hope?

"I wonder why Sonos posts all the time that they are working on it if they are very quiet about the issue - like this thread created by Sonos." Chris

You missed the point Chris. It was suggested by 'profanity' that anyone selling their Sonos equipment should warn the buyer about the BBC problem. I was simply pointing out that Sonos do not warn buyers about the problem, nor do they answer specific questions about the problem.

I hope that helps you when you put your kit on eBay.
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Dear Sonos, am going to stick your stuff on eBay. It's going to be expensive but Naim beckons. Piss poor show on your behalf!
'Musaic' have confirmed to me that they will support HLS BBC streams. I have been told by a dealer that 'Monster' also will but I have not had that confirmed directly by Monster. The only other one I have checked is the $49 Gramofon unit (like a 'Connect'). That does not currently support HLS, it uses Tunein, Spotify, etc. same as Sonos. 

I intend to experiment with a budget Gramofon unit but that is limited in scope compared with the full price items. I have not yet checked the Hitachi range. They may well be interesting.

All 'AllPlay' units support all the common codecs up to 24/192 and work with all other 'AllPlay' units regardless of manufacturer. It seems a very promising system but it is still in its infancy. If it lives up to its promise, and Qualcomm is an extremely competent communications company, Sonos will have to up their game somewhat. 
Just want to say that the changes for the BBC this year and the listen again coming 2016 is all fantastic news! Improved communication has been amazing in the support as well + beta goodness.... Good work sonos
I was on the phone to the technical support staff today and they said that Sonos were waiting for tunedin to sort the problem.  So, basically, Sonos are doing absolutely nothing.  Expect a resolution.... never.

Maybe an employee of Sonos would like to deign this thread with their presence and confirm or deny this.
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User695253  O.K. so you sell off your Sonos kit, so just what do you expect to get for it? Neglecting to tell potential buyers of the bbc issue, would be seen as leaving out significant information likely to influence their decision. Then if that is not a problem, what do you replace it with, nothing Roberts I hope?

Have been following this thread for a while now and it would seem to me that there needs to be a new 'idea' or thread set up that is entitled 'Sonos need to change the way they communicate with customers'.

I do actually believe that Sonos are working on this problem now but I am not satisfied that I have got the detail I need and I know this is not a one off as it has happened on other threads as well.

I would guess that it is Sonos' company policy not to tell customers about new products being developed, issues being worked on, roadmaps, project details etc.
I think this policy is wrong and I think we need to tell Sonos that outside of this thread.

I used to work for a software/hardware company and our customers used to love our update sessions on product and support roadmaps!  I just don't understand the 'black cloak' policy of communicating with us.

Do any of the Champions out there know whether it is possible to set up such a thread and is it likely to be promptly shut down by Sonos?
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Dear Sonos, am going to stick your stuff on eBay. It's going to be expensive but Naim beckons. Piss poor show on your behalf!
Hmm .... still nothing actually working then.