Virtual Zones and Zone Grouping

  • 27 February 2005
  • 190 replies

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190 replies

We have 6 players, but reconfigure them constantly into only 3 zone configurations (other than single player zones). Generally when zoned up one way we are listening to very different content than when zoned another . Consequently, along with virtual zones we'd value virtual queues. In other words, when a zone is restored the queue that was last in effect when that zone was playing could be restored with it.

I think the "scenarios" idea would cater for that: You save a configuration for multiple zones to easily call up like a playlist. You could have scenerios like "pool party", "sunday morning", "back from work", etc. A scenario would include a linking setup, play modes, source selection/playlist and volume levels. So with one selection, you configure your whole house or a subset of zones to a previously saved setup.

One would set up the scenario by selecting "save current configuration as scenario" and then selecting the zones that participate. Then maybe the set of features to be saved like source/playlist, linking and/or volume. When activating a scenario, only participating zones would change their configuration.

Other functions that could be realized by a scenario would be "clear all playlists", "mute downstairs", "upstairs one zone" etc. possibilities are endless.

Technically Sonos could implement this feature by not saving a playlist the same on every player like it does now, but have each player save its own individual list under the same name. Add the ability to save volume, play mode, link configuration, and other sources, and you are done. Zones who do not participate in a particular scenario would save a "not me" flag under the scenario name, so that the scenario can also be seen on non-participating players. I agree it would be some work, but it would be a great feature that extends Sonos in a field it likes to see as its home turf; the whole house audio system.
Userlevel 1
How about the ability to hide zones from a controller?

It would be nice to hide the Master bedroom and bath zones from all but those controllers.

Thanks, Pete

Great suggestion - In another thread I asked for an ability to remove or lock out zones from certain controllers. Essentially to prevent the 'fun' the kids have waking you up in the master bedroom zone at 3AM , either intentionally or accidentally. By accidentally I mean when zones are linked.

Userlevel 2
I would also like this multiple zoneplayer and preset volume control books marks or moods type of feature.

After installing hundreds of Zones and having many Zones in my own home I run into this all the time.

If you have ever used the Alarm Clock feature of the Sonos to wake you up in the morning it is very obvious that this feature needs implemented. It is such a pain to get up every morning and reattach the alarm clock zones back to the rest of the house zones to play housewide music again and set all the volume levels correctly. I have to go through the link to zone change volumes for zones procedure daily and it's getting old.

Having a way to edit zones favorites/bookmarks/moods would be great and I could poke on zones, favorites, daytime/nightime/party mode/outdoor, whatever and have it link the correct zones together and put all the volumes back at a preset level.

Please Graham see if you can get something like this implemented in the next couple of updates. It might not be a high request but I think that has more to do with customers not knowing what they should be asking for, not that it isn't needed.


Virtual Groups/Zones have been asked since Day 1. No show so far.

Why cant I have an "Upstairs" virtual zone, etc.
Userlevel 2
totally agree would love to have this feature. I was actually disenchanted to find out that you actually loose your queue when you link zones. That sucks and seeing as how I am new to the system I keep doing it over and over.
you don't lose the queue on the ZP you are linking from. You might be doing it in reverse, and you would therefore keep the queue of the other ZP (which is probably blank). Try reversing your linking order. In other words, if I have a queue in the Living Room and want to also play that music in the kitchen, make sure the living room zone is the current zone. Then link zone, add kitchen and they will now both be playing the same queue. If you were to start in the kitchen, and link the living room, the living room zone would start playing whatever the kitchen is, ie nothing. Hope that helps.

Userlevel 2
New user here. £1,600 spent to date (2 x bundles and speakers). Happy with system, but I feel it's 3/4s finished as far as it fitting into my lifestyle is concerned.

Bit fed up of setting up zones again and again ... please have controller remember my settings and be recalled (what you call Virtual Zones).
Userlevel 2
Badge +1
Allow the creation of zone groups that can be saved as virtual zones. Example, I group Zones 1,2 and 3 into Zone A. Once I do this I can call on Zone A and regardless of what the zone groups are at that time, Zones 1, 2 and 3 will be grouped together. Think if it as a way to quickly create popular zone groups.
Just a vote in favor of "virtual zones" or "zone sets" -- I would like to be able to quickly set up commonly-used groups of zones without having to resort to "party mode". Honestly, the current system is an argument AGAINST adding Sonos in other rooms, because the more zones I have the harder it is to configure the zones when I listen to music.
I feel like bumping this - weird how over 2 and a half years have passed for my great idea and still no cigar.

Would help with outdoor and nursury zones where you just dont want people firing off the zones at unexpected times.
Userlevel 2
Yes, let's keep this bumped. (Why is Sonos so secretive about what's coming out in the next version? I'll never understand it.)

My big thing is alarm clocks on the virtual zones. The vast majority of my listening is done on a set schedule. I have three zones (basement, main level, upstairs). At 6 AM I want NPR to start in the basement only. At 7 AM I want NPR joined together with the basement and the main level into a single zone. At 9 AM I want my classical music collection to start playing grouped through the whole house, all three zones linked. At 7 PM I want choral music playing through the main level and upstairs level linked, while the basement plays orchestral music.

At this moment, there is NO WAY to do this. If I had virtual zones, it would be a snap, and my listening life would have taken a great step towards ideal.

- erinreid
I think there was a recent topic on this but since this old one was brought back i will add my vote as well. adding a few zones together and being able to label them something to be used in the future would be great.
Userlevel 2
I mentioned this a couple of times as part of replies to vaguely related posts – but as it never got much attention I figured it’s time to give it a thread of its own..

The Sonos tag line was always pick a zone, pick your music and hit play. But even when I started with just 2 ZP’s it was more like pick a zone, pick my music, hit play, then walk into each room and adjust the volume to how I was feeling at the time.

So what I would like is the ability to create moods. Maybe half a dozen pre-sets that you could set a name and volume levels for. I.e.: “friends round”, “kids in bed”, “home alone” etc

That way you could do a 1 off setup for each zone and desired mood then link the mood to your zone group and know exactly what volume each room will be.. All without having to walk round the whole house adjusting each ZP up or down.. perfect!
rougeDeluge, I added your suggestion to the other ones. Having everything in one place keeps the suggestions nicely grouped for Sonos review.
Userlevel 2
Badge +1
Grouping/virtual zones sounds like a good idea to me too.
Userlevel 2
I ditto the virtual zones. Seems like it would be easy to do through a software feature and definitely a convenient feature.
Userlevel 3
Looks like this request has been "open" for over three years.
Userlevel 2
Requesting feature for "Remembered" Zone Profiles.
For Example:
Pool West 60%, Pool East 85%, Den 25% = Low Key Party Mode
Pool West 80%, Pool East 95%, Den 25%, Bedroom 30%, Living Room 35%, Garage 50% = Full on Party Mode.
There are certain times of day that I might want to play certain zones...would be really cool if I could select from menu on controller to link a group of the zones and set their audio output to specified levels with 1 button click. This would save time and make the even easier to use. Just a suggestion.
Thanks Sonos. I have 6 zones now and looking to add 4 more in the next year. Love the product!!!
Mike - Houston, Texas
Brilliant idea.
Sounds pretty much like the moods idea that came up in another thread. Which I also like.
This could also incorporate or even replace the other idea about having virtual zones (where one could set up a virtual zone called "main level" which would always turn on the kitchen, living room and hallway for example).
Userlevel 2
Badge +1
Yep, this gets my vote too.

I am forever linking and moving my zones around. I only have 4 zones, it would drive me nuts if I had more. Being able to store combinations of zones (like we do playlists) and initiate them quickly would be great. I'm not so bothered about remembering volume settings personally, but I can see that it would be useful for some.
Userlevel 2
+1 for zones, would make setting up multiple players for a single "situation" much easier.
Let's bump this again for inclusion in 2.7
i concur - virtual zones please !

once you get past 5 zones, its cumbersome - so adding some virtual zones isnt going to make it any worse.