Virtual Zones and Zone Grouping

  • 27 February 2005
  • 190 replies
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190 replies

Userlevel 2
I think it would be easy to provide either predefined "zone groups", or even better (much like IR lighting control systems) "zone presets".

For example, I have two cubes downstairs and two cubes upstairs. I usually listen in one of three configurations:

  • All zones separated (easy to do with Drop All Zones)
  • All zones linked into one group (easy to do with Party Mode)
  • Two zone groups - one downstairs and one upstairs (not currently easy to set up)


I would love to be able to create this third scenario from any current zone grouping by choosing "Link Zones" and then some preset called "Upstairs / Downstairs."

Would love to see this in a future update... 😃
Userlevel 2
As I recommended someone to take a look at his thread, I´ll ad my vote for it as well. Would be nice if you could choose the virtual zones for alarms as well.
Userlevel 2
+1 for me. Virtual zones would be extremely useful for me, particularly if controllable via Alarms.

Cheers
D2K
Userlevel 2
Aye for me too. I would like to be able to group players and maybe even 'marry' some players together semi permanently. ie. remote subwoofer with a zp80/90 'married' to one or two zones so that when one is chosen, the other is automatically attached.
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I know I have seen this discussed before but as I add more zones I really see a need for preset volumes or scenes. For instance when I get up in the morning usually everyone is still sleeping and its likely we had used the Sonos the day before so I need to readjust everything so the kitchen zone isn't to loud, make sure the bedroom zone and the basement zone is off, the office is on but not too loud, etc. Same thing when company is over, we decide to turn the Sonos on and I find myself walking around the house trying to make sure each unit is adjusted correctly. It would be nice to setup preassigned selections like morning, party, kids sleeping, etc.

Mike
In addition to virtual zones, it would be nice to have default settings for each zone (e.g. music, sleep timer, volume) that the system reverted to after a few hours of inactivity. This would make it much easier to listen to the news in the shower in the morning or hip hop in the evening in the kids bedrooms. The default setting for the sleep timer would also eliminate the need to have to turn off the system when rushing out of the shower and heading to the office.
Would like to see user defined default settings for each zone player (or virtual zone) which would include

Volume
Equalization
Music Source
Sleep Timer

The default settings would kick in after some period of inactivity. This would make it much easier to casually listen to Sonos. One click would get you the news program you want in the shower in the morning, The music your wife wants in the kitchen, etc., etc. Having a default sleep timer also means you don't have to worry about turning the system off.
Userlevel 1
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I have 5 Zone Players, and have found that at certain times of the day, I consistently group specific Zones. For example, after 6 PM, I group family room and Dining Room because Im in theta area and want both zones together while we cook and have dinner. (I don't always have or want them grouped though).

I haven't totally thought this through, but I'm thinking it would be a good idea to have an additional Alarm option that would 'only group zones' at specific times of the dayy. This would automatically set up my zones to be grouped, the way I want them for immediate use.

I would say, if any of the zones in question is already playing music, the gouping should be skipped.

Just an idea. Let the idea-poo-poo'ing begin! 😛
Userlevel 2
Unless I missed an obvious way to do this, I was trying to do this the other day. I thought it would be cool if, when my alarm goes off in the morning, that the news would play in the kitchen, so that when I get down there I could have news with my coffee.

It worked for the one day I tried it when I pre-grouped my two zones together, but I'm not sure that it will work on Monday. Then again, I suppose I could just set a separate alarm for the kitchen....I only have three zones, but I could see where it could be a deal for people with big houses.
Justintime, cecilia, I've merged your posts into an existing thread. You are not the only ones with this request.
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Actually, what I had in mind was not a Virtual Zone, but now that you merged the thread I realize this would ALMOST meet the need just as well. Indeed, if I could set an alarm to a virtual zone (pre-grouped) then it would work just as well... although in this case SOMETHING would have to be played during the alarm trigger... I didn't really envision any sound as a result of this. Just a pre-scheduled grouping.

Justintime, cecilia, I've merged your posts into an existing thread. You are not the only ones with this request.
C'mon, just join the 9-page thread 😉 You stand a much bigger chance getting it realized than just you and Cecilia asking for it :p

For your requirement, you'd have a virtual zone playing back an empty mp3.
Userlevel 2
This would be a great idea, and very useful, without being anything more than a software update
Userlevel 2
C'mon, just join the 9-page thread 😉 You stand a much bigger chance getting it realized than just you and Cecilia asking for it :p

For your requirement, you'd have a virtual zone playing back an empty mp3.


In my defense, I didn't realize I was asking for the same thing. I never quite understood what was meant by "virtual" zone (and never bothered to find out)...since it's a real zone, just two linked together.
Userlevel 2
Well, I (somewhat sheepishly) admit to 23 zones. I can vouch for it: the inability to persist virtual zone groupings and relative volumes, a small inconvenience at low zone count, is seriously impacting my use of the system. It's just impossible to manage this many zones with the simple grouping function provided. It undermines the "magic" of the system. This is a really important feature for larger installations, and the value-add of developing it would be in the thousands of dollars of perceived utility... per system.
This thread was started 4 years ago - the time laps speaks for itself.
Well, I (somewhat sheepishly) admit to 23 zones. I can vouch for it: the inability to persist virtual zone groupings and relative volumes, a small inconvenience at low zone count, is seriously impacting my use of the system. It's just impossible to manage this many zones with the simple grouping function provided. It undermines the "magic" of the system. This is a really important feature for larger installations, and the value-add of developing it would be in the thousands of dollars of perceived utility... per system.

I would argue that the implementation would have to allow for a bit of customization otherwise IT could create similar problems. besides your 23 zones would there be additional virtual zones listed. mo money mo problems. I think hopefully if and when this eventually gets done there would be options.

either total customization (in the zone setting it can be listed in the zones menu or not, in the virtual zones menu or not, etc) or at least having 2 zones menus. maybe the zones menu has a first option of listing the virtual groups so that its a separate menu.

The one positive to listing ALL virtual zones and ALL regular zones would be to say you want to play music in VZ1 and the living room (maybe this encorporates 4 total players. i see all sorts of fun quirks and bugs that would have to be worked out. well worth it in my opinion and I hope its already being worked on.
I would like to see virtual zones and groups as separate things.

I see the virtual zones being handy for fixed-grouping of zones. This might be, for instance, a bedroom and an associated en-suite bathroom or a large room with multiple speakers that needs more "oomph" than a single ZP can deliver.

In the case of a virtual zone, once it's grouped it shouldn't appear as separate zones at all (except to allow relative volume adjustment)

Zone groups, on the other hand, I see as a convenience function to support common scenarios. A zone group can contain virtual zones. All zones (real or virtual) show up in the zones screen. Perhaps there is a separate list for zones and zone groups, but linking and dropping should list the zone groups too (so you can link in or drop all zones in a group.

If you link a group, the zones appear in the list individually, not as a group.

A nice feature would be for each zone in the group to, optionally, have a preset volume it goes to when selected.

Groups should, of course, be available for alarms.

Cheers,

Keith
Userlevel 2
I agree
Userlevel 2
I agree! great Idea!
Userlevel 2
Wow, this (straight forward) feature request is "at least" three years old and hasn't been implemented???

I know I'm new to this forum but the Sonos CEO should really consider requests like this with this much community support an immediate priority, or why have a forum?

Installers must be selling competing products for larger setups, on this function alone.

Of course I love Sonos, but listening without doing, is not service.
Wow, this (straight forward) feature request is "at least" three years old and hasn't been implemented???

I know I'm new to this forum but the Sonos CEO should really consider requests like this with this much community support an immediate priority, or why have a forum?

Installers must be selling competing products for larger setups, on this function alone.

Of course I love Sonos, but listening without doing, is not service.


Competing products do not have this functionality. Matter of fact, they don't have a quarter the functionality of Sonos. Most are stuck in the old home-run, multi-channel amp, sourced to a CD jukebox and AM/FM radio type setups, or (like Squeeze) are still trying to master syncing to multiple rooms.

As to why this hasn't been implemented; some things are easier to implement than others, and just because there's an old thread calling for it doesn't mean it is possible to implement it in a fiscally responsible/rewarding way.
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Thank you for making such a great system.

My request is to offer a way to simply recreate frequently used zone combinations. Please excuse me if this has been posted previously, I searched and could not find it.

We would like a menu similar to the "play list" menu, or similar to the "music menu" that allows you to select previously saved "zone link configurations". Similar to the "party mode" in linking this would allow us to have a "1st floor mode", "outdoors party mode" (more than one ZP outside), "cooking mode" (Kitchen+dining room), etc. Even a limit of creating 10 "zone mood/mode lists" would be enough.

We have 2 installs, one with 10 zones and 1 with 4 zones and a lot of time is spent "reconfiguring" the zones and setting the proper volume levels between them, etc. We would add 5 more zones to each system but it is just too complicated to manage the zones all the time.

We love the system and this is the ONLY thing some of the competitors have that we really miss.
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My orignal though was to have this be simple - perhaps just like the way you memorize a play list which can have music from a library, rhapsody, etc all on one list.

Memorizing, naming, and recalling a zone configuration is all we need. Its OK if it isnt "locked" after recalled - just like a play list, once called into the Queue it can be modified.

I do think the "and remember the volume settings" idea is a great one.

Seperatley I agree with the idea of permanently linking some zones. We have 2 zones in a kitchen, it was actually simpler and cheaper than getting wiring on both sides due to the design. Sonos is great here, but you have to turn both sides on... (easier to install, but harder to use in this case). I do think this is a different problem however.
Thread rebuilt 30 October 2009.