Question

Why can't I push *any* audio from phone/device to Sonos?

  • 21 September 2017
  • 22 replies
  • 20093 views

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I've had sonos for years and I know how to play music and other services and music from my phone or other device via line in. But my question is: Why can't I direct any audio stream from my phone to Sonos?? If i' watching a youtube video on my phone, why can't I send that to sonos? Or if I'm listening to a podcast from a browser why can't that go to sonos? It goes to my bluetooth headset why not to sonos? Its pain having to find the podcast on soundcloud or some other 'recognised' service, sonos should just play whatever audio is on my device.

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22 replies

It isn't designed/architected to work in that manner.
As Kumar said, it is purposefully not designed that way. It has a pull architecture, which avoids the triple bandwidth usage of push (source->router->Sonos device vs source->router->phone->router->audio device). It takes the variable reliability, CPU usage, CPU power, multi-tasking, etc., attributes of the phone out of the equation. It also allows you to keep on playing music if the phone is turned off, loses battery, or leaves the home.

As a note, Apple Airplay used push technology and has been criticized for reliability issues for years. Others like Google and Spotify followed the Sonos pull model. Guess who just scrapped Airplay in favor of a pull based Airplay 2?
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As Kumar said, it is purposefully not designed that way. It has a pull architecture, which avoids the triple bandwidth usage of push (source->router->Sonos device vs source->router->phone->router->audio device). It takes the variable reliability, CPU usage, CPU power, multi-tasking, etc., attributes of the phone out of the equation. It also allows you to keep on playing music if the phone is turned off, loses battery, or leaves the home.

As a note, Apple Airplay used push technology and has been criticized for reliability issues for years. Others like Google and Spotify followed the Sonos pull model. Guess who just scrapped Airplay in favor of a pull based Airplay 2?


jgatie: THAT is a good answer. THANK YOU. I'm not a tech guy and I understood it. Kumar: your answer wasn't so great, FYI.

If Sonos would just communicate with us, we would be less frustrated.
@Hank1. I am sure Kumar will appreciate your feedback on the effort he made to help you, entirely in his own time. As longstanding members of the forum know, Kumar's contributions have helped hundreds (thousands?) of users over many years.
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@Hank1. I am sure Kumar will appreciate your feedback on the effort he made to help you, entirely in his own time. As longstanding members of the forum know, Kumar's contributions have helped hundreds (thousands?) of users over many years. Bad morning John? This wasn't even my question. And I wasn't rude. It was, however, a question that has been asked dozens or HUNDREDS of times here over the years by frustrated people trying to make their Sonos systems (with which they invariably love but are just experiencing problems or perceived problems.) We come here for help. There are people who, entirely on their own time, respond to hundreds and thousands of questions and comments. That is nice if the answers are helpful. Ultimately it is not Kumar's responsiblity to answer these, but Sonos'. But if Kumar decides to do it... I don't know Kumar at all. Am sure he is a great guy. And then, of course, there are snarky comments like yours. Have a cup of coffee and have a a really good day. Seriously. Life is very short and often very hard. We (all of us, forum veterans like you and answer seekers like me)are just trying to fill our lives with beautiful music and audio books and podcasts and such to make it a little less brutal. Me? I was trying to understand why I couldn't "push" some things as I sit here in my 8th month of chemo drip while my most recent stitches heal. And for 8 months I have not been able to understand it except that sonos doe:Dsn't do that. Enjoy your forum. But more important, enjoy your day! And thank you Kumar for all you do. I'm sure you know a lot and it is good of you to help.
Ultimately it is not Kumar's responsiblity to answer these, but Sonos'.
Well, quite - but Sonos rarely answer contentious things quickly, if at all, which means that the Kumars of this world end up giving the unpalatable info - and taking the flak for it. Very, very clever strategy by Sonos - they just wait until it turns vicious and then step in and delete a few comments.
Ultimately it is not Kumar's responsiblity to answer these, but Sonos'.
Well, quite - but Sonos rarely answer contentious things quickly, if at all, which means that the Kumars of this world end up giving the unpalatable info - and taking the flak for it. Very, very clever strategy by Sonos - they just wait until it turns vicious and then step in and delete a few comments.


Actually, Ryan S once answered the question about why the Google Play implementation was not put in for all services in a pretty specific way, along with addressing the push question (without specifically stating the architectural differences). If the search facility was capable of . . . well . . . actually searching, his answer would be front and center in all these threads.
It gets difficult to answer the same question asked over and over except in a way that is to the point.

One reason why this happens is that the search function on this forum sucks, to be honest. And if it were to work properly, there would still be people that would not bother to do the search.

All are typical issues affecting all such places on the net.
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"Why does an airplane fly?" "Because it was built/architected that way" Yep... that is "to the point." Just not very useful. I was so blown away by the good answer that forgot myself.

Shame on me for posting in a forum. I know better. I just thought that since it was more or less that on the sonos website... Now I have to figure out how to delete myself in this Sonos mire. Thank you for everything.
I have to confess I hadn't really looked at Kumar's answer. Actually, not your usual standard, Kumar, if you will forgive my saying so. :)

@Hank1 - I wasn't trying to get at you - I just felt in principle that as Forum members generally contribute out of a desire to help, and receive no reward other than to feel they have helped, it wasn't fair to be critical of an occasional failure.

Apologies if I over-reacted to your comment.
Hank, a better example would be:

Why doesn't a car fly?

Because it wasn't built to do so.

I could of course talk about Bernoulli effects and the lack of wings to obtain that as well, but I did not do so. In effect. I also don't see any OP reaction.
Actually, not your usual standard, Kumar, if you will forgive my saying so. :)

That could be read as a left handed compliment?:-)- seeing how long winded I am at times.

@amun - yes it is a very good strategy by Sonos, even after they tried themselves to cripple it via Insided. Thankfully, at least the spam seems to be under control.
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You people are very knowledgeable. Will the Amazon Echo 2 be push or pull? It does Bluetooth right? So is this a case of sometimes push and sometimes pull? This is fascinating information. Thank you.
Thank you jgatie that was a great reply and I now understand things better.
Hi - I'm completely new to this forum - not sure if this should be a new thread but I believe my query is related to m1ke-adams original question:
Having switched recently from a B&W iPod docking speaker, which was also enabled with AirPlay, to a Sonos PlayBar and a Play 1, I sadly find the Sonos system extremely frustrating in comparison. My biggest gripe, which is actually testing the strength of my marriage, is that Spotify "within" the Sonos app is completely different to the Spotify app. For example, it doesn't search the entire Spotify catalogue (!!!), list my saved Artists, or play a "radio station" automatically based on the playlist we've just played (for us this is a major way we find new music). Also, when listening to radio stations through Sonos app there is no information about the music being played, unlike listening to the station through the station's own app (again, another way we like to find new music to add to our playlists etc).
I have already exchanged my Bose sound bar and speaker because of similar issues with the intergrated Bose/Spotify app and the usability of the Bose system being unfathomable and unreliable but at least there was an Aux-in with Bose so we could stream other audio sources or use the actual Spotify app.
Surely my issues are my own "operator error" because I struggle to believe that my wife and I are the only people in 7.5 billion with these gripes. Here's hoping this is the case as that would mean that there is a solution and I don't need to get my money back on the Sonos setup as well and save my marriage.
Thank you in advance to anyone that can help and advise.
I struggle to believe that my wife and I are the only people in 7.5 billion with these gripes.
You aren't, only because 7.5 billion don't use Spofity; some of us use Apple/Google/other services!
When I want to play Google Music, I have a choice of apps; the Google Play Music app on my phone is exactly how it is for any user of the service globally, except that it has the little cast icon on it that can have Sonos switch to receiving the music stream once I have done with what I want to on the Google app on the phone. Or, I can use the within Sonos controller Google Music Service option for sourcing music from the same place.

I would think the Spotify approach is similar so I can't understand your problem. Can't you just use the Spotify app - as opposed to the within Sonos app Spotify?
Uhhh, did you know you can use the actual Spotify app to play on Sonos?

https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/4137
Thank you for swift reply.
Yes I have tried this but when you choose "devices available" the playback settings in Spotify revert back to the same as those within the integrated app. That is, they are greyed out and you can't select Autoplay.
Hi @aldi. We used to see quite a few posts like yours - before Sonos responded and worked with Spotify to make it possible to use their app directly on Sonos (not as trivial an exercise as you might imagine).
John B - i appreciate that this probably was a huge development. However, not understanding how software works, it seems like all they have done is put a back door in to the integrated Spotify app which opens when you select "device available" rather than actually making the proper app communicate with Sonos.
Here is a cut/paste from the link that jgatie referred:
"For the Sonos devices to show up in the Spotify app under “DEVICES AVAILABLE,” you will first need to link your Sonos products to your Sonos Account by tapping on Settings > My Sonos Account and following the on-screen prompts. This option is found under Help > My Sonos Account on the Mac and PC Sonos apps."
Have you done this?
Have you read all of the provided link?
Kumar, thanks but I have already linked everything which is why I can see and select my Sonos system under "devices available" - otherwise it wouldn't show up.
Then I suggest you read the entire link/FAQ and post here where your problem lies with respect to it.