Why is Sonos discontinuing playback from "On this iPhone"?

  • 15 July 2019
  • 5 replies

Userlevel 1
I am a longtime Sonos user, I have a huge music library with lots of playlists. The Sonos software has never been up to the task of managing my library -- initially a frustrating experience, until I realized I could play music "On this iPhone" (or iPod or iPad) as a credible workaround. I have multiple playlists (both for myself and my two teenagers) and I'm constantly adding new artists to the phone, this feature has beautifully allowed me to seamlessly play it all across my multi-room setup. Once Sonos discontinues this feature, as far as I can tell, I have zero recourse. I tried importing a playlist into Sonos -- adding it and then using the Sonos app on my desktop to "Save this queue". No dice. Nothing works. I just can't understand WHY Sonos is doing this. What is the motive? How do they profit by frustrating users? Anyone out there understand what's behind the move? If you are a Sonos employee feel free to chime in....

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5 replies

Userlevel 1
I suspect that it *may* have to do with Apple and Spotify wanting all the playlist functions to flow through their subscription services. But if that's the case, Sonos needs to push back, it's cynical and shortsighted of them to cheat their own users out of a hugely helpful and user-friendly feature to boost the bottom line of other companies.
Userlevel 7
Badge +17

You have posted replies on two other threads on this topic, and you’ve started a new thread as well.

Have you read any of the points raised and answered in the 23 pages of comments since Sonos made the announcement? https://en.community.sonos.com/announcements-228985/upcoming-changes-to-on-this-iphone-or-ipad-playback-6826585
This is outrageous behavior on Sonos’ part. I have 8 Sonos devices, all purchased to as to allow me to use them as they were intended and marketed. I hope someone considers filing a class action against Sonos. It should reconsider its decision.
If Apple were to reconsider their changes to iOS, I'm certain that Sonos would be delighted to reverse their own decision. I'm confident that this decision was made with great deliberation, for the reasons that you're such an evident example of.
Userlevel 6
Badge +14
@cknutsen I see you own an Amp, which is Airplay capable. If you Airplay to that and group it with the speaker you want to listen to, you have a work around that would work for one user at a time.

Other options would be Google music (free for the first 50.000 songs) or, if possible, adding a USB-stick containing your music to your router. Options that would cost a bit more would be to switch to a music service, buy a NAS (if you have a lot of musci use Plex on your NAS) or replace your Play:1's with Ikea Symfonisks or One's.