Question

i have an iTunes movie rented -- how do i connect the sound to Sonos?

  • 17 August 2017
  • 33 replies
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how do i listen to iTunes movies on my Sonos speakers?

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33 replies

Badge +1
good heavens!

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/6852766?tstart=0

really?!?!?!?
1) Connect your Apple TV to your TV set using HDMI
2) Connect your TV to the Playbar or Playbase using the optical cable
3) Play the rented movie on your Apple TV.
Badge +1
it's not an apple TV, i'm on a brand new MacBook Pro.

i don't know what a "Playbar" is...
Ah, more information.

First, here's what a Playbar is:

http://www.sonos.com/en-us/shop/playbar.html

It's designed to work with TVs.

Now, for a MacBook pro, you're trying to use Sonos speakers as computer speakers, which they are not. There's not an easy way to do that, at least using Sonos' software. You haven't told us what kind of Sonos speakers you have, but I'd still recommend looking for the thread about computer speakers. It's fairly lengthy, but should cover most of what you need to know.
Unfortunately, Sonos is may things, but standalone speakers for a PC is not one of them. If you are looking for wireless speakers for a laptop or PC, a Bluetooth speaker will better serve your needs. If you are looking for a multi-room, perfectly synced, whole home audio system, that is what Sonos is made for.

That said, there are some workarounds, as you have seen. There are also others that skirt Apple's original Airplay encryption and DRM. Google those.
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umm, i just want my rented or purchased iTunes movies to play through the Sonos "multi-room, perfectly synced, whole home audio system," and that's complicated?

i have
3x Play1
1x Play5
1x PlayBar
1x Boost

the product description for the Play1's says: "Streams over wi-fi, not Bluetooth..."
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
umm, i just want my rented or purchased iTunes movies to play through the Sonos "multi-room, perfectly synced, whole home audio system," and that's complicated?

It's not complicated, but it's not how Sonos works. (The Sonos approach has many merits, but acting like a Bluetooth or directly computer-connected speaker system is not one of them.)

You could explore using AirPlay to send audio from your Mac. You have a couple of options:

(1) By using an Apple Airport Express and connecting this to the Line In of your PLAY:5. (Note that you can play the audio to any combination of your Sonos speakers, you're not restricted to the PLAY:5.)

(2) By experimenting with a software-only approach such as SonoAir (http://sonoair.mihosoft.eu/)

I use the first method and it works well. I haven't tried the second.

I should add that either of these methods will introduce audio buffering delays causing the video and audio to be (probably significantly) out of sync, so AirPlay may not work at all for your use case.
And it isn't an issue of complexity. To borrow an analogy sometimes used on this forum... if you wanted a car to drive off road and bought a Ferrari, it would not make the Ferrari a bad car, but it would make you someone who didn't understand what they were buying.
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you are seriously making the analogy: wanting to use your Sonos speakers to listen to rented or purchased iTunes movies is like purchasing a Ferrari and wanting to drive it off road?
Userlevel 3
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i have
3x Play1
1x Play5
1x PlayBar
1x Boost

the product description for the Play1's says: "Streams over wi-fi, not Bluetooth..."


? Did you say you don't know what a Playbar is but listed it anyways??

Maybe I'm seeing things
Badge +1
at that point i did not know what it was called. this audio system kind of dropped into my lap, and i am checking it out.
Userlevel 3
Badge +5
at that point i did not know what it was called. this audio system kind of dropped into my lap, and i am checking it out.

If you follow the advice that Airgetlam had given you should be just fine.

You can configure the Playbar and 2x Play 1s in a 5.0 configuration by following the directions from the controller you could install on any iOS phone. The Playbar box should have a optical switch that you connect to your TV.

If you want to use the MacBook and it has a HDMI connection use a HDMI cable to connect to a TV. Else use airplay to play from an Apple TV

You should of course use a router to get internet to the Playbar
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it's just pretty odd. right now i am listening to an online radio station using Sonos and my new MacBook Pro. but a rented iTunes movie? No go? Seriously?

yes, I did think these were just speakers, basically: hardware. not a kind of "system" with hyper-controlled functionality.

is this what's going on:
want to use that knife to cut bread and other things? oh too bad, that knife is a actually serrated bread knife. it will stop working if you try to cut anything but bread or items labeled "bread-like" or subordinate to bread. you can try to trick the knife into cutting tomatoes by going into the knife-operating system and disabling its knife-use-sensing software. but, otherwise, it won't cut if you try to cut vegetables, fruits, or really anything other than what the knife recognizes as bread. you can usually cut home-baked bread, but it's tricky, and configuration takes a long time.
🙂 hope those with emotions vested in the Sonos product line can see the humor in the analogy! :-)

i'll explore the setup options cited here, thank you for them.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
The radio station has nothing to do with the Mac Book Pro - You could power that off or chuck it out the window and the radio station would continue to play.

The way Sonos works is that you tell the Sonos units via a controller what you want to play and the Sonos unit them request the music from the relevant source.

As you have a line in on the Play 5 you should be able to get the audio from the Mac into the Line in with an appropriate connection.
I like the analogy, you do your homework to make sure you buy the correct tool for the job 😉
Badge +1
i don't have a lot vested in this hardware, but do you realize how orwellian this sounds:

"The way Sonos works is that you tell the Sonos units via a controller what you want to play and the Sonos unit them request the music from the relevant source."

right -- so instead of it being hardware -- like a record player that you put records onto and then it plays those records -- what Sonos does is it looks at whether you're allowed to listen to that particular record or not.

regarding "purchasing the correct tool," thank goodness i did not purchase these speakers. i can see how upset i would be, if i had. i can also see how a lot of people could wind up feeling deceived. also, while i understand there's a "line in," i am still seeing these limitations as grounds to give the Sonos system a negative review, if i were to review it.

similarly: "Sonos was designed as a multiroom audio system for either your own ripped music (not films/TV) or streaming from a music service."

--right, so Sonos is saying you get to listen to what we tell you you get to listen to, even though we are a hardware manufacturer.

the way to pitch that to a user community is to make it complicated and to make Ferrari analogies -- and while it hasn't gone full-blast here (though i imagine it could), you generate a user culture of demeaning condescension -- maybe even using terms like "learning curve."

so what really should be the equivalent of putting two wires into the back of a speaker, turns into a kind of manufactured skill that's in its own technical bubble of hardware, software, and procedures.

it's pretty amazing that these speakers don't play computer system audio. also, it's also possible that Sonos is forced to "not provide" such functionality. and i wonder what that's like...do goons show up at the offices and strongarm manufacturers into not allowing specific set ups? is that how that works?

also, the semantics are pretty amazing: Sonos does play computer system audio, but only if Sonos can be convinced that you are "allowed" to hear that audio. wow. but, actually, Sonos doesn't play computer system audio -- well -- unless you take the actual audio output and connect that audio output to a speaker (but one of the speakers that has such an input, because not all do). again: wow.
Sorry but you do not grasp the concept of the system go and moan at Sonos.
Badge +1
hi Belly M, i am confident that there are more than a few users here who are at least one or more of the following:

* empathetic
* kind
* concerned
* willing to help
* interested in the future of technology

i care quite a bit about end-user advocacy, and while i have not investigated the Sonos system thoroughly, i find that even just this hint of a structure that centralizes control over what you are "allowed" to hear should be rejected. it's too dangerous.

again, i will look into the solutions suggested, and i am grateful for the kind and helpful responses already available here -- and for those to come! 🙂

🙂 hope those with emotions vested in the Sonos product line can see the humor in the analogy! :-)

i'll explore the setup options cited here, thank you for them.


It has nothing to do with emotions, it has to do with reality. There are very specific reasons, architectural and design-wise, that Sonos is not able to be a wireless speaker for your laptop videos. The first of which is that a multi-room system requires a significant buffer in order to perfectly synchronize the stream to each room. Without this significant buffer, reliability suffers and sync is poor. Unfortunately, this buffer also makes Sonos not fit for real-time synchronizing with video sources.

Also, Sonos is designed to stream direct from the source, with a "pull" architecture, meaning the Sonos player goes out and pulls content from the source. No content passes though your device (PC/Mac/phone/tablet), it is all done by the Sonos player. This saves on bandwidth, processing power, and is more reliable because Sonos controls the processing path completely. Your PC/Mac/phone/tablet can be bogged down by multi-tasking, older processors, failing battery life, etc., and Sonos is unaffected as long as you can run the relatively resource stingy controller app. To now have to process video and "push" it to the Sonos devices would require an entire rewrite of the architecture, introducing all these reliability factors that Sonos tried to avoid with their original "pull" design. It would essentially make Sonos into Airplay 1, which ironically (and 5 years of bad reviews later), Apple just abandoned in favor of the "pull" architecture Sonos had back in 2005.

As stated, this all has nothing to do with emotion, it's all about science.

PS - Interesting juxtaposition with this thread:

https://en.community.sonos.com/components-228996/dj-setup-with-connect-6733792

DJ asks for real-time performance of his audio input. It is explained that due to the sync buffer, Sonos is not designed for real-time performances. A poster thanks people for the info and realizes Sonos is not fit-for-their- purpose. No gnashing of teeth, no high-faluting claims about "end-user advocacy" or silly conspiracy fantasies about "goons" strong arming manufacturers or "centralized control". No, the DJ simply realizes they bought the wrong product, thanks people for the info, and goes on their way. Later on, another person seeking a DJ system figures out he can use the low-lag inherent to the Playbar to approximate what they want, albeit an admitted work around.

How refreshing.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21

i care quite a bit about end-user advocacy, and while i have not investigated the Sonos system thoroughly, i find that even just this hint of a structure that centralizes control over what you are "allowed" to hear should be rejected. it's too dangerous.


It's not really about 'allowing' a feature, it's about whether that feature exists or not.


it's just pretty odd. right now i am listening to an online radio station using Sonos and my new MacBook Pro. but a rented iTunes movie? No go? Seriously?


For the online radio station you can listen to, the Sonos speaker itself is essentially a computer that's doing the streaming directly. The MacBook is doing nothing other then being a controller. You didn't say this, but you're surely using the Sonos app correct? Do a little test if you're unsure of how it works. Use the MacBook to start the music, then shutdown the MacBook. Music is stilling playing right? The music is streamed from the speaker, not your MacBook. It's no different then if you used a remote control to turn on your tv, then took the batteries out of the remote. TV won't stop playing.

So for your iTunes movie, does it make more sense why something playing on your MacBook would not be easily played on your sonos speaker? As other have stated, there are ways around this by use line in features available on some of the Sonos products and such, but Sonos does not play whatever you're playing on your computer out of the box because that's not what it's designed to do.


again, i will look into the solutions suggested, and i am grateful for the kind and helpful responses already available here -- and for those to come! 🙂
Badge +1
you really find it far fetched to go here

http://www.sonos.com/en-us/home
a page titled "Sonos | Wireless Speakers and Home Sound Systems"
and read:
"With Sonos, you can enjoy whatever you love to listen to, in any and every room in your home."

and come to the conclusion that you'd be able to hear the sound if you play a movie on iTunes on your computer?

from where i sit, jgatie, you've gone full-on condescending.

jgatie, in the practice of sound science, we are open to investigation, possibility, and change. Sonos is not an ecosystem we are studying, it is a product that has been designed.

for example, you wrote: "Unfortunately, this buffer also makes Sonos not fit for real-time synchronizing with video sources."
apparently, your argument appears to be that an audio buffer cannot be pre-determined or measured -- and video buffering by however many milliseconds is a technical impossibility.

also, to belittle my comments on centralized control is egregiously rude. could u apologize for that? might you know how media delivery worked in the former soviet union?

in the thread you shared, someone posted: "Sonos is not a real time sound processing system. It is only for streaming HIFI through WIFI," which is surprising based on the marketing materials.

Sonos isn't exactly what it appears to be, nor is it exactly what it represents itself as. There do appear to be workarounds, and though I am glad i didn't purchase the system I am using, i am not saying it's "all bad."

From what I see so far, I'd likely add very specific user options, if i were on the design team, though...

Thanks to the community members who have been polite and helpful! 🙂
Apologize? Bwahahahaha! I'll not apologize, I will double down! I think your statements hinting at conspiracies and goon squads to be melodramatic nonsense and out of touch with the actual science you claim to understand. Just the fact that you mention the Soviet Union is proof of that. How's that for an "apology"!? 😃
Badge +1
is your argument: because he understands history, he is out of touch with science?

it's a weak argument and a terrible apology.

google is (still) your friend. history is important to understand. science is a method. sonos is a product.

you think you'd be keeping your job if you were product support and i were your manager?
You can listen to your movie sound in any room in your house. You can use the line in on the Play 5 or a Playbar. Just take the system back and buy something else if you don't like it. Arguing is a waste of everyone's time here.
Badge +1
John B, try putting jgatie in check.

is there a way to block ppl from a thread? i'd like to block John B and jgatie, if possible.