Getting Sonos & Philips Hue Entertainment App to play together - Music


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Afternoon all. Have a reasonable size Sonos system built over time covering inside & garden on S2 now. All working a treat. 

Over time I’ve acquired more of these Philips Hue lights than I realised and they are rather good on the whole. I have about 15 of them in the garden I think.

I’ve a need (later year - birthday event) to get the two working together.

I have the Philips Hue Entertainment App installed on Win 10 PC and it talks to all the lights very happily and I can create multiple entertainment zones. 

But I do not know how to use Sonos as the source to get the Hue lights to do their thing i.e flash and change colour in time to the music. Probably sounds naff but looking to play the opening quiet 3 mins of The Prague Philharmonics version of Blue Danube outside with a gentle light performance before the remaining 7 mins to a professional firework display. Hey you not 60 every day and I met her in Vienna during this performance :-)

I guess I could buy and configure a Port and use a aux line in from that to the PC RCA’s and then use that to the Philips Hue App on the PC. Would that work?

Or is there a way any clever folks have to use the Sonos app on the PC to feed the Hue app on the same PC?

It sounds simple but then again I’m asking so maybe not so.

Either way, if anyway knows of a way (hardware or software) that would allow this facility to be made a reality I’d be really grateful to know of it.

Many thanks in advance


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Hi @attacama40 

It sounds like your wife has landed herself a romantic! I’m sure she’ll love it.

Yes - assuming the Philips Hue app will react to music playing on a 3rd-party app on your PC, you could feed the PC output to the input of a Sonos Port so that’s shared across your Sonos system.

Another option - assuming the Philips Hue app will react to the PC’s line-in (you may need to adjust the input level slider in the PC’s sound settings) - would be to connect the Port’s output to the PC’s line-in 3.5 mm jack. I would assume that this would result in a better synchronisation between the music (as heard from Sonos) and the lights, and you wouldn’t need to go to the computer to control the music - you could use any Sonos app and music source.

As I’m making assumptions about the Philips Hue app, I recommend you test this well ahead of time. I would be surprised if it cannot be done, however. Of course, someone in the Community may have a definite answer for you.

The Sonos app would not interact with the Hue app - this needs to be done at the hardware, rather than software, level.

 

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Hi Corry and thanks for the thinking. Is very spooky, I’m here just testing output from a Spotify session and slowly evolving my thinking to what you have more precisely described.

I have a Port connected to a large older Pioneer VSA-AX10i which in turn feeds 7 x Evid 6.2’s outside configured in a surround sound configuration. It’s light on low end and I’ve just bought a Polk sub woofer which I’m hoping will polish the sound some when I work out how to connect it. We’ve used Sonos outside with success for a long time.

Is good to understand that that I need be experimenting with hardware rather than software. At least the field of reference is narrowed which is helpful.

I think I will order another Port and start to experiment early as you mention. 

Just looking at the settings screens on Hue app …...

 

Most of the audio options are speakers/output but the last one says ‘microphone’ which suggest that an AUX IN is possible. Mind I should note I’m playing about with this one my very old (2010) laptop. The unit that will perform this is a much more up to date desktop PC close to the Pioneer and existing Port. But it appears to reinforce your thinking if I’m understanding correctly.

No guarantees I understand but it sounds like a Port output to the PC (with Hue app) on the microphone I/P could be interesting? Am I understanding that correctly?

Romance? Maybe two other options …. 1. Self preservation or 2. a smoke screen to complete some audio and lighting investment options in the garden :-)  …. well it’s 1 + 2 plus yes … and a strong element of ‘wanting to do it’ …. once that’s gone ….. well there’s just Sonos and TV!  :-)

Thanks for the direction Corry …. appreciated.

 

 

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It seems to me very likely that once you open the Hue app on a desktop machine, you will also have a line-in option in that drop-down list. If you don’t, just turning up Line-In in the Windows Sound settings should work too - as long as the music comes out of the PC’s speakers, the Hue app will react if those speakers are selected. If Line-In is available and selected in the Hue app, it won’t matter if the music plays from the TV’s speakers or not (though I think you’ll hear it anyway).

Some microphone connections can be converted by software to line-in - you’ll need to check the soundcard app (different from Windows sound device settings). Although you could probably get away with connecting to microphone (if you didn’t find the software switch), you’d need to turn the level way down - otherwise it’s unlikely the lights would really seem synced - they’d act as if every little sound was huge. On the desktop, you shouldn’t need this.

The Line-In jack at the back of a PC will be blue - this will be easier to find than the etched diagrams next to the jack, as demonstrated:

One more idea -  LASERS! :metal:

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It seems to me very likely that once you open the Hue app on a desktop machine, you will also have a line-in option in that drop-down list. If you don’t, just turning up Line-In in the Windows Sound settings should work too - as long as the music comes out of the PC’s speakers, the Hue app will react if those speakers are selected. If Line-In is available and selected in the Hue app, it won’t matter if the music plays from the TV’s speakers or not (though I think you’ll hear it anyway).

Some microphone connections can be converted by software to line-in - you’ll need to check the soundcard app (different from Windows sound device settings). Although you could probably get away with connecting to microphone (if you didn’t find the software switch), you’d need to turn the level way down - otherwise it’s unlikely the lights would really seem synced - they’d act as if every little sound was huge. On the desktop, you shouldn’t need this.

The Line-In jack at the back of a PC will be blue - this will be easier to find than the etched diagrams next to the jack, as demonstrated:

One more idea -  LASERS! :metal:

Thanks Corry. I’m going to high jack my external connected Port and test it as you describe on the desktop. I feel a solution coming on! :-) 

I just accidentally left a mic open on the desktop whilst testing a video of the firework display. It picked it up and triggered all the Hue lights in sync …. was really good.

Is trivia of course in comparison to the serious business of distributed music but more and more folks want this type of type to compliment their video …. music or for some gaming. And the more I look at it, the more I think …  why not?

Don’t joke about the lasers …. I am the worlds worst for auto suggestion …. it crossed my mind and if it could be done at not too exorbitant money then I would have a play at that as well. Have any links? :-) 

Will test the Port and line in and report back. Hopefully over the weekend. Looking at questions on the site and indeed other sites and Youtube, it’s clear there’s a lot of interest in this stuff. 

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I just accidentally left a mic open on the desktop whilst testing a video of the firework display. It picked it up and triggered all the Hue lights in sync …. was really good.

Is trivia of course in comparison to the serious business of distributed music but more and more folks want this type of type to compliment their video …. music or for some gaming. And the more I look at it, the more I think …  why not?

Great - sounds promising!

The Hue website certainly seems to be showing that idea off - extending the colours at the side of the screen onto the walls. Looks great. Smello-vision next!

Don’t joke about the lasers …. I am the worlds worst for auto suggestion …. it crossed my mind and if it could be done at not too exorbitant money then I would have a play at that as well. Have any links? :-) 

I’m afraid not, lol.

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It seems to me very likely that once you open the Hue app on a desktop machine, you will also have a line-in option in that drop-down list. If you don’t, just turning up Line-In in the Windows Sound settings should work too - as long as the music comes out of the PC’s speakers, the Hue app will react if those speakers are selected. If Line-In is available and selected in the Hue app, it won’t matter if the music plays from the TV’s speakers or not (though I think you’ll hear it anyway).

Some microphone connections can be converted by software to line-in - you’ll need to check the soundcard app (different from Windows sound device settings). Although you could probably get away with connecting to microphone (if you didn’t find the software switch), you’d need to turn the level way down - otherwise it’s unlikely the lights would really seem synced - they’d act as if every little sound was huge. On the desktop, you shouldn’t need this.

The Line-In jack at the back of a PC will be blue - this will be easier to find than the etched diagrams next to the jack, as demonstrated:

One more idea -  LASERS! :metal:

Thanks Corry. I’m going to high jack my external connected Port and test it as you describe on the desktop. I feel a solution coming on! :-) 

I just accidentally left a mic open on the desktop whilst testing a video of the firework display. It picked it up and triggered all the Hue lights in sync …. was really good.

Is trivia of course in comparison to the serious business of distributed music but more and more folks want this type of type to compliment their video …. music or for some gaming. And the more I look at it, the more I think …  why not?

Don’t joke about the lasers …. I am the worlds worst for auto suggestion …. it crossed my mind and if it could be done at not too exorbitant money then I would have a play at that as well. Have any links? :-) 

Will test the Port and line in and report back. Hopefully over the weekend. Looking at questions on the site and indeed other sites and Youtube, it’s clear there’s a lot of interest in this stuff. 

Corry hi there …. just an update on the concept of using Sonos Port Line Out to PC Line in and Hue Sync and Sonos Controller.

I think it’s close to being seen working.

That said the lights are not actually doing anything yet but I would say that’s in Philips (apparently now called Signify’s court)

The screen shots below show the Sonos controller playing and the Hue app clearly responding in time with music but changing colours and intensity of light. You cannot see it so well from stills. Is it allowed to add short MOV file to a post?

 

Although the lights are not actually working, I feel that this part is the core work and that most likely I have a bad setting in my Hue environment.

In fairness support coming from Signify is as good as I’m getting from yourself. 

Will keep working on it and hopefully we can see the result quite soon. 

Cheers

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Hey, any progress is good progress, right? You can’t post an embedded video - too much scope for abuse, I feel, but I get it from the picture - the hue of the app changes with the lights (or would, if the lights were changing).

Not that I know a thing about Philips Hue, but I presume if the app can control the lights at all, the music should now work too. If it doesn’t control them at all, I’m sure their tech support will get to the cause of the problem. Personally, I would start with a network reboot and the computer’s firewall settings. Make sure the PC network connection is seen by Windows as a Private Network too so it will allow applications to communicate on the local network (having it Public tends to mean the Sonos app doesn’t work, but I have seen exceptions).

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Hey, any progress is good progress, right? You can’t post an embedded video - too much scope for abuse, I feel, but I get it from the picture - the hue of the app changes with the lights (or would, if the lights were changing).

Not that I know a thing about Philips Hue, but I presume if the app can control the lights at all, the music should now work too. If it doesn’t control them at all, I’m sure their tech support will get to the cause of the problem. Personally, I would start with a network reboot and the computer’s firewall settings. Make sure the PC network connection is seen by Windows as a Private Network too so it will allow applications to communicate on the local network (having it Public tends to mean the Sonos app doesn’t work, but I have seen exceptions).

Hi Corry, ok progress!

I took the line out of the Port to the blue line in of the PC. As mentioned before, it shows on screen as smoke lights and action but did not make it to the outside lights.

Ok it looks like a combination of things prevented Atacama Towers looking like a Muse show.

  1. I had to enable an O/P speaker (on the PC) … think you did say that previous post
  2. I had a 3rd Party app called Hye Dynamic running - I reset this
  3. Also Hue lights only operate in an ‘entertainment group’ in a max of 10. I have 19.

So this evening we got a bit of light show. 

Still work to do but it proves 100% that Hue does operate with Sonos happily.

One question mind …. can the Sonos RCA O/P be split? I.e using a device somewhat like this…..

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/switch-Passive-stereo-selector-Splitter-Black/dp/B08LLM1XGQ/ref=sr_1_8?ascsubtag=1ba00-01000-s1100-win10-other-smile-uk000-pcomp-feature-rscomp-wm-5&dchild=1&keywords=Rca+Splitter+Audiophile&qid=1617129438&sr=8-8

I’m thinking that if I can take the Sonos RCA O/P to my normal external amp but also take a feed to the PC this would be more sensible ….. never one to pass on an opportunity to buy a new box but allocating one just to PC and lights isn’t a noble role for a quality box like a Port.

What you think? Possible?

 

 

 

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Hi @attacama40 

I am glad to hear that you’ve actually got it working now, and not just theoretically - thanks for sharing what you needed to do!

I’m reminded of Jean Michel Jarre :)

One question mind …. can the Sonos RCA O/P be split? I.e using a device somewhat like this…..

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/switch-Passive-stereo-selector-Splitter-Black/dp/B08LLM1XGQ/ref=sr_1_8?ascsubtag=1ba00-01000-s1100-win10-other-smile-uk000-pcomp-feature-rscomp-wm-5&dchild=1&keywords=Rca+Splitter+Audiophile&qid=1617129438&sr=8-8

I’m thinking that if I can take the Sonos RCA O/P to my normal external amp but also take a feed to the PC this would be more sensible ….. never one to pass on an opportunity to buy a new box but allocating one just to PC and lights isn’t a noble role for a quality box like a Port.

What you think? Possible?

I don’t see why not. As the device you’ve linked to requires no power, it’s up to the Port to provide it. Presumably, this would put slightly more load on the output which may result in a slightly quieter output, but I think it would work.

Even if you didn’t do this (or use the same box to add a second PC to control the other 9 lights!), the Port can still utilise it’s Input and share that with the rest of the Sonos system regardless of what it’s doing with it’s output, so it’s not totally un-noble.

 

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Hi @attacama40 

I am glad to hear that you’ve actually got it working now, and not just theoretically - thanks for sharing what you needed to do!

I’m reminded of Jean Michel Jarre :)

One question mind …. can the Sonos RCA O/P be split? I.e using a device somewhat like this…..

https://smile.amazon.co.uk/switch-Passive-stereo-selector-Splitter-Black/dp/B08LLM1XGQ/ref=sr_1_8?ascsubtag=1ba00-01000-s1100-win10-other-smile-uk000-pcomp-feature-rscomp-wm-5&dchild=1&keywords=Rca+Splitter+Audiophile&qid=1617129438&sr=8-8

I’m thinking that if I can take the Sonos RCA O/P to my normal external amp but also take a feed to the PC this would be more sensible ….. never one to pass on an opportunity to buy a new box but allocating one just to PC and lights isn’t a noble role for a quality box like a Port.

What you think? Possible?

I don’t see why not. As the device you’ve linked to requires no power, it’s up to the Port to provide it. Presumably, this would put slightly more load on the output which may result in a slightly quieter output, but I think it would work.

Even if you didn’t do this (or use the same box to add a second PC to control the other 9 lights!), the Port can still utilise it’s Input and share that with the rest of the Sonos system regardless of what it’s doing with it’s output, so it’s not totally un-noble.

 

Super stuff, thanks Corry. I’m going to give that a crack and see how we get on. I’m sure it will work fine.

And there’s a documented solution there now for other folks trying to achieve this. It’s off topic Sonos wise in a purest sense but that is now the world we live in of trying have things co-exist so why now.

Will confirm back to you how the Port gets on splitting the O/P. Again just to add to the knowledge base ….  good or bad.

Cheers

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