Logitech Media Server - 3rd party addition for Sonos devices

  • 15 January 2020
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LMS offers some interesting features which you can use alongside the standard Sonos setup.  Using LMS requires that you install the server software on a networked device (eg. a PC running Windows, iOS, or Linux, and even some NAS) - a popular choice is the Raspbery Pi (even including the ultra-cheap Pi Zero at 20 USD).   Installing the software is a task for an average user (and is largely accomplished via a web-browser interface).  Once installed, Sonos devices are seen by LMS as squeezebox players, and have full access to all the features which the server software offers.

Why might you consider this as an addition to your Sonos system?   Here are some pros:

  1.  LMS is complementary to the native Sonos setup.  You do not lose any Sonos features.
  2.  LMS is multi-platform.   Media control is also multi-platform (via web--browser access).   Apps are also available for both Android and iOS (either free or at low cost.
  3. There is no limit for local music libraries
  4. Offers access to Spotify, Qobuz, Tidal and Deezer streaming.  You can also access one of the UK’s most popular radio services, with listen again features!  Podcasts are also available.
  5. A recent addition (in beta) integrates local music library with your Spotify library (albums and playlists).   Probable that Qobuz and other streaming will be integrated)

An active and very supportive community forum

… and a couple of cons:

  • Additional cost (if necessary)
  • Initial installation effort

 

I’m offering this brief overview in a spirit of cooperation and sharing.   Maybe somebody will find it interesting and useful.

It is not intended to decry or compete with the base Sonos system..


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I’ve heard LMS mentioned previously, but never seen a summary of what it can do.  Thanks for that.

 

I primarily use Amazon, Pandora, and Sirius XM for streaming.  If I did setup a local library I wouldn’t be approaching Sonos limits.  I use voice, android, and rarely windows for control.  So, LMS doesn’t really have any features that I could take advantage personally.

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Not sure about Pandora or Sirius …. there’s an alexa skill for voice, and several android controllers.   

But each to their own!

Cheers

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LMS does offer Pandora … but not Sirius nor Amazon.

LMS.  Ugh.  Had too many years of that buggy mess.  The UI is still horribly outdated.  Written in Perl IIRC - talk about outdated.  If you really want to deal with an in-home server, try Roon, supposed to be much more refined, and supports Sonos speakers as endpoints.

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LMS.  Ugh.  Had too many years of that buggy mess.  The UI is still horribly outdated.  Written in Perl IIRC - talk about outdated.  If you really want to deal with an in-home server, try Roon, supposed to be much more refined, and supports Sonos speakers as endpoints.

You are missing the material skin (works both for mobile and webgui). 

I’ve just installed LMS on a pi zero w - works a treat and fast enough.  Currently have 6 connected devices (1 Touch player, 1 Radio, 3 chromecasts, 1 sonos Beam). Mixed streaming including Tunein, BBC iPlayer, Pocketcasts, Qobuz.

I suggest you are mis-informed about the current capabilties of LMS.

And it’s free unlike the 100+ GBP per year charged by Roon.  

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Just switched on speaker 7 (Roberts S1) - playing nicely alongside all the others … no bugs here.

So, pulled the old MyBookLive NAS out of storage.  It still has an older version of LMS installed on it.  Unfortunately (like Sonos is planning), the hardware has been unsupported by Western Digital for years now.  Worse, it's using an ancient PowerPC CPU,  which the Perl repositories have even abandoned. 

 So, had to point apt to the archive repositories, as LMS wouldn't update with the current ones.  This pulled down an ancient, very insecure version of the SSL library, but at least LMS updated.  However, github,  where the Material skin is hosted, won't allow this ancient, insecure SSL version to connect.   I well remember several years ago going through the massive update on thousands of servers, and tens of thousands of laptops at Megacorp for this very issue, the TLS 1.3 update,

Was finally able to manually install the Mobile skin, which is ok for phones and tablets, not so great on desktops.

Now, I'm a techie,  with decades of experience with Unix command lines, yet it took me hours to get even this far.  Your average Sonos owner wouldn't have even attempted this.  

After all that, with the Chromecast and UPnP bridges installed, it does unify Sonos with my old Squeezebox Radio, my Google devices, and the KEiiD renderer into a single UI, usable, but hardly as good as the Sonos app in numerous respects.  And, despite being able to group some of the devices, they're rarely in synch,  often off by more than a second.  Ugh.

 

 

OK, finally was able to install the Material interface by downloading the zip, copying it to the ancient NAS, unzipping in the appropriate directory, going through a couple of LMS restarts… lol.  Again, not something your average Sonos user would even begin to do.

However, it has given me a very nice way to control my speakers from my ChromeBox, finally, so thanks for the suggestion!

 

 

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Just get a 20 dollar pi - you’re attempting to mix patrol and diesel - no wonder it’s clunky!

Just get a 20 dollar pi - you’re attempting to mix patrol and diesel - no wonder it’s clunky!

Hmmm.  So the Sonos users who are being “legacy-ized” should “just get a new Sonos” then?

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You’re in the groove now!  I didn’t claim it would replace sonos but adds a number of features …

I’ve no idea what an average sonos user is - more money than good sense, given some of the legacy complaints topics?!

I’m guessing they’re very much like your average Apple user, totally petrified by anything even remotely technical; most of my family own Apple phones and laptops because they can get help from the “genius bar” for even the most basic technical issue, like connecting a printer…

 

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There’s a plugin called Group Players - you could try that .   

If sonos devices are already grouped in sonos, then only one sonos device should be seen as a player.  The sonos group should play in sync (using sonos syncing).   That’s the theory ….

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Here’s a view of the GROUP player - at the moment it’s grouping Joggler and Black players.

(And LMS is also running on the Joggler - so that’s both a player, server and controller

 

 

The above is the webgui

 

Joggler (touchscreen) as player

 

 Joggler as conroller - showing available players

OK, given my previous experience with LMS, I was quite sceptical.  I did get a Pi, which required loading several missing libs and modules at the command prompt.  Not something anyone in my family (the typical Sonos target user) would begin to attempt, but at least there’s a ton of good tutorials online, given the Pi’s popularity. 

Yes, you can definitely group using the Sonos app, but of course, after May, the grouping of old with new Sonos devices goes away, so…  For me, grouping has never really been all that important, but for many Sonos users, I’m sure it’s critical.

The ability to play to any UPnP and/or ChromeCast device, Sonos being included in the UPnP device category, is a definite plus.  Missing is Amazon Music and a few others, but that can still be played via Sonos until it can’t (possibly after May), and then via an Echo Input into the Connect, at least to the segmented “old” players.  

At any rate, yes, with the Material skin, LMS is now quite nice and usable, for anyone with a modicum of technical ability.  I do love the integration with Allmusic’s metadata, and the clickable links to further drill into Allmusic.

 

 

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That’s quite impressive!

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Cisco Energy Monitor (Openframe 2) front facing speakers (and line-out, or usb dac output)

 

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Started this thread a while ago.

But, given recent postings in other threads, I’m bumping it as a reminder that it can be used for wider discussion of the LMS integration with Sonos.

To reiterate my first comments, it doesn’t replace the sonos ecosystem but just adds another route for sonos use.

LMS offers some interesting features which you can use alongside the standard Sonos setup.  Using LMS requires that you install the server software on a networked device (eg. a PC running Windows, iOS, or Linux, and even some NAS) - a popular choice is the Raspbery Pi (even including the ultra-cheap Pi Zero at 20 USD).   Installing the software is a task for an average user (and is largely accomplished via a web-browser interface).  Once installed, Sonos devices are seen by LMS as squeezebox players, and have full access to all the features which the server software offers.

Why might you consider this as an addition to your Sonos system?   Here are some pros:

  1.  LMS is complementary to the native Sonos setup.  You do not lose any Sonos features.
  2.  LMS is multi-platform.   Media control is also multi-platform (via web--browser access).   Apps are also available for both Android and iOS (either free or at low cost.
  3. There is no limit for local music libraries
  4. Offers access to Spotify, Qobuz, Tidal and Deezer streaming.  You can also access one of the UK’s most popular radio services, with listen again features!  Podcasts are also available.
  5. A recent addition (in beta) integrates local music library with your Spotify library (albums and playlists).   Probable that Qobuz and other streaming will be integrated)

An active and very supportive community forum

… and a couple of cons:

  • Additional cost (if necessary)
  • Initial installation effort

 

I’m offering this brief overview in a spirit of cooperation and sharing.   Maybe somebody will find it interesting and useful.

It is not intended to decry or compete with the base Sonos system..

I have been playing with this a bit and have a few more points to note. I did not spend hours setting up a rasberry pi or anything complicated. Instead I have an old laptop with an external SSD attached. The SSD has my music library and the latest downloads for LMS on it (if Logitech goes away tomarrow I can still rebuild a working LMS system). The laptop runs myMedia to provide local library music to my Amazon Echos and LMS to run the squeezeboxes. I run two households of Sonos and all 4 systems (Sonos1, Sonos2, LMS, and MyMedia) all point to the same music library on the SSD so any changes or additions are immediately availble to all systems. Some things I noticed include:

  • Both Sonos households are discovered by LMS so even though I can’t group across households within Sonos I can synchronize between players in each from LMS.
  • If I set up a queue in LMS to play on a Sonos group and then go look at it within the Sonos app everything is reflected correctly and there is no problem starting somthing from one platform and then switching control to the other.
  • Because the LMS controller is browser based there is no concern about controller devices suddenly falling out of support or having featues limited. (Of course Sonos setup features are not reflected in LMS so you still need the Sonos app for some things.)
  • The Logitech Duet dedicated controller works perfectly for controlling Sonos speakers through LMS. It has a nice screen and a jog wheel similiar to the CR100 and sits in a nice charging cradle always ready for instant use.
  • LMS is an easy way to create m3u play lists which work for both Squeezebox and Sonos. It is nice to be able to back up play lists to physical media and share them across platforms.
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You could try the Material skin plugin - allows any browser to get a nice alternative gui.  Works exceptionally well with Android’s Kiwi Browser.

The controller is good but battery life is a bit short.

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Another way to use a raspberry pi and Echo speakers!

Picoreplayer is a tiny specialised OS which turns your Pi into both a speaker and a LMS server (or either).  I run mine on a small pi zero w.

Now, recent updates have added bluetooth functions - so my pi can now connect by BT to an Echo - the Echo appears then to LMS as just another speaker.   

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Mark up another plus for LMS …

 

I now have my Fiio M6 mini player integrated into my LMS ecosystem via airplay - it is currently playing to one of my BT headphones.

 

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Screenshot of latest Material skin on desktop browser showing the iconised players available on the system:

 

 

Very import feature not mentioned here: volume normalization! A feature missing with Sonos.


Old Squeezebox Touch used as a player :) Now my family members can control Sonos without using the Sonos APP - awesome!

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