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Yes or No question for Sonos mods: GA integration and Spotify multiroom


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Dear Sonos mods,

A similar question as I am about to ask was marked with ‘best answer’ without that actually giving answer to the question. Therefore, could you please answer the following with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’:

I own various Sonos Ones and Beam, and I have a premium Spotify Family subscription. When I ask GA on the first Sonos One to play music and thereafter ask the second Sonos One or Beam to play other music, the music stops on the first Sonos One. Now the obvious question:

IS IT POSSIBLE TO START PLAYING DIFFERENT MUSIC ON SECOND DEVICE WITHOUT INTERRUPTING PLAY ON FIRST DEVICE USING GA?

If ‘yes’ - expected and great, but HOW??
If ‘no’ - can’t be true and WHY??

thanks for answering 😀
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Best answer by Sjoop1985 22 May 2019, 21:56

I'm not a mod, but I'll answer "no" nonetheless.

First of all, asking Spotify to play something via voice control results in the same type of playback that is initiated by Spotify Connect. This is bound to one stream per account.
Second, as there is no voice match on Sonos, it can't recognize different users and therefore can't use different Spotify accounts.

I just tried this on two Google Home Mini's and the first one stops playing as soon as the second one starts, so this seems to be a Spotify/Google issue, not something specific to Sonos.

When initated through a Sonos controller, I assume the Spotify streams are fetched via a Sonos-specific route, allowing for multiple streams on the same account, going to different rooms. Like with grouping, this is a superior feature of the Sonos system, that evidently cannot simply be carried over to Google Home or the GA integration in Sonos.

This could be fixed if GA could access and alter the now playing queue, instead of going through Spotify Connect, but I can imagine that to not be possible.
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7 replies

I'm not a mod, but I'll answer "no" nonetheless.

First of all, asking Spotify to play something via voice control results in the same type of playback that is initiated by Spotify Connect. This is bound to one stream per account.
Second, as there is no voice match on Sonos, it can't recognize different users and therefore can't use different Spotify accounts.

I just tried this on two Google Home Mini's and the first one stops playing as soon as the second one starts, so this seems to be a Spotify/Google issue, not something specific to Sonos.

When initated through a Sonos controller, I assume the Spotify streams are fetched via a Sonos-specific route, allowing for multiple streams on the same account, going to different rooms. Like with grouping, this is a superior feature of the Sonos system, that evidently cannot simply be carried over to Google Home or the GA integration in Sonos.

This could be fixed if GA could access and alter the now playing queue, instead of going through Spotify Connect, but I can imagine that to not be possible.
Userlevel 4
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Thanks Sjoop for your input! I would still like for a mod to confirm this.

If true this is a major major flaw of the integration. The very core of Sonos is multiroom play of music. I understand the difference between Sonos app taking music directly from Spotify and the ‘casting’ way of using Spotify Connect. However, with a Spotify family subscription Spotify Connect does allow multiple room play if initiated from different controllers using different accounts within the family. It would be more than reasonable to assume the same can be triggered by having specific speaker linked to specific Spotify account for GA control. This must have been discussed with Google.

In our use case (kids with their own Sonos Ones on their rooms), GA is totally useless if they cannot control their own One with their voice without impacting other rooms. This was the whole purpose of getting Ones, so the kids don’t need to take their phone to their room to listen to some music while falling asleep 😬
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...I understand the difference between Sonos app taking music directly from Spotify and the ‘casting’ way of using Spotify Connect. However, with a Spotify family subscription Spotify Connect does allow multiple room play if initiated from different controllers using different accounts within the family.

Sjoop is correct. To expand on what he said, when playing from a music service using a voice assistant or any app other than the Sonos app, each separate instance of music playback is considered an active stream. Most music services have a limited amount of streams allowed to be played from an account at one time. Spotify only allows one at a time, however, as you said, they have the family subscription which does allow for multiple streams in a way. However, as far as Google Assistant is concerned, there's only one Spotify account added to your system, and even if it's part of a family plan, you can only play from one of the accounts that is part of that plan. In the Google Assistant settings, you have to select your default music service, and that will only connect with one of your accounts. So if you start a stream from Spotify using the Google Assistant, then try to play Spotify on your computer or phone using the same account, the old stream will stop.

It's only with music started from the Sonos app that you can have multiple streams going at the same time from the same account.

I'll pass along the suggestion to our team to allow for the ability to link multiple Spotify accounts (which would be basically the same as support for family subscriptions) to the team. This would also need to be implemented on the Google Assistant side of things, not just in the Sonos integration.
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Hi Ryan,

Thank you for the clear answer. I am absolutely baffled this is the case and I am sure once this settles in in more homes will cause a lot of disappointed customers. Also for homes with just one Sonos One and multiple other Sonos speakers this will be a disaster. Just imagine, the family enjoying music downstairs on whatever Sonos setup and one of them starts playing music on their bedroom One giving voice command. Not nice and missing out on core Sonos functionality. If this hasn’t been settled with Google in the almost two year build up to the implementation I guess this is unlikely to ever be implemented.
Userlevel 7
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I can't speak to future plans, but there will continue to be improvements made over time. This service streaming limitation has the same experience you'll find with Alexa on Sonos (or on other speakers).
Userlevel 4
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So my hopefully temporary work around is using both GA and Alexa, each associated with a different Spotify account within the family pack and each dedicated to control one One.
Userlevel 7
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That's a good work around for the situation. You could even have a third or more account(s) selected as the main one(s) for your mobile controllers.