Feature Request: Sonos Voice Play Different Spotify Streams in Different Rooms


Userlevel 1

Well the day I’ve waited years for finally came today - Sonos Voice finally works with Spotify and I can use my voice to get the same multi-room music experience as I can in the Sonos app.

Unfortunately, my dream of playing different music from our Spotify family account in different rooms is still unrealized.

Even though Sonos Voice now works with Spotify, it appears to play directly from the Spotify app rather than through the Sonos app, making it impossible to play different music in different rooms via Sonos Voice.

In short, we still need to go through the app to play different music in different rooms. 😭

Could this feature be added at some point in the future?

I dream of the day my young kids don’t have to fight over who gets to play from Spotify. 


21 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +23

I find it ironic that my Alexa/Sonos integration, which I released SEVEN years ago, had features that Sonos still can’t do with any of their voice integrations today. It could handle multiple Spotify accounts, it didn’t have the multiple-stream problem listed here, it could choose from your local library, and many other things.

It proved there are no technical barriers to these features. I simply don’t understand why SVC is so limited even now.

Sadly I had to decommission the app as my web service skills, the cost of running the servers, and iOS push notification problems made it impractical for some dude in his garage to keep it going.

October 2017 Feature Comparison

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +15

 

I don’t want to harp on semantics, but it’s important to realize that using the Sonos app does not mean playing audio through the Sonos app. The app is just a controller, nothing more. (The same way your TV remote is just a controller).  Likewise, SVC is just a method of control.  Whether you’re using SVC or the Sonos app, the speaker are doing the work of getting the audio, etc.  The speakers do not need the Sonos app up and running to play music.

So, your Sonos speakers can play different music from the same source (Spotify account).  The Sonos app has the ability to tell the speakers to do this.  SVC apparently does not have the ability to tell the speakers which Spotify account to use..

For Sonos use, multiple Spotify accounts are not required to play different songs simultaneously on different speakers - it is allowed.

So, although you describe the app as a ‘controller, nothing more’, as Corry has clarified, starting the songs by the App or Voice is a fundamentally different process that actually gives fundamentally different behaviour.  The account(s) are irrelevant as that is not how the functionality is achieved via the app.

Userlevel 7
Badge +18

Hi @sjw 

That is a good question. The way in which Sonos Voice Control operates means - at present, at least - that such a request will stop any other streams on that account. Simultaneous streams from a single Spotify account are presently only permitted if all destinations are Sonos speakers with the same public IP address, and if all streams are initiated from within the Sonos app. Once other devices, methods and/or locations get involved, other streams will stop. Due to SVC performing search, selection and playback requests, other streams are also stopped in this circumstance. So yes - this is presently expected behaviour, due to architectural differences.

It is not unconceivable, however, that this behaviour could be changed - this thread has been tagged as a feature request and will be considered by the relevant development teams. Thank you all for your feedback and discourse.

I hope this helps.

Userlevel 7
Badge +15

Mention of multiple Spotify accounts confuses things.

Spotify allow a single Spotify Premium account to play multiple different songs simultaneously on different Sonos speakers.

However, the OP is saying the playing the track via SVC doesn't work this way.

Sonos or
@Corry P could maybe comment if this is expected behaviour and SVC invokes the playing by some different method and not as though done through the App (where the special Sonos ‘dispensation’ allows multiple streams).  People are describing how it works through the App but don't necessarily know how if it's different somehow architecturally through SVC.

Personally, I find SVC very bad and have never been able to even get it to play an album or personal Spotify playlist accurately. Something similar sounding comes on.  As this now counts as a Spotify session I then need to open the App the get back to where I was. I wish SVC would support adding tracks to the queue (like Play Next etc.) or Close Session.

I've tried this a few times with both Alexa and Google and it always breaks after a few songs. I'm not sure why Sonos has this problem but maybe it's to do with the other assistants. 

The important thing is to remain focused on the SVC because Sonos have full control of this and it seems like it would be fairly easy to add a default service to each device.

 

Userlevel 3
Badge +4

We just need to be able to set the default service per device.

Unfortunately it's the same with Alexa and Google. Although it seems like it should work, as you can add invidual accounts to each device. The default music service for Alexa or Google is set in Alexa or Google, but somehow Sonos only allows one Alexa or one Google account to be used across all devices. If you try and add more than one it breaks.

 

I use multiple Google accounts across my Sonos devices to allow Google Assistant to control different Spotify accounts.  It’s kind of a pain to set up but it works.  Make sure you log in to GA on your phone with the specific account you want to use.  Then add GA to a Sonos speaker (not the whole system, just that speaker).  Then log into GA on your phone with the next Google account and add GA to a different Sonos speaker.  Make sure the two Google accounts are set up, in Assistant, to control different Spotify accounts.  If I recall correctly, I may have used two different devices to do this but I am not sure that is necessary.

We just need to be able to set the default service per device.

Unfortunately it's the same with Alexa and Google. Although it seems like it should work, as you can add invidual accounts to each device. The default music service for Alexa or Google is set in Alexa or Google, but somehow Sonos only allows one Alexa or one Google account to be used across all devices. If you try and add more than one it breaks.

 

Userlevel 3
Badge +4

Apparently.

Although it is curious that the Sonos app can play multiple music streams from a single Spotify account but SVC can’t. 

 

 

Although the speakers can do this, Spotify doesn't allow this. When this works, it's luck. Almost always when I start a stream on another speaker using the same account the other speaker stops. This is expected and not unreasonable.

If you use the Sonos app only, it seems to allow multiple streams per single Spotify account. To be fair, I haven’t tested this extensively.  Perhaps Sonos speakers cache whatever is in the queue and it gets treated as an offline player from Spotify’s end.   

 

If the Spotify service is directly used on any device, whether Sonos or not, only one stream per account is allowed. For example, you might start Spotify on Sonos using the Sonos app, but if you play Spotify on the same account on PC or your phone, the Sonos will stop.

Using SVC seems to be the equivalent of using Spotify Connect - if you look in the Sonos app when playing via SVC, it will say “Started from Spotify” so it’s basically bypassing whatever the app does.  So although it feels like it should work, it will not.

Apparently.

Although it is curious that the Sonos app can play multiple music streams from a single Spotify account but SVC can’t. 

 

 

Although the speakers can do this, Spotify doesn't allow this. When this works, it's luck. Almost always when I start a stream on another speaker using the same account the other speaker stops. This is expected and not unreasonable.

Userlevel 3
Badge +4

I agree with the OPs suggestion - especially if you have multiple Spotify accounts set up in Sonos.  It would be ideal if I could assign a Spotify account to each speaker, or ask SVC to play from a specific Spotify account that has been set up.  Unfortunately, you can only choose one Spotify account so that means only one person can use SVC to start Spotify music.  My kids don’t have phones so they have to use voice to start music.  But if one of them uses it in one room, another kid can’t use it elsewhere.  I guess I could add Apple Music and have them specific Spotify or Apple, but I don’t want another service just for this.

Userlevel 1

Apparently.

Although it is curious that the Sonos app can play multiple music streams from a single Spotify account but SVC can’t. 

 

 

Yes - that’s the great thing about the Sonos app. If you use the Sonos app, you can play different music in different rooms from a single Spotify account. 

That doesn’t work if you play to a Sonos speaker via the Spotify app (Spotify connect I believe) and Sonos has documented to expect that. 

I was really hoping that SVC would work through the Sonos app allowing streaming of different music from the same source but alas no luck.

 

I don’t want to harp on semantics, but it’s important to realize that using the Sonos app does not mean playing audio through the Sonos app. The app is just a controller, nothing more. (The same way your TV remote is just a controller).  Likewise, SVC is just a method of control.  Whether you’re using SVC or the Sonos app, the speaker are doing the work of getting the audio, etc.  The speakers do not need the Sonos app up and running to play music.

So, your Sonos speakers can play different music from the same source (Spotify account).  The Sonos app has the ability to tell the speakers to do this.  SVC apparently does not have the ability to tell the speakers which Spotify account to use..

Userlevel 1

Got it. Yes unfortunately it doesn’t allow you to specify the Spotify stream to play from via voice, only the app (that I can make work at least).

It just delineates between service (iHeartradio or Spotify) but doesn’t appear to get down to the level of granularity to specify which Spotify account.

I don’t subscribe to Spotify, but instead use an individual Amazon Music Account (set as SVC default) and also have an Apple Music subscription. I can ask SVC to play music from either service by adding the name of the music service account at the end of the instruction - I would have thought that could also be done with the Spotify family accounts too - just add each Spotify account to Sonos from the users mobile device and include the name given to the account in the instruction - it should allow for up-to five different streams - 2 adults/3 children (I think🤔?) - I appreciate the one main Spotify account will be set as the default, but you should be able to play at the same time from the other accounts in the same way I can play simultaneously from Apple Music.

Userlevel 1

Yes - that’s the great thing about the Sonos app. If you use the Sonos app, you can play different music in different rooms from a single Spotify account. 

That doesn’t work if you play to a Sonos speaker via the Spotify app (Spotify connect I believe) and Sonos has documented to expect that. 

I was really hoping that SVC would work through the Sonos app allowing streaming of different music from the same source but alas no luck.

So the beauty of Sonos going back to the early days (and as I’m sure many of us know) is that through the app you can play different music from the same source in different rooms. 

I have a Spotify family account and one of the accounts is dedicated to my Sonos system. This allows me to use the app and play different music in different rooms and not have to worry about someone using that same account in their car/phone/etc.

Unfortunately, while you can assign multiple Spotify accounts to the app, this is really only helpful so individual users can access their playlists, liked songs, etc. when playing songs through the Sonos app through their Sonos speaker.

SVC allows you to assign a default music service however it defaults to a specific Spotify account, not just Spotify so no help there.

I also tried the suggestion to add multiple Spotify accounts (and not specify a default music source for SVC) and then asked my Sonos speakers to “Play x music from y Spotify account” but that didn’t work.

Thanks all for your great ideas. The saga continues...I guess this is a somewhat niche request however with young kids who only know how to play/control music by asking Alexa or Google, I think this would still be a wonderful feature to have.

 

So you have a Spotify account assigned to Sonos, and you are allowed to have multiple streams from this single account? (not using a Spotify app to create a stream with a different account)  If this is true, then I don’t understand how an SVC command would prevent multiple streams.  If you cannot play multiple streams with the same Spotify account, then an SVC command would not change that.

Userlevel 1

So the beauty of Sonos going back to the early days (and as I’m sure many of us know) is that through the app you can play different music from the same source in different rooms. 

I have a Spotify family account and one of the accounts is dedicated to my Sonos system. This allows me to use the app and play different music in different rooms and not have to worry about someone using that same account in their car/phone/etc.

Unfortunately, while you can assign multiple Spotify accounts to the app, this is really only helpful so individual users can access their playlists, liked songs, etc. when playing songs through the Sonos app through their Sonos speaker.

SVC allows you to assign a default music service however it defaults to a specific Spotify account, not just Spotify so no help there.

I also tried the suggestion to add multiple Spotify accounts (and not specify a default music source for SVC) and then asked my Sonos speakers to “Play x music from y Spotify account” but that didn’t work.

Thanks all for your great ideas. The saga continues...I guess this is a somewhat niche request however with young kids who only know how to play/control music by asking Alexa or Google, I think this would still be a wonderful feature to have.

Even though Sonos Voice now works with Spotify, it appears to play directly from the Spotify app rather than through the Sonos app, making it impossible to play different music in different rooms via Sonos Voice.

 

SVC does not work through the Sonos or Spotify app.  It works directly on the speakers themselves.  Your phone can be turned off and SVC will still work.

 

I don’t use Spotify, so I am not familiar with the specific account types, but any restriction on how many many concurrent streams you can have is based on the service account, not a Sonos restriction.  I am guessing your family account allows 1 stream per family member (subaccount).  Perhaps SVC only works with the ‘main’ account setup with Sonos?  This sounds like the issue you’re having.  But I would check out specifically mentioning the subaccount you want to play on in the voice command as Ken suggested. 

I don’t see the voice command to specify account listed in support, but I don’t think support documents are fully updated yet.  If it’s not possible, that this absolutely makes sense as a feature request.

 

 

So it doesn’t work if you specify the name of the music service? Examples…

  • "Hey Sonos, play some music from John’s Spotify"
  • “Hey Sonos, play some music from Jane’s Spotify"
  • “Hey Sonos, play Genesis top tracks from Bob’s Spotify"

…or whatever names are given to each installed service?

Userlevel 1

Unfortunately tried that and it doesn’t seem to help as you can only dedicate 1 Spotify account for voice to utilize. Perhaps if there was a way to link a Spotify account to the Sonos Voice  on each device that would do the trick but I see no way to do that.

Frustrating. 

@311Hokie,

It sounds like you perhaps need to use the Spotify Premium Family Plan… and add the multiple accounts to the Sonos App as mentioned in this support link:

https://support.sonos.com/en-us/article/use-multiple-accounts-for-the-same-music-service

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