Album art on the tv


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Hi, New Sonos user. Just got the Play1. One of the great features of using Airplay on my yamaha receiver is that I can see the album art and track playing on the tv screen (that is hooked up to the receiver). Would love it if Sonos could create something like that.

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20 replies

AirPlay mirroring is awesome! Don't forget that you need to set your iphone/ipad not to go to sleep to keep the album art flowing.:D Ingenious. For Android TVs (and my setup) I can easily turn video on the smart TV and Googlecast the Sonos app from an Android tablet (Nexus 10). Battery life may be an issue. 🙂 I'll look for others, this is an old thread.
Why not just airplay your iPhone or iPad to your Apple TV with the Sonos app. It will show the album art.. Sonos chat said Apple TV 3 Rd edition must be supplemented with Air Express, is that required or will Apple TV make the connection from iPad Air to Sonos play 5 2nd gen?
Userlevel 3
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Very slick setup, Jeff. I am impressed with your ingenuity!
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I went a different route. I really just want to display current album art on the TV. I connected an old iPad 2 to my TV via Apple 30-pin Digital AV Adapter (HDMI). Using a 30 pin cable with the adapter allows the iPad to be constantly powered. I use SonoPad on the iPad set to Screensaver Mode, always displaying full screen artwork for the currently playing track. I configured the TV setting for this HDMI input to force Wide Zoom to maximize screen real estate. The iPad runs continually; whenever I am playing music I switch the TV input to the HDMI channel connected to the iPad.

Some thoughts:

I use SonoPad to display the artwork instead of the Sonos iPad controller for two reasons. I find the layout of the SonoPad display more appealing. More importantly, at several points Sonos iPad controller updates have significantly changed the way the output appears on the TV screen; I'm looking for consistency.

I also tried mirroring this iPad 2 to a connected AppleTV, but didn't like the screen layout as much as this connected approach.

I do not use this iPad 2 as a Sonos controller, merely as an album art source. I use an iPad Air 2 or iPhone to control Sonos.

To streamline the look I mounted the iPad 2 on the back of the TV using 3M Command Hooks (large) and a velcro strip as a stabilizer (see attached photo). Note that the display on the iPad 2 must always be on (so it appears instantly on the TV when I switch to that HDMI input), I've set the iPad display output to minimum.

My album art is generally 700 x 700 and less than 256K, embedded in each track. This looks great on the TV while not being massive. Spotify / Pandora album art quality varies.
Userlevel 5
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Thanks, Appreciate the pictures!

It does look pretty good!

I might have to look into getting 1 or 2.
Here you go!

Album view

Home screen

Full screen artwork

Comparison of size with a Play:5
Userlevel 5
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Would love to see some pics!
It's not perfect, but I've got one of these Acer Android Screens running the Beta Android controller and it looks good when you expand the artwork. I'll take a few photos if anyone is interested.
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yeah, your right, way over my head.
Userlevel 4
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So, how can I do it?

It all depends on what kind of hardware you have at home. And you need to prepare yourself to get your hands dirty, there is no "install and go" solution.

Read more here:

http://forums.sonos.com/showthread.php?t=33834
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Well, to explain in other terms, I'm using a 3rd party web controller which has a different design, to only show the currently playing song with big cover arts. Like the official controller, cut out the middle part and blow it up.
So, how can I do it?
Userlevel 4
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whaaaaat? That's great! how do you do it? Would be curious to read other ways to do this too!

Well, to explain in other terms, I'm using a 3rd party web controller which has a different design, to only show the currently playing song with big cover arts. Like the official controller, cut out the middle part and blow it up.
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AirPlay mirroring is awesome! Don't forget that you need to set your iphone/ipad not to go to sleep to keep the album art flowing.:D

Wait, now that I am thinking about this, you sure it will work? The iPhone is not playing the music, it's just acting as a conduit to the Sonos app. I'll check it out when I get home.

wait.....I'm not using an apple tv. I have a Yamaha receiver with airplay. When I airplay songs, I see the album art since my tv is hooked up to the receiver. I scroll from bottom of phone/iPad, select airplay, and select my receiver from the list of devices.
Userlevel 2
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AirPlay mirroring is awesome! Don't forget that you need to set your iphone/ipad not to go to sleep to keep the album art flowing.:D
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Why not just airplay your iPhone or iPad to your Apple TV with the Sonos app. It will show the album art.

Really? I didn't even think of that.
Looks slick! You know Jishi I forget about the built in TV browser! I was going to Pi a client but now.... no excuses.

It might even be possible to run this from a smart-TV browser, which connects to your home computer or a raspberry pi or similar.
Userlevel 2
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Why not just airplay your iPhone or iPad to your Apple TV with the Sonos app. It will show the album art.
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whaaaaat? That's great! how do you do it? Would be curious to read other ways to do this too!
Userlevel 4
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As the_lhc pointed out, highly unlikely to be an official feature. However, there are various DIY solutions available. Since the new controller, you might probably also have access to higher res cover-art for several music services as well, which would simplify this (in the video I fetch the high-res cover art from Spotify).

I created https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0x-Nhzd0ueg some time ago, which runs on one of our office TVs. The TV itself is merely a full screen browser (Chrome), which shows a webpage from a server running on a small linux (could be any supported computer basically) computer which handles the communication with Sonos and receives status updates.

It might even be possible to run this from a smart-TV browser, which connects to your home computer or a raspberry pi or similar.
Userlevel 1
Seems unlikely, they ruled out video a long time ago and even their home cinema device only has an audio connection. Never say never but I don't see it happening any time soon.