Sonos is NOT a proprietary ecosystem!

  • 3 September 2017
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I've read several articles which have that stated that Sonos is a closed proprietary ecosystem. That's not entirely accurate. In my family room, I have two 8" KRK Rokit monitors connected to a Sonos Connect (They Rok!) In my living room I have two 5" KRK Rokit's connected to another Sonos Connect, and my TV. So using a Connect or Connect Amplifier allows you to connect to most speakers. That doesn't seem proprietary to me! I also have a Play 1 in my sun room, and a Play 1 in my bedroom, for occasional listening. They sound awesome for the price point.

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21 replies

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I think I referenced acrimony earlier .... I'm off to listen to iPlayer now, Be kind to each other.
Woo boy, pot, meet kettle. :8

*sigh*
Woo boy, pot, meet kettle. :8

Perhaps you should even glance at the app that I use before you dismiss it out of hand because you, "don't think you really know what's what here."?


Sorry if you have taken offence to my comments, was not intended. But I'm not even commenting on the app you are using -
but I am commenting based on using the sonos and lms apps almost every day. Something you admit you don't do and haven't used for some time.


I get that you like LMS and the ecosystem, and I really do as well, but it's not for the average person to set up or maintain nowadays, or even when it was new, which is why it got squished by the likes of Sonos - it was too complex and had too many support headaches for Logitech to keep it around.


I agree, not for the average person, for this we have Sonos 🙂


Also, please don't assume you're all knowing . ... you may continue to beat your ignorance against the forums if you choose.


All good, I'll take the high road and ignore your ad hominems :8
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Feel free to pick it apart ;)
Based on your comment "limited feature set" and that you admit you don't use the Sonos or LMS apps I don't think you really know what's what here. But it doesn't even matter. The Sonos app is great as are the LMS apps - point being they basically work the same and even novice technophobes can use the Sonos and LMS apps.

Point 1) The genuine LMS Squeezebox app doesn't even work anymore on modern phones. The third party ones don't work well if at all. The "Best" choice for functionality on all devices is to set up an IIS redirect so a friendly URL goes to the LMS browser interface ... pretty much a kludge.

Point 2) I have used the Sonos app, and the LMS app. Just because I do not any longer does not mean that I haven't - some years ago one of my responsibilities was professionally installing Sonos and LMS systems, among others. Both are good, but neither of them are great. Neither of them can power on and control external equipment, activate trigger outputs, or send really do much of anything besides control their own small corner of the world. That's why I have one app, and the associated controller, to handle both ... and AVRs, traditional tuners and CD players, TVs, and the list goes on; last I looked the supported device list was a 30 pages, and I can with three taps (or clicks) turn on my TV and genuine home theater system, and pipe the audio of any arbitrary source on that TV through my entire home, in perfect sync. Every time. Every UI looks identical on every platform. I can control both Sonos and LMS from a handheld remote control as well, that works anywhere in the house.

Perhaps you should even glance at the app that I use before you dismiss it out of hand because you, "don't think you really know what's what here."?

Guilty as charged, I have never worked in customer support. As for the potential for an rpi to blow your "five figures" of equipment this made me LOL thanks for that.

You don't have to work in customer support to understand the importance of support - quite the opposite, you need to be a consumer of it. When I worked in customer support, I didn't appreciate it, but now that I need to be able to pick up the phone and have a part shipped to me in four hours, it's invaluable.

As for five figures, I've been there, and seen much worse. I've seen a $100 active cable converter cause over $100,000 in equipment damage alone to a Crestron system, when it lit on fire and spiked over 1kV through the RS232 control system ... which took out every TV, amplifier and controller in the house before protection circuits could kick in. Insurance covered it, including re-programming, because it was a genuine part. And you'd better believe that the adjustor traced the entire progeny of the serial number back to the component board level. If it hadn't been a genuine part and was instead some homebrew system, they'd have been SOL.

It's also very easy to cause $10k in damage if you have a genuine HiFi system in one room - that's what killed the RPI as an option for me, because during power-on it sends a full power burst down its analog outputs, more than enough to fry a set of speakers if you have a powerful amplifier and forget to turn it down.

I get that you like LMS and the ecosystem, and I really do as well, but it's not for the average person to set up or maintain nowadays, or even when it was new, which is why it got squished by the likes of Sonos - it was too complex and had too many support headaches for Logitech to keep it around. My nice rack mounted Transporter is fantastic, and I wouldn't give it up for anything at the moment, but it's on borrowed time as much as Windows Media Center is. Eventually, what you know as LMS will go away - there's literally only one guy developing it, and doing it while getting paid by Logitech. It may be GPL, but how many projects have you seen die after their one key programmer left? I've seen hundreds, if not thousands ... too many to count.

Also, please don't assume you're all knowing ... some of us here actually did (and still do in my off hours) this stuff for a living. I sure as heck don't know everything, but I do at least know how to pick up a phone and find the right answer. As such, I'm withdrawing from this thread ... you may continue to beat your ignorance against the forums if you choose.


Rahter than pick apart your long wall of text, I'm going to say two things:

1) Yes, a Sonos app is easier than choosing which LMS app and which limited feature set I want to support in that app. But we don't even use the Sonos app, we use a Niles app. Also, I don't have a Playbar.


Feel free to pick it apart ;)
Based on your comment "limited feature set" and that you admit you don't use the Sonos or LMS apps I don't think you really know what's what here. But it doesn't even matter. The Sonos app is great as are the LMS apps - point being they basically work the same and even novice technophobes can use the Sonos and LMS apps.


2) You clearly have no concept of how actually supporting a product works, beyond the support number. There are warranties for suitability, consumer protection laws that kick in, and there's engineering to ensure that when it's stuffed into my rack it doesn't overheat and/or cook other parts in the thousands of dollars that's stacked up there, et cetera. That's what you pay for with Bryston - someone to call, and someone to do the engineering work and guarantee it for you. If their product sends a spike that blows out my amplifier, they're on the hook for it - as is Sonos if they do the same. And if the product overheats despite their speced ventilation being met, ditto. And even if Sonos has a get out of liability free clause, my homeowner's policy will still pick up the tab. A RYO RPI has none of that, and with the potential to blow out five figures of equipment in the blink of an eye, that's a chance I'm not willing to take.


Guilty as charged, I have never worked in customer support. As for the potential for an rpi to blow your "five figures" of equipment this made me LOL thanks for that.
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I really like my sonos system but it is really lacking in a lot of areas for me so I also use LMS.
...


Rahter than pick apart your long wall of text, I'm going to say two things:

1) Yes, a Sonos app is easier than choosing which LMS app and which limited feature set I want to support in that app. But we don't even use the Sonos app, we use a Niles app. Also, I don't have a Playbar.

2) You clearly have no concept of how actually supporting a product works, beyond the support number. There are warranties for suitability, consumer protection laws that kick in, and there's engineering to ensure that when it's stuffed into my rack it doesn't overheat and/or cook other parts in the thousands of dollars that's stacked up there, et cetera. That's what you pay for with Bryston - someone to call, and someone to do the engineering work and guarantee it for you. If their product sends a spike that blows out my amplifier, they're on the hook for it - as is Sonos if they do the same. And if the product overheats despite their speced ventilation being met, ditto. And even if Sonos has a get out of liability free clause, my homeowner's policy will still pick up the tab. A RYO RPI has none of that, and with the potential to blow out five figures of equipment in the blink of an eye, that's a chance I'm not willing to take.
I really like my sonos system but it is really lacking in a lot of areas for me so I also use LMS.


I was going to go with: So when my power supply blows out,

Look at the part number on your power supply, go to amazon or ebay and buy a new one.


or somebody changes a piece of software and breaks compatibility with my setup, who do I call for support?

Similar to when Sonos releases a borked update to your playbar, you are at the mercy of someone else to come up with a fix.


And when the (shockingly poorly written) UPnP bridge breaks?


Free software and is completely plug and play for Sonos and other UPNP speakers. GTFO it is shockingly awesome.


When I want to play Groove music? Or Spotify? (Spotify no longer is fully supported in the LMS ecosystem).


You are totally wrong, spotify is fully supported. They've moved on from libspotify. Groove music? Had to google that. Nope better stick with your Sonos for that.


And now that hardware is discontinued for 7 years, how long until Logitech pulls the plug on the online service that lets you stream things from the internet?

Doesn't even matter, this is no longer a requirement for anything. You can turn off all Logi cloud, and still full function with Tunein Pro, Tidal, deezer and others are also available. Deezer Elite yup it works with LMS.


And if I did want support on my HiFiBerry rig, I can get the Bryston BDP-Pi ... for a mere $1295! For the same price, I can buy a new in box old stock Transporter, more than twice. And it's just a Raspberry Pi, you're literally paying a 10x premium to get it supported. That's worse than EMC's storage pricing!


"Hifiberry rig" lol. If you are buying the Bryston then you have bigger problems than requiring support. Don't forget, Sonos speakers and plug and play with LMS once set up so if you have problems with your Bryston send it back and get a sonos unit :)

But if you roll your own Pi, it is simple. You burn a new Picoreplayer image to your SD card and turn it on. If you don't know how to burn an Image to an SD card there is even a tutorial for that.


Look, I love LMS, and use it, but as a practical music streaming service for someone non-technical (e.g. my wife), it's on borrowed time at this point.


If your technically challenged family members can use the Sonos phone app, then once you set it up for them I am sure they can cope with tapping the buttons on a LMS phone app.
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Not quite accurate! You can run LMS & player on a 35 dollar raspberry pi. Add in the upnp bridge plugin and you can use a wide range of wireless speakers (including Sonos) as squeezebox players. You can control using a web gui, IR remotes, Android & iOS apps (and alexa voice). Slim menu of choices? Not really - iplayer, Spotify, Tunein, etc.

Another plus is active and friendly support via the LMS community forum, free from the acrimonious spats which break out on the Sonos forum!


Is that like opening an app and tapping the screen?

I was going to go with: So when my power supply blows out, or somebody changes a piece of software and breaks compatibility with my setup, who do I call for support? And when the (shockingly poorly written) UPnP bridge breaks? When I want to play Groove music? Or Spotify? (Spotify no longer is fully supported in the LMS ecosystem). And now that hardware is discontinued for 7 years, how long until Logitech pulls the plug on the online service that lets you stream things from the internet?

And if I did want support on my HiFiBerry rig, I can get the Bryston BDP-Pi ... for a mere $1295! For the same price, I can buy a new in box old stock Transporter, more than twice. And it's just a Raspberry Pi, you're literally paying a 10x premium to get it supported. That's worse than EMC's storage pricing!

Look, I love LMS, and use it, but as a practical music streaming service for someone non-technical (e.g. my wife), it's on borrowed time at this point.
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Well, there are those die-hards who still use Squeezebox, though there is no widespread hardware availablity.

Note to Squeezebox fans: No need to jump on my answer, it was far more kind than reality dictates.

Isn't that (sadly) the truth! There are a few high end pieces of kit that are still using LMS and coming out periodically, and the LMS itself is still under some development, but it's a slim menu of choices. 😉 Sad, because it's just so flexible and powerful if you were willing to do the setup.
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Not quite accurate! You can run LMS & player on a 35 dollar raspberry pi. Add in the upnp bridge plugin and you can use a wide range of wireless speakers (including Sonos) as squeezebox players. You can control using a web gui, IR remotes, Android & iOS apps (and alexa voice). Slim menu of choices? Not really - iplayer, Spotify, Tunein, etc.

Another plus is active and friendly support via the LMS community forum, free from the acrimonious spats which break out on the Sonos forum!


Is that like opening an app and tapping the screen?

Pretty similar - if you have a phone fired-up. There's even a controller app for Fire TV.

I just wanted to point out that LMS is far from moribund. Each system has its pros and cons.
It's like an AMC Gremlin club in here sometimes. 😉
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Well, there are those die-hards who still use Squeezebox, though there is no widespread hardware availablity.

Note to Squeezebox fans: No need to jump on my answer, it was far more kind than reality dictates.

Isn't that (sadly) the truth! There are a few high end pieces of kit that are still using LMS and coming out periodically, and the LMS itself is still under some development, but it's a slim menu of choices. 😉 Sad, because it's just so flexible and powerful if you were willing to do the setup.
.


Not quite accurate! You can run LMS & player on a 35 dollar raspberry pi. Add in the upnp bridge plugin and you can use a wide range of wireless speakers (including Sonos) as squeezebox players. You can control using a web gui, IR remotes, Android & iOS apps (and alexa voice). Slim menu of choices? Not really - iplayer, Spotify, Tunein, etc.

Another plus is active and friendly support via the LMS community forum, free from the acrimonious spats which break out on the Sonos forum!


Is that like opening an app and tapping the screen?
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Well, there are those die-hards who still use Squeezebox, though there is no widespread hardware availablity.

Note to Squeezebox fans: No need to jump on my answer, it was far more kind than reality dictates.

Isn't that (sadly) the truth! There are a few high end pieces of kit that are still using LMS and coming out periodically, and the LMS itself is still under some development, but it's a slim menu of choices. 😉 Sad, because it's just so flexible and powerful if you were willing to do the setup.
.


Not quite accurate! You can run LMS & player on a 35 dollar raspberry pi. Add in the upnp bridge plugin and you can use a wide range of wireless speakers (including Sonos) as squeezebox players. You can control using a web gui, IR remotes, Android & iOS apps (and alexa voice). Slim menu of choices? Not really - iplayer, Spotify, Tunein, etc.

Another plus is active and friendly support via the LMS community forum, free from the acrimonious spats which break out on the Sonos forum!
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This whole thread is a bit pointless really. The OP has mounted a defence against an accusation that nobody is actually making, or regards as an accusation.

Do a google search for "sonos proprietary" and you will see numerous accusations. Many are not in the context of software vs hardware, and are misleading, in my opinion.
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Well, there are those die-hards who still use Squeezebox, though there is no widespread hardware availablity.

Note to Squeezebox fans: No need to jump on my answer, it was far more kind than reality dictates.

Isn't that (sadly) the truth! There are a few high end pieces of kit that are still using LMS and coming out periodically, and the LMS itself is still under some development, but it's a slim menu of choices. 😉 Sad, because it's just so flexible and powerful if you were willing to do the setup.

I think they mean closed by there only being one hardware vendor, without a published interface to control it, and without full customization via said interface. It's not necessarily bad, it's just a limitation of the system, and there are tons of positives to Sonos as well. HEOS is just as closed, with less compatibility as its ecosystem is newer - and don't tell me that Marantz counts as a second vendor, as both Denon and Marantz are the same company (D&M Holdings). DTS Play-Fi and UPnP are the only protocols I can think of off of the top of my head where there's a variety of manufacturers, and I'd consider those to be, "Open," from the consumer's standpoint.
This whole thread is a bit pointless really. The OP has mounted a defence against an accusation that nobody is actually making, or regards as an accusation.
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God forbid that Sonos should protect their hard earned intellectual property!
I don't think any of us can be sure what the articles meant by 'proprietary', without any context. I think we can all agree that Sonos can be used with some non-Sonos equipment.

I have seen the word 'proprietary' used about Sonos to refer to the fact that it used a proprietary wireless networking technology - SonosNet. At that time it was not possible to use Sonos other than by using SonosNet. That MAY be the use of the word 'proprietary' in the articles to which the OP refers.
Well, there are those die-hards who still use Squeezebox, though there is no widespread hardware availablity.

Note to Squeezebox fans: No need to jump on my answer, it was far more kind than reality dictates.
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I'm not sure I agree with that definition. Can you name any multi-room system that is actually open source?
I think you are mislead by the term proprietary here. These articles probably refer to the use of closed-source software rather than lack of hardware inputs/outputs in order to connect to third party audio equipment.