Why Can't I listen to my music through my Computer?

  • 26 August 2012
  • 99 replies
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My only disappointment with the Sonos system is a big one: why can't I listen to the music playing on the Sonos system through my computer? is there a way to do this???

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99 replies

Userlevel 1
No there isn't, why would you want to? Just listen to the music using your computer's music program.
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Or simply put some speakers from your Sonos system next to your computer...:-).

Seriously, why would you want this? A computer is sub-optimal for listening to music. You can use a Sonos zone in the room where your computer is, right? And with a NAS, when you switch off your computer the music plays on...
davelvb,

This is a common request, but cannot be done. There is a very long, sometimes tense thread discussing this issue. Some posters are not willing to accept that this is a fundamental hardware issue and requires a hardware fix. Feel free to join that discussion.
Userlevel 2
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No there isn't, why would you want to? Just listen to the music using your computer's music program.

I'll answer this question:

Because my computer has a high quality sound card and high fidelity speakers and since purchasing Sonos for 4 other areas of my home I often find myself wanting to hear the same audio or control the audio and listen to it in my office on the same interface I'm using for the rest of the home. This would allow a user to utilize existing audio components without further investment, and would eliminate the need for duplicate components in the same space.

I have 3 PCs in my office with a set of speakers for each. That's 3 sets of speakers in the same room. I chose Sonos to a large extent because I wanted to have a universal and powerful interface for audio throughout my home. Unless I'm willing to install an addition amplifier and a fourth set of speakers in this room, I won't be able to listen to music using the same interface as I must in the rest of my home.

For anyone who doesn't want to use their computer audio with the primary audio interface for their home, they can go out and buy another Sonos component and speakers and install them by their computer.

Simple.
I'll answer this question:

Because my computer has a high quality sound card and high fidelity speakers and since purchasing Sonos for 4 other areas of my home I often find myself wanting to hear the same audio or control the audio and listen to it in my office on the same interface I'm using for the rest of the home. This would allow a user to utilize existing audio components without further investment, and would eliminate the need for duplicate components in the same space.

I have 3 PCs in my office with a set of speakers for each. That's 3 sets of speakers in the same room. I chose Sonos to a large extent because I wanted to have a universal and powerful interface for audio throughout my home. Unless I'm willing to install an addition amplifier and a fourth set of speakers in this room, I won't be able to listen to music using the same interface as I must in the rest of my home.

For anyone who doesn't want to use their computer audio with the primary audio interface for their home, they can go out and buy another Sonos component and speakers and install them by their computer.

Simple.


If you want to listen to Sonos through your high quality computer speakers, purchase a Sonos Connect and connect it to the line-in on your soundcard. Voila! Your computer speakers are now a Sonos zone. No need for a "fourth set of speakers."

Now I know what follows: B-b-b-ut why should I have to buy a Connect? So in reality, you do not want a way to listen to Sonos through your computer speakers, you want an inexpensive or free way to listen to Sonos through your computer speakers. Right? In the four years I have personally been reading this forum, I've never seen a request for a PC based Zone that does not boil down to "I want a cheap zone."
In the four years I have personally been reading this forum, I've never seen a request for a PC based Zone that does not boil down to "I want a cheap zone."

And that statement succinctly sums up the very long Thread that buzz posted above (See: http://forums.sonos.com/showthread.php?t=3004)

While the desire for a PC ZonePlayer is a valid one, there is a current and easy solution (the Connect), and several arguments for why a software based PC ZonePlayer will not arrive anytime soon.

For those new to these Forums who find themselves here, spend the time to review this important Thread.

Best of luck
Userlevel 2
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If you want to listen to Sonos through your high quality computer speakers, purchase a Sonos Connect and connect it to the line-in on your soundcard. Voila! Your computer speakers are now a Sonos zone. No need for a "fourth set of speakers."


Done, and working great. I actually had a Connect that I wasn't using and just didn't think of doing this, so thanks for the smart suggestion.


Now I know what follows: B-b-b-ut why should I have to buy a Connect? So in reality, you do not want a way to listen to Sonos through your computer speakers, you want an inexpensive or free way to listen to Sonos through your computer speakers. Right? In the four years I have personally been reading this forum, I've never seen a request for a PC based Zone that does not boil down to "I want a cheap zone."


Not right. Since you asked. Though I wouldn't judge anyone seeking a simpler and more inexpensive option so no thanks for the smug tone.
Not right. Since you asked. Though I wouldn't judge anyone seeking a simpler and more inexpensive option so no thanks for the smug tone.

Then I apologize. This observation did not apply to you and I'm glad your Connect could be put to use. However, my observation was based on a very long, contentious thread from which anyone would contend that the number 1 reason for requesting a PC based Zone is people want a cheap way of subverting the need to buy Sonos hardware.
Userlevel 2
Well i can say i got this working by the following setuo,

Single ZP120 in back bedroom connected to an amp with speakers into the backbedroom and bathroom.

the line out was then run in to the bedroom pc 10 meter length this will then play though the computer speakers.

so essentaill each can be tuned off by switching the amp or speakers off

one thing to note is when i first set this up the audio on the pc was having a slight delay after a bit of searching it turned out that the built in drivers for the soundcard on the pc were being used, and processed by windows, to get past this just install the native drivers for the sound card , and change setting in the control panel for line in and all should work without problems.
Well i can say i got this working by the following setuo,

Single ZP120 in back bedroom connected to an amp with speakers into the backbedroom and bathroom.

the line out was then run in to the bedroom pc 10 meter length this will then play though the computer speakers.

so essentaill each can be tuned off by switching the amp or speakers off

one thing to note is when i first set this up the audio on the pc was having a slight delay after a bit of searching it turned out that the built in drivers for the soundcard on the pc were being used, and processed by windows, to get past this just install the native drivers for the sound card , and change setting in the control panel for line in and all should work without problems.


Are you sure? A ZP120 (now Connect:Amp) does not have a line out. Only the ZP100, the ZP80, and the current Connect have a line-out.
Userlevel 2
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Well i can say i got this working by the following setuo,

Single ZP120 in back bedroom connected to an amp with speakers into the backbedroom and bathroom.

the line out was then run in to the bedroom pc 10 meter length this will then play though the computer speakers.

so essentaill each can be tuned off by switching the amp or speakers off

one thing to note is when i first set this up the audio on the pc was having a slight delay after a bit of searching it turned out that the built in drivers for the soundcard on the pc were being used, and processed by windows, to get past this just install the native drivers for the sound card , and change setting in the control panel for line in and all should work without problems.


This is interesting, but I'm confused about a few things...

A ZP120 is an amp isn't it? And mine don't have line out on them. I don't know if this was a feature on previous models. I suspect you are talking about a ZP 90 or what is now called a Connect.

But again I'm not sure what you mean, are you taking digital out to one and analog out to another?

The info about the drivers is very good.

Mike
Userlevel 1
If you want to listen to Sonos through your high quality computer speakers, purchase a Sonos Connect and connect it to the line-in on your soundcard. Voila! Your computer speakers are now a Sonos zone. No need for a "fourth set of speakers."

Now I know what follows: B-b-b-ut why should I have to buy a Connect? So in reality, you do not want a way to listen to Sonos through your computer speakers, you want an inexpensive or free way to listen to Sonos through your computer speakers. Right? In the four years I have personally been reading this forum, I've never seen a request for a PC based Zone that does not boil down to "I want a cheap zone."


Here's the deal: I paid for the computer, I paid for the very expensive sound system that's hooked up to it (home cinema), I paid for a Sonos system, and I paid for all the music that the Sonos system plays throughout the house. It doesn't seem out of line for me to want to leverage all of this investment so that THE COMPUTER THAT IS RUNNING THE SONOS SOFTWARE can also play, in that room, music it is pumping to elsewhere in the house. That's not a "cheap zone," is an "already paid for through the nose zone."
Maybe a sticky is deserved for a list of big ticket items that Sonos doesn't currently do, for the benefit of new buyers?

Candidates:
1. More than 65k tracks
2. Hi res music files
3. The subject of this thread

And whatever else of a similar nature. Caveat Emptor always prevails of course, but there would be no harm in something like this on a manufacturer supported forum as enlightened as this one?

PS: And manage the thread such that it remains a concise list and doesn't grow into a 50 page thread that no one in his right mind would ever wade through:-). Any grief about anything on the list can be aired elsewhere. Additions and deletions from the list, with a brief explanation for each should be all it contains.
Here's the deal: I paid for the computer, I paid for the very expensive sound system that's hooked up to it (home cinema), I paid for a Sonos system, and I paid for all the music that the Sonos system plays throughout the house. It doesn't seem out of line for me to want to leverage all of this investment so that THE COMPUTER THAT IS RUNNING THE SONOS SOFTWARE can also play, in that room, music it is pumping to elsewhere in the house. That's not a "cheap zone," is an "already paid for through the nose zone."

Regardless, it is impossible to do. So it really doesn't matter how much you paid for your computer, it isn't going to be a zone. Maybe you can sell it since it seems to have no other use besides being an "already paid for through the nose zone." 😉
Userlevel 4
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It doesn't seem out of line for me to want to leverage all of this investment so that THE COMPUTER THAT IS RUNNING THE SONOS SOFTWARE can also play, in that room, music it is pumping to elsewhere in the house.

This is a conceptual and factual error that goes some way to explaining your frustration with not being able to use your PC as a zone.

Your computer is not "pumping [music] to elsewhere in the house". It's not generating the music data stream at all. Your Sonos players (Connect:x, Play:x) are pulling the music files/streams from whatever source(s) you have chosen.

Yes, your PC is running Sonos software, but it's only a remote control interface, telling your Sonos zones what actions to take and displaying the results. Just the same as the iOS/Android/CR200 controllers.

So as far as your Sonos system is concerned, your PC is doing nothing special or clever at all. It's just a very big and expensive remote control. Which is why many or perhaps most of us never use a PC with our Sonos set-ups at all. And why your indignation that you can't use your PC as a zone is misplaced.
Userlevel 1
Badge +1
Agree with withanee67.
Sonos do not claim anywhere that you need a computer to use their system.
Maybe they should advertised more on the fact that you actually DON'T need a computer (in opposition to their competitors - which is probably the main reason for this kind of misunderstanding).
Agree with withanee67.
Sonos do not claim anywhere that you need a computer to use their system.
Maybe they should advertised more on the fact that you actually DON'T need a computer (in opposition to their competitors - which is probably the main reason for this kind of misunderstanding).


Strongly Seconded

If I want to listen to Sonos through my PC, I'll connect a Connect, or most any other ZonePlayer with the Audio-In port of my PC.

However, I have absolutely no need to do this as our home is covered throughout with Zones. Our PCs are off more times than on when we are using Sonos.

Best of Luck
Here's the deal: I paid for the computer, I paid for the very expensive sound system that's hooked up to it (home cinema), I paid for a Sonos system, and I paid for all the music that the Sonos system plays throughout the house. It doesn't seem out of line for me to want to leverage all of this investment so that THE COMPUTER THAT IS RUNNING THE SONOS SOFTWARE can also play, in that room, music it is pumping to elsewhere in the house. That's not a "cheap zone," is an "already paid for through the nose zone."

If your computer is linked up to an expensive home theatre setup then presumaby it can play any of the music on your network or from the internet music services you use by using any media player you choose to have installed? It does not need any Sonos components to achieve this, and opens up access to music that Sonos cannot play (hi-res or DRM-protected music for example).

However if you want to have that same amplifier and speakers (that currently utilise your PC as an audio source) operate as part of a wider Sonos system (for synchronised linked zones, unified control of all Sonos zones etc) then you need your home theatre to utilise a Sonos device as a source too, so add a Sonos connect. Whether you choose to use your PC as a controller for this setup or any of the other Sonos controller options is then up to you.

As others have pointed out, Sonos promote the PC software as a Desktop Controller, not a Media Player. If you thought otherwise or were advised differently then you have made a mistaken assumption or been given incorrect information.

In the scheme of expensive home theatre installations the cost of the additional Sonos Connect is relatively small, and if you don't want to pay the "new" price then look out for a used ZP80 or ZP90 in classified ads or the online auction sites.

With all that said, you do need to also check that your home theatre processor/amplifier does not add its own processing delays to the source inputs as this can lead to synchronisation problems in party mode - if you search you'll find threads about this issue including which manufacturers seem better than others at avoiding this problem.
Userlevel 2
Ok Have just installed Windows 8 and trying to get my setup from windows 7 in which the line out from a ZP100 will play through the audio device.

this can be achieve by using the windows mixer and selecting the line in properties to Listen, this is ok except there is an audio delay.

if you install the audio driver in my case Realtek ALC888 HD from my dell vostro 410 , realtek.com.tw

install the drivers and go to control panel
select the HD Audio Manager and Line IN
mute the volume on the Recording Slider
and move the playback slider volume to about 70 found this the best with no distortion.

now you have audio through pc speakers with no audio delay.

Hope this help you all
Userlevel 1
the number 1 reason for requesting a PC based Zone is people want a cheap way of subverting the need to buy Sonos hardware.

Pretty useless comment. After the VERY SIGNIFICANT amount of money that I have invested in Sonos hardware, I don't feel shy about saying that the computer that (a) stores the music library and (b) controls the Sonos system should also (c) be able to play the music that I'm hearing elsewhere in the house.

Just saying. Why would wanting to avoid an additional significant outlay be something deserving of disdain?
Pretty useless comment. After the VERY SIGNIFICANT amount of money that I have invested in Sonos hardware, I don't feel shy about saying that the computer that (a) stores the music library and (b) controls the Sonos system should also (c) be able to play the music that I'm hearing elsewhere in the house.

Just saying. Why would wanting to avoid an additional significant outlay be something deserving of disdain?


What disdain? The fact you interpreted my comment as disdain is curious.
What disdain? The fact you interpreted my comment as disdain is curious.

Curious? The attitude on this thread is appalling.

If the Sonos software is running on the PC then there is absolutely no reason why it could not output to the PC speakers. That's it. The fact that they don't is a money grab.

Fortunately for me I do not own any Sonos hardware yet. I was about to start investing for speakers throughout my house but this lack of simple functionality has made me want to wait for a better solution. That coupled with the fact that the people who buy Sonos are such snobs judging by this thread.

Nick
Curious? The attitude on this thread is appalling.

If the Sonos software is running on the PC then there is absolutely no reason why it could not output to the PC speakers. That's it. The fact that they don't is a money grab.


Somebody is laboring under the false notion that the Desktop Controller is actually fetching, decoding, processing and/or otherwise handling the actual music files. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Don't believe me? If one starts a track playing from the Desktop Controller, then exits the Controller application, the music keeps right on playing. If the music had anything at all to do with the Controller, then the music would stop. But it doesn't, which means maybe (just maybe) the Desktop Controller is just a controller, and has no music playback capabilites whatsoever.


Fortunately for me I do not own any Sonos hardware yet. I was about to start investing for speakers throughout my house but this lack of simple functionality has made me want to wait for a better solution. That coupled with the fact that the people who buy Sonos are such snobs judging by this thread.

Nick


This "basic lack of functionality" has only been present on one multi-room, multi-source music system - Squeezebox - and synching between the PC and the actual players was impossible. I wish you well in your search for this "simple" functionality, but you aren't going to find it in a system that comes close to Sonos in other facets.

And by the way, if you want to see snobs, check out the Linn systems. They make us seem like mere common folk.
Userlevel 2
Pretty useless comment. After the VERY SIGNIFICANT amount of money that I have invested in Sonos hardware, I don't feel shy about saying that the computer that (a) stores the music library and (b) controls the Sonos system should also (c) be able to play the music that I'm hearing elsewhere in the house.

Just saying. Why would wanting to avoid an additional significant outlay be something deserving of disdain?


Has nothing to do with disdain, we all want Sonos to be around for the long hall. They charge $0 in monthly fees and $0 in annual fees. Sonos components I bought 5 years ago are still getting free updates. If you could download the Sonos app and use it on your PC for free, this would put a significant dent in their income.

The proper way to think of your PC, is that it is nothing other then a Remote Control. That is all it is. That is all it was ever advertised to be, any expectation you have beyond that is unrealistic and not going to happen.

The proper way to think of your PC, is that it is nothing other then a Remote Control. That is all it is. That is all it was ever advertised to be, any expectation you have beyond that is unrealistic and not going to happen.


I am not up to date with their advertising, but the PC isn't even a remote control, to be honest.

Using a computer in a Sonos set up is very inconvenient, for those of us that aren't before it all the time, and who don't have it on 24/7. Playing music sitting in it, requires it to be wired to the router as well - another inconvenience.

Sonos is a multi room, multi source music system, and one source is stored music files, sitting in a device that is hardwired to the router. The simplest/cheapest way to get this source running is for the device to be an external HDD wired to the router. The other source is music from the router from the net.

For controlling all of this, Sonos gives away for free a decently designed controller that can be hosted by most handheld devices in the market.

Sonos isn't cheap, but is value for money to most users. Expecting a free zone player out of a computer that contains music is fine, but Sonos not meeting that expectation isn't a money grab. Zone player hardware is how they earn money.