Reviews: March 2008 Archives

SONOS Improvements

| | Comments (1)

I've had the SONOS music system (3 zoneplayers, 1 controller) for almost 2 years and am still extremely happy with it. It has replaced our radio and stereo and has resulted in us listening to way more music that we had previously. From CBC during the week to Car Talk and This American Life on the weekends to lullabies piped to the bedroom when Orion is going to sleep, it totally meets our audio needs.

That being said, there is definitely still room for improvement. Here is a short list off the top of my head of what I'd like to see in future revisions:

  • Locate Lost Controller
    The controller is wireless and, like my cordless phone, I move it around the house and often lose track of it. I would love to see an option (perhaps just in the downloaded software) that triggered the controller to beep so I could find it. I know it can beep since it does so when I first wake it up.
  • Podcasts
    Let me easily listen to podcast feeds via my SONOS. SONOS can already stream internet radio and remote MP3s as well as perform tasks on a schedule... it seems an easy addition to throw in some feed parsing to the mix. As a bonus I'd like to auto-download the podcast audio files, but I'd settle for simple streaming right now.
  • Controller Audio Input Jack
    The most common external source of audio I use is an iPod/iPhone. Either my own or when someone visits. I currently have an extended RCA-to-headphone cord snaked across the top of my cupboards and then hanging down in the corner. When I want to send audio to the SONOS I am bound to this one spot. Although the controller isn't likely powerful enough to handle the audio processing, I'd love to be able to connect my iPod to the controller and have the data available to any ZonePlayer.
  • Stream to ZonePlayer
    I've often been watching a movie on my laptop and thought it would be great to hear the audio through the SONOS. It seems my computer should be capable of packaging the audio and sending it directly to a ZonePlayer on the same network but unfortunately this isn't allowed. Instead I need to manually connect a cord from the laptop audio-out to the SONOS audio-in. Bleh.
  • Computer as ZonePlayer
    Each time I run the software-based controller software, I find it strange that this software that works just like an audio-player never sends any audio to the computer I am running it on. I would love if there was some way of making my desktop computer a software-based ZonePlayer and then I could do away with iTunes altogether. SONOS would be my only interface to my music regardless of where I am.
  • Better Error Reporting
    The SONOS does its best to hide all implementation details from you. Like a Mac, this is great until something goes wrong. I've had intermittent problems with one of my ZonePlayers freezing and disappearing from the network and so far I have found no way of querying the ZonePlayer to see what is wrong. Is it an IP conflict? Bad RAM? Corrupt MP3 or data stream? Some sort of a syslog dump would be so useful.

The developers at SONOS made some great improvements between v1.0 and v2.0 of their core software. Hopefully I'll see some of the above in v3.0.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Reviews category from March 2008.

Reviews: August 2006 is the previous archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.