Sonos releases new but hugely broken, incomplete app causing shitstorm

Sonos launched a new version of its app this week, altering the software experience that tens of millions of users rely on to control the company’s premium home wireless home speaker systems.

Turns out, people really hate it! The response from users on Reddit, on audio forums, and on social media has been almost total condemnation since the app experience switched over on May 7. Users on the dedicated r/sonos subreddit are particularly peeved about it, expressing frustration at all manner of problems. The quickest way to see the scores of complaints is to visit the megathread the users in the community started to catalog all the problems they’re experiencing.

Sonos app
Courtesy of Sonos

Many features that had long been a part of the Sonos app are simply missing in the update. Features such as the ability to set sleep timers and alarms, set the speakers at a precise volume level, add songs to the end of a queue, manage Wi-Fi connectivity, and add new speakers are missing or broken, according to the complaints. Users are also reporting that the revamped search engine in the app often can’t search a connected local library running on a networked computer or a network-attached storage drive—they way many of Sonos’ most loyal users listen to their large private music libraries. Some streaming services are partially or completely broken for some users too, like TuneIn and LivePhish+.

Worse, the new app is not as accessible as the previous version, with one Reddit user calling it “an accessibility disaster.” The user, Rude-kangaroo6608, writes: “As a blind guy, I now have a system that I can hardly use.”

Source: Many People Do Not Like the New Sonos App

Also, they got rid of the next and previous buttons and you can’t scrob through the song in the small player. You can’t add all files in a directory in your Library at once to the Sonos playlist – you have to add them one by one. The shuffle is gone. You can’t re-arrange queues. The system loses speakers randomly. So basically, you can’t really use the app to play music with.

Tuesday May 14th there will be an Ask Me Anything (AMA) – I would feel sorry for the Sonos people taking the questions, but don’t because they caused this fiasco in the first place. It certainly is “courageous” (ie stupid) to release an incomplete and broken app on top over expensive hardware.


Robin Edgar

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