December 7, 2012
For anyone who enjoys music everywhere they go and has some extra money, the Sonos line of multi-room music products is a great way to enhance or upgrade the home audio system. Over the years, both software and hardware components have undergone various improvements, including integration of the latest online radio and subscription music services. However, it wasn't until earlier this week that the Sonos Controller software finally allowed streaming from one of the longest requested sources, the iDevice. Unlike the AirPlay option introduced in the spring of 2011, the direct access of music stored on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch requires no extra accessories or switching among apps. In fact, it's as seamless as the other sources integrated into the Sonos Controller app and the iPod integration of any other app or game. To take advantage of Wireless iTunes Playback, you'll need to have an iDevice running iOS 6.0 or later, v3.8.3 of the Sonos Controller app, and v3.8.3 of the Sonos ZonePlayer firmware. If you don't recall how to update your Sonos software, there are step-by-step instructions posted on the Sonos support site. Once the components are up-to-date, a new source will appear within the Music menu: This iPhone, This iPod Touch, or This iPad. The following list is all of the compatible music that's currently stored on your iOS device. What's "compatible" music? Similar to other third-party iOS apps, Sonos Controller can only process non-DRM AAC and MP3 files. It also cannot stream songs stored in iCloud. Older iTunes Music can be upgraded to iTunes Plus using iTunes Match. Despite the potential of making many customers very happy, Sonos Controller v3.8.3 does fall short of getting high ratings by neglecting a particular group, iPhone 5 and fifth generation iPod touch owners. That's right, unfortunately, the updated controller is not optimized for the 4-inch Retina display. Hopefully, that will arrive in the not too distant future. Sonos Controller for iPhone and Sonos Controller for iPad are compatible with iOS 4.0 or later, and available in the App Store as free downloads.