updated 01:55 pm EST, Thu December 22, 2011
Sonos update stops Zune, Microsoft devices
Sonos has quietly put out an update for its Play and Bridge devices last week that unusually strips out features. The 3.6 update pulls support for copy-protected Windows Media files, leaving Zune Pass users and those still tied to mostly inactive PlaysForSure DRM stores without a way to stream their music to Sonos boxes. The company hasn't given an explanation for the switch but has been asked for a comment.
The step isn't likely to affect most listeners, but it follows a history of the copy protection Microsoft once assumed would be ubiquitous ultimately hurting users. As it closed MSN Music in favor of the Zune Marketplace, Microsoft nearly locked users out of their own music with plans to take down the servers authorizing music. MSN, Walmart, Yahoo, and others ended up closing shop while Apple's iTunes survived and was one of the more vocal advocates of going DRM-free.
Outside of the copy protection issue, Sonos' update also gives Android tablet users a more optimized interface. Spotify use has been improved, and bugs in audio for both the Play:5 (formerly ZonePlayer S5) and Connect:Amp have been fixed.
Version 3.6 needs both a firmware update to the audio system itself as well as a software update for the Mac, Windows PCs, iOS, and Android to reflect the changes.