Deezer launching in United States with beta streaming for Sonos owners
Music streaming service Deezer is finally heading to the United States, after being available across Europe, Canada, and a few other countries for some time. In order to differentiate itself from the competition, Deezer plans to offer a higher quality of stream to owners of Sonos speaker systems, with a far higher bitrate than Spotify and Rdio streams available on 90 percent of the catalog.
Update eliminates requirement for physical network connection, Sonos Bridge
Sonos has started to implement a change to the wireless networking used by its speaker system, eliminating the need for a physical connection. The previously-announced update will now allow for speakers to connect to an existing Wi-Fi network, instead of the wireless mesh network created between the speakers.
Samsung adds Spotify Connect support to Shape speaker range
Samsung has updated its Wireless Audio Multiroom range of home audio equipment to allow Spotify to run off multiple speakers simultaneously, bringing Samsung's multiroom speaker system in line with competitor Sonos. Applying to the Shape M7, Shape M5 and other audio products in the range, the added Spotify Connect support allows for music to be controlled through the Spotify app itself instead of through a dedicated speaker app.
Aquafada Cloud Authoring platform utilizes by Kobo to digitize its magazine content
Digital e-magazing software publisher Aquafadas and e-reader maker Kobo have begun collaborating, in light of Aquafadas' cloud-based eZine publishing offering. The Aquafadas Cloud Authoring platform allows Kobo to digitize magazines on a mass-focused level, and has done so for more than 200 titles and a total of over 7,000 issues.
Sonos ditches blue design for black and white
While Sonos has introduced a number of new hardware components over the last few years, the company has of late been seen to be falling behind with the software they offered to control them. Fortunately, that all changes today with the official launch of v5.0 of the Sonos Controller app for iOS and Android. Along with a completely overhauled UI, the update brings a number of new features that make using a Sonos system around the house even better.
Software update being tested could remove need for Sonos Bridge
Sonos is testing a software update for its wireless speaker system that removes the need for a physical connection to the home network. The software would allow for the system's SonosNet network to operate with one of the speakers accessing the local Wi-Fi network, and avoiding wiring either a speaker or the Sonos Bridge wireless networking device to a router.
Google Play Music app on Android can cast directly to Sonos speakers
Sonos is adding support for Google Play Music to its multi-room speaker system, the company has confirmed. While both Android and iOS will gain the extra support, users on Android will be able to control music playback from the Google Play Music app itself, and marks the first time the speaker manufacturer is allowing a third-party app to control the speakers directly.
Microsoft's Wireless Mobile Mouse 1850 announced
Microsoft has announced its new lightweight wireless mouse, the Wireless Mobile Mouse 1850. Priced at less than $15, the 1850 uses 2.4GHz wireless technology for a reliable computer connection, and holds a built-in mini USB transceiver that can be plugged into one's computer or hidden inside the mouse. The mouse will be offered in black, red, pink, purple and dark blue, and is due to be available this month.
Small but powerful addition to the Play lineup
Improvements in wireless technology over the years has made it increasingly easier to offer music playback in every room of the home. Involved in this "music everywhere" movement since 2002, Sonos has long prided itself on providing customers with audio products that not only sound great, but are also incredibly simple to use. In our full review, we will test to see if the latest addition to the Sonos lineup, the Play:1, fits right into this plan -- while still remaining an affordable option.
Wireless speaker joins Sonos Play range, free Bridge available
Sonos has added to its Play range of wireless home speakers, which currently consists of the Play:3 and the Play:5, with the Play:1. At the same time as launching the compact speaker, one that briefly appeared on sale late last week, Sonos has released a software update that adds some minor changes to the way the speakers function.
Sonos speakers go on sale before official announcement
A new speaker from audio producer Sonos has apparently gone on sale without being officially announced by the company. The Sonos Play:1, having been last seen visiting the FCC early last month, has been sighted on retail store Target's shelves, with the Play family speakers shown to be available in black and white enclosures.
Dish Network adds social network interactions to Hopper DVR using app
Dish Network has created a new app for its Hopper Whole-Home DVR for social networking while watching television. Social, usable from the Hopper's quick-launch bar, will allow viewers to log into and manage multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts, as well as showing a Twitter feed for the show or channel being watched at that time. A data bar at the bottom of the screen will provide more stats and information about the program, including what areas of the US are commenting about the show on Twitter, and the program's "sentiment rating."
Can connect with other Sonos units for better sound
Sonos has announced the Playbar, a new soundbar speaker for TVs. The unit is designed to sit over or underneath a TV, and contains six mid-range and woofer modules, plus three tweeters. Sensors built into the bar automatically adjust the orientation and EQ of the modules for optimal performance.
Sonos now plays iTunes music, podcasts directly from iPhone
Wireless music streaming solution Sonos saw an update recently, one that brings the ability to stream music and podcasts directly from an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to anywhere with a Sonos speaker or player. The update is compatible with iOS 6, and it allows users to stream music from any source seamlessly as part of the same playlist. It is available as a free download at the App Store.
Sonos Controller app for Android and iOS
The Sonos Controller app for Android and iOS devices received an update today that improves functionality and adds features to both versions. A blog post on Sonos' web page described the new features, chief among which is optimization for 7-inch and 10-inch Android tablets. The Android version also supports landscape mode and features a resized album art screen. The iOS version is now optimized for display on Retina devices, and users can now control the volume on a Sonos system using the physical volume buttons on their devices.
Wireless sub connects to existing Sonos systems
Sonos has announced that its wireless subwoofer, the Sonos Sub, is set to ship on June 19. The speaker, which is designed to work with the company's other amplified systems with wireless support, features single-button setup and a resin cabinet built with inward-facing speaker cones to eliminate buzz and rattle.
Subwoofer interacts wireless system
Sonos has introduced the Sub, a wireless subwoofer designed to work alongside the company's amplified systems with wireless support. The resin cabinet integrates a pair of acoustic ports and speaker cones, each facing inward in a configuration that is claimed to eliminate buzz or rattle, while dual Class D amplifiers provides the power.
Sonos axes Controller hardware for mobile apps
Sonos on Wednesday dropped its dedicated Control hardware. The Play:3 designer will stop selling the CR200 after May 31. From then on, Sonos owners will have to control the networked audio system using a desktop or mobile app, including either the official iOS (App Store) or Android (Google Play) apps as well as unofficial apps for other platforms.
Sonos Controller 3.7 hands-on
Sonos lived up to its word early Tuesday and released its revamped edition of the Controller for Macs and Windows PCs. The 3.7 update is its first major rework in some time and brings some parts of the mobile apps over to the desktop. We've had an opportunity to try it in advance with some quick impressions.
Sonos Controller 3.7 coming to computers
Sonos picked Thursday to preview an imminent, major reworking of its desktop Controller app for the Mac and PC. The new version bears much more in common with the mobile version, with an interface that's both more visually appealing and easier to use. It now has a unified, always-up search field that lets listeners filter by the Internet service, and it's possible to just drag one or more songs or whole albums to particular Sonos speakers to add them to the queue.
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.
Sonos brings Android users into the fold
Sonos has released an Android compatible Controller (free; Android Market) app for Android (2.2 or higher) tablets, including the Android-powered Kindle Fire. Additionally, the company has now also added support for the Slacker streaming music service. The app is designed to work with Sonos-branded wireless digital music systems.
Spotify may spread everywhere through API
Spotify's special event on Wednesday may related to third-party app support. Inside updates relayed to AllThingsD revealed that Spotify had been talking with developers about making its music library available to any app as long as it's accessed through a $10 monthly Spotify Premium account. The streaming audio is already available through third-party devices like Sonos boxes, but implementations are usually tied to special hardware deals.
Bose Chihuahua may ship next week
A combination of an event invite and a leak has given a clue as to Bose plans for a new wireless audio system. Called the "Chihuahua" so far, it would be an "ultra small" MP3 player speaker docking station. Best Buy details scraped by This is my next would have it sit in a display next week meant to show the Bose SoundLink wireless system, hinting that the dock or an adapter could push audio out to Bose hardware much like Sonos or possibly AirPlay.
Sonos desktop and iOS apps updated for Apple tech
Sonos gave listeners a significant update Tuesday with updates to its apps to support iOS 5 and Mac OS X Lion. Version 3.5.2 of both the desktop apps (Mac, Windows) and the iOS apps (iPad, iPhone) recognize the newer Apple platforms when relevant. The Lion fixes were made to reflect a change that pushed Apple to drop the regular open-source version of Samba network file sharing for its own, preventing Sonos hardware from seeing media stored on Macs using the newer OS.
Sony SA-NS500 quietly gets reveal
Sony at the same time as our Tablet S hands-on unveiled an upgraded version of its HomeShare speaker to cater to Apple users. The SA-NS500 HomeShare now takes AirPlay sources along with the DLNA of the NS300, making it a more direct alternative to a Sonos box for iPad and iPhone streaming. Sound arrives omnidirectionally and completely wirelessly if it runs on the roughly six-hour battery.
Sonos announces 1 million sales milestone
Sonos, Inc on Wednesday announced it has now sold one million of its wireless music systems for homes around the world. The company began selling its wares, such as the wireless dock and Play:3, in 2005, and allows users to stream music from the Internet and their home PCs. The company reached the milestone in part thanks to its easy interface.
Rdio offers multi-user streaming plans
Rdio tried an experiment with Internet music streaming Monday by testing out family plans. Listeners can pay $18 per month for two accounts or $23 for three and save more than they would if they got separate accounts. The approach gives each account its own separate history, playlists, and cached music, giving them an advantage over just sharing one account.
Robbie Bach joins Sonos as board member
The former president of Microsoft's entertainment and devices decision who was also key in creating the Xbox franchise, Robbie Bach, is now a board member at Sonos. John MacFarlane, the founder and CEO of Sonos, who makes Internet radio receivers and related hardware, personally asked Bach to join his company, wrote the WSJ. Bach is a long-time user of Sonos products and says part of their appeal is their ease of use.
Sonos Play3 gets our quick test
Sonos on Thursday gave us the opportunity to use the Play:3 for ourselves. As its new 'budget' fully-contained wireless audio system, it has the promise of showing what multi-room sound can be like. We're finding out in a quick review if the savings of the $329 system make it a sweeter deal or if it's best saving up just a bit more.
Sonos Play3 gets unintentional early reveal
Sonos' plans for its Play:3 network radio were mostly given away Monday after the discovery of a brief Amazon listing (cached). While it didn't settle the name, the post confirmed that it would be a shrunk version of the ZonePlayer S5 with three drivers, two of which would be mid-range while the third would be a tweeter for the high range. Deep bass may still be a selling point with a bass radiator to push the low end.
Spotify Premium gets our test in the US
With the US launch of Spotify, many are experiencing the music service for the first time. As such, we'd like to give a run-down of the feature for those who aren't familiar with it from Europe. Read on for an overview as well as how it stacks up -- and what's missing.
Spotify finally active in US
Spotify as promised has at last started up service in US. The music streaming provider is currently active in an invite-only beta but has 15 million tracks and the full feature set of its European counterpart. It includes an expanded free service with ads, a $5 Unlimited monthly plan that gives full streaming on the web, and a $10 Premium plan that gives full access on Android, iOS, and other devices like Sonos and Logitech Squeezebox systems.
AirPlay, Thunderbolt may add 100 to device prices
Both AirPlay and Thunderbolt may be prohibitively expensive for a large number of device makers for either to become mainstream in the near future, sources rumored Friday. AirPlay wireless audio streaming allegedly adds as much as $100 to the price of an audio system since it involves more than just introducing Wi-Fi. Costs were getting lower, iLounge heard, but even Philips' Fidelio system costs $230.
Sonos Play3 revealed early by FCC filing
Sonos' plans for a smaller, self-contained alternative to the ZonePlayer S5 were given away Thursday by an FCC filing. Likely to be called the Play:3, the system appears intended for a nightstand or just for those who can't justify the $400 price of an S5. The box looks to have three separate drivers and still support Ethernet along with wireless pairing to a ZoneBridge.
MOG content now available on Sonos hardware
As expected, the MOG music service is now available on connected home gear from Sonos. The 320kbps, ad-free MOG streams are available on an on-demand basis or from a customized station. All Sonos customers in the US are getting a 14-day trial of MOG on Sonos.
Slacker iPad unveiled and tested by us
Slacker early Tuesday brought out its much requested iPad-native app (link soon). The new app, like the BlackBerry PlayBook app, takes advantage of the much larger screen and shows both a much larger now-playing view along with genres and stations each in their own spaces, saving listeners the trouble of jumping between the screens of the iPhone version. Premium Radio listeners can still stream or cache on-demand, and it can push audio over AirPlay to nearby speakers.
Sonos AirPlay and Android intro with test
Sonos on Tuesday rolled out two major supported updates at once. Audio devices like the ZonePlayer S5 can now pipe audio through AirPlay using an indirect route. Wiring up an AirPort Express to a Sonos device through Ethernet and the line-in jack will let any AirPlay audio go through a ZonePlayer as though it were another source on the network.
Sonos Controller app for Android pushed to April
Sonos has announced the delay of its Controller App for Android devices, originally due in March. The app is now not due out until April, due to longer-than-expected testing procedures. The free app will let Android device users control their Sonos multi-room streaming audio systems, just like the iOS app.
MOG music service coming to Sonos, Mini, more
The MOG music service available for Android- and iOS-based devices will now come to Sonos in-home music systems, connected Vizio TVs, portable electronics from LG and Samsung and new Mini cars. The new Sonos partnership gives users streaming for the 320Kbps, ad-free service over its multi-room audio systems. Access includes MOG's Mobius music discovery engine and more than 10 million songs.
Sonos Controller app reaches Android
After more than a year of iOS-only apps, Sonos today said it was on the verge of launching Sonos Controller for Android. The title gives the same features as the long-serving iPhone app but adds voice search to find a track through Voice Actions. Many phones can also directly map controls to hardware, allowing the search and volume buttons on the phone to fill in.
Last.fm switches to pay only for Android, iPhone
Last.fm on Monday said it was switching to a pay-only model for its Internet radio on Android and iPhone devices on February 15. The strategy will drop the free, ad-supported service and will instead require $3 per month in the US to get the stream on a mobile device, albeit ad-free. Media hubs such as the Logitech Squeezebox and Sonos ZonePlayer line, will also need a subscription, either immediately or by mid-summer.
Sonos devices get Rdio update
Sonos today pushed out an update to its audio devices to add Rdio support. The expansion gives them access to on-demand streaming for songs, playlists and whole albums. Social playlists from friends, popular Rdio users and the servce's charts will also pipe through the multi-room audio system.
Sonos teases expansion plans and talks iOS
Sonos marketing VP Tom Cullen in a talk published Monday hinted that the company will move beyond its multi-room audio systems. While still known for home audio like the ZonePlayer S5, Sonos will 'one day' get into cars and headphones. He wouldn't give GigaOM an estimate of how soon this would occur.
Sonos job posting seeks home theater expert
Sonos, maker of wireless home audio systems such as the ZonePlayer S5 and iPod docks, may be looking into developing a home theater system. Indication of this comes from a job posting on Sonos' website that seeks to fill the Senior Product Manager, Home Theater Sound position. Little in terms of specifics can be gleaned from the posting, but Sonos is looking for "a successful, experienced home entertainment product leader to help us re-invent home theater sound for the digital age."
Sonos Wireless Dock ships for $119
Sonos' Wireless Dock for the iPod and iPhone is now shipping in both Canada and the US. Introduced in September, the accessory for Sonos' own Multi-Room Music System or ZonePlayer system access to music stored on the portable Apple devices. The dock sends media wirelessly to the ZonePlayers without converting them to analog.
Sonos Controller for iPad released as we test it
Sonos today released its long in coming Sonos Controller for iPad (free, App Store). The app gives a significantly expanded view for steering a Sonos device such as the ZonePlayer S5 and can show the destination zones, the current music, queue and the source list all at once. It works both in landscape and portrait mode.
Sonos intros Wireless Dock to stream iPhone, iPod
Sonos this morning formally rolled out its first hardware to get audio directly from an Apple portable device. The Wireless Dock broadcasts sound to a Sonos system not just from iOS devices like the iPhone and iPod touch but also click wheel iPods. iOS devices can still work as Sonos Controllers with the company's app while docked.
Creative Sound Blaster Wireless MultiPlay hits FCC
Creative is near launching a wireless audio system in the vein of a Sonos ZonePlayer, an FCC filing uncovered today. The Sound Blaster Wireless MultiPlay discovered by Engadget would attach directly to a PC and share its audio over 2.4GHz RF wireless to stereo speakers through receivers adround the house. A Wireless Touch Controller would, much like Sonos' CR100, give owners a way of steering music away from the computer.
Service limited to premium subscriptions
Spotify has reportedly collaborated with Sonos to bring its streaming music service to the latter company's multi-room audio hardware. The software update will enable users to distribute the streaming content throughout their entire home, with the Spotify interface can be controlled directly from the dedicated Sonos controller or iPhone app.