Information pages have gone up today on both Sonos’ and Google’s sites about the partnership. Play Music joins other streaming music services Spotify, JB Hi-fi Now, MOG and Rdio on Sonos. You can also use services like Tune-in Radio and Stitcher Radio.
You can connect the Sonos desktop app to Google Play Music with an update made available today, and the company’s app also offers the connection on both Android and iOS. Sonos also has a new Android controller app currently in beta, available to all registered Sonos owners. The Sonos app also allows you to listen to “I’m Feeling Lucky Radio”.
So, you can use Sonos’ softfware on your computer or your phone (or tablet) to control playback, but that’s not the only trick Sonos has up its sleeve…
Besides using the Sonos app to browse your Google Music collection, Sonos has also linked their systems into the Cast solution offered in Google Play Music on Android, so you can use your normal Google Music app on your phone to browse your collection and play to your Sonos speakers.
Nobody’s actually saying that this is a Google Cast solution, but the principle is the same as Sonos has always operated – you ask your Sonos system to play a music track or playlist. Play Music already lists connected Chromecast and Bluetooth devices under that menu, but Sonos’ integration lets you play specifically to any of the connected speakers in your house – definitely a neat trick.
Today’s announcement is a welcome change for Android owners looking to get into Sonos’ equipment and software ecosystem. Many of us rely on Google’s music service, so this helps us to welcome Sonos into our lives – in a home entertainment context, anyway.
We’ve had 2 Sonos Play:1 speakers and a Sonos Bridge under test for a couple of weeks now, and found that the lack of support for Google’s music service was the major pain point — I had actually been testing using a trial JB Hifi Now account. This wipes out that negative point on the review.
It’s good to see Sonos go to the effort of integrating their systems with Google’s own Music app, too. As much as Sonos’ new controller app is nice, you can’t beat Google’s own apps for user experience, and this ensures a consistent experience for me whether I’m listening at work on my headphones or at home on the Sonos. I had in fact asked Sonos last week if they were considering such integration, so for me today’s announcement is great news!
We’ll publish our Sonos review (with a look at the beta app as well) in the next couple of weeks.
Do you use Sonos equipment with your Android devices? Will today’s announcement influence your buying decision? Let us know in the comments!