Making Sonos play nice with Apple
December 5, 2017 8:22 AM   Subscribe

We just got a Sonos system. I like to listen to podcasts, and would like my podcasts to play over the Sonos. I also want to listen to my podcasts while commuting, and have the system pick up where I left off when I get home. Can I make this work within Sonos, or do I need to get a new podcast manager that does play nicely with Sonos? If so, which one?

I'm still poking around the Sonos app and learning how everything works. Currently I use the pre-built-in Apple Podcasts app to manage and listen to my podcasts on my IPhone 7. I typically download the podcasts and the delete them after they've been played. However, while Sonos can look for and play podcasts that are stored on my phone, it doesn't sync with where I left off. That's a problem, because I also listen to my podcasts while commuting, and I don't want to have to notice and remember the timestamp of where I left off, then meticulously find it on the other device each time I leave or arrive home.

The Apple Podcasts app isn't great and they took away every useful feature in a recent update. So I've been toying with using another service to manage podcasts. Part of me prefers to continue using the Apple Podcasts app because I like simplicity and my podcasts are already there, and part of me wants the dang thing to actually work. Can I make it work with what I've got?

If not, what other *simple* podcast app will work with Sonos and will let me move seamlessly between Sonos and my IPhone? We have a Spotify subscription that we can convert to a family plan, but it looks confusing. TuneIn and Stitcher seem to be options also. I'd rather not have to re-subscribe and re-download all my podcasts into another app, but I guess I can if I know it will work the way I want to.
posted by Liesl to Technology (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Stitcher is solid for this in my experience. Re-subscribing is a pain, but it's a one-time thing and then your podcast game will be much more portable for the future.
posted by mosst at 8:46 AM on December 5, 2017

Oh, actually, it looks like you can just play your locally-saved podcasts on your phone from the sonos controller app. That sounds like it should meet your needs!
posted by mosst at 8:48 AM on December 5, 2017

oh man, I'm not doing great at close reading today. You already knew that and the issue is that it doesn't transfer the timestamp. Anywho I like stitcher just fine and I can't remember the last time I transferred between devices mid-podcast but I think it does what you want it to do.
posted by mosst at 8:51 AM on December 5, 2017

I switched to Pocketcasts after the last iOS update made the native app unusable. It is a MUCH better app, it's easy to resubscribe to everything- I listen to a billion podcasts and it took about 15 minutes- and it looks like it will do what you want it to do.
posted by charmedimsure at 9:07 AM on December 5, 2017

Seconding pocketcasts. I had been putting off the switch from Overcast to them after overcast went subscription and the resubscription process was much more painless than expected.
posted by beisny at 10:58 AM on December 5, 2017

Pocketcasts IS great! We did upgrade to the Spotify family account, but only a handful of the podcasts I listen to were available on Spotify. All of them were available on Pocketcasts. It's really easy to navigate around. We'll see when I get home about syncing.
posted by Liesl at 12:45 PM on December 5, 2017

Thanks to this question I just learned there's an unofficial service for connecting Overcast to Sonos. Overcast is my favorite iOS podcast app and I'd never thought to try it with Sonos before. Not sure this is better than Pocketcasts or something else that officially supports Sonos though.
posted by Nelson at 2:28 PM on December 5, 2017

Initially with Sonos, I bought a Play:5 partly to solve this issue with Airplay and an Airport Express. To be honest, it was a bit spendy and didn't work that well - even with pretty decent WiFi for Berkeley, there would be drop-outs and cut outs. After I gave up on using the Airport Express, I just left a 3.5mm jack dangling out of the Play:5's audio in port. Then Sonos rolled out the ability to play directly from the phone's downloaded Podcasts via the iOS official Podcast app. Finally, I mostly switched over to just using the podcasts streamable over my Google Play (Music) account. But the good news is you can (usually) find any number of ways of doing this with podcasts. The only issue is that sometimes your favorite podcast isn't actually available on your favorite music streaming service.
posted by kalessin at 5:19 PM on December 5, 2017

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