Help me get Sonos working
November 29, 2007 10:54 AM   Subscribe

Sonos is seriously bugging Mrs. HotBot and, by the transitive property of bugging, me. Help me out.

I have three sonos boxes. I chose Sonos because I wanted to:

* share music from iTunes
* listen to internet radio
* share a line-in source throughout the house
* do different things in different rooms or the same thing in all rooms

It generally works ok for me but it more or less never works for my wife when I am not home. I don't know whose fault this is, but it doesn't really matter. My co-workers. How they tease. A perfect answer would tell me how to to make sure Sonos just works.

Partial answers might be:
1) would it help if I plugged a computer which would be specially dedicated to holding music directly into the router the main sonos box is plugged into?

2) could the cordless phone be messing with the wireless net that sonos makes?

3) if I was willing to sacrifice everything (and some cash) for marital bliss, is there another setup which would help me meet all my above goals, again with the primary consideration being ease of use.
posted by shothotbot to Technology (18 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Partial answer: wifi can interfere with sonos boxes, since sonos uses a proprietary version of wifi.
posted by desiderandus at 11:18 AM on November 29, 2007

Response by poster: desiderandus: how can I set up my wifi to not interfere with Sonos?
posted by shothotbot at 11:19 AM on November 29, 2007

how can I set up my wifi to not interfere with Sonos?

You could try setting your wireless router to broadcast on a different channel.
posted by burnmp3s at 11:24 AM on November 29, 2007

1. Can you give more details what doesn't work for your wife?
2. What is different when your wife is attempting to use the system vs when you are?
3. Do you ever use the cordless phone while using Sonos? 4. Are you using a NAS (network-attached storage hard drive)?
posted by cahlers at 11:43 AM on November 29, 2007

I use Sonos also - one ZP100 and one ZP80 so far, without issue. Is one of your ZPs plugged directly into router right now? I understand that not plugging any ZP into a router directly is not really supported by Sonos, although it's possible. For best resutls, I'd plug one of your ZPs directly into the router.
posted by cahlers at 11:45 AM on November 29, 2007

Response by poster: cahlers:
The most recent problem was that the controller could not find the music library, then it found the library, and said it was playing but nothing was really playing. I guess that when I go home, it will be working. I dont know whats different. When I shout "It works for me" into the phone the conversation deteriorates.

there is no NAS

we have used the wireless phone at the same time as the Sonos, it sometimes causes problems with the regular wifi but is not 100% replicable. Are there preferred cordless phones?

We are plugging one of the ZP80s directly into the router.
posted by shothotbot at 11:52 AM on November 29, 2007

Are you using the most recent version of the controller software? What type of internet connection? Where is your library located? I would try to remove the link between the library and the controller and re-establish it. Can your wife use the system without a problem using the desktop (computer) controller?

So you have no problem finding the music library when you use the controller?
posted by cahlers at 11:55 AM on November 29, 2007

Response by poster: We do have the most recent version of the Sonos software. The libarary has moved in an attempt to solve this problem, and is now on a laptop. I am willing to get it a new home. The internet connection is a shared highspeed connection which our building provides. I dont have an answer to the desktop question.

I do have a problem sometimes, but I am willing to noodle with stuff until it works.
posted by shothotbot at 12:03 PM on November 29, 2007

One idea for tracking down the problem is, on your next day off, have her do all the music playing and adjusting. Try not to do or suggest anything, and tell her to act like you're not there (as regards to playing the music). Then, wait for something to happen. If nothing happens, then try it again on your next day off.
posted by philomathoholic at 12:18 PM on November 29, 2007

I do have a problem sometimes, but I am willing to noodle with stuff until it works.

Ah, I think we've found the issue. Does she know how to noodle with stuff? I'd make sure she knew the basic noodling steps. That way, she can do her own troubleshooting without it just "not working for her".
posted by philomathoholic at 12:20 PM on November 29, 2007

I have no idea, but "the transitive property of bugging" is brilliant.
posted by flaterik at 1:23 PM on November 29, 2007

I have a Sonos as well - I don't think that WIFI interferes with it. I am like 90% sure that it uses 802.11a (which is a shorter range but higher quality wireless standard compared to b).

You say the library is on the laptop? Is she using the laptop when she is using Sonos? Is the SONOS connecting to the laptop through a wireless connection?

Putting my library on the laptop would be my last choice as laptop drives are usually slower. Throw in streaming a movie from the internet while serving music to SONOS and maybe playing with iTunes simultaneously (which will edit the playlist it uses)...

Good times. I'd get a NAS drive.
posted by gnash at 1:56 PM on November 29, 2007

I agree with gnash as far as location of library is concerned.

What noodling do you do, what are the problems that arise? Is the problem always that the controller has trouble finding the library, or sometimes a different problem?

Sonos phone support is excellent. Perhaps a better idea than our community trying to solve the issue from afar would be to call Sonos. I believe they can log in to your computer to help you with the problem. Perhaps your wife should do this the next time she has an issue?

You can also email Sonos support and perform a diagnostic test, emailing them the diagnosis codes. Information in the help section of the Sonos desktop controller.
posted by cahlers at 2:59 PM on November 29, 2007

Response by poster: In reading the responses here and poking around on the Sonos website, I am thinking that an NAS plugged directly into the same router as the main Sonos box has to be my next step. So, any NAS advice my fellow Sonosers?
posted by shothotbot at 4:41 AM on November 30, 2007

I use BuffaloTech LinkStation (I think it is called), which isn't the most intuitive to setup but runs like a tank with no fan (I leave it on 24/7).

Another caution - about the worst customer support queue length I have ever experienced, but as a flipside, not bad when you get through.
posted by gnash at 8:35 AM on November 30, 2007

I use the Infrant (now bought by Netgear) NV+, 1TB. It has four 250GB disks inside. In RAID mode, there are about 700-750GB left over for use. One advantage of RAID is that if one disk ever goes down, you don't lose your data. Replacing the disks for larger ones is supposedly easy, you're supposed to be able to swap them. Haven't done it yet b/c I just bought the unit a few weeks ago. So far no issues, oin 24/7 - it's in the basement, an ethernet cord runs from my router through the floor to the NAS. I use it for picture storage too.

I believe the Sonos forums also have asection discussing what NAS' people are using.
posted by cahlers at 1:43 PM on December 1, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks cahlers, seems like the Infrant NV+ is the high cost/high quality solution. The review on smallnetbuilder says they are too loud for the living room, though yours is in the basement, do you have an opinion?
posted by shothotbot at 4:10 PM on December 1, 2007

The fan on the Infrant is noticeable. We had it in our den for a few days before I moved it to the basement. It's better in the basement, plus I don't need to have it use up space upstairs, although the footprint is small. I know others put it in a closet or whatever. It all depends on where your router is and if you can hide the router and the NAS out of earshot.

You're welcome to email me if you like.
posted by cahlers at 3:59 PM on December 3, 2007

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