Sonos. Google Play Music. Two of my favorites. Now working together (finally!).
If you’re like me and use Google’s slick cloud-based music service, and you’ve got a Sonos speaker or two kicking around the home, you’ll be happy to know the two will now play nice together.
Sonos today announced that it has added Play Music to its growing roster of supported services. Call me tickled. For the longest time I was hoping this day would come. I’ve got about 40GB of tracks up in the Play Music cloud, and am absolutely addicted to features in the app, notably “instant mix.” At the gym, I just tap it, and–boom–instant 80’s rock (well, pop-rock).
In absence of Google Play Music as an option I was resigned to using Amazon MP3, which has been supported by Sonos for some time now (since August 2012!). Not terrible. In fact, Amazon works quite well. Since I’m a Prime customer and I’ve paid for some extra storage I’ve got my whole collection up there on Amazon’s servers too. Here a cloud, there a cloud, everywhere a cloud. But, in the end, I really like the fidelity (320kbps), interface and speed of what Google offers.
One interesting twist with this particular integration: you can stream direct from the Google Play Music app to Sonos. With others you need to use the Sonos app itself. I like that. Could it be a future direction for Sonos? Sort of like Chromecast – the way you can “cast” a video to Google’s streaming key by clicking an icon in places like Chrome and YouTube. Wouldn’t it be handy to see such an option for Sonos across more apps…?
I hate to gush, but if you’re looking for a home audio solution, definitely short-list Sonos. Sure, bluetooth speakers are getting better by the day. If you want a system that can expand, and actually has bass kick (the Play:5 speakers in particular can put out respectable bass given their size) I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Meantime, I’ve been fiddling with the new Sonos Beta app on my Nexus 5. The team has given it a fresh coat of paint. As I wrote earlier about the Sonos Beta I really didn’t think the app needed a refresh. It always worked well for me, and looked decent. So far, though, the Beta looks really, really good. And they’ve tweaked some of the settings, and functionality. Everything is still there, but far simpler and elegant.