Most people put a Sonos system in their house so they can play their music library throughout their home and control the play with a wireless console. But I already have that ability via my Request system so the thing I wanted from Sonos was Rhapsody and Internet radio throughout my house. I got Internet radio working well on Sonos this spring and we love it (listening to WEHM’s acoustic sunday morning right now). But the Rhapsody integration wasn’t all that great and we didn’t use Sonos for Rhapsody very much.
But Sonos has released version 2.0 of their controller software (a free download if you already have a Sonos) and they have vastly improved the Rhapsody integration. Now you can browse the Rhapsody service directly from the wireless controller. It would be great if you could also search the Rhapsody service directly from the controller, but that’s not in the new release. Nevertheless, Rhapsody on Sonos is now a very usable feature, maybe even the killer app for Sonos.
Here are a few pictures to show how it works.
This is the first screen of the Rhapsody Music Guide. You can browse by genre, charts (most popular), new releases, and rhapsody recommendations.
This is what it looks like to browse artists by Genre. It’s like scrolling through your iPod. The problem is that Rhapsody has thousands of bands and it can be a pain to do it this way. There is a "power scroll" feature that makes this a bit easier.
Once you’ve found your artist, you can scroll through all of their albums to find the one you want.
And then you can add the artist or album to your favorites so you don’t have to scroll to find them again. Or just play the record.
Sonos with Rhapsody is like having an iPod in your hand with almost all of the music you’ve ever wanted to listen to on it that plays throughout your home or apartment. And that is pretty much nirvana in my opinion.
Sonos isn’t cheap. The wireless controller costs $400 and the zone box (you’ll need at least one) is $350. If you need a zone player with an integrated amp, then that’s $500.
And Rhapsody costs $9.99 per month on top of that.
But if you’ve got a home stereo system already, for $750 plus $10/month, you can listen to whatever you want throughout your home using a wireless controller to make your music selections.
And that rocks.