Video Of The Week: Setting Up Alexa To Control Sonos

I am going to set this up on my Sonos sometime this weekend.

I figured I’d share it with all of you in case you want to try it too.

#Music#voice interfaces

Comments (Archived):

  1. jason wright

    quick straw poll. who has Sonos? i do not.p.s. Amazon will have to be broken up (as will Facebook and Google).

    1. creative group

      jason wright:”p.s. Amazon will have to be broken up (as will Facebook and Google).”- jason wrightObserving the current political landscape the breaking up of any aforementioned companies would begin in EU and not during any Republican administration.Do you view Google already being separated from Alphabet? (Preemptive by Sergey Page)Amazon is too big to fail…… (Sarcasm)

      1. jason wright

        No. Alphabet is Google by another name. The EU will squash these companies.

    2. Susan Rubinsky

      I have Sonos. I even hacked it to play NPR. Been using sonos for at least five years now (maybe longer? Six, seven years?)

      1. jason wright

        it’s very satisfying to work out how to do things that companies and brands want to tell you that you’re not able or not allowed to do. little victories 🙂

    3. Susan Rubinsky

      I just finished working on an Amazon HQ2 bid team in CT which means I spent the last six weeks living and breathing Amazon. Working on such an immersive project brings many insights to light. What Amazon knows about each of us makes Equifax seem like a kindergartener.

      1. Pointsandfigures

        Just listened to a podcast by Russ Roberts… I agree that corporations are incredibly efficient at data mining and know a lot about us. However, we can choose NOT to use them. We can’t opt out of government-and only government can do things like gulags or Auschwitz.

      2. Salt Shaker

        Someone should estimate the amount of manpower and dollars exhausted nationally in chasing the HQ2 dream. The whole thing is unprecedented, with the exeception, of course, of the creation of Dollywood.

        1. Susan Rubinsky

          I think it was an exceptional exercise for many metro regions. Amazon basically handed out the template for the city of 21st century to America. It enabled cities to establish a framework for differentiating data and for assessing strengths and weaknesses.

          1. Salt Shaker

            I’m sure it was a fascinating exercise for all! When I briefly viewed AMZN’s RFP, it surprisingly didn’t ask—even on very broad terms—how a municipality/city would address infrastructure demands given the anticipated influx of people, cars, etc.I currently live 2 blocks from AMZN’s downtown Seattle campus. Although most (including me) would agree it’s been a boom for the city on many, many fronts, the downside is the rapid growth preceded by years, if not decades, city planners’ ability to address transportation demands, in addition to the company’s impact on affordable housing (and displacement). Consequently, traffic is a friggin nightmare and will be for many years, and, again, likely decades. Growing pains most certainly are more than willing to live with. Perhaps, and hopefully so, that issue gets addressed in the next round of geo evaluations. I’m sure AMZN has heightened awareness of its importance given the criticism its received here in SEA, although one could argue that burden is perhaps unfairly and even indirectly misplaced.

          2. Susan Rubinsky

            Yes, if you read the RFP they denote key transportation issues broadly. For example, denoting that robust public transit is required. Many of our early brainstorming sessions revolved around addressing the ability to absorb the infux of people in transportation, housing, education.

          3. PhilipSugar

            What also worries me is this: Amazon is showing it’s power by getting cities and states to literally bend over and give them better treatment than the other companies that are in those cities or states. Think of the advantage of that, the strong get stronger.

          4. Susan Rubinsky

            Oh yeah. I’ve considered that vantage point. (One person on the team said I was conspiracy theorist due to all my out of box ideas of what Bezos was thinking, LOL.)

          5. PhilipSugar

            As Brad Feld says history doesn’t repeat itself but it rhymes. I have to think of Carnegie, Rockefeller, and Morgan….

      3. LE

        Take a look at the pitch video from Philly:…I think it’s terrible. Forget that it isn’t good for Amazon. It’s not good for making any company want to come to Philly.God it so so bad.(Just looked at DFW’s and it’s just as bad…)Not that I think a video will make any difference in Amazon’s decision. But as far as a marketing tool and showing the quality of creatives it’s a big fail.

        1. Susan Rubinsky

          Most of what cities and regions showed publicly is not what Amazon will see. All applicants were required to agree to an NDA.

          1. PhilipSugar

            The more I think about this the more I think it should be totally illegal at a Federal Felony level.How is this not a straight up bribe? Here is the definition of that: “persuade (someone) to act in one’s favor, by a gift of money or other inducement”Think about this:1. You are asked to give tax breaks which you as a politician are not taking to a vote. These tax breaks are cash.2. You sign an NDA? Meaning you can’t disclose to the people that you are representing the specifics of your offer?? The people that you SERVE, that is why you are called a public SERVANT.3. This would be like a purchasing agent saying tell me how much cash you will give me along with your price, but you don’t tell our company your offer.4. How is this at all reasonable from a representative government perspective? Yeah…..sorry all of the other businesses in my district… pay a higher rate so Amazon can get a free ride. I know nobody else is eligible for their tax breaks…..but well they are bringing a lot of jobs. Sorry Mom and Pop retailer….you don’t have the coin.5. I am certain (tongue in cheek) that no person that ever wins this bid will ever work for Amazon.

      4. PhilipSugar

        That is what scares me about Alexa. I do not want an open microphone in my house.

        1. fredwilson

          Joanne (aka Gotham Gal) is threatening to get rid of the Alexa and Google Home devices for exactly that reasonI am defending their place in our home although I am very sympathetic to her argument

  2. Joe Lazarus

    Setup is simple enough. I was bummed to learn, though, that the Alexa skill is missing some important features for me. It doesn’t support speaker groups yet, for example. My living room and kitchen are an open floor plan with a Sonos in each space. There’s no way to play the same music across those speakers, which is my most common use. They are also missing some basic music selection options like shuffle Pandora that I use frequently. So, I’m back to controlling it via the iOS app like a caveman.

    1. fredwilson

      yeah, just did this and found out all of those thingswe have a group on our sonos that is semi permanent, [kitchen, family room, living room] and if i can’t control that via alexa then its pretty useless to mealso, no soundcloud support which is the only music service i really use i have subscriptions to all of them, apple, spotify, rhapsody, tidal, rdio (dead), but the only one i use is SoundCloud

      1. Susan Rubinsky

        Soundcloud is key. So are speaker groups.

    2. John Herron

      Love Sonos. Dislike the new UI. Don’t have Alexa, but if I can come home, put my feet up and say “Alexa, play Dexter Gordon’s One Flight Up in the living room” that would make me happy.

    3. Susan Rubinsky

      So glad you posted this. I have been contemplating getting Alexa and doing this. Now I know to wait. You just saved me a lot of time and frustration.

    4. fredwilson

      I figured out that if you have a group already connected in your Sonos and you say “Alexa play Young Thug in the Kitchen” and the Kitchen is in the group, then Young Thug plays in the entire group

      1. kenberger

        If one requests “rat in the kitchen”, I wonder if it will play either:a. the song “Rat in the Kitchen” (by UB40), orb. songs from the 80’s hair band Ratt, only in your kitchen(A.I. Ambiguity)

        1. Salt Shaker

          Or even better, how about the “Good Rats” song “Tasty”(Extra credit for those who even know of the G. Rats.)…

          1. kenberger

            OMG, yes of course, A LONG ISLAND BAND! (where I’m from)

          2. Salt Shaker

            Ha, see my reply below. (Meant to reply to you.)

          3. Salt Shaker

            LOL, me too. Roslyn. Home of “My Father’s Place”. Pre-fame Springsteen, Police, Aeoresmith, Petty, etc., all played there. Used fake ID to get in (in an era where “fake” truly had value.)

      2. Rob Underwood

        FIFY: “Alexa Play Run Like an Antelope by Phish on the roof deck”.

  3. Rob Underwood

    Does this mark the return from Asia?

    1. fredwilson


      1. Rob Underwood

        Welcome back. I hope your portfolio and investments were able to give you a few weeks of undisturbed rest and relaxation.

        1. Pointsandfigures

          Jet lag in reverse. Fred’s going to be like Winston Churchill for a while. (Churchill would have dinner, send his guests home then work from 10PM-4AM.

          1. Salt Shaker

            Churchill may have been suffering from jet lag when he was hit by a car in 1931 as a pedestrian on 5th Ave in NYC. He was unaccustomed and confused with left/right driving customs here vs. the U.K. and stepped out into oncoming traffic.

  4. Twain Twain

    3 of the Alexa Skills I coded are now in Amazon store. My latest is SF Spots which has recommendations of places to eat and things to do in SF:*…It’s the first recommendations skill for SF by any developer. Most of the others are just facts.Today I’m making the 4th Skill which is Sweet Spots SF and that has where the chocolate, ice cream, cakes and juice bars are — because, obviously, we can never have enough of that!https://uploads.disquscdn.c

  5. JVD

    What I’m waiting for is being able to add Sonos to my Alexa everywhere group comprised of many echo devices. When I tell Alexa to play Tunein everywhere it plays on my Echo & Sonos devices

  6. jason wright

    on hardware. does anyone have a Fairphone 2? if you do, how’s the software experience been so far? thx.

  7. bfeld

    You’ll love it. I’ve been in the beta program. They are still tuning skills, especially around groups, but getting there fast.

  8. John Revay

    Still wished Apple just bought Sonos like they bought BEATS a few years ago …Only issue would be Open>Close