Apple Music’s Sonos support starts now (in beta)
Most features are intact, though users might have to endure some rough edges until the service is fully supported early next year.
Apple is making good on a promise to bring Apple Music support to the popular Sonos multi-room audio system by year's end, at least in beta form.
Sonos manufactures powered speakers, small amplifiers, and audio modules that form a proprietary mesh network, so that each node can play different music or the same song in tight synchronization throughout the house. A companion Sonos app controls playback, and it supports a wide array of streaming-music services. Apple Music wasn’t among those when the service launched in June, but the two companies quickly promised a solution by the end of the year.
In the beta, the Sonos app already supports most Apple Music features, including personalized For You and New playlists, My Music, and Beats 1 radio. But as The Next Web notes, there are some limitations: Search is limited to 100 results, archived Beats 1 shows aren’t available, and the ability to add songs to your library is still a work in progress. Sonos also notes that it might make some “small adjustments” to the app before the public release in early 2016, and that it welcomes public feedback in the meantime..
The redesgined Sonos Play:5 powered speaker sounds phenomenal.
If you're a Sonos users not already enrolled in the Sonos beta program, you can join by opening the Sonos app, heading to Settings > Advanced Settings > Beta Program, and tapping “Join the Beta program.” After a Sonos system update—which may take about 15 minutes to arrive—Apple Music should appear in the “Add Music Services” menu. If you're already in the beta program, simply look there if you want to add Apple Music to your system.
The story behind the story: Although Sonos dominates mindshare in multi-room audio, it’s now facing more competition from LG’s Music Flow, Yamaha's MusicCast, and Chromecast Audio, among others. None of those solutions support Apple Music, and we’re guessing they won’t anytime soon. That gives Sonos another competitive advantage, at least for the 6.5 million people who are subscribing to Apple Music now.