Author Topic: SONOS holding their users "hostage" - Cloud account now required  (Read 3889 times)

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Offline Halcyon

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I get that technology moves quickly these days, but Sonos have pissed me off and quite frankly lost a customer.

I bought some Sonos speakers years ago. They are great little units. However recent decisions by Sonos have basically made their user interface terrible to use and now, just to add speakers to your existing system, you must sign up for a Sonos account!

There is no other way around this, even if you use your Sonos purely offline and listen to music from your own library, you still must sign in to your Sonos account.

Their response:

Thank you for writing back.

I understand that you are unhappy with the data that we collect.

We can delete all your data that we hold for your account but if we were to do this then you will not be able to use your Sonos products as having a registered account is now a requirement to use Sonos.

Please let me know how you would like to proceed.

Kind regards,
Matthew P.
Sonos | Customer Care | Contact Us


So basically "sign up for an account or fuck off". I care about my privacy and there is no reason why I need to login each time just to listen to my music. I don't own (or ever plan to own) any of their newer speakers with Alexa capabilities.

I'm now looking for alternatives to replace my Sonos system if anyone has any suggestions?
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 04:31:55 am by Halcyon »
 

Offline AndyC_772

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Re: SONOS holding their users "hostage" - Cloud account now required
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2018, 06:09:10 am »
I use Logitech Squeezeboxes of various types, with music held locally on my NAS, and the server running on a Raspberry Pi with MAX2PLAY.

Offline Halcyon

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Re: SONOS holding their users "hostage" - Cloud account now required
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2018, 06:44:06 am »
I kinda curious about what exactly a Sonos system does, but I also think I'd rather remain ignorant.

Do they at least sound good? I can't help thinking they price them according to the feature list rather than the sound quality.

They are network speakers which stream content either off your local network or off the internet from services like TuneIn Radio and Spotify. They can run either off Wi-Fi or ethernet connections and can be configured on the fly, so you can have music in any combination of rooms or pair two speakers together to form stereo pairs. You control them via your phone, tablet or desktop PC.

Their sound quality is actually very good. Their smallest speakers (the Play:1) pack a surprising amount of punch and low-end frequency response for such a small unit. They are also water resistant so perfect in bathrooms for example.

Their physical design is fantastic, the only complaint I have is that they don't support 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks. 2.4 GHz only.

What lets Sonos down in a big way is their software. There is a new update out just about every month and they keep "fixing" things that aren't broken. Months ago they changed their UI on both Android and IOS for the worse. So many users complained about but they still refuse to do anything about it. They keep trying to tell users it's "better" when users keep trying to tell Sonos "It's not!".

Now, they force you to register for an account just to be able to add speakers to your system. That was the last straw for me. They've clearly taken a page out of Apple's book and refuse to listen to their customers.

I'm yet to take one apart to see if it can be easily re-flashed with a custom Linux system. If it's possible, I would love to scrap the Sonos ecosystem altogether and just run them as standalone network speakers.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 06:46:54 am by Halcyon »
 

Online Marco

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Re: SONOS holding their users "hostage" - Cloud account now required
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2018, 07:13:40 am »
I'm yet to take one apart to see if it can be easily re-flashed with a custom Linux system. If it's possible, I would love to scrap the Sonos ecosystem altogether and just run them as standalone network speakers.
Given the age of the system I doubt it's powerful enough. Probably easier to hijack the I2S DAC and class D amplifier with your own system, although you will need to be able to measure and correct for the speaker response if you want similar quality.
 

Offline Fred27

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Re: SONOS holding their users "hostage" - Cloud account now required
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2018, 07:34:45 am »
Why not just create a throwaway email account, make up some data to screw with their marketing (female, 95, live in the Antarctic) and you're done.
 

Online rdl

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Re: SONOS holding their users "hostage" - Cloud account now required
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2018, 07:54:15 am »
I have a Squeezebox Radio, though it hasn't been used in several years. I never had any problems with it. I just checked and my LMS account is still active.

That Max2Play system looks interesting. My entire music collection is about 85GB, split roughly 70/30 between FLAC and MP3. I don't have all my disks converted to digital yet, but when all is done it should fit on a 250GB SSD with room to spare. I may have just found a use for that second Gigabyte Brix I bought several years back for no reason other than it was on sale
 

Online rdl

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Re: SONOS holding their users "hostage" - Cloud account now required
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2018, 09:05:18 am »

I have just read the Sonos Privacy Agreement. After seeing what data and personal information they collect and their reasons for why they need it, it is obvious that most of it could, and should, be optional and require opting in by default. This is not a company I would deal with.

https://www.sonos.com/en-us/legal/privacy

Quote from:  SONOS Privacy Staement
You must register your Sonos Products in order for them to work.

Something smells.
 

Offline janoc

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Re: SONOS holding their users "hostage" - Cloud account now required
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2018, 11:51:39 am »

I have just read the Sonos Privacy Agreement. After seeing what data and personal information they collect and their reasons for why they need it, it is obvious that most of it could, and should, be optional and require opting in by default. This is not a company I would deal with.

https://www.sonos.com/en-us/legal/privacy

Quote from:  SONOS Privacy Staement
You must register your Sonos Products in order for them to work.

Something smells.


That's a smell of money.

This is exactly what happens when a company gets greedy and realizes that there is a lot more margin and profit in selling your data than selling you hardware. Plus it is a nice recurrent income, unlike the hardware purchases.

Pretty much the entire IoT market is built on this - the device itself is only a way to get you roped in into their walled garden where you have to buy their services while they get to mine your data. That's the only reason why we get idiotic stuff like internet enabled toothbrushes or padlocks. Not because it is actually useful to you, the customer, but because it opens an additional source of income for the manufacturer.

It is pretty much the same thing as the current trend to move software licenses to subscriptions again.
 

Online Marco

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Re: SONOS holding their users "hostage" - Cloud account now required
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2018, 12:28:16 pm »
It's a shame, they and Apple are the only ones who seem to know how to make a good speaker with high excursion woofers. Everything else crashes far faster at the low end. I hate Apple, though mostly not Apple products, I wish the market would give them more competition ...
 

Offline madires

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Re: SONOS holding their users "hostage" - Cloud account now required
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2018, 01:51:11 pm »
A few months ago Sonos disabled the US$300 CR100 remote control because of the "old dangerous Li-Ion battery". Another entry for my do-not-buy list. BTW, Sonos violates the EU GDPR. If you're an EU customer file an official complain ;)
 
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Offline Nauris

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Re: SONOS holding their users "hostage" - Cloud account now required
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2018, 02:18:02 pm »
Pretty much the entire IoT market is built on this - the device itself is only a way to get you roped in into their walled garden where you have to buy their services while they get to mine your data. That's the only reason why we get idiotic stuff like internet enabled toothbrushes or padlocks. Not because it is actually useful to you, the customer, but because it opens an additional source of income for the manufacturer.
Now imagine you have two million IoT toothbrushes deployed with each one using say 2 W of electricity to mine some bitcoin. Then you have in total 4 MW of free electricity and hardware customer paid for you can use to mine some bitcoin for yourself. Smells like a business to me. Or a nice side income if you have access to the firmware files to be programmed at factory.
 

Offline CopperCone

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Re: SONOS holding their users "hostage" - Cloud account now required
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2018, 02:30:10 pm »
sounds like the FBI are gonna crawl so far up your ass your gonna sneeze paper for a year
 

Offline CopperCone

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Re: SONOS holding their users "hostage" - Cloud account now required
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2018, 02:41:04 pm »
anyway, if you think about this, I don't see this different then a rogue Lord or such deciding to establish a toll castle some where. They found a narrow, once freely used, route (data stream) and decided to put some kind of requirement on using it (you probobly pay in market data, or further someones internal progress in the company (i.e. someone gets a promotion because they managed to get so many registrations on to some kind of database that the company was struggling to populate/department was struggling to justify))

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toll_castle

"Many of the castles were "robber-baron" fortresses built by petty princes and two-bit rulers back when there were 350 independent little states in what is today's Germany. The castle owners raised heavy chains across the river when boats came — and lowered them only when the merchants had paid their duty.

https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/read/articles/rhine-river-raging-with-history

I believe that this behavior lead to wars or at least forceful army lead demolitions of certain river towers and such
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robber_baron_(feudalism)
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 02:48:21 pm by CopperCone »
 

Offline taydin

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Re: SONOS holding their users "hostage" - Cloud account now required
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2018, 02:59:46 pm »
Now imagine you have two million IoT toothbrushes deployed with each one using say 2 W of electricity to mine some bitcoin. Then you have in total 4 MW of free electricity and hardware customer paid for you can use to mine some bitcoin for yourself. Smells like a business to me. Or a nice side income if you have access to the firmware files to be programmed at factory.

Sounds plausible. For example, I am always wondering why Skype's executable is close to 100 MBytes. What the hell do they have to do with that 100 MBytes of code to just transfer text messages back and forth? UNLESS ... Skype is using all of those millions of computers as free processing power ... Maybe doing particle simulation, weather simulation, or whatever ... And with every software update, possible different simulation engines are included in it, depending on who the current contract customer is :)
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Offline Ampera

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Re: SONOS holding their users "hostage" - Cloud account now required
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2018, 03:02:50 pm »
I think people too often underestimate the simplicity and "just works" qualities of stuff like having a RasPi (or other small computer) hooked up to an FTP or SMB share. My in home video streaming configuration works on exactly that. SMB share on my desktop computer, with all my videos. An SMB client on Android or my HTPC, and I can stream the videos directly from the share. Similar things can be done with FTP/SFTP/FTPS

I understand the allure of, plug it in and it works, but if you have to not only spend money, but also security and freedom on that, it might just be work spending an extra couple hours to do the same thing using already established, and likely open source protocols, on cheap, off the shelf hardware that has about the same specs of the flashy in store boxed stuff anyways.

Death to pre-packaged IoT.
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Online Kjelt

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Re: SONOS holding their users "hostage" - Cloud account now required
« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2018, 03:11:25 pm »
sounds like the FBI are gonna crawl so far up your ass your gonna sneeze paper for a year
Did you find a connection between nose and ass otherwise I do not get this statement.
 

Offline CopperCone

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Re: SONOS holding their users "hostage" - Cloud account now required
« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2018, 03:14:08 pm »
the paper work is going to enter your ass hole with enough velocity to pop out your nose and get through any kind of internal barriers
 

Online rdl

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Re: SONOS holding their users "hostage" - Cloud account now required
« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2018, 03:22:01 pm »
A few months ago Sonos disabled the US$300 CR100 remote control because of the "old dangerous Li-Ion battery". Another entry for my do-not-buy list. BTW, Sonos violates the EU GDPR. If you're an EU customer file an official complain ;)

I had forgotten about that pile of bullshit. Though if I owned one, you can bet I wouldn't have.


 

Offline rbm

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Re: SONOS holding their users "hostage" - Cloud account now required
« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2018, 03:28:38 pm »
Sonos must comply with GDPR and if you feel that they are violating those regulations, you have every right to lodge a complaint with the EU.  I believe that the EU commission responsible for enforcement of GDPR will not gloss over any consumer complaint, and there is reasonable assurance that they will investigate.  Violation of GDPR carries with it heavy fines and penalties, even for non-EU based companies.
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Offline Gixy

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Re: SONOS holding their users "hostage" - Cloud account now required
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2018, 05:38:40 pm »
Another example of the Customer care attitude of SONOS:
Some months ago, they decided to no more support the controllers from which you could control the system. You should now use only you mobile, tablet, PC or Mac. People who have invested in a complete system with a controller in each room are very happy... You are obliged to make the software upgrades for the system to work, and the last one is not compatible with the controllers!
I must add that they propose 125€ if you return your controller and buy something else, what I did and got a Play:1 for 50€, not so bad. But I miss my old controller which was always connected and ready to go, compared to my phone which takes 30s to get up, detect the speakers and let me control the system.
I totally agree that SONOS is in the same state of mind than Apple: they decide by themselves what is good for you.
 

Offline NottheDan

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Re: SONOS holding their users "hostage" - Cloud account now required
« Reply #20 on: June 23, 2018, 06:23:43 pm »
That's a smell of money.

This is exactly what happens when a company gets greedy and realizes that there is a lot more margin and profit in selling your data than selling you hardware. Plus it is a nice recurrent income, unlike the hardware purchases.
Ayup. That smells very much like the income from hardware sales is slipping and the shareholders are getting restless.
 

Offline IanMacdonald

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Re: SONOS holding their users "hostage" - Cloud account now required
« Reply #21 on: June 23, 2018, 07:23:37 pm »
I see this being a major issue with the IoT -Devices which won't work at all without the manufacturer's permission. 

Avoid like plague.

GDPR - The privacy law that requires you to accept tracking cookies or else be endlessly pestered by popups. I think I can figure out who devised this one.  >:D
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 07:25:38 pm by IanMacdonald »
 

Online tooki

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Re: SONOS holding their users "hostage" - Cloud account now required
« Reply #22 on: June 23, 2018, 07:30:36 pm »
It's a shame, they and Apple are the only ones who seem to know how to make a good speaker with high excursion woofers. Everything else crashes far faster at the low end. I hate Apple, though mostly not Apple products, I wish the market would give them more competition ...
I must admit that I was positively surprised by the sound of a pair of HomePods a friend got. That said, I don’t think you need to spend $700 to get that sound quality, and I just don’t understand the modern obsession (which said friend takes to the extreme) with wireless everything. Even though I have the skill to hunt down issues with wireless, i just don’t see the point: I like the reliability and compatibility of good old fashioned wires.
 
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Offline Cyberdragon

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Re: SONOS holding their users "hostage" - Cloud account now required
« Reply #23 on: June 23, 2018, 09:10:41 pm »
I see this being a major issue with the IoT -Devices which won't work at all without the manufacturer's permission. 

Avoid like plague.

GDPR - The privacy law that requires you to accept tracking cookies or else be endlessly pestered by popups. I think I can figure out who devised this one.  >:D

All of the hipsters are like...



But I but if you cut the internet cable to a hipster's "smart" house...it would be the equivalent of a blackout. >:D
*BZZZZZZAAAAAP*
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Offline amyk

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Re: SONOS holding their users "hostage" - Cloud account now required
« Reply #24 on: June 24, 2018, 02:56:16 am »
Hack them, hack them wide open... there's no reason a set of wireless speakers should ever contact the Internet, unless they're receiving audio from there.

...and for those who work for companies like this and implement such restrictions, you are the ones who should think a little bit more about what your work is encouraging.
 


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