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  #1  
Old Mar 21st, 2012, 09:21 PM
spiffikins spiffikins is offline
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Default Android (phone) controller issues

I have been having trouble with the Android controller since I got my Sonos at Christmas.

I have a motorola Droid (original one) phone and just upgraded to Sonos 3.7 today - I was hoping it would fix some of my problems, but it doesn't look like it.

*most* of the time, the controller starts up and finds my zones, and I can usually select my radio station from the favourites section.

But trying to locate, select, and play songs from my music library probably works 1 in 10 times. I get variations on

1) select Music Library
2) select Artists or Albums
3) watch the spinning circle
4) get back "Unable to browse music"

sometimes, I get a list of albums or artists, and only get the error when I try to pick an artist or album

sometimes I get all the way to picking a song and get the error

Today I got a new error about unable to add to the Queue (error 1001)

I have never had any issues reaching the Music library from my controller on my laptop, so I don't believe it is a problem with the library being unreachable?

The library is on an external USB hard drive, connected to a Windows desktop on the wireless network to which the laptop and phone are also connected.

The Sonos system is connected to the network via a bridge plugged into the wireless router.

Please let me know what other information I can provide to help troubleshoot - I'd *love* to be able to reliably play songs from my music library via my android controller!

thanks!
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  #2  
Old Mar 22nd, 2012, 12:15 AM
Imkal Imkal is offline
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Hi Spiffikins,

Are your sure your WiFi connection is ok?

Can you try by enabling the connection to the SonosNet on your motorola Droid?

How to connect is described here

I did had that error sometimes but this was due to bad connection between my android device and my Sonos. Concecting to the Sonosnet did solve this error for me.

Have a nice day,
Imkal
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  #3  
Old Mar 22nd, 2012, 01:16 AM
ratty ratty is offline
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This could just be a regular case of wireless conflict between SonosNet and WiFi. Moving the Droid to SonosNet may not help with the Win box hosting the music library still connected via WiFi.

Connecting the library via WiFi is not officially supported as it compromises the benefits of SonosNet. That said, many do so. Check that WiFi is set to a different channel to Sonos. Select only from 1, 6 or 11, and disable any '40MHz'/'wide'/'up to 300Mbps' channel width setting.
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  #4  
Old Mar 22nd, 2012, 06:37 AM
robokitty robokitty is offline
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I get problems like this all the time. In my case, my theory (base on nothing) is that my usb drive is asleep, and it takes 20 seconds to spin up. I believe the Sonos player times out waiting for it.

Do you observe this problem only when things are "cold"? For me it's usually my first song at breakfast. Trying again always works.
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  #5  
Old Mar 22nd, 2012, 07:08 AM
ratty ratty is offline
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Symptoms with a spun-down drive can be similar if Sonos gives up and throws an error when attempting to read a music file.

However the OP reported problems when actually browsing the music index which comes from player memory.
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  #6  
Old Mar 22nd, 2012, 08:28 AM
robokitty robokitty is offline
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Ah - good point. So probably not the same problem I get.
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  #7  
Old Mar 22nd, 2012, 08:55 PM
spiffikins spiffikins is offline
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Hi all -

so - I know that having the music library on wifi is not ideal - but it seems odd that I *never* have the problem when connecting via the desktop controller and *often* have the problem with the android controller.

Sometimes, it can't find the song index, sometimes it finds the list of songs, but can't play anything I pick - so some of my problem may be the same as robokitty.


I will try this weekend to pick a song first from the desktop controller, to "wake up" the usb drive - and then see if the android controller has better luck - it does sound plausible as I haven't been using the music library often, so it's likely the drive was sleeping whenever I tried it - perhaps the desktop controller is better at handling a long delay?


In general, I find that the android controller is pretty clunky - I have to wake up my phone, wait for wifi to kick in, start up Sonos, wait for that to find the players, then hopefully be able to pick one (sometimes that doesn't work well) and then pick my music - any of these steps can take long enough that my screen goes dark and I have to wake up my phone again

I realize that lots of this is due to how my phone is configured to save battery life - but I'm not sure how much that contributes to my woes
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  #8  
Old Mar 23rd, 2012, 12:23 AM
ratty ratty is offline
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Check your WiFi/Sonos wireless channels too.
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  #9  
Old Mar 23rd, 2012, 09:39 AM
robokitty robokitty is offline
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Sonos is well aware that various aspects of a user's network can cause problems. That's why the first question is always "is your wifi working right".

It seems to me that given all the various things that can go wrong, the Sonos software could to a better job of helping users deal with this.

Back when I was condemned to using wifi as my internet connection I had tons of problems. But it was always obvious to me what the problem was. For example, I'd be playing "counter strike" online and my character would freeze, then a message would come onto the screen saying "network connection lost" and a timer would appear. After 30 seconds I would get kicked out.

Same with using a web browser - sometimes it would crap out, but almost always with a useful message.

Conclusion - software that is intended to work on networks that are inherently unreliable needs to:

a) Let the user know that network issues are causing a problem.

b) Operate as reliably as possible in the face of expected network issues (and NAS file system problems).

c) Log sufficient information that support can fully diagnose the problem.

I'm starting to be convinced that the Sonos software - as nice as it is - could use some work in all of the three areas above.

For example, my "goes out to lunch after Xoom goes to sleep issue" fails all three. I get no error message, the problem should not happen in the first place, and support could find no useful information in my submitted diagnostic.

Again - not criticizing Sonos, the stuff works great (most of the time). But I think there is room for improvement here, and the improvement would cut down on Sonos' own support costs.

Last edited by robokitty; Mar 23rd, 2012 at 10:36 AM. Reason: typo
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  #10  
Old Mar 23rd, 2012, 05:56 PM
spiffikins spiffikins is offline
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robokitty, I agree with you - on my phone, if I leave the house with Sonos still running, the next time I open up my phone, the app panics and I have to "force close" the application.

As a mobile phone application that controls a non-mobile set of components, it would seem like the controller app should be able to gracefully handle waking up and not being in my house anymore
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