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Got Sonos? Control it with your iPhone
I've been known, on occasion, to drool over a Sonos® wireless multi-room system. Just a little. But I can't help it. These systems are so intelligently designed - incredibly easy setup, super versatile playback of your music throughout your home, and a powerful yet intuitive Controller to make you ruler of all things musical in your three bedroom, two-and-a-half bath realm.
So naturally, when I was given the chance to take a Sonos system home and test it out with the new iPhone/iPod touch Sonos Controller application, I accepted the opportunity with dignity and professionalism. Or I did a happy dance in my cubicle. Something like that.
Once I had the system set up and had downloaded the free app to my iPhone, it was time to take things for a spin. The iPhoneT and iPod® touch app gave me all the same functionality as the standard Sonos Controller. I could manage my listening zones, add songs to my playlists, search for albums and artists - all the usual Sonos stuff. But my iPhone's touchscreen helped make certain tasks even quicker and easier.
For example, say I wanted to add some Sufjan Stevens to my playlist. With the Sonos Controller, I could opt to scroll by letter - pretty fast, though I'd still have to hit the "power scroll" button, then scroll down to "S." But on my iPhone, it worked the same way it does when I'm in iPod mode: the whole alphabet is listed down the right side of the screen, and I could jump to the letter I wanted by tapping it. Granted, the letters are pretty small, and my aim wasn't always accurate, but for me, it was still faster than scrolling.
Another thing I really liked was being able to type in my search terms, rather than scrolling then selecting each letter. And if I wanted to change the order of my playlist, I could drag and drop. Again, it was much quicker for me than selecting and scrolling.
So all in all, while I've historically loved the Controller, I found that I preferred using my iPhone. Now, don't get me wrong - I'm not suggesting everyone dramatically throw their Sonos Controllers aside and replace them all with iPod touches. The Controller still offers very versatile, intuitive control over your system. Plus, unless you want your family and guests traipsing around the house using your iPhone to create their playlists, you're going to need a standard Controller or two on hand. But the iPhone app does make your iPhone or iPod touch a fantastic secondary controller. A controller small enough to keep in your pocket.
I do, however, have one request: Sonos, please make your next Controller a touchscreen.