Today, Sonos announced their new 2.7 software version for their home appliances with some additional web radio features in which I’m not particularly interested as I’m more or less only listening to one web radio station. What they’ve also announced though was much more interesting: An iPhone Version of their Controller application (iTunes Link).
The thing doesn’t just look nice, it also works perfectly well and provides all the functionality you are used to have in your sonos controller, but without the controllers bulkyness (the thing is heavy and quite large). I’m constantly carrying my iPhone around anyways and it’s constantly connected to the WiFi network in my home, so it’s the perfect fit to be a sonos controller.
The application starts up quite instantly: It does show a splash screen for around three seconds, but that is still way shorter than a controller booting up from deep sleep, which you have to put it into if you want it to last longer than a day or so.
Functionality-wise the iPhone application provides everything a real controller does – well… nearly everything. I truly miss the alarm functionality, but I’m quite sure that’ll come soon enough.
Aside of that, I’m inclined to say that this little application more or less obsoletes the original controller. And in every case but the 32GB iPod Touch, it’s always cheaper to buy any Apple device and install the application than it is to buy the original Sonos controller (here in Switzerland, you can get an 8 GB touch for half the price of a Sonos controller) – if you can live with setting up alarms in the desktop software. It’s certainly possible (and thankfully much quicker than with the original controller) to cancel a running alarm in the iPhone controller.
Very nice indeed.
On related news: I have updated my ogg to mp3 stream converter to stop looking at the url to decide whether the url to play is a stream itself or a playlist, but instead to fetch the information from the HTTP response header themselves, thus making the script to continue to work with Rainwave despite them having changed the URL for the tune in link.