Sonos + NFC = Nirvana? Or pipe dream? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
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So we are getting ready to build a new house, and I'm thinking about audio distribution, because I'm a nerd. For these house we're in now (that we are moving out of), I intended to have whole-home audio distribution, so I spent a small fortune pulling wires for in-wall and in-ceiling speakers, and wall-mount volume controls - none of which ever got used. In-wall and in-ceiling speakers are expensive, and the control system seemed like it was going to be hard to implement. (My plan was to use my Onkyo AV receiver with multi-zone capability, which would've limited me to playing a single source on all connected speakers.)

Fast-forward to today, and it looks like Sonos might be the best solution. It's simple, pay-as-you-go, and looks like it'll work with the whole family's devices (iPhones, Android phones and tablets, iPad, Macs, PCs). If I understand their [great-looking but low-on-actual-details] website correctly, I can use the speakers wired or wirelessly, anywhere in the home, and each speaker can play a different source, or they can all play the same source.

What I'd like to know is, would it be possible to integrate NFC tags to automagically have the music follow me from room to room? In other words, when I bump my phone to a tag embedded in, say, the door frame, when I enter a room, and then a walk from that room to somewhere else in the house and bump a different tag, can I make the music stop in the room I left and pick up again in the room I've arrived at? Anybody know how to make that work?
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:58 PM
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Premise will do what you are saying, but it would require actual integration work (e.g. scripting), and if there's not a driver for the audio switch you want to use, you'll have to create one from an existing example (not too hard if you know vbscript).

Premise is free, so if you're a programmer or don't mind learning vbscript, it is definitely worth checking it out: http://cocoontech.com/wiki/Premise

I don't know of any solution that would just do what you want out of the box.

Here's a post I made a while back on using NFC tags with Premise:
http://cocoontech.com/forums/topic/22138-nfc-tags-and-premise-for-6-or-less-requires-an-android-based-phone-with-nfc-support/

Premise, a FREE home automation program. Open-source Z-Wave Premise Module found here.
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm not really interested in adding a secondary control layer. If the Sonos controller works as advertised, all I really want/need to do is automate control of the Sonos controller app via NFC or similar. So maybe a different way of asking would be, does anybody know if the Sonos app (iOS and/or Android) is scriptable via a custom URL scheme? In other words, can I get one of the several NFC apps on the market to "tell Sonos to play music on speaker #X", where speaker # is based on the UID of the NFC tag it picks up?
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:12 PM
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Maybe ask your question on a Sonos support forum or call the Sonos directly?

Premise, a FREE home automation program. Open-source Z-Wave Premise Module found here.
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Since I'm not interested in the software you're pushing, I should go ask somewhere else?

I've actually got a support request into Sonos; I just thought somebody around these parts might know the answer and be able to respond a little quicker.
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:25 PM
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I believe Sonos players use basic uPnP commands and can be controlled via HTTP commands.

There is an android app called Tasker that might do the trick. Tasker will listen for events (in this case, the NFC tag), then it will execute scripts for you (among other things).

But my understanding is that Sonos is basically set up to be one Sonos per room or set of speakers. So in your scenario you would have a different sonos for each room. The script would then have to say "stop playing on sonos #1 and start playing on sonos #2). Is that correct?

If so each NFC tag would have its own ID. Tasker would have a different Profile (trigger) for each tag. So it would go like this:
If NFC tag = #1 Then
Execute script to start playing on Sonos #1
End If

It could be more complicated than that if you had to manually determine where the music stopped and tell the next sonos exactly where to start playing. It all depends on how scriptable the Sonos is. I only know it supports some basic status and play/pause, but I'm sure there are more hooks.
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes, I would have a Sonos player in each room or area where we wanted music (say, each bedroom plus the kitchen, family room, back porch, etc.), and then an NFC tag at each location with a unique UID. So tapping the tag in the kitchen would send a command to playback on the kitchen Sonos, while tapping the back porch tag would send the output there instead.

Your Tasker logic is spot-on, I think (although I'd likely try to use something less complicated than Tasker, which baffles the sh*t out of me). Another question for the Sonos guys would be, what happens when I choose a new output? Does the old output automatically stop outputting? Or am I now outputting to both the old and the new? And if so, how do I stop that behavior?
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:35 PM
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Hmm... look what came up in the first link when I did a google search...

http://forums.sonos.com/showthread.php?t=30365

Premise, a FREE home automation program. Open-source Z-Wave Premise Module found here.
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:43 PM
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I haven't seen much HTTP control documentation in the Sonos forums than that thread, but I believe the first sonos continues to play until you tell it to stop. I don't think sonos players are that aware of other sonos players. So it would be a simple "stop" command to the other player. Of course, you don't want to just stop all the other players because someone might be using a different one. So some logic would be needed. I also haven't seen any way to deal with stopping mid song on one sonos and resuming from that same spot on another sonos. Documentation is really limited.

Also, fwiw, I started to implement something similar but ended up using bluetooth instead. Each room now has an NFC bluetooth receiver. The phone or device acts as the actual streaming source. So we walk into a room, touch the phone/tablet to the nfc spot and boom - that room's audio comes from that device. If we go into another room we do it again and now that room gets the audio - no tasker/scripting and it's seamless so the audio continues mid-song or mid-video.

The entire audio library is managed on a shared google music account, so all the devices share the same library. If someone else wants to play something over the speakers using their own device (a friend comes over) they can pair it via NFC in the same way or do it manually if they don't have NFC. This method also streams the notifications and most other audio (except call audio). The main downside is the device is the streamer, so it has to stay in the room for the audio to continue. We solved that by putting a few nexus tablets throughout the house so we don't have to use our phones as much.
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etc6849 View Post

Hmm... look what came up in the first link when I did a google search...

http://forums.sonos.com/showthread.php?t=30365

So, did you ask them why they didn't just use Premise?
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:39 PM
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Maybe if your original post was clear (sounded like how do I do this, not I already own x equipment), you would have got an answer sooner. You're welcome for the link by the way.

I only suggested you go to the sonos forum as that seemed like the best place to search for an answer about a sonos question (no need to be rude, you're the one asking for help, not me).

Of course, if you did your own research on google first (or after I told you to just go to the sonos forum), you would have realized that the sonos forum had your answer all along. Ironic isn't it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ataylor View Post

Since I'm not interested in the software you're pushing, I should go ask somewhere else?

I've actually got a support request into Sonos; I just thought somebody around these parts might know the answer and be able to respond a little quicker.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ataylor View Post

So, did you ask them why they didn't just use Premise?
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Premise, a FREE home automation program. Open-source Z-Wave Premise Module found here.
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