My favorite home music server is getting better. Today Sonos released this teaser video showing off their new Android Controller (much like their very popular iOS Controller) for the Sonos music system. Like the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad apps this one will be free. According to the Sonos Twitter feed, the Android app will be available sometime in March of this year. Additionally, Engadget notes the Android app will feature voice search capabilities – a feature currently unavailable on the iOS variants. If you’re currently controllerless, you may want to check out the community developed Sonos Android app until the official software lands next month.
Archives For Audio
Everybody’s favorite connected audio solution got a little bit better this week. Heck, from where you’re sitting, the latest Sonos music service might even represent a dramatic upgrade… as I know XM Radio Online has been one of their most requested channels. While Sonos has streamed Sirius forever, XM Online just never made an appearance – as a solo entity or as part of the merged Sirius XM. So I’m glad to see my badgering finally paid off (and hopefully Slacker and Android are next in line).
As you can see from the screengrabs below, XM Sirius has updated their Account Management (center) and totally revamped their website (left). In fact, it appears they’ve finally merged the two brands/properties into one – no more separate and distinct sites for XM and Sirius. And these changes are more than skin deep… given what looks to be a single online streaming experience that covers both Sirius and XM accounts, in a new Flash player, along with the XM Sonos support – which is accessed via the existing Sonos “Sirius” music service entry.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like my XM account successfully completed its migration. So my enjoyment is still on hold. But I’ve opened a ticket with Sonos and am hopeful of receiving some Lithium real soon.
Slacker has released an updated version of the Slacker Radio app for Google Android. The key change is support for higher bit rate audio files and larger album art when you’re connected to a 4G network.
There are also a number of bug fixes, and Slacker 2.x includes a free trial of offline station caching, allowing you to cache music to play when you’re offline.
Slacker Radio is available as a free download from the Android Market. To continue using the offline caching after the trial is up, you’ll need to sign up for a Premium account which costs $3.99 per month. Slacker’s basic service is supported by advertising, but Premium subscribers also get to skip the ads.
Microsoft has a tool for synchronizing media between a Mac and a Windows Phone 7 device. But for some reason there’s no official tool for doing the same thing with a Zune media player — even though the Zune platform has been around longer than Windows Phone 7. The folks at ZuneBoards have figured out something interesting though: You can use the Windows Phone 7 Connector app for Mac to sync with a Zune or Zune HD media player.
In order to get it to work properly you’ll need to tweak some settings. First you download and run the connector once to create a preference file. Then you have to open a terminal window and enter a command. Once you’re done, you should be able to sync media between a Zune and a Mac computer.
For complete details, check out the thread on ZuneBoards.
Sure, Microsoft’s Zune Desktop service is the company’s answer to Apple’s iTunes, and it’s what you use to synchronize a Windows Phone 7 device with a PC. But what if you’re an iTunes die-hard who just happens to prefer WP7 on your phone? Well, nobody’s stopping you from using Zune Desktop (or Windows Phone Connector if you’re on a Mac) and iTunes to manage your phone’s data and your computer’s music collection, respectively. And in fact, there’s a third party app that lets you go one step further and control your iTunes music library from a Windows Phone 7 device.
It’s called, cleverly enough, Remote and it’s available for $1.99 from the Windows Phone Marketplace.
The app lets you use your phone as a remote control, browsing or searching your library, playing or pausing songs or playlists, and adjusting the volume. You’ll need to install a desktop client to use the app, and it only works over a WiFI network.