Listen: Sonos to deny software updates to owners of older equipment, backlash ensues
"Sonus has has said in a blog. Post that it may they will stop providing software updates for their old products and those products will not receive new features this impacts legacy devices Of which there are few including zone players the connect and connect amps that were put out between two thousand eleven and two thousand fifteen. The first generation play five this year two hundred controller end of a bridge They had will. Obviously one of these products are very old And especially the ones that were introduced you used a long time ago. Sono says were introduced before the advent of the iphone were music streaming which music streaming and being a huge way that we consume audio at this point in human history Interestingly Sonos told the verge urge that they're creating their introducing away for customers who want to keep using the legacy hardware to separate those products from the SONA systems. Because if they if he don't separate the old hardware from like your existing sound system it the the system as a whole will stop updating because it it is like linked to the legacy hardware. So what a beautiful. I think exhibit of how what a cluster truck butter the world is that we live in now although I totally support like not update like at a certain point. You can't say Oh yeah. spotify is never going to release an update that it that that is incompatible with our hardware from twenty eleven like I totally understand that but who we so Chris so before we can you help I. I assume we've reviewed these or NEON owner and I've I've used them. Yeah so help me understand this because I read the story. And they're they're alleged alleged claim. We can't develop new features if we don't if we can't move forward which is fine on the surface but I don't understand like what is the feature on this I assume they're connected wirelessly through your wirelessly through your home right right with the smartphone. What is this product? Because I don't understand okay. So basically soon was one of the very first mainstream wireless speaker systems so you know the idea would be you can have speakers speakers that are in different rooms of your house and you can control them from a it used to be a controller and then it went to you know your ipad in your phone back in the day like this is like two thousand five two thousand six they had like an actual like expensive controller. That had a capacity of touch screen where you would be able to choose what you wanted to play and you could pull it from itunes or or if you had a CD player connected to something or if you had like another music source and you could direct it to whatever speaker you want. So that's the idea is just. It's a really easy really high quality wireless speaker our system so it's a home pot. Yeah but but but it better in my opinion and You know Has a lot more connective options and came out like more than a decade in advance have spotify built-in to display. Yes what does he does. Yes so it will work with any of those during music services so their they are apt works with title or Google play works with Amazon at works with spotify works with I tunes works with Apple Music. You can connect it to a Nas- if you have your own local media you can If you if you had certain accessories you can connect like You know a record player to it and and and then pump that music's issue a different speaker so if you had a record player in one room but it's connected to an edge to connect damp that could then be played out of something that's upstairs assuming you know you've got the turntable along Basically any audio source you once you can find a way to for it to kind of work so it doesn't have any on the speakers themselves that are just speakers But they also have a sound bar they have something called the play bar and then they had the play Bass and those are both Options where you can have it connected to your TV and B uses a sound bar but it can also be used as part of your bigger system so if you have some of the the spoon. It's kind of like bookshelf speakers. Those are in your room and could be used for like regularly listening to music but then when you're using your play Bar Like your surround. Sound when you're watching. TV those become like rear speakers or speakers. Okay so but this is I understand. It is expensive for engineering perspective to continue supporting according older products. But these are things that were sold at deep discounts as much as a few a few months ago. I mean I've seen all kinds of people people talk on twitter. They just bought. The things are deprecated yeah. I don't. I don't do SONA suspense. I don't know if Sonos has been selling them to be clear if someone is going to go out in invest like these are very expensive items. Yeah it just I. I don't think there's a really strong engineering case that if you're you're talking about out basically a sperm wired into the system disagree I disagree. Well let me let me place my my concerns and tell me if I'm wrong but it seems to to me so they're saying you can get off the system we can refuse all updates and it's GonNa break everything it's going to break everything through the whole system for your whole house. It won't break everything it will leave all the systems on on in in your collection on that version of the software they were able to update to newer features so they added like airplay to support. If there was another wireless standard you could. They wouldn't run so if you have something newer it's going to be. It's going to stay well right now. It's going GonNa stay on the old version and they're working on his way to say okay. You can update the firmware and the software on the newer devices. But keep the older ones where they are. You're working on communicate like could have an old speaker in my retro room and then a new speaker my kitchen in path. Okay well if they'll do do that. That seems like a reasonable have stop. I thought they were because it's not like spotify. Most of that work is on the backup. D- right in this is the the problem right. This is actually the issue like this is what people don't understand. Yes these are speakers but these speakers also have microcontrollers and they have firmware. And they have you know they've been coded to to be able to play back things in certain Codex and have certain stuff and over time especially when you're looking at the really old things the only one that I can see getting annoyed with is if you you've got One of the play fives that that isn't the one that's been sold since two thousand fifteen so if you bought one and say like twenty fourteen and the play five is is expensive. It's like five hundred dollars on. It might have been more when people bought it that I can understand being annoyed with but some of these other things that the connect damp is really popular. People buying them because they discontinued it but and they released a newer thing. That's even more expensive but the thing is is that you know some of these. Some of these products haven't been sold in many years Some of them were for sale. You know a couple of years ago or maybe under a year ago and and I can understand the frustration Chretien if you bought one of those older devices but the thing is that yes. It's a speaker but it has you know the Bluetooth and it has the wireless ships and it. Has You know a way to update firmware. And if it was something that was built like you know more than a decade ago that amount of memory is really limited in the amount of things that can be updated to it are going to be limited so you as a software hardware company are trying to update you know things and add in you know okay. We want to support this new type of Kodak Awkward. There's a new version of Bluetooth and we want to add feature for to support. You know this airplay shooting which they did do in. Did you know. Support the older devices. That's gonna I I think. Probably they're probably at a point. Where the computer part of these speakers just is too old maybe the wireless components the radio components are? I'm just too old to be consistently updated like this. This is the way I'm reading that I understand the frustration being like oh I have speakers that are twenty years old. That will still work. Well yes but those are those speaker. Exactly that's analog this. This has always had a piece of technology in IT. They actually had A. This is the second time they've done something like this. They had a controller caller. That hadn't been sold since I think two thousand eight. They stopped updating last year and people freaked out and and this was a controller. That literally hadn't been sold in over a decade that was you know as been supplanted in May better in every way people's phones and the reason they couldn't update it was because they built built using adobe flash and the engineering work they'll be involved to continue to update those things especially as all the spotify doesn't have an API flashing where they don't have an important like the cuts. Those things used exactly what the controller used doesn't exist anymore they. I had to stop updating that. I think I'm I understand the outrage. I personally think this is okay I understand expensive although I think this kind of part of it the one thing I will say what they've said and if they keep this I think it's alright is. They've said that they will basically say these devices will continue to work and and they still like five years. What they're basically saying is there might come a day where these speakers won't be able to connect to the other speakers in your Sonos anymore and you might not be able to send things to it? that is obviously a concern to me. What's also a concern would be okay if Sonos goes out of business like what do you do then right like then if swatter fires and other service changes there in point or if there's you know a official needs to phone home for something then you're really screwed but I I would rather like I I understand the outrage? I also think that it's overblown because I think that they're doing a lot more than most other companies who are doing this type of thing would do I mean i. I can't think of I can't think of any other tech product that was released in two thousand thousand six that has continued to receive support but from software updates since two thousand six. I honestly"