Spotify, Sonos, Streams, ... and guests

Recently I ran into a weird issue with my Sonos and Spotify setup. For some reason, playback on my phone stopped repeatedly. After a couple of tries I could narrow it down to be related to the way Sonos and Spotify talk to each other.

How to reproduce:

  • Start a specific song through the Sonos app.
  • Go to Spotify and start a different song.
  • After a couple of second the playback through Sonos will stop.

This is a quite annoying as I sometimes start the Chillout Lounge in the living room for guests while I have to do something else in another room and still want to listen to some music. I was really surprised when my partner came over and asked me if I had stopped the music. She had also tried to start it again using the hardware button on the Sonos and the playback through Spotify on my phone stopped at about the same time. With the issue’s cause being narrowed down I simply opened some on-device MP3s for those couple of minutes I need to be away from the living room.

The next day I started looking through some of the discussions on the Sonos discussion boards but couldn’t find anything particularly useful. The whole setup with what counts as single stream and what doesn’t seems to be rather fuzzy (no idea how that’s supposed to be work, but anyway). Coincidentally, I had stumbled upon Tom MacWright’s post about music hoarding. I also tend to buy at least my favourite songs as MP3s (or in another format) for situations where they either disappear from Spotify or that service is simply not available for some reason or another. I’ve now also added “Having guests” to the lists of reasons to have an offline-archive of music 😂