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Sonos update brings AirPlay-style iPhone streaming

The latest update from Sonos lets you stream any music stored on your iOS device (iPhone, iPod touch and iPad) to the multi-room system, providing Apple AirPlay-style features.

Released today, the update requires you to download a new version of the iOS controller app and then perform a system update to all of your Players. Once done, you get a 'This iPhone' menu in Music, which lets you browse and play your iTunes music by category, artist, genre, album and playlist. Any album artwork and track information on the iOS device is displayed correctly on the screen.

As this is Sonos, all music on your iOS device can be streamed to multiple rooms at the same time, or each room can have its own track. All other controllers on the network can see the current playlist and skip tracks; however, you can only browse iTunes music from the physical iOS device the tunes are on.

This makes it a little more restrictive than the Sonos Wireless Dock, where the connected iPhone's music was browsable from any connected controller. However, given that the Dock is very expensive and limited to iPhones, the new update is generally more flexible and means you can play your iOS music from anywhere in your home. Plus, you're no longer limited to a single iOS device at a time.

As long as the iOS device stays connected to the wireless network, music is streamed seamlessly, even if the screen turns off. Track information is stored in the Sonos playlist for the selected room, so you can resume where you left off, as long as the iOS device with the music is connected to your wireless network.

This update also means that there's now no need to have a PC or NAS with your music collection on it, as you can do everything from an iOS device. More usefully, it means you can buy new music from iTunes directly from your device and play it through Sonos before you've had time to transfer your tunes to your computer or NAS. The Sonos update is available today for all Sonos and iOS users and is free.

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