Sonos - the controller

by Volker Weber

Sonos Controller.jpg

I called it a Russian iPod, but Ute likes it.

You have to hold it with two hands. Your left hand controls the three buttons for mute, volume up and down. Your right hand controls the three top buttons for zones (to which players are we talking?), escape and music as well as the thumbwheel. The three buttons below the thumbwheel are the standard play/pause and skip forward and backwards controls. Then there are three additional soft buttons under the screen, and you have to watch this area, or you will miss important functions.

I did.

I dreaded hunting for an artist in the alphabetical listing. It seemed to take forever. Then I chose to count how often I needed to turn the wheel. Starting at A I turned it 168 times to select "Supertramp" from the artist list. Then I did the same on the 60 gig iPod. 8 turns. 5 cw, 2 ccw, 1 cw. Sounds bad, doesn't it?

Then I found Power Scroll.

When you scroll with the thumbwheel, the leftmost button says "Power Scroll". Hit it, and you get to select from the alphabet. Divide 168 by 20 and you see how close that brings you. Major takeaway: The controller has a lot of options you have to discover first.

As I said, Ute likes it. At the moment her favorite feature is that she can grab the controller and see what is currently playing.

Sonos - first impressions
Sonos - second look
Sonos - the controller
Sonos - music from the iTunes Music Store
Sonos - now we are talking
Sonos - getting into the zone
Sonos - the mesh network
Sonos - inside the ZonePlayer
Sonos - April 10 and the ZP80 is already here
Sonos - the Wife Acceptance Factor


Another gadget :-) But I don't understand why you call it "Soviet iPod".

Egor Margineanu, 2006-03-25

My guess is that's because everything the former soviets "cloned" from western technology came out with quite the same functionality but with a definite boost in size. Like producing the largest microchips on earth for example ...

Stefan Rubner, 2006-03-25

Egor, with its scrollwheel, the controller resembles an iPod. So you immediately tend to compare it to one, although it serves a different purpose, and has very different capabilities. Don't forget that it connects via wireless LAN, which needs quite some juice. However, the controller feels somewhat clunky when you just put down an iPod. Here are some size comparisons:

Sonos Controller
Dimensions: 165 mm x 97 mm x 24.5 mm
Volume: 390,000 mm^3
Weight: 360 g

iPod 60 gig
Dimensions: 103.5 mm x 61.8 mm x 14 mm
Volume: 90,000 mm^3
Weight: 157 g

iPod nano
Dimensions: 90 x 40 x 6.9
Volume: 25,000 mm^3
Weight: 42 g

As Stefan explained, Soviet electronics were somewhat unwieldy. So, if this were an iPod, it would be a Soviet iPod.

Volker Weber, 2006-03-25

Sonos? I remember Sonos from my childhood --> the real sonos

Olaf Baumert, 2006-03-26

@Stefan @Volker
I remember a soviet mainframe (1985-1986), big one, very big one. ЕС ЭВМ :) It was my first experience in IT.

Egor Margineanu, 2006-03-27

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