Don't even bother with the Sonos free music offer

by Volker Weber

When you upgrade and register your Sonos to 2.6 you get an email with a free music offering, which according to Sonos is worth $200. I did not get it in the first place, since I upgraded my system last week and did not trigger the email. It appears however that this mail is pretty generic and I could figure out what to use quite easily. You won't have any difficulties either:

I assume, Sonos checks if you registered a system under this email address. If they don't, well ...


Anyway, I started with the first offering: They offer three "albums" with 10 tracks each: Classical, Jazz, World Music. You don't get to chose what you want. It's just these three compilations. And they are plain awful. I have no idea who came up with this, and who executed it at, but if this is their best, you can just trash them. Anything you download from the dark corners of the Internets is better. Anything. 128 kbps MP3, badly tagged, no correct track numbers, no coverart, no artists, or artist, track number and title in the title field. Kiddies in the bedrooms of their parents home produce better stuff.

I was so disgusted that I did not bother to check out the other offerings. eMusic says I can cancel anytime. Why do I need to cancel? Is this a scam? For I get a coupon code. Well, well, well. This is not on par with what I expect from Sonos. This is what you get with your Aldi PC.

Comments gives you 10 pre-selected concerts, you don't get to choose there either. eMusic won't give you the songs unless you join their service. I looked at all three so-called offers. Pathetic.

Still love my Sonos, though. Even the Soviet iPod rocks...

Rob McDonagh, 2008-08-06

Yeah, the thing sucked, that's for sure. As for the live albums, LiveDownload picked the 10 for you like Rob said, but a couple of them are pretty good. Black Crowes being one of them. If you like Jam Bands, there are some good things here. I however only wanted 2 of the 10.

As for, it's their normal trial. You have to give them your credit card info and then you get a 14 day trial where you are entitled to 50 free MP3 downloads and 1 audiobook download in MP3. It's very indie oriented, so not a lot of mainstream stuff, but I was able to come up with 50 tracks I wanted. I downloaded those, and one audiobook (Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama - so there are some good ones) and then cancelled everything immediately.

So I got two live concert albums from the LiveDownloads that are decent, 50 songs and a book from emusic that are really good, and then three crap compilation albums (that come as one big MP3 for each) from

Seeing as Sonos had absolutely no obligation to give me anything, I thought it was an okay gesture on their part. Not gonna complain about free stuff that much.

I will complain that there's no new controller, and no real new features in the software though :-)


John Roling, 2008-08-06

John, you are right. That is a free offer, and I should not complain. I think I complained because I did not feel it was the $200 worth of goods that Sonos advertised. I probably should have taken it as a gift.

What I can't wrap my head around is how fukced up the offering is. Do they expect to find customers that way?

Volker Weber, 2008-08-06

Repeat after me:

DRM-Free is bad for the customer ;)

Ben Rose, 2008-08-07

Well I was disappointed a bit too. I was excited about being able to get the three albums from and then to have them only be compilation albums that picked was annoying. Then having each album download as one big MP3 was wholly annoying. You're right, I can't imagine ever giving them business based on that.

eMusic was good, but its the same deal you can get if you just go to their site, so it wasn't special to Sonos really. And although I personally could find stuff I liked, their selection isn't that vast.

LiveDownloads was okay too, but having them pick the 10 concerts was annoying as well. There were many other concerts I'd rather snag. At least there I can see myself actually buying something in the future.

I'll pay my $16 a month to Napster to listen to whatever I want, seems to be way more convenient :-)


John Roling, 2008-08-07

I had a quick look at the offers, and I thought they were worthless too.
I have Napster so have access to all the tracks I need. I got Napster *only* as a result of having Sonos.

Livedownloads sounded interesting, until I saw it. I hardly heard of any artist on there. Presumably very american oriented, probably c&w or something.

Classical, no thanks, but thats just a personal taste thing.

eMusic...nothing there for me.

Now, a free upgrade from Napster std to NapsterToGo for a period of time would have been an offer worth having, and may well have been the thing to entice me to upgrade fully.

John Cawrey, 2008-08-07

Actually the eMusic offer is quite good -- one free AudioBook, we got Obama reading his autobiography, and 50 free songs from a decent selection.

I agree that the free offer is not much good and I didn't try the free concerts.

David Sullivan, 2009-03-10

Old archive pages

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


Paypal vowe