Sonos was way ahead of the curve (as in a decade) in the march to connect the speakers in your living room to “the cloud,” which it has done for years with an expanding line of home-networked speakers that connect to the internet and local machines to stream music throughout the home. But even as Apple’s AirPlay continues to make inroads into that same market, Sonos continues on its mission — thanks in part to a $135 million investment round closed in June.
The rest of the world is catching up to Sonos’ vision (see also: DLNA), but Sonos continues to add important features, the way it did today. Right on the heels of its integration with Songza, whose “music concierge” service streams free (and ad-free) music for specific situations, Sonos announced on Thursday that it now works with Amazon Cloud Player, allowing users to stream music from that locker service to any room with a Sonos in it. As usual, of course, you can control that music with an Android, iPhone, or any computer on your network.
“When we started designing our streaming music system 10 years ago, we always envisioned a world of music in the cloud,” said Sonos senior PR manager Eric Nielsen. “The Amazon Cloud Player is a first for our customers in that you truly no longer need an active computer or a NAS drive to rock all of your music in any room in your house.”
This is a nice addition to Sonos’ suite of services, in part because streaming from a computer can be an issue with Sonos (which fails to recognize any music on my Mac due to some weird permissions issue), and because most people don’t want to buy a NAS drive just to play music. If you’re already storing music in Amazon Cloud Player (free for up to 250 songs or $25/year for up to a quarter of a million songs), this Cloud Player integration means you can play the music without worrying about home networking — or what happens if the person with the music on their laptop picks it up and goes to work.
Crucially, Amazon recently added scan-and-match functionality to Cloud Player, so you don’t even need to upload the songs one-by-one — most of them just get recognized on your computer and zapped to the cloud, from where you can now play them on your Sonos, with the ability to “search, browse, and play every song, album, and playlist in every room.”