By Señior Tech from the February 2015 Edition
Before staring this month’s article, I wanted to update my review of the Sonos speakers I wrote about last month. I was concerned that I may have been a bit hasty giving such a glowing review of the Sonos speakers. The controller app kept losing the connection to the speakers. After re-installing and reconfiguring the app, I still was unable to get a connection to the speakers every time. After a frustrating 2 weeks, I broke down and called Sonos tech support (I dread calling tech support; they generally make you wait for 30-40 minutes and then treat you like you are a idiot).
Not so with Sonos, I was connected with a support representative within a few minutes. The representative asked to connect to my system, and within five minutes isolated the issue. It turned out to be a conflict with a Wi-Fi range extender. I told him I would let him go and reconfigure my network (I discovered why the speakers kept losing the connection; I had added new range extenders last year but did not disconnect an old extender. The controller app had a 50/50 chance of connecting to the correct extender and therefore access the speakers).
This, however, is not why I am impressed with their service. One week after my call, I received an email from Sonos asking about the problem, I assumed this was just to get a rating of the representatives. Since I did not respond, I received another email a week later. This time I responded to say that the problem was fixed. The representative emailed back to say that he was happy that all was well. I now picture the Sonos technical representatives as the replacement for the Maytag Man (some of you may remember the 1980’s commercials); their systems are so easy to set-up and reliable that they have to look for problems to solve.
Since I wrote about network-connected speakers, I thought some of you might be interested in what content is available on the Internet (network). If music is your desire than you will be happy to learn that you can now access millions of songs and musical artists. There are numerous music services such as:
Paid Services (***free access with some limitations and ads)
1. Deezer.com (over 34.5 million searchable songs ***)
2. Spotify.com (over 30.0 million Searchable songs ***)
3. RUSC.com (35,000 old time radio shows. Paid service only)
4. Concertvault.com (Music, Comedy, & Interviews 1965 – 1999. Paid only)
5. Dar.fm (Listen to radio shows ***, Record shows to listen later. Paid only)
6. Calmradio.com (# of music channels for relaxation, nature sounds. Paid subscriptions only)
7. Beatsmusic.com (0ver 20 million searchable songs. 2 week free trial)
Free Services (Ad supported)
1. TuneIn Radio (Over 100,000 Radio stations worldwide)
2. Soundcloud.com (music, usually playlists, some search capability.)
3. Songza.com (music in playlists, user can select the type of music.)
All services offer Smartphone and tablet apps. Some apps provide additional features than those available on the computer.
As you can see there are numerous entertainment options available. Almost all offer a free trial period.
Are you feeling nostalgic? Try RUSC.com and listen to old mystery programs or maybe some laughs with Abbott and Costello. Concertvault.com has concerts recorded from 1965 to 1999 by your favorite artists; the archives also include numerous interviews.
Is Talk Radio your niche? Dar.fm serves up daily programs to suit any political bent or topic. Listening is free. Paid service allows recording shows to listen at your convenience.
TuneIn Radio lets you listen live to over 100,000 radio stations worldwide. So if you get homesick while travelling, you can listen to your home stations for the weather forecast and be thankful you are here.
The other services deal mostly with music. For the cost of 5 – 6 CDs yearly, you can make and listen to your own playlists, choosing from over 30 million songs. The premium services offer near CD quality music tracks and allow you to download unlimited songs to your mobile device (as long as your subscription is valid). When I think of the thousands of dollars I have spent buying Albums and CDs over the years, I think this is a. bargain. It is not necessary to even spend a dime, if you only listen to a specific genre of music
A service I enjoy is Audible.com. Audible offers audiobooks, and since 2001 I have collected over 500 titles. They have over 200,000 books in their library. The books are unabridged and read by professional actors. They are stored on their servers and I can download and listen to them anytime. Since they are owned by Amazon.com, I am not worried about them folding. The millions of subscribers also review the books, so when I use my 2 credits every month, I read reviews to make sure I am not disappointed in my selections.
This brings me back to my Sonos speakers; I can listen to any of the above content in Hi-fidelity.
I wish to clarify; I am not affiliated or paid by any of the above services or vendors. For that matter I am not even paid by this publication; this is a labor of love, I am a masochist!!!
“Vintage Gramophone” by Stoonn, “Portrait Of Beautiful Woman Listening Music” by imagerymajestic.