A Sonos software update coming next week will keep users from playing Audible audiobooks through their wireless speakers, according to an email sent to Sonos owners. The problem stems from a streaming issue, the company says.
“When we originally added support for Audible, the world was all about downloads,” Sonos said in the email. “Today, Sonos and Audible believe streaming offers a better listening experience on Sonos. But before Sonos and Audible were able to work together to implement streaming, several pieces of code in this update broke compatibility with the older format found in Audible downloads.”
According to a Sonos support document about the situation, the company removed an out-of-date Audible integration before finding a new solution.
“This was a mistake,” the document said. “Removing functionality without having a replacement was never our intention.”
Sonos is working on a solution, but Audible playback won’t work in the meantime. The support document tells users how to plug in a mobile device via a 3.5mm jack, available on some Sonos devices, but that solution goes against what many users want out of a wireless audio platform.
Sonos speakers stream content over WiFi for higher quality wireless sound, but the system usually streams directly from an internet source like Spotify or Soundcloud instead of routing playback through the smartphone to reduce strain on the mobile device’s battery. Without integration of Audible services in the mobile app, Sonos users have no way of initiating or controlling audiobook playback.
Audible is an Amazon subsidiary. The breakdown comes less than a month after Amazon and Sonos teamed up to bring Amazon Prime Music to Sonos speakers.
“We realize this is frustrating. It frustrates us, too,” Sonos said in the email to customers. “We want to reiterate our commitment to working with Audible on a new and improved way of streaming your favorite audiobooks.”
A timeline for the fix wasn’t announced.