This is the location of the podServe blog posts published up to June 2015.

Welcome to the podServe blog, a selection of tips, tricks, comments and various other ramblings on the topic of CD ripping, digital music, streaming and all the things that go right and wrong in being entertained.

Sonos - A Bridge Too Far?

A few years ago I was in a hi-fi store, rudely eavesdropping on a conversation between a couple on Sonos. He was sold, she clearly thought this was (another) of her husband's daft ideas. I recognised the look I've seen so many times on my wife's face.

The salesman just passed a hand held Sonos controller to the lady and smiled. That was a really great sales tool, the wife scrolled though the music and clicked on a track. The shop was filled with "her" music, and she broke into a broad grin. I imagine they now enjoy a great Sonos system in their home.

On Saturday I found myself in a nearby PC World store. They now sell Sonos and there was another couple, him sold, her doubting. The salesman was trying to close the sale and telling rather than showing her, how easy the system is to operate. He didn't have a hand held controller (they abandoned that in favour of phone and iPad apps) and he hadn't linked his own phone to the in-store device. Her face was becoming more stony with every passing techno-babble second.

"What's that?" she said, in a tone of voice which, in the case of my own dear wife, means its never coming near our house.

The salesman explained it was the bridge, and at the moment it's free. Back home in Sonos HQ that's probably a big deal but over here, on a cold retail park on a dark December afternoon it's not a deal closer. You have to have it. "Why?" she said, not unreasonably. The PC World salesman tried to explain, and ended up with a lame you-have-to-have-it. But Mrs didn't want it. This time the husband tried "you'll hardly notice it's there" to which she retorted that she will, it takes up space, it gathers dust, it eats electricity, and it probably bleeps or flashes and keeps the kids awake or cause the hound to howl. "The other one didn't have one of those" she said, crushingly.

At this point I feared my eavesdropping was becoming noticed so I drifted off to another part of the store. Some minutes later we saw the couple walking across the car park, neither clutching a PC World or Sonos bag.

Since then I've been thinking. Yes, I understand why they dropped the controller in favour of apps, and sort of appreciate why they have the bridge unit, but somehow their stance might be comprehensible to the techies among us, to at least half Mr and Mrs Normal out shopping, it's an unnecessary bit of kit.
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