Get­ting Con­nected

Mul­ti­ple rooms and mul­ti­ple de­vices

Mac Format - - RATED -

Most of these multi-room speaker sys­tems are fairly easy to set up – as long as you have a mo­bile phone or tablet to get you started. They all rely on an iOS – or An­droid – app that guides you through the process of con­nect­ing one or more speak­ers to your home net­work, and then sync­ing them to­gether to si­mul­ta­ne­ously play your mu­sic in dif­fer­ent rooms.

How­ever, these apps are less help­ful when it comes to play­ing mu­sic from dif­fer­ent de­vices and sources. The most ex­treme ex­am­ple here is the Philips Spo­tify speaker, which only works with the Spo­tify app on an iOS de­vice. It won’t play your ex­ist­ing mu­sic li­brary from iTunes on a Mac, or the Mu­sic app on iOS de­vices.

The LG Mu­sic Flow app is a lit­tle more flex­i­ble in this in­stance. It works with ser­vices such as Spo­tify and Nap­ster, and can also play mu­sic that you have stored on your iOS de­vices. Un­for­tu­nately though, there’s no Mac ver­sion of Mu­sic Flow, so you can’t play mu­sic from iTunes on a Mac, or from the Ap­ple Mu­sic ser­vice.

Sam­sung does pro­vide a Mac ver­sion of its Mul­ti­Room app, which can play mu­sic stored in your iTunes li­brary, but you still have to use the iOS app as the re­mote con­trol to play your mu­sic, which seems un­nec­es­sar­ily clumsy.

Sonos also has apps for both Macs and iOS de­vices, so you can play mu­sic stored on any de­vice. The Sonos apps don’t cur­rently work with the Ap­ple Mu­sic ser­vice, but Ap­ple and Sonos have said they ex­pect to get this sorted be­fore the end of the year.

Only one man­u­fac­turer man­ages to break free from this re­liance on its own apps. Pure does pro­vide an app for iOS de­vices, but it’s also pos­si­ble to play mu­sic from other apps and other de­vices as well. Ad­mit­tedly, the process is a bit com­pli­cated, as it in­volves us­ing both Blue­toooth and Wi-Fi com­bined, but once that’s done you can play iTunes on a Mac, in­clud­ing the Ap­ple Mu­sic ser­vice, and even stream ser­vices such as the BBC iPlayer from your web browser.

Only one man­u­fac­turer man­ages to break free from a re­liance on its own apps…

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