The controller isn’t completely perfect though. Despite the fact that the scroll wheel works brilliantly for navigating long lists, a touch screen would definitely aid usability. When you want to search for a particular artist or album, having to scroll backwards and forwards through the alphabet using the wheel is laborious. Stabbing at each letter with your finger would be a far quicker and easier solution, although I appreciate that a touch screen would add cost to an already expensive device.
If you have a very large house, with a lot of zones, you’ll probably have multiple people listening simultaneously, which could lead to a fight for the controller. Luckily, this is where the aforementioned Desktop Controller software comes in, which allows you all the same control from a computer. So, if you happen to be working in the study, you can control your own music without the need for the remote handset.
Having access to your own music library from anywhere in your house is definitely impressive, but you can also gain access to a plethora of music that you don’t own too. The Sonos system supports the Napster music service, which means that once you sign up for a Napster account, you can playback any of the six million tracks provided by the service. This means you’ll have access to music and even whole genres that may not reside in your collection, giving you the opportunity to broaden your musical horizons – I know that sounds a bit pretentious, but you get my drift.
You get a free 30 day Napster trial when you purchase a Sonos system, which will give you plenty of time to appreciate the merits of having so much music at your disposal. After the trial is over, a Napster subscription will cost you £9.99 per month, which is a small price to pay considering what you’re getting – can you really not forego a few coffees from Starbucks every month to massively increase your music library? Of course people who oppose subscription music services will complain about how once you cancel your subscription, you can’t listen to the music anymore, but I can’t understand why that’s an issue. After all, if I cancel my Sky subscription tomorrow, I can’t watch Sky Movies anymore – what’s the difference?
It’s also worth remembering that if you do choose to subscribe to Napster, you won’t be limited to listening to the music on your Sonos setup, you’ll also be able to stream tracks to any PC that’s connected to the Internet. This essentially means that you could have access to all that music at work too – assuming that you’re allowed to install software on your work PC of course.