On Thursday morning, Sonos and Google announced a duet made in streaming music heaven: Deep, intertwined Google Play Music and Sonos home audio equipment integration.
Google Play Music for Android is being updated to allow listeners to easily push music to a Sonos speaker on the same Wi-Fi network, via a casting button in the upper right-hand corner of the app. Once you do so, the tunes will beam directly to the Sonos speaker, rather than being routed through the Sonos controller app on your phone. Chromecast video streaming behaves in a similar direct-to-device fashion.
"As we continue to invest in the way you experience and control your music at home, curating and managing an array of services across multiple rooms, the benefits of playing your music to Sonos directly from these very services is clear," Sonos said in a blog post announcing the integration.
While the direct-play feature is a first for both Sonos and Play Music itself, the mash-up doesn't completely bypass Sonos' usual method of controlling the music jamming throughout your house. Play Music is also appearing in the Sonos controller app, where it joins other Sonos-supported services like Spotify, iTunes, Beats Music, and Pandora, among others. In fact, the Sonos controller app appears to be necessary if you want to play Google-supplied songs to more than one Sonos speaker in your house, as the Play Music casting feature only lets you select a single Sonos device at a time.
Google Play Music lets you store up to 20,000 of your tunes for absolutely free in the cloud, and this new hook-up makes it easy to bring that library to your Sonos speakers. Google also offers Play Music All Access, an Rdio- or Spotify-esque music subscription service that has 22 million stream-on-demand tracks and custom radio support.