Multi-user facilities

Multi-user, in the context of this application, refers to a Sonos-owning household, where household members make independant use the Sonos equipment, and wish to maintain independent play-related statistics for one, or for various, household members.

The multi-user facilities in this application mode are currently not as fully featured as they could be, as I don’t have much personal need for this facility. mode

Currently there is no multi-user facility in LFM mode. You will have connected this application to a single account, and import just those scrobbles into your MediaMonkey database.

SPY mode

SPY mode can be set up for multiple users.

The scenarios which can be currently handled are:

Household Notes
Track just one household member
. Enrol a Listener for the person or group for whom you want AlbumPlays to track, plus one additional “Listener” to cover any other household members and guests.
. Configure the “other” Listener to have all of its plays auto-flagged for suppression
. The SPY component of AlbumPlays observes all Sonos plays, and automatically assigns the correct listener to each play
. AlbumPlays lists the fresh plays, broken down by listener, and you have the option to alter any Listener assignment, or to manually suppress any of your album plays, on a case-by-case basis
. Non-suppressed plays, from tracks which can be located in your local library, will be used to update MediaMonkey play statistics
. All non-suppressed plays, regardless of music source, will be scrobbled to your LFM account
Track multiple members, treat each differently
. Enrol a Listener for each person or group that you want to track separately, plus one additional “Listener” to cover any other household members and guests.
. As discussed above, there is auto-assignment of Listener, facility to re-assign Listener, and to suppress plays
. AlbumPlays can scrobble for multiple members, each to their own account
. MediaMonkey is more problematic, as it has no multi-user capability. You can chose which Listener, or Listeners, will have their non-suppressed plays uploaded into the MediaMonkey play history for the household

As you probably know, Sonos has no log-on facility to identify who is playing the queue. This application has a simple workaround for this limitation, which may accommodate your situation.

If you are unable to use this workaround, but do want to use the multi-user facilities of this application, you will need to manually review all plays. All plays will be assigned to the default listener, and, prior to the approve action, you will need to manually re-assign the listener for any plays you want suppressed or credited to another listener. This manual adjustment is done at the whole album level, so may be less work than you initially assume. If you are tracking only yourself, all that you need to is click the suppress check boxes against any albums that you didn’t play.

The workaround to determine which person is playing the queue:

  • each significant household member should be assigned a listener ID, and be enrolled into this application
  • there should also be one ID for the use of non-tracked household members or guests
  • each ID is assigned one or more Sonos zone(s)
  • a listener ID may be assigned more than one Sonos zone, but a zone cannot be assigned to more than one listener
    • zone assignment is done within the configuration file for this application
  • the Sonos zone assigned to the non-tracked ID should preferably be in a communal area

  • nb: a household member having their own individual ID, is tracked, but need not necessarily scrobble, nor have their plays included into MediaMonkey statistics …. tracking just means that their plays are separately identifiable up until the point where decide which, or whose, plays that you want suppressed from further progression into this application

  • a tracked member does not need to restrict their Sonos use to just their own assigned zone(s), but they do need to begin their listening session from one of their assigned zones

    • a listening session is defined as beginning when someone starts playing tracks or albums, from a queue which was empty
    • the listening session continues until the queue is cleared again, and someone starts a new listening session
    • you can move a active queue from one zone, or zone group, to another … this is still the same listening session
    • you can add further zones to an active zone or zone group … this is still the same initial listening session
    • you can even remove the initiating zone from the group … this is still the same initial listening session
    • you can pause the queue. and then re-start it on another day … this is still the same listening session

    • the listening session remains assigned to the listener who initiated it … all plays are attributed to that person

  • untracked household members or guests should begin their listening session from a zone assigned to the untracked ID, hence the reason why one is best located in a communal area

  • so the base requirement is that household members identify themselves by starting with an empty queue at one of their assigned zones … from there they can throw the music to wherever they like … they should not empty the queue and then add new items, at a zone which is not assigned to themself

  • if any household member starts a listening session at a zone which is assigned to someone else, the listening session will be credited to an incorrect person …. if this happens, it is easily fixed by reassigning the albums to the correct listener before running the approve action

Shortcomings of this application’s multi-user facilities

As I said at the top, the multi-user facilities of this application are not particularly well developed.

As it can be more difficult to understand what is not covered by a computer application, here are some of the limitations:

  • the application is designed to be driven by a specific household member
    • this person makes decisions for all household members;
      • which album plays get suppressed?
      • are they assigned to the correct listener?
      • if no, then which listener to re-assign them to?
  • there is a suppress facility (which effectively means delete), but there is no suspend facility to allow SPY plays to be held aside for consultation with other household members; once the approve action has completed all suppressed spy plays are lost
  • you may scrobble to individuals’ accounts, but MediaMonkey can only store one set of play counts and last played dates; you can nominate one or more Listeners to have their play history uploaded into MediaMonkey, but their data will be aggregated
  • there are no multi-user facilities within AlbumPlay’s mode, and in Spy mode non-Sonos scrobbles can be imported from just one account

So, tell me again, what multi-user capabilities are there?

  • the application handles a household where multiple members may use the Sonos system, but only one has any interest in play-related data, and that person doesn’t want their data polluted by others in the household
  • or it can track multiple individuals in the household, and scrobble just their own plays to their individual accounts
  • and you can nominate those Listeners whose aggregated play history is uploaded into MediaMonkey
  • it is easy to suppress the unwanted plays made by guests, kids, or as background music at social occasions, from scrobbling to your account, or from updating your MediaMonkey statistics