Sonos is a electronics company, best known for their multi room music system. Using a Sonos system, you can listen to your entire music collection in each room of your home. This product is similar to other networked music systems, such as Logitech's Squeezebox product suite. One of the trickiest parts of setting up a Sonos system, though, is getting the album art right. This is because (1) it takes effort to find album art and install it and (2) Sonos imposes some restrictions on album art that aren't always obvious. This blog post discusses the restrictions, then gets guides you through using bliss to find, install and fix album art for Sonos.
A typical Sonos setup involves dropping a ZonePlayer in each room of your house where you want to listen to music. At least one of these ZonePlayers must be able to access your digital music files, from where the music can be shared amongst all the ZonePlayers in your home. To choose and control your music you can use a Sonos controller, an iPad/iPhone/Android app or your computer or laptop.
It's the controllers that I'll dwell on. For a long time, Sonos's reputation has been built on the full colour, large display of their controllers, and they were one of the first home music network vendors to create an iPhone app. Having those large, full colour screens, especially with the likes of the iPad, means navigating music is easy, but it's even easier and more enjoyable if you have high quality album art.
So, the first step is finding album artwork for your Sonos. However, even once you've found the artwork, there are some rules you must obey to make sure the Sonos controllers can display the art. Indeed, even experienced Sonos users sometimes find that artwork they've had and used in other music players is not shown. So what are the rules that govern whether your art is displayed? They are (taken from the horse's mouth):
Most album art is below 1024x1024 pixels, but it's the maximum data size rule that catches out most people.
You can find artwork online and use a music tagger to embed the artwork manually. This works, but it can take a long time, especially for a large music library. You will also need to keep checking that the art you are finding is under the 256KB rule, and of course satisfies the other rules too (although frankly I think you're unlikely to break the 1024x1024 rule).
The other way is to use bliss. bliss will save you time and effort, because the lookup for album art, the checking against Sonos's album art rules, and the subsequent installation is all automated. bliss only uses high quality sources for album art to ensure its matches are accurate. bliss is 'rule based' which means you state to bliss what your album art rules are. This fits in well with Sonos's album art rules. A few weeks ago I released a new version of bliss with a max data size rule for album art.
There are four simple steps:
There you have it: found and fixed album art for Sonos!