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Sonos launching new desktop controllers

Sonos has been making great wireless music streaming kit for a very long time, and over that time the systems have evolved and embraced new technology. Whereas Sonos systems originally required a bespoke remote control to work, the birth of the iPhone saw Sonos create a new controller for iOS, and later, another for Android.

Controlling your Sonos music system from your smartphone, or from the company's own CR200 controller is an absolute breeze. But the weak link in the chain has always been the desktop controller that sits on your computer. If you're hard at work and want to pump your favourite tunes out, you don't want to keep pulling out your smartphone, you want to be able to do everything from the computer you're working on; and although you can currently do that, the experience just isn't as slick as it could be.

Sonos is about to change all that though, with a new desktop controller for both Mac and PC due to hit the 'net next week. As well as being completely redesigned, with a far more intuitive user interface, version 3.7 of the desktop controller will also add a few, welcome new features.

Sonos promises that the search functionality in the new app will be significantly faster, while you'll be able to drag and drop tracks, albums or even complete playlists from your library, directly into the queue. You can also control the volume in multiple zones simultaneously - ideal if you're using party mode.

The most welcome new addition, though, is a "mini player" that allows you basic control over your music, without the need to interact with the full size Sonos app. The mini player will look good too, with the music controls overlaid on the cover art of the current track. So, if you're a Mac user with multiple, virtual desktops, you can keep the main Sonos app hidden away, while keeping the mini controller in your active desktop.

PC users will need to be running Windows XP SP3 or later, while Mac users will have to be slightly more modern, running OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or above. The new controller will be available for download next week, but in the meantime, check out the video below to get a sneak peek.

Riyad has been entrenched in technology publishing for more years than he cares to remember, having staffed and edited some of the largest and most successful IT magazines in the UK. In 2003 he joined forces with Hugh Chappell to create They built TR into the UK’s market leading technology publication before selling the title to IPC Media / Time Warner in 2007. As Editorial Director at Net Communities, Riyad will be helping to develop the publishing portfolio, making IT Pro Portal the best publication it can be.