Earlier this week we reported that Sonos were warning users not to upgrade to Mac OS X Lion because of some issues. Now they have issued an update and an offer of joining a beta test.
Here is the update from Sonos:
Update to Mac users on OS X 10.7 (Lion) support on Sonos
I’d like to apologize to all of our Mac OS X customers for the incompatibilities between Sonos and the Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) release, and for our delay in communicating this issue. Here’s a little more background on the problem and our plans for resolving it.
What is the Problem?
Music shares on Mac OS X 10.7 cannot be accessed by Sonos. You cannot create new music shares on Lion. If you store your music on your Mac and upgrade your system to Lion, Sonos will no longer be able to access that music. This affects all versions of Sonos software, including our most recent release (3.5).
This only affects music shares. There are no other known incompatibilities between Mac OS X 10.7 and Sonos.
How Did This Happen?
Sonos accesses file shares using the SMB file-sharing protocol. As part of the Lion release, Apple switched their SMB server from the open-source Samba implementation to an internal implementation. Not surprisingly, this had a fair amount of fallout.
Sonos ZonePlayers could not access Lion file shares at all in the initial developer updates. It took a combination of changes in both Lion and the Sonos code, but by June we had worked through the incompatibilities. These changes are in our most recent software release (3.5).
However, there were still issues with setting up the file shares. The method we used with the Samba SMB server no longer worked with Lion. Even worse, the Lion upgrade process does not preserve the shares created by Sonos in earlier versions of Mac OS X. We filed a bug with Apple but they were unable to address the issue prior to launch. We worked through June and July to support the creation of new shares and the restoration of shares from earlier versions. Our goal was to get that code into our 3.5 release. However, there are many different use cases for local music sharing and we were unable to cover them all before our launch.
When Will You Fix the Problem?
We have a candidate solution for the general file sharing problem at this point. We estimate it will take two-to-four weeks to test this, resolve any issues that come up, and release it in a software update.
However, there is still a bug in Lion that we cannot work around. The Lion release does not support sharing drives formatted as FAT32. Apple formats its drives using HFS, not FAT32, but you can buy external drives that are FAT32. For instance, most off-the-shelf memory sticks are formatted as FAT32. This means that, even with our proposed fix, any Sonos customers who have their music on an external FAT32 drive will have to move it to a drive formatted as HFS.
Why Didn’t You Tell Us Until After Lion Shipped?
We dropped the ball here. Once we realized that neither the official Mac OS X 10.7 release nor the Sonos 3.5 release would fix the problem we should have sent an email right away. However, by the time we realized we would be unable to get a fix into Sonos 3.5, we were very close to releasing the software. We thought it would be less confusing to send the email after the 3.5 release. Unfortunately, we learned the evening before our launch that Lion was launching the same day. With all the distractions of our official launch it took us until the next day to get our email out.
What Can I Do in the Meantime?
If you can delay upgrading to Lion, that would be simplest. If you need to upgrade (or if you upgraded before you received our email) one option is to move your music to a different device. If that is not an option and you are interested in being a beta candidate for our new release you can contact Sonos Support at Sonos-BetaApplication@sonos.com.
Again, I apologize for the inconvenience. I can assure you that this is our highest priority.