FLAC error - Unsupported sample rate

  • 19 December 2015
  • 14 replies
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I'm trying to play some FLAC files on my SONOS system and I get the error message: "unable to play ..... it is encoded at unsupported sample rate 9600 hz" I've never seen this error message before. Does this mean the end of the road or is there a work around? Could I re-digitize them at a different sample rate because my other FLAC files play fine. Maybe SONOS has plans to change their specs or is it the old debate about whether the human ear can appreciate the difference in quality or not? Any help would be appreciated as I'm new to this game.

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14 replies

Userlevel 7
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This article details the file types that are supported. You can re-encode the tracks that aren't supported.

https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/80/~/supported-audio-formats
Sonos have recently confirmed that they've no plans to natively support higher sampling rates. To quote from that article: "the math just isn’t there". It that respect the're in good company.

They concede that on-the-fly downsampling is something worth considering.
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Thanks for your replies guys. What's the best software to use to re-encode the files?
Thanks for your replies guys. What's the best software to use to re-encode the files?

Clearly it's a matter of personal preference but I don't think you can go wrong with dbPoweramp, it has a batch conversion mode so you can select a folder of files and it'll chomp through the lot pretty quickly.
Incidentally you probably meant "96000 Hz", I've never seen 9600 Hz files before, they wouldn't sound very good! Don't forget you'll need to knock the bit-depth down to 16-bit as well.
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Thanks again for all your useful advice!
I've never seen 9600 Hz files before, they wouldn't sound very good!
But you have heard them (more or less). The public telephone network is based around 8kHz sampling, albeit at 8-bit resolution. 😉
I hit the same error message. Then discovered when I did a right click on the file (a wav in my case) that there is a Cast to Device option with my Sonos Connect listed. No need to resample the file.
Hard to re-encode thousands of tracks...
Userlevel 7
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Hard to re-encode thousands of tracks...

Not as hard as listening to tracks that Sonos can't play
Userlevel 7
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If you have the know-how, and your files are in FLAC format, you could look at something like 'mp3fs' for on-the-fly transcoding instead of batch re-encoding.
https://khenriks.github.io/mp3fs/
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I believe there are free converters available.
Therefore I believe it's relatively straightforward. There may, however, be an impact on time or your computer's resources whilst it is doing the job.
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I bought a computer to do a bunch of trans-coding, older Dell, dual CPU Quad core Xeon box. Ran hot and as noisy as the wife's floor sweeper but it burned through the files many times as fast as my desktop. It was only $250 off the Dell resale site and I passed it on to a son who uses it for the same purpose.
If you put your music library on a Plex server, it will automatically transcode it on the fly while you play it on your Sonos speakers. Plex automatically transcodes pretty much any format into a format that your hardware can play.