NAS Help to load my music that was ripped a long time ago into my itunes library


I have about 100 GB (over 10,000 songs) of music in M4A format in my iTunes library.  I had been using my ipad’s itune library as the source for Sonos when I want to play these older albums many of which are not readily available elsewhere. I do use Pandora and other media service providers, but I want to still be able to play my library. I had no problem doing so until I upgraded to Sonos S2 Ap. Now Apple and Sonos don’t play well together, and I am extremely frustrated. I don’t want a PC up and running and I want to do this to be as simple as possible. I was told to buy Sonos and my techies to get a montly Apple Music Streaming service, which didn’t help me at all. Sonos still can’t see my ripped CDs that are in the Apple music library, only the media service songs.

I currently have Connect and Connect:AMPs in my home.

I am thinking the best way to meet my needs might be to add a NAS, but I do not have any experience with this. 

Could someone help me to understand what I need to do to play my ripped CDs or integrate an NAS?

  1. Is there an NAS recommendation? I am a neophyte and would appreciate all help. I am a Windows PC user and I have an ethernet cable from the router that I can use to tie the NAS in. I am not going to use the NAS for anything other than this legacy music. So, I don’t need multiple bays or a lot of storage.  I read that there is some concern that the NAS will go to sleep all of the time, is there a brand that this is not an issue?  How difficult is it to configure an NAS and add a hard drive, or do any come ready to go? I am not to price sensitive because getting rid of Apple Music Streaming and not having to hire a techie will offset the cost of a DIY NAS install.
  2. Does SONOS support the M4A format? If not, how do I covert this to a supported format and what format do you recommend?
  3. Once I attach an NAS to my router and follow the NAS instructions, I assume that I create a music folder on the NAS and drop in all my music? Is it okay to have the following file folder structure: Music folder/Artists/Albums/Songs?
  4. I then just open up Sonos S2 on my ipad/iphone and add this as a source?  Is this it? Are there any size limits? I read to use a windows sonos ap, I can’t find one.
  5. Anything I forgot to ask? I have read that there is a maximum limit of 65,000 tracks that can be indexed. Does that mean there is another way to do this without a NAS?? So if I don’t need an NAS and could do it with an external hard drive connected to Sonos somehow, that would be fine too. I just don’t understand how to do this and can’t find step by step instructions for a novice.

Thank you!


Best answer by Kumar 29 March 2022, 06:09

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14 replies

Does your router have a USB port?

If so, test the concept by taking a USB stick, copy/paste one album from your ripped music files to it in a new folder called Music, and plug it into the USB port. Using the S2 app, you should be able to locate it and once indexed, play the music from it.

Once this works, buy a 125 GB USB stick to store all your music files on it and expand the working concept to it. The limit of 65000 tracks will still apply, but you are far from it.


Unfortunately Comcast Cable Company made the USB port on the router inoperable. That would have been an excellent idea!


Also, out of curiosity, how do you expand the working concept to it? I don’t understand. Thank you for your advice.


fyi I do have an external hard drive already set up with all the M4A files on it.

Also, out of curiosity, how do you expand the working concept to it? I don’t understand. Thank you for your advice.

What I meant was that if you can get things to work with a spare USB stick lying around and one album copied to it, for no cost and a small time investment, you can then buy the 125 GB stick and spend the time and effort to copy all the music into it. If this route works with one album, it will work with all.

The issue with the external hard drive you have is how to get it on the router created network by wiring it to the router in a way that allows the data on it to be accessed by any device on the same network. If that can be done, and the Sonos app can then wirelessly “see” it, that is all that is needed and the hard drive effectively becomes a NAS.


Understood. Hmm, not sure. I think the only way I can add something to this particular router is with an ethernet wire. Darn. Comcast for some reason removed the capability and many have complained. Wish I could do it that way. :-( thanks again!

The usual device recommended then is the WD My Cloud. It is connected to the router via ethernet wire. The smallest memory model will be ample for your needs. Basically, once it is set up, you copy paste all the music files from your hard disc to the hard disc in the WD, and then point Sonos to it. iTunes software is bypassed and you need not bother about any Apple to Sonos interactions. 


Thank you! I had read on this forum that WD My Cloud users had issues with the WD Cloud sleeping and also some issues configuring them? Also, do you know if sonos can understand M4A formatted songs (itunes apparently uses that). “To point to it”  is that via the iphone Sonos S2 Ap?  If so, I think that I know how to do that. I’d be very happy to get rid of Apple’s music service. May the songs be saved with in folders on the NAS? i.e. Music folder/Artists/Albums/Songs?


Music Folder

      Ed Sheeran



                     I am a mess                

If so, I will give it a shot! BTW Are you a Sonos employee?

Regardless, thanks so much!


Oh and I don’t want to use Plex. And Is there any other service that I need to use in order to listen to my ripped CDs if using WD my Cloud without a PC turned on?

No, you need neither Plex nor any other service. If you have ripped CDs using any option for ripping in iTunes, Sonos can play the ripped files. 

These just need to be in a folder, typically named Music, created on the WD. In that folder, the organisation is not important, but typically you will have one folder for each album on your hard disc today, so just copy those folders over into the Music folder created. If there are no such folders, copy all the track files across in the way they are stored on your hard disc - there is no need to put them in their own folder per album.

Once Sonos can access these tracks, Sonos will perform its own indexing of the tracks/files such that for subsequent music play, you can choose music in the Sonos app by album/artiste/song/genre etc. This indexing process for your library size by Sonos hardware may take an hour or so.

For using any NAS with Sonos, the attached will help and it also tells you how to point Sonos to the WD via iPhone:

And no, I am not a Sonos employee!


Thank you 

All @Kumar 's advice here is good. Another cheap option is to use a Raspberry Pi. Not done this myself but the instructions are available on the Web, apparently.

Looks like a fair bit of work, but others have said it is reasonably straightforward. 


Thank you!