Sonos Music Library on Move via Bluetooth


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I know I should probably direct this question elsewhere, but thought I stood a better chance of getting a sensible response from this support community.

I have a 38Gb approx Sonos Music Library that comprises a mix of .wma and .m4a files.  Occasionally I would like to play this same music on my Sonos Move (and maybe AirPods, too) via the iPhone/AirPlay in the garden where i have no wifi signal.  The problem is this requires loading the music into Apple Music, which I am happy to do, since there is plenty of spare memory on the iPhone.  Unfortunately, all of the .m4a files import into Music with no problem as you’d expect, but not the .wma files (thanks a bunch Apple!).

I have looked at various file converters to convert the .wma files to .m4a, but they are quite laborious and then do not do a good job of converting the Track and Album art.

Any ideas as to the easiest way to sync the 2 libraries to ensure all album info exists in both places?

 


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It’s semantics, but you’re music library isn’t specifically Sonos.  Sonos is just reading the files on your home computer/NAS.  Also, if you have no WiFi in the garden, you won’t have access to airplay, since airplay uses  WiFi.

As far as addressing the problem, I would look into the feasibility of expanding your routers WiFi coverage to the garden area.  Yes, that may cost more money, but may give you a lot of benefits beyond just using Sonos Move over WiFi in the garden.

If course, that doesn’t do anything for your airpods or when you are away from home and can’t use home WiFi.  For that I would consider getting Plex music service.  With this, you essentially can access your home music (as well as movies and other siimilar media) through the Plex app to play anywhere, including Sonos.  You will not need to worry about syncing files between your phone and home network.  That said, I don’t have an iPhone and can’t say how well Plex works on iPhones or whether file type is an issue.

Overall, I think that you should expand your WiFi coverage. How large is your garden? This could be as easy as adding an access point to a window facing the garden or adding a weather proof access point outside.

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Melvimbie and Buzz,

Thank you both for your replies.  Frankly, I would really like to avoid tinkering with my wifi network, if at all possible.  I currently have a 5 node Linksys Velop mesh and that in conjunction with the Move does not make for an easy life.  In fact, had I known the problems of running a Move in a less than perfect wifi setup, I doubt I would have bought it.

However, I won’t dwell on that, since I am where I am.  Regardless of the difficulties with the current wifi setup, I don’t really need/want wifi access at the far end of the garden (except perhaps to run Sonos), especially when that still wouldn’t give AirPod access.  In that context, I am definitely able to play a subset of my music library direct from the iPhone to the Move without wifi - isn’t the link between the 2 Bluetooth as opposed to wifi? - and all I want to do is extend the range to include the .wma files in the library.

Thanks for the tip about Plex.  I had never heard of it and am now trying to get my head round it.  It seems to be mainly targeted at video streaming, so am having a bit of difficulty getting to grips with the music side.  I use a relatively low-end Synology NAS (DS218) and Plex cautions against using a NAS with insufficient cpu power, so that may not be an answer.

I have also recently come across a product called dBpoweramp, which claims to convert the album art along with the music files and offers a “batch” conversion option.  Before I download it and give to a try, has anybody heard of and/or got any hands-on experience with this product? 

dBpowerampp is a good product. I’ve been using it as a ripper for years.

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Unfortunately, as I just discovered, dBpoweramp doesn’t support .wma files on a Mac.  it’s a Windows only feature!

Unfortunately, as I just discovered, dBpoweramp doesn’t support .wma files on a Mac.  it’s a Windows only feature!

As wma stands for Windows Media Audio this is perhaps not a total surprise.  I’m not sure dbpoweramp works on a Mac a all, though.

Edit: there does now seem to be a Mac version

The Sonos Music Library only exists as a set of filepaths accessed through the Sonos app, and the Sonos app has no role when playing via BT.

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Thanks for your insightful comment.  Is that how you got to generate 17,797 replies.  Maybe you could find something better to do with your time. 

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There is a MacVersion, which is how I discovered that .wma files are not supported.

I don't understand your updated comment about the Sonos Library.  The Sonos library is just a set of files and directories like any other data.  What has this got to do with BT and the Sonos app?  I am playing from an Apple Music library when I play on the Move via my iPhone.  I would just like to have the exact same music available on the Move whether it is playing via the Sonos app or via BT and Apple Music.

Full disclosure: I’m not a Mac person.

Since this is likely a once and done project, perhaps you have a friend with a PC that could help out with this chore. Depending on the number of files this could take a while to complete. 

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Buzz, I was a dyed in the wool Windows man for many years until forced to give up Win/XP some years back.  Since then I have been running various Macs using Fusion to run a virtual Win/XP machine to support the one Windows app I can’t live without.

Unfortunately, I mothballed that Mac some years ago as the Fusion upgrade path required a hardware change, which was just too expensive.  I now use Crossover to run the Windows app, but I am pretty certain it will not support something as “technical” as dBpoweramp.

Largely due to inertia, I never got rid of the Fusion Mac, which is sitting in a cupboard somewhere.  I have very occasionally been forced to go back to it for one reason or another and it usually boots up ok.  So unless there is another option I guess I’ll try to start it up and install a WinXP version of dBpoweramp.

Failing that it might well be a case of borrowing a mate’s Windows pc!

 

There is a MacVersion, which is how I discovered that .wma files are not supported.

I don't understand your updated comment about the Sonos Library.  The Sonos library is just a set of files and directories like any other data.  What has this got to do with BT and the Sonos app?  I am playing from an Apple Music library when I play on the Move via my iPhone.  I would just like to have the exact same music available on the Move whether it is playing via the Sonos app or via BT and Apple Music.

The Sonos library is NOT a set of files and directories.  Also the Sonos app is not a music player, it is a remote control for the Sonos networked system.  The Sonos Music Library consists of the indexed filepaths to all the files wherever they are stored on the local network.  The filepaths are stored on each speaker, not in the app.  To play a track from your music library on a particular speaker, the Sonos app instructs the speaker to find the track from the stated location on the network and play it.  This is an integrated coherent system in which app, speaker and file store work together across the network.

When you play non-networked over BT, you are not using the Sonos system at all.  The Sonos app is irrelevant and you just have a dumb BT speaker to which you would play as you would to any other dumb BT speaker.  The Sonos Music Library only exists as a concept within the networked system.

You need to find a means to play your music files from wherever they are stored by BT to your dumb, Sonos-branded speaker.  How the Sonos Music Library is defined in the Sonos system is as irrelevant as if you were playing to a Bose BT speaker.

i hope that makes sense and is helpful.  If it doesn’t and isn’t, I’m afraid it is the best I can do.

 

How about this for the conversion?

https://www.nch.com.au/switch/index.html?kw=audio%20converter%20free%20download%20for%20mac&gclid=CjwKCAjwlqOXBhBqEiwA-hhitLk1a8sS4W9mPM7PgKc6WXDEB6pEsqI7bQev7w_JKEHppxRiOedNPRoCBfEQAvD_BwE

I cannot personally vouch for it.

@bjw10,
It’s been mentioned already, but one of the ways I have found to achieve this when travelling, is to connect a mobile device, like an iPhone (with a mobile data connection) over Bluetooth to a Sonos Move or Roam and then play from the Plex App. That’s after setting up remote access to the local NAS or PC music library with the free Plex server software.

It’s usually a simple case of forwarding port 32400 on the local router to the Plex server (Note however, that it requires a Plex Pass (purchase) in order to get remote access).. it looks like this…

See example side by side screenshots from the Plex App whilst connected over Bluetooth - the mobile has no WiFi connection. All is streamed from the NAS Plex server back at Home via the mobile data connection to the speaker over Bluetooth.

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@John B 

I am afraid I disagree.

The Music Library that I specify to Sonos is nothing but a standard set of files/directories accessible via the Mac Finder.  We might be back to semantics (see the first reply to my original post), but what Sonos does to the data internally thereafter to make the system work is a complete black box and therefore entirely irrelevant in this situation.  I did not understand your detailed description of what is going on internally and neither should I need to.  My issue is quite straightforward and you are just overcomplicating it, sprinkled with a liberal dose of sarcasm/irony, for reasons best known to yourself.

I think we might both agree that via the Sonos app I can play everything on my Sonos library on the Move connected via wifi.  Similarly, one of the key features of the Move is that when I am out of range of wifi, I can use another music app on my phone e.g. in my case Apple Music, to play music on the Move connected via BT.  All I am trying to do is create an identical library on the iPhone to match the albums in the Sonos Music Library on my Mac.  Unfortunately the one thing stopping me is not being able to easily convert the .wma files on the Sonos Music Library into .m4a files so that they can be read by Apple Music.

Thanks for the tip re the NCH software, but that was one of the first converters I tried.  I am prepared to admit I did not use it properly, but whilst the individual .wma files were converted to .m4a format, the album art was completely ignored.

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@Ken_Griffiths 

Thanks for the further suggestion re Plex.  Since I have now resurrected the old Mac which runs Fusion, I am persevering with that option for now.  It runs iTunes (instead of Apple Music) and I thought that there was a way to use it to convert my .wma files to .m4a.  That isn’t going too well right now, but I haven’t explored this option fully yet.  Failing that I think I will try installing an XP version of dBpoweramp and leave Plex as the fall back position before giving up the idea entirely.

A key aim at the back of all this is to create a situation that can be easily understood by a non-technical person, namely my wife.  This whole environment is now so complex to her that she, unsurprisingly, freaks out when any sort of problem occurs and wants to go back to a radiogram and vinyls (not that we have one)!

@bjw10
Admittedly I thought iTunes was able to convert .wma files to .m4a when you either ‘drag & drop’ or import them .. 🤷‍♂️

Perhaps see if this link might assist:

https://www.videosolo.com/tutorials/convert-wma-to-itunes.html

@John B

I am afraid I disagree.

The Music Library that I specify to Sonos is nothing but a standard set of files/directories accessible via the Mac Finder.  We might be back to semantics (see the first reply to my original post), but what Sonos does to the data internally thereafter to make the system work is a complete black box and therefore entirely irrelevant in this situation.

 

I think the point that we’ve been trying to be make is that Sonos doesn’t do anything to do the data, the music files, sitting on your NAS. When you connect the directory(s) in the Sonos app, nothing is written or modified on your NAS.  Your  Sonos speakers just store an index file of your files for easier searching an access.  Many others who don’t understand this before, believing that Sonos has modified the files on their NAS, has also referred to it as their “Sonos Music Library”...as if the files can only be used by Sonos now.  I think you understand how it works, but the frequent reference to your files as specifically the Sonos Music Library as casting some doubt.

You are correct that it likely isn’t relevant to a solution to your issue, but we still would want to clear up confusion.  For example, if you went with Plex as a solution, we wouldn’t want you to think you’d have to create a second copy of all your music files, one for plex and one for Sonos, as if they can’t access the same files.

 

 I did not understand your detailed description of what is going on internally and neither should I need to.  My issue is quite straightforward and you are just overcomplicating it, sprinkled with a liberal dose of sarcasm/irony, for reasons best known to yourself.

I think we might both agree that via the Sonos app I can play everything on my Sonos library on the Move connected via wifi.  Similarly, one of the key features of the Move is that when I am out of range of wifi, I can use another music app on my phone e.g. in my case Apple Music, to play music on the Move connected via BT.  All I am trying to do is create an identical library on the iPhone to match the albums in the Sonos Music Library on my Mac.  Unfortunately the one thing stopping me is not being able to easily convert the .wma files on the Sonos Music Library into .m4a files so that they can be read by Apple Music.

Thanks for the tip re the NCH software, but that was one of the first converters I tried.  I am prepared to admit I did not use it properly, but whilst the individual .wma files were converted to .m4a format, the album art was completely ignored.

 

I personally am not a big fan of trying to keep two or more versions of music files in sync across multiple devices.  Every time you add a file, you’ll have to manually update to multiple places, or have some automation in place to handle it.  I like the idea of using a music service like plex that can read my sole source of music, including any playlists and metatags, without me having to worry about it.  Plex is what I know, but perhaps there is a similar music service that does the same job that better suits you?

 

 

@bjw10 . I genuinely tried to explain what is really going on and to help you see why nothing from the Sonos system is available when using BT.. Other than the flippant opening comment, no sarcasm was intended and I am puzzled as to why you think it was.

The only way you will get an identical set of files for BT is to see what files are referenced by the Sonos library and make the same files available independently of Sonos. 

The fact that the Sonos system does not contain any music files is more than mere semantics.

Good luck and goodbye

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