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Album art erratic display on Android app still

  • 14 February 2023
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Like a lot of people, it seems, I have this problem. It’s been going on for a long time and I keep thinking it’ll get fixed but doesn’t. I read an extremely long thread on it (Sonos no longer recognizing folder.jpg for cover art?) in which replies ended many months ago and there seems to have been no resolution. What is the status?

My music library is on a Synology NAS with SMB2 min, SMB3 max. I have a mix of MP3s with embedded art (600x600) and WMAs with a folder.jpg in the containing folder. The issues are not unique to either type; both types fail to display properly at random times. I always play large WPL imported playlists. I frequently update these playlists with manually shuffled versions (I did not feel that Sonos’ shuffle was random enough so I shuffle the playlists myself). My library auto-updates at 4am daily.  

I’ve spent (and continue to spend) a great deal of time curating my library with tags and cover art and it is constantly irritating to see the art not showing properly.

 

 

 

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Best answer by buzz 14 February 2023, 23:56

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14 replies

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The album art will probably load quicker if you resize it to 400 X 400 pixels.

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The album art will probably load quicker if you resize it to 400 X 400 pixels.

 

Lol, I have a very large library and have spent a great deal of time doing album covers of that size. I don’t think I have it in me to redo them all 😁 Besides, this seems clearly a Sonos bug, because the covers used to show without issue.

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Hi you are not alone, and this does not appear to be an an android specie issue.  I updated my controller app last week and have the exact same issue with album art.  On the phone with Sonos Support and they cannot locate the issue including spending quite a bit of time with them remotely accessing my machine. After days of troubleshooting I firmly believe that this is an issue with the latest controller software updates. I’m setting an appointment up with the Sonos escalation team and if I have any luck i’ll report back here. Also like you I’ve had Sonos for many many years and have never had an issue till I completed the recent updates.

I’m not having any Album Art issues with my library of FLAC tracks. I also use Synology. My artwork is stored as folder.jpg.

The SONOS controllers are impatient. If the artwork request is not filled promptly, the controller will move on. In the SONOS controller got to Settings --> System --> About My System and note the Associated Product. This is the player that your controller is working through. If this player has a slow connection to your network for some reason, artwork might display intermittently. You have no control over which player will associate with your controller. It’s possible that the controller will associate with a different player from time to time. Keep track of the association and you may discover a player that has a difficult network connection. 

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I’m not having any Album Art issues with my library of FLAC tracks. I also use Synology. My artwork is stored as folder.jpg.

The SONOS controllers are impatient. If the artwork request is not filled promptly, the controller will move on. In the SONOS controller got to Settings --> System --> About My System and note the Associated Product. This is the player that your controller is working through. If this player has a slow connection to your network for some reason, artwork might display intermittently. You have no control over which player will associate with your controller. It’s possible that the controller will associate with a different player from time to time. Keep track of the association and you may discover a player that has a difficult network connection. 

 

Thanks buzz, I’ll look into that. I have had other problems with skipping tracks that I suspect is due to the group controller speaker not being wired and possible on the fringe of the Sonos Net. Could be a similar issue.

I did notice this oddity: I paused playback on the queue that finally caused me to write my post and include images. I went back some hours later to resume the music, and all the images in the queue were populated, and all the covers appeared as playback moved from song to song. It was as if while paused, all the failed covers had the time to populate. This was a large queue of about 900 songs; wondering if that’s a heavy lift for loading album art for the app. You’d have to assume kind of an inefficiently coded app that tries to load all of the covers when playback starts, rather than lazy loading a subset and then fetching more as playback continues or if the user scrolls the queue. It couldn’t be that dumb…?

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Hi you are not alone, and this does not appear to be an an android specie issue.  I updated my controller app last week and have the exact same issue with album art.  On the phone with Sonos Support and they cannot locate the issue including spending quite a bit of time with them remotely accessing my machine. After days of troubleshooting I firmly believe that this is an issue with the latest controller software updates. I’m setting an appointment up with the Sonos escalation team and if I have any luck i’ll report back here. Also like you I’ve had Sonos for many many years and have never had an issue till I completed the recent updates.

 

Thanks Omalb, please to post anything you learn!

 

I went back some hours later to resume the music, and all the images in the queue were populated, and all the covers appeared as playback moved from song to song. It was as if while paused, all the failed covers had the time to populate. This was a large queue of about 900 songs; 

 

There’s a lot of processing required while sifting through your library. The associated player and the controller must fetch the files, look for embedded artwork, reduce the 600x600 artwork to something that can display, then cache at least some of the artwork so that you can scroll smoothly. This requires a lot of processing and data flow if you open a playlist, then immediately start to scroll. 

Overall I suspect that there is a communication issue somewhere and it could be transient, possibly related to time of day.

Which SONOS players do you have? The older players have slower processors. If you are unlucky at a given time and your controller associates with a slower processor with a slower connection, performance will degrade. With a more fortunate association and more favorable time of day for communication, the system could be “peppy”.

You may be able to probe a potential communication issue by going to http://[address of a player]:1400/support/review and checking the Network Matrix at the bottom. Red cells indicate potential issues. Unfortunately, the newest players do not supply full data for the matrix. The usefulness of this data will vary depending on the age of your SONOS components.

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I went back some hours later to resume the music, and all the images in the queue were populated, and all the covers appeared as playback moved from song to song. It was as if while paused, all the failed covers had the time to populate. This was a large queue of about 900 songs; 

 

There’s a lot of processing required while sifting through your library. The associated player and the controller must fetch the files, look for embedded artwork, reduce the 600x600 artwork to something that can display, then cache at least some of the artwork so that you can scroll smoothly. This requires a lot of processing and data flow if you open a playlist, then immediately start to scroll. 

Overall I suspect that there is a communication issue somewhere and it could be transient, possibly related to time of day.

Which SONOS players do you have? The older players have slower processors. If you are unlucky at a given time and your controller associates with a slower processor with a slower connection, performance will degrade. With a more fortunate association and more favorable time of day for communication, the system could be “peppy”.

You may be able to probe a potential communication issue by going to http://[address of a player]:1400/support/review and checking the Network Matrix at the bottom. Red cells indicate potential issues. Unfortunately, the newest players do not supply full data for the matrix. The usefulness of this data will vary depending on the age of your SONOS components.

 

Thanks again buzz, that’s really interesting info. I have a mix of 5 PLAY:1s (purchased in 2016 & 2018), 4 ONE SLs (purchased in 2019 & 2020, and 1 Roam (purchased in 2021). I have been looking to replace the older speakers a couple at a time, but haven’t moved on that yet. Obviously, the PLAY:1s are pretty old for electronics, but I didn’t think in terms of them having processors that are slow compared to newer speakers, and further, of this affecting performance. To tell the truth my main goal in replacing was to stay ahead of any future obsolescence that Sonos might decree, as they did a few years ago, which caught me by surprise.

I mostly play imported WPL playlists, and most have a lot of songs, up to 1000+. Starting to wonder if it would improve things if I reduced their sizes to what one could actually listen to in a full day. I generate shuffled versions of the playlists, and copy them to the library periodically. It would be a small change to update my shuffle program to trim the output playlists to a given size. The way the cover art eventually seemed to populate over time suggests to me that a smaller playlist might populate faster. I will note that I checked the Sonos help and found that they specified a max of 4000 songs in all imported playlists, which I was within, and so figured I need not worry about the size of some of mine.

I tried the diagnostic URL and that sure had a lot of interesting info. The network matrix does have red, but along the left side; it sounded like you were talking about interior cells that were red. I’m not sure how what it is telling me, can you see any issues? If it is too small here, I can post it somewhere and give you a URL to it. 

 

 

Size is not an issue. Click on the posted image to expand.

“OFDM ANI Level: 0” is best, 9 is worst. This indicates some interference. Your WiFi should be using 20MHz channel 1, 6, or 11 on the 2.4GHz band. The noise floors are reasonable. The newer units don’t report here. “Inbound” and “Outbound” are an indication of signal strength. 18 is about as low as you’ll see because below that the player cannot connect. The low 20’s are risky and probably would not work in your case due to the high ANI levels. Based on signal strength, the Green cells would be best choice to start building a Group. Office would also be a good choice. Hopefully, one of these players will be the Associated Product.

Note that his is static data. Refresh the page to fetch current data. 

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In my ongoing attempt to “fix” the issue of erratic and poor performance of album art in the desktop controller app, Buzz has chimed in with some very helpful information about how this process actually occurs within the controller.  For instance I wasn't aware that the associated product played such an important role in the process.  After multiple attempts at rebooting my entire system starting at the modem, and then router, bridge, and players, and deleting and re-installing the controller (with concurrent system reboots), I have had no success with addressing the issue.  

Buzz suggests that the controllers are “impatient”.  I’m assuming he means that they cache artwork for the current screen then stop, until the user scrolls new a “new” page of albums, and once again the controller requests the artwork.  It would seem this is correct as evidence of the rotating (work) icon begins each time the user scrolls to a new page (of albums) then stops. Is this something new?  I ask, as I never had this issue in the past.  Artwork loaded quickly enough that this was never an issue and once loaded it then “persisted”..ie...if I scrolled down to the “S’s” in albums….then back up to the “A’s”….the “A’s” album art would still be there.  That is not the case any longer.  Now the controller must again request the artwork which had previously loaded and it’s painfully slow and incomplete.

Buzz and others have brought up the fact that most of this processing occurs at the associated product node, and imply that if there are too many “hops” on sonos net or there are “noisy” or weak nodes in the link that this would slow the fetch.  So once again I shut my entire system down, unplugged all players and then began the reboot process and plugged in the bridge as the first sonos device.  Then I plugged in the next sonos zone player which showed as the strongest node in my network matrix.  I did this to try and move the associated product to the best performing node in my network matrix.  It worked and I was able to “force” the associated node to the target.  Unfortunately that had little effect on the album artwork fetch.  It was a bit faster, but still nothing at all like the performance prior to the upgrade.  Oh and my controller software on my iPad shows almost no artwork at all since the upgrade.  There is nothing wrong with my network.  I have a 500mb plan and I use a non-mesh Netgear router with the latest firmware.  I’ve done numerous checks on the network matrix to determine if I have excessive noise or weak signals in the environment and I do not...all of my matrix is green with a couple of yellow’s.  I’ve even removed my bridge, to see if that impacts the issue in order to move from bridge mode to pure sonos net mode….no significant changes there.  I used wifi explorer to check noise levels on various channels and made sure my sonos channel was not the one used by my 2.4ghz router.  Still no joy!  I’ve run out of ideas at this point, and have concluded that it must have something to do with the latest update I installed last week on both my desktop and iPads.  

Nothing else has changed in what has been a rock solid performing sonos system for well over a decade.  I’ve spent a long time carefully curating a local library over the years, including the development of many playlists for different social occasions, family gatherings, holidays, etc.   It’s not huge...about 3000 albums, and Sonos has always handled it with aplomb. Additionally I have subscriptions to both Tidal and Quobuz and Sonos has always handled them without issue.  I’m really bummed out about this sudden artwork issue, and my inability to fix it.  I’ve got a scheduled appointment with Level2 sonos support today, so we’ll see, but I’m unsure what they can try that I haven't already.  I’m an enthusiastic user of Roon software if any of you are aware of it.  I can use that to play to my Sonos system as “endpoints”, but Sonos has always been rock solid with excellent performance and I’d prefer to remain using the sonos native controllers.  I’ve installed many home theaters and whole-house sound systems for friends and family and sonos has always been my go-to for this.  It’s user simplicity and solid performance always brings smiles to new users.  I’ll probably continue to do so, but this issue in my my home has been both puzzling (obviously :>)} ...and very frustrating.

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Whoops….referred to my “Boost” as “bridge”….it’s a Boost!

 

As a cost saving BOOST and BRIDGE simply omit the audio section. Their main use is to provide a wired connection for SonosNet when no music is needed at the most practical network port. Another use might be to improve coverage at a distant, weak signal location. This node could be wired or wireless.

If you are able to wire one or more players, BRIDGE or BOST are not required.

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Size is not an issue. Click on the posted image to expand.

“OFDM ANI Level: 0” is best, 9 is worst. This indicates some interference. Your WiFi should be using 20MHz channel 1, 6, or 11 on the 2.4GHz band. The noise floors are reasonable. The newer units don’t report here. “Inbound” and “Outbound” are an indication of signal strength. 18 is about as low as you’ll see because below that the player cannot connect. The low 20’s are risky and probably would not work in your case due to the high ANI levels. Based on signal strength, the Green cells would be best choice to start building a Group. Office would also be a good choice. Hopefully, one of these players will be the Associated Product.

Note that his is static data. Refresh the page to fetch current data. 

Thanks for the help deciphering this info. I’ll look into tweaking my WiFi channel 👍

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I have the exact same issues and all of my art is embedded in each flac.  It’s not just Android that has this issue.

I downgraded one of my speakers to S1 just so I could see it work correctly.   Its an issue with S2 only and not S1.

I went through support and finally got my case escalted, but have not had the time to set up an appointment and continue to troubleshoot.

Johnny Rico, did anything get figured out on your case?