Items missing from music library (updating music library not working properly)

  • 25 October 2021
  • 6 replies

Hi there,

Hoping someone can help me out with this seemingly random problem that occurred over the weekend - I have not made any changes to my system.

I have my music library stored on an old HP ProLiant server in my office running Windows Home Server 2011 - I have been doing this since my first Sonos purchase in 2014 and it has been almost completely problem-free. The server isn’t set up to do anything fancy other than store my music library and allow me to stream to the Sonos speakers around the house.

Having checked before posting this (wary of the file limit to Sonos libraries), my library is formed of a single folder of 478GB, with multiple sub-folders. Windows Explorer tells me that it is made up of 32,428 individual files spread across 2,480 folders.

I allow the Sonos system to index my Music Library every night at 2am and this has been the setup since I first purchased a Play:3 in 2014. If I add some files during the day and I want to listen, I manually trigger a music library index through the Sonos controller, either via Windows or on the iOS app.

I did this on Saturday to add some newly purchased music to the library and then found that the artist was missing entirely from my music library. I ran the music library index several times, as well as removing and then adding the music library location again through the Sonos Windows controller.

I do not get any error messages on screen when indexing the music library, however I can see that by browsing via Music Library / Folders and reading down the list of files that the music library only contains a small number of folders, usually finishing around the end of the letter ‘A’ in a list of my folders (I have everything organised in my library in folders with the artist first in the folder name).

Assuming this was a network issue, I browsed to the music library location on a Windows PC over the network using File Explorer and can see that all files and folders are present and correct. I can play music over the network from the server to another Windows PC, but for some reason they aren’t showing up when I run the music library index in the Sonos app.

I have tried triggering the music library index via the PC Controller and the iOS app and the results are the same.

My whole Sonos system is running on the S2 OS - I am using Version 13.3.2 of the Sonos Controller for PC.

Sorry this has been so long - hoping that someone can help!


Best answer by orangepants 26 October 2021, 08:13

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6 replies

hi @orangepants 

Compared to my music library on my Mac mini, I do not observe any anomaly. However, I would suggest some basic checks on the integrity of the files. Can you open the (source) files and read the meta data? I am using Apple Music as a music library management software and use this to create playlists and update the track meta data like album artist, composer, etc. 


If it has been working fine up to now, it probably is some kind of network communication glitch that has stopped the indexing completing.  It may work again next time, or you could do a manual update and submit a system diagnostic if it fails.

As @el rubio suggests, it would be worth checking data integrity, particularly on any new music files added.

Thanks both for the replies.

I can read (and play) various files in the music library location across the network using another Windows 10 PC and can also use MP3Tag to read the metadata, so I don’t think there is any issue with the integrity of the files. I even removed the recently added files from the music library (deleted them completely from the hard disk) and tried to run the music library index again to no avail.

The manual music library indexing on the Sonos app / PC Controller doesn’t actually fail, or if it does, it certainly doesn’t present me with any error messages, at least. I have rebooted the server and have tried it again today (the problem first became apparent on Saturday evening) and am still having the same issue.

The only thing I haven’t tried yet is completely nuking the Sonos system and then adding everything again, but I’ve always found that process to be a massive ballache (compared to how easy using Sonos is generally) so that is definitely my last resort.

Whatever you mean by "nuking" the system, I doubt it would help. Try wiring one Sonos speaker to your router.  If convenient, power off the other units. Then reindex.

Btw, the indexing isn't done in the controller so it makes no difference which controller you use to issue the command to reindex.

Well, by “nuking” it, I meant resetting the entire Sonos system and then starting again from scratch, setting up the Wi-Fi again and then (gradually) adding the speakers back to the system.

Fortunately, this wasn’t necessary, as I tried again yesterday evening and managed to get the system to fully index my library again and, upon checking this morning, the scheduled index didn’t fall over during the night either as everything seems to be present and correct again.

All rather unexplained - I suspect that you are right in that there was probably some kind of network glitch somewhere the other day that caused an unexpected break during the indexing. I still don’t fully understand why it took me having to manually index perhaps 20+ times before it fixed itself.

Thanks again for your help!

I am pleased it is working OK again. A complete reset is generally at best pointless, at worst destructive. So I am glad you didn't try that!