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Lost all my playlist

  • 31 December 2020
  • 25 replies
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Hi, l have been a Sonos user since 2005 and lost all my playlists yesterday… My family is devastated so I hope someone can help me restore them. I was changing a router and factory reset all my Sonos one units and this seems to have erased all my history. I thought my settings were tied to my user account in the cloud...

I do own some old ZP100 that I was still using 6 months ago, co-existing with some Sonos One units in my old network before I moved house. Is there a way I can use those to recover my playlists? I would be very grateful if someone has a solution.

Thanks a lot!

 

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Best answer by controlav 31 December 2020, 15:50

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25 replies

Why on earth did you factory reset everything? The warnings in the support article are clear about the consequences.

There’s a remote chance that you may be able to recover the playlists from one of the mothballed units. Do nothing more until you’ve completely outlined here:

  • which units have not been reset
  • what version -- S1 or S2 -- your live units are running (the ZP100 can only run S1)

In particular do not add the older, offline units to your system. They too would be wiped.

Hi Ratty,

Thanks a lot for the quick response, much appreciated. I obviously didn’t see any of the warnings or I would have not done it… I saw other instructions and followed them and there was no warning about this.

 

. All the Sonos ones have been factory reset. I have 4 on the current system

. They are all running on the the latest Sonos SW (S2 v 12.2.2)

. The ones that have never been reset are the ZP100 (2 units). They are in boxes, not connected to the existing system. I stopped using them 6 months ago so I hope I can at least use them to recover my playlists until then. 

 

Thanks a lot!

This is going to take some care (and there is one step which may not work).

  • Power off all the Ones 
  • Uninstall the S2 app
  • Wire a single ZP100 to the network and power it up (leave the other in its box as a spare)
  • Install the S1 app and tell it to connect to an existing system

If the ZP100 wants to update to the latest S1 version that’s okay.

Check if your Sonos playlists are present, and if so:

  • Wire a single One to the network as well
  • Power it up in factory reset mode
  • Try and add it to the S1 system

If that adds and downgrades itself successfully to S1 it should acquire your playlists, in which case:

  • Power off and remove the ZP100
  • Go through the update-to-S2 procedure on the single One plus the app, as you did some while ago

You may need to go into the S1 system settings to give the app a kick, so as to make it check for an S2 update. 

Once you have both the single One and app back on S2:

  • Factory reset the three other Ones and add them to the system
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There is another, low risk way of seeing if the boxed ZP100 have your playlists before taking Ratty’s awesome recovery method:

Install my iOS app (see profile) and just power up a ZP100, wired.

In the app go to Playlists and see if any are there. If yes, then you can back them up (using Export) right then just in case, and then go through Ratty’s steps to recover them.

My app doesn’t care what state a player is in (so long as it is wired) - doesn’t need a working Household, doesn’t care if you are S1 or S2, and it even works with factory-reset and bricked devices (though its not magic, those have no playlists to find).

I don’t think the OP will have much problem in establishing the existence of the playlists in the ZP100. It’s the cloning operation into an S2->S1 Sonos One, and then back S1->S2 which needs the care.

Besides, the purpose of keeping the other ZP100 securely in its box was as a ‘just in case’.

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Interesting, the official factory reset page does not have nearly enough warnings, and doesn't mention playlist destruction specifically: https://support.sonos.com/s/article/1096?language=en_US

It just says “system data” which is far from obvious.

It wouldn’t much matter what it said if one had the misconception that Sonos Playlists were stored in the cloud.

And clearly a controller can’t put up any warnings because by definition the player is being cut loose.

Interesting, the official factory reset page does not have nearly enough warnings, and doesn't mention playlist destruction specifically: https://support.sonos.com/s/article/1096?language=en_US

It just says “system data” which is far from obvious.

controlav,

You need to extend your App so that a user is not only able to export their playlists to .xml, but be able to import them too, back to either their S1/S2 system. 

I have to also say however, besides perhaps selling/passing-on an ‘entire’ Sonos system to someone else, I really can’t think of a situation where a need arises to reset all players.

I agree @ratty’s recovery post is indeed ‘awesome’ to help correct the OP’s present situation with their system… there is certainly high hope that all is not lost here.

Even with write access to the relevant player memory re-import of playlists could throw up all kinds of issues, given that music library paths and online accounts could potentially be mismatched. There’s a danger that it could become something of a train wreck.

Interesting, the official factory reset page does not have nearly enough warnings, and doesn't mention playlist destruction specifically: https://support.sonos.com/s/article/1096?language=en_US

It just says “system data” which is far from obvious.

The former warnings have been toned down, sadly. Previously it said that factory resetting would destroy your system and result in a £10,000 fine or three months in jail.  OK I made that bit up, but it did say that you should not factory reset unless told to by a Sonos employee.  I assume this was dropped so as not to encourage users to call up for help.  (This is being backed up by other measures to discourage the use of Support, for example giving crap advice.)

Funnily enough, if you Google ‘Sonos Factory Reset’ the first link isn’t an official Sonos page but from ‘’Dynamic Media Music’.  The advice here seems to be largely lifted from the previous Sonos guidance, and has more appropriate warnings.

 

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controlav,

You need to extend your App so that a user is not only able to export their playlists to .xml, but be able to import them too, back to either their S1/S2 system. .

It was my original intention as I was worried about the S1/S2 transition trashing them, but this proved to be a rare event. Most use-cases today are people wanting to convert to other formats which it works well for.

Its a good point though, and it is pretty straight-forward to do. Well except the UX, which always takes me longer than the underlying code as its not my comfort zone.

controlav,

You need to extend your App so that a user is not only able to export their playlists to .xml, but be able to import them too, back to either their S1/S2 system. .

It was my original intention as I was worried about the S1/S2 transition trashing them, but this proved to be a rare event. Most use-cases today are people wanting to convert to other formats which it works well for.

Its a good point though, and it is pretty straight-forward to do. Well except the UX, which always takes me longer than the underlying code as its not my comfort zone.

So… given identical library shares and the same streaming accounts a playlist would ‘just work’ on the receiving household?

Hi Controlav,

Thanks a lot for the tip. I was actually able to recover most of my playlist from the ZP100. Sorry but can you please confirm how do I export the playlist as I was not able to find how to do it from the S1 app. 

I ran into problems with Ratty’s process above after the Sonos one was successfully connected (I then removed the ZP100 before the update but it didn’t complete because the ZP 100 was disconnected) so I want to make sure I have a safe back up before I try again.

Many thanks to you both, seems like we should be able to make it work!

I ran into problems with Ratty’s process above after the Sonos one was successfully connected (I then removed the ZP100 before the update but it didn’t complete because the ZP 100 was disconnected) so I want to make sure I have a safe back up before I try again.

So were you able to add the One to the ZP100, with the One downgrading itself successfully S2->S1?

If you then disconnected the ZP100 the upgrade S1->S2 of the One should have proceeded okay. In fact the presence of the ZP100 would have prevented the upgrade.

It might help to exit and restart the S1 app, so it forgets about the ZP100. You could then go to Settings > System > System Tools > System Compatibility Check and nudge the S1->S2 update along.

 

Hi Ratty,

I just found out that I only have one ZP100 left (no other back-up) so I don’t want to screw things up. Can you confirm how to export the playlists and reimport them later once I have set up the system before we attempt anything.

 

Thanks!

 

I just found out that I only have one ZP100 left (no other back-up) so I don’t want to screw things up. Can you confirm how to export the playlists and reimport them later once I have set up the system before we attempt anything.

No I cannot. There is no official way to do so.

@controlav has a third party export tool. 

Hi Controlav,

Happy new year! Could you please confirm how I can back-up and import my playlists? Happy to buy a 3rd party app if needed. 

Many thanks!

Hi Controlav,

Happy new year! Could you please confirm how I can back-up and import my playlists? Happy to buy a 3rd party app if needed. 

Many thanks!

Note that every sonos ‘player’ on your system retains a copy of all your playlists. So the only ‘likely’ way to lose them is by factory resetting every device in the Household and the chances of doing that are fairly negligible, unless done (accidentally) on purpose.
 

You ‘may’ want to consider the risk of using a 3rd party unsupported export/import tool. My thoughts here are that might bring about the possibility of introducing some corruption to the device data as it’s an unofficial/untested procedure, particularly as Sonos seem to regularly update/alter their device firmware, aswell as their software.
 

So just as a ‘friendly’ suggestion, at the very least, I would perhaps switch off ‘all but one’ of your products beforehand, that’s if you decide to look at 3rd party exporting/importing of your ‘valuable’ system data.

Hi Ken,

Thanks for jumping in here, appreciate the concerns. 

Can you confirm then that I won’t risk losing the only copy of my playlist that is stored on my ZP100 even if there is a SW upgrade. Concerned that I don’t control the upgrade process (last time I followed the process recommended by Ratty above, Sonos triggered an upgrade) and don’t want to wipe out any valuable data during the process. 

Thanks!

An upgrade does not erase playlists. A factory reset does.

Hi Ken,

Thanks for jumping in here, appreciate the concerns. 

Can you confirm then that I won’t risk losing the only copy of my playlist that is stored on my ZP100 even if there is a SW upgrade. Concerned that I don’t control the upgrade process (last time I followed the process recommended by Ratty above, Sonos triggered an upgrade) and don’t want to wipe out any valuable data during the process. 

Thanks!

I’ve not personally seen a Sonos update wipe a playlist of mine and I’d personally prefer to go with a Sonos official (supported) update/process, than say a 3rd party unsupported method (no disrespect to anyone, when I say that of course).

 

@ratty’s advice in his posts above seems to me to be an excellent way to proceed to recover lost playlists. It’s what I (and I’m sure many others) would have recommended to you. That’s if you have not done that already.


As always though, the decisions are for you to make.

Dear Ratty, Ken and the others that contributed:

I wanted to thank you all for the amazing support and quick response. Thanks to your guidance, I was able to successfully retrieve my old playlists from my ZP100 :) The family and I are incredibly grateful!

After spending hours on the community platform in search for solutions, I was surprised to see how much was there. It’s really nice to see such an active and supportive community. The support I got from the community was actually much better than the support I got from the call center.

Reflecting on what happened, I wish I had gone there directly in the first place before I decided to change my set up. I relied on the S2 app instructions (e.g. how to add a new product) but there are no warnings at all that you risk of losing your playlists with a hard reset (just that you have to reinstall music and voice services - see below). In fact, the directions are also misleading since they tell you to hard reset your players to add them to the system. Any person who doesn’t have the time/knowledge to search the support pages before hand is at risk… Sonos has to do a better job to improve the instructions in the app. 

Finally, I still don’t understand why the playlists are stored in speaker memory. They should be tied to the user account and stored in the cloud. They should be accessible anywhere, easily usable with any system (in prime residence, at secondary residence, at friend’s house), and backed up in case one has a fire, loss, theft, etc. That seems table stakes for any modern consumer service these days.

I hope Sonos will draw lessons from this incident and prevent future customers - who may not be lucky to have a ZP100 in their cellar - to lose everything…

 

Well, it’s good that we were able to help you out. It’s not so good that the official support channels were not. 

I’m surprised the controller even led you down the road of adding products, with or without a reset. All you had was a new router, presumably with a different set of WiFi credentials. Normally the controller is supposed to offer you the appropriate “new router” help article if it can’t see the system. 

Looking back at your original post you might have jumped the gun and reset everything at the outset, which was clearly the wrong thing to do. A salutary lesson learned.

On the question of Sonos Playlist backup into the cloud, I actually think it’s a good idea. Sonos Playlists are however a very old feature, so retrofitting cloud backup (and restore) would presumably take a bit of work. Priorities, priorities. 

yanndv,

It’s truly nice to hear that you managed to recover/restore your setup/playlists etc; or at least the majority and it’s true that without that zone player in the cellar (and @ratty’s excellent advice), that all might otherwise have been lost.

It is quite a rare event to see a user reset each one of their devices, before they land here in the community to seek assistance and quite often the ‘wheel can quickly be put back on’ by suggesting they perhaps wire one of their non-reset players to then go onto restore all.

That said, I too would like to see a copy of a users settings/playlists etc; saved to their online Sonos account and be able to (somehow) restore them from there, rather than relying on the ‘perhaps’ last resort of using a non-reset device from the same HH.

I guess if this was an unfortunate ‘regular’ occurrence, we would see Sonos solve the matter with an additional backup process, but as @ratty mentions, it’s perhaps about development priorities and cost etc. I agree it’s an important issue, but certainly on the face of reports here in the community, it remains a scarce event.

At least on this occasion it’s nice to be able to say "All’s well, that ends well”.

Anyhow... Happy New Year to you and the Family too. 

Dear Ratty and Ken, many thanks again for your invaluable help here!! I would happily send you a nice bottle of wine if you share your email with me as you really deserve it!

Ratty, to be clear, I didn’t jump the gun and reset all players at the outset. I tried to follow the S2 app guidelines (without checking the Sonos support pages first, my bad...). Since factory resetting the 1st Sonos one player enabled me to find it, I just carried on with the others until they were all back on unaware of the consequences…

Thanks again for all your help and happy new year!! You guys are rock stars!