music stored on computer is a mess

  • 30 October 2021
  • 8 replies

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I use Sonos primarily to play music stored on my Windows computer. It is all organized in itunes, with many Playlists. I open Sonos and go to Music Library > Imported Playlists

The issue is that my music files seem to be in many different locations on my computer. I can see this in itunes if I right-click a song and select Show in Windows Explorer--the songs are all over the place.  And I sometimes get errors that Sonos cannot find a song.

Can I go into File Explorer and move the music files around so that all the songs are stored in the same folder in just one location? Then I would go to Sonos > Manage > Music Library Settings > Folders and list just the one folder.

This seems too easy--what am I missing? What other files would need to be in the folder with the music, such as a library file? I don’t want to totally mess things up.

Thanks in advance for your advice.


Best answer by John B 31 October 2021, 20:08

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8 replies

Taken from Apple Support pages online…

You can set iTunes to place copies of items imported into iTunes in the iTunes folder.

  1. In the iTunes app on your PC, choose Edit > Preferences, then click Advanced.

  2. Select the “Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library” tickbox.

    The next time you add an item to your library, iTunes places a copy of the file in your iTunes folder; the original file remains in its current location.

    If you want items to appear in iTunes but also remain in their original location, deselect this tickbox. For example, you can keep music imported from CDs on your computer and save your video files on an external storage device.

    Tip: When you drag files to the iTunes window, you can temporarily reverse the tickbox setting by holding down the Alt key while you drag.

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This is good info for adding songs to itunes in the future, but doesn’t help me with my current issue.

This is good info for adding songs to itunes in the future, but doesn’t help me with my current issue.

I seem too recall that if you ‘check the box’ mentioned even after the import, it will still fetch all the tracks to your library… perhaps try it and see what happens.

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I think my issue is not with Sonos, it is with itunes and also with the fact that I have 2 user accounts.

Sonos is working fine...I have set it to look for music in both of my user accounts.

It appears that my music files are stored in at least 3 places on my hard drive. itunes is using all 3 locations as it looks for files to play, song by song. Right now I have plenty of hard drive space.  As it fills up, I will have to find a way to make itunes use only one location, so I can delete the other 2.

Not a Sonos problem! Thanks for trying to help.

It’s sometimes easier to move the entire iTunes library onto a separate NAS (Network Attached Storage) (preferably set to Raid 1 or similar fault-tolerance) as that way the files will all be in one place and much less likely to lose them through hardware failure, plus you don’t need to leave a PC powered on to playback the library to your Sonos speakers and with power-saving settings these days, it’s cheap to run 24/7, or to a daily schedule.

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I use Carbonite backup service plus I have my music files copied to an external hard drive. I hope that’s enough to secure them.

With EACH of my 2 Users, I can find 2 folders that contain my music files, for a total of 4.  Seems like a waste of hard drive space. (1 User has a few more files and folders than the other User). I have Sonos pointing to all 4, to be sure no songs are overlooked.

So where is my “entire itunes library”? Do I have 4?  Again, if I randomly look at songs in itunes, all 4 of those music file locations are in use.

While I would like a more efficient use of storage, my main concern is for Sonos to run smoothly. I don’t want to make any changes in itunes that could disrupt Sonos.


This might help. I think you need to consolidate your iTunes library.

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Busy today...will check it out tomorrow. Thanks!