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Playback stops mid-track; Android controller displays wrong track

  • 20 November 2022
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Playing local files from my Android S10, there are the following problems.

1. Playback stops mid-track every few minutes

2. The Android S2 app displays a different track to the one the speakers are playing

3. The tracks aren't listed (or played) in album order

Any suggestions how to fix it?

(Also please accept this standard rant as a Sonos user for almost ten years that it's about time we could stream content directly from any phone app to the speakers like we can with headphones, and yes I know this is not how Sonos works. I wish I didn't have to wear headphones half the time.)

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Best answer by Corry P 22 November 2022, 17:35

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Hi @DarrenReynolds 

Thanks for your post! Apologies for the delay.

I’ll start at the end.

(Also please accept this standard rant as a Sonos user for almost ten years that it's about time we could stream content directly from any phone app to the speakers like we can with headphones, and yes I know this is not how Sonos works. I wish I didn't have to wear headphones half the time.)

The irony is that when On This Mobile Device was removed as an option from the iOS version of the Sonos app (due to non-circumventable changes to iOS), the iPhone users were not at all happy about having to use AirPlay, although to be fair this was usually because at the time only the newest Sonos devices were AirPlay compatible. And the irony again here is that for you to be able to stream whatever audio your Android device is playing directly to Sonos you’d need a Sonos Roam to provide the Bluetooth virtual line-in - so again, it’s a case of buying an extra product.

There are third-party apps such as Spotify, that allow you to choose a Sonos room as an output device and control playback from that app. See our Stream audio to Sonos from another app page for a full list.

There does seem to be quite a lot of chatter here sometimes about Sonos Headphones, which is weird because no such product exists. I wonder where they got that idea from? 😁

Playing local files from my Android S10, there are the following problems.

1. Playback stops mid-track every few minutes

The best way to figure out what’s going on here is to visualise the path the music data takes as it goes from your phone to your speaker. Assuming a simple network consisting of a router and nothing else, the phone’s quality of connection is important, and so is the speaker’s. The major factors to think about are distance, interference, and what is in the way of line-of-sight in each case.

Starting at the phone, is it stationary when you are playing (best case), or is it typically in your pocket (worst case)? Is it connected to 5GHz or 2.4GHz? 5GHz is faster, but has a lower range and a lower ability to get through solid objects than 2.4GHz. Is it close to any other WiFi-enabled devices or any other devices that might output 2.4GHz interference, like cordless telephones, other mobile phones, baby monitors, etc.?

Next, your router - it should be 1m away from any other devices like those listed above. Location can be important too - if it were located in the corner of a room made with brick walls, for example, it would have half of it’s transmission power blocked.

Your speakers’ connections should be the easiest to test - if you can play any other music source without issue, then it’s unlikely to be speakers’ connection to the router that is at fault. If the actual problem is interference near the router, however, it could be it’s that the two WiFi “hops” add up to an issue, when one “hop” doesn’t.

Also worth considering is whether or not the phone is occasionally hitting maximum CPU usage at times due to other processes and is therefore unable to maintain the consistent data stream. I’d certainly give it a reboot. Do other Android devices behave better?

2. The Android S2 app displays a different track to the one the speakers are playing

This sounds like limited bandwidth - the phone is using what bandwidth it has to keep the stream going, and has little left for receiving info back from the speaker about what is currently playing (this sounds a little counter-intuitive I know, but it is what it is, for reasons of what came first). See above for what could be the problem.

3. The tracks aren't listed (or played) in album order

This is likely due to missing track numbers on your music tracks’ ID3 tags. Google “freeware ID3 tag editor” to find some tools to fix this. We are aware of an issue whereby if you go to “On this Mobile Device -> Artists” you’ll see the artists listed in the wrong order, but it only affects Android 11.

I hope this helps, but if it doesn’t then I recommend you get in touch with our technical support team, who have tools at their disposal that will allow them to give you advice specific to your Sonos system and what it reports.

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