Playlist files missing in Music Library

  • 14 September 2021
  • 4 replies

Userlevel 1

My music files are on a NAS device connected to the local LAN.  I added a folder on that NAS device as the Music Library folder and I can see and play all the .mp3 music files that are located in many of the subfolders of the top Music Library folder.  So far so good.  BTW, the tracks were added to the iTunes library using the same .mp3 files located on the NAS device.

The problem I have is with the playlists.  I exported a few playlists from my iTunes library as .xml files.  I  then created a subfolder in the top Music Library folder and copied the exported .xml playlist files into that subfolder.  For some reason I do not see the playlists subfolder in my Music Library on the ipad I run the Sonos app on. 

So, what I noticed is that in the playlist files exported from iTunes, that is in the .xml playlist files, under file names, iTunes uses the drive letter like P: in the file names, something like this:  //localhost/P:/…….

This makes sense as I mapped the NAS shares to different drives in Windows.  But it does not necessarily explain why the .xml playlist files are not recognized by Sonos.  Or, is it that Sonos is parsing the .xml lists, and if it does not find any (or perhaps just one) of the tracks present in the list it ignores the list file and does not even show it in the folder view?  Would anyone know if this is the case?

Then I tried to change the 


part of the file names into something like


BTW, the above is exactly how I specified the Music Library top folder in the ipad Sonos app.  It did not help.  The folder and the playlist files are still not shown under the folder view in the Music Library.

Then, just as a check, I added a single .mp3 file in the subfolder where I have the .xml  playlist files and, after an update, the folder and the single .mp3 file showed up in the folder view.  The .xml list files are still not there.


Any hints on what I may be doing incorrectly or missing?  Please help.  Thank you!



Best answer by panap 14 September 2021, 20:48

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4 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +18

Hi @panap 

Thanks for your post!

As mentioned in our Imported playlists missing from the Sonos music library help page:

Sonos can import playlists from the Music app on macOS as well as the iTunes app on macOS and Windows by reading the app’s music library XML file. Additionally, Sonos supports M3U, WPL and PLS playlist files created with software like WinAmp and Windows Media Player.

If your playlist is saved in another format, Sonos cannot import it into your music library.

In iTunes’s case, the XML file contains their database of your music library and playlists you’ve made, and Sonos only reads one specific XML file during the update/scan which iTunes no longer creates (ever since it stopped being called iTunes). If the file “iTunes Music Library.xml” does not exist in the main iTunes folder, the Sonos app will extract the playlists from the location where Apple Music now stores them and create the XML file, prior to the speakers performing the scan.

As you are using a NAS drive, it’s perhaps best to manually export your playlists, as you’ve been trying to do. XML files themselves are not recognised as playlist files and any externally exported playlists must be one of the formats listed above - M3U, PLS or WPL. I recommend you export all your playlists as M3U files to your music folder. Note that playlist files store relative paths to the tracks, and therefore must stay in the same position in the folder structure as where they are created. This also means that they do not contain locations such as drive letters or server addresses, only folder names. 

I hope this helps :)

Userlevel 1

Thank you very much Corry!  It’s just that I called the Sonos help line yesterday and I was told to use the XML files.  I guess the person I talked with did not know what you know :-).   I exported one of the lists from iTunes on the PC using the M3U format and then I copied it into a folder on the NAS device.  This time the Sonos app. on my iPad did pick up the M3U file and was able to play the list as well.  In short “it works”!

Couple of questions maybe you could help with.  First, I can see that in the generated M3U list file the tracks use what looks like absolute names; they all start with “R:\Music\...”.  I wonder how the Sonos app. on the iPad figures out where to find these track files.  There is no R: folder there obviously…, though “Music” is a folder in the NAS share that I point to in the Music Library settings in the Sonos app.  I am just curious as it looks like drive designation (R:) is ignored.  Of course whatever the app does here is good as it makes thigs work, I am just curious about it.

Second question is about the limits Sonos has on list sizes:  “Sonos can index a maximum of 1,000 playlists, with up to 40,000 songs total within all of your imported playlists...”  Does Sonos plan to increase the 40,000 songs total limit at some point?  40k is not a small number but with automatically generated lists it is not very big either.  

Thank you again for your 5 start :-) help!

Userlevel 7
Badge +18

Hi @panap 

Glad to hear it helped!

Regarding the absolute references, that’s a surprise to me - I have always used WinAmp to save my playlists and have never seen any drive letters in one of my M3U files. I would assume that we just truncate anything at the start of the path up to the actual main Music folder’s path, and keep what’s left to reference to the file.

Regarding the 40,000 limit, that’s admittedly an old limit imposed when units had less memory resources so there may well be a change coming at some point - though it would be S2 only. I haven’t heard talk of such a change, however.

You are very welcome!


Userlevel 1

Thank you again!!!