Sonos and Mac OS 10.15 Catalina

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Tried using Sonos with Golden Master of Catalina and its a no go. When I add my music library on an external drive it does so normally but NO songs in the folder are recognized. Wonder if it has to do with Music being the new app for music instead of iTunes?I was able to see music added if it was on the internal drive of the machine.

Best answer by Ryan S 17 December 2019, 19:01

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Mac OS X 10.15 Catalina has dropped support for XMLs with the iTunes app, now called Music. The Sonos software looks for an XML file for importing playlists out of iTunes. Because of this, music libraries shared with Sonos will not be able to find playlists that are created in or updated with the new Music app. Please note that the rest of your music library should work with Sonos without any issues, this just affects the playlists in XML format from iTunes.

We'd recommend holding off on updating to Mac OS X 10.15 Catalina, but if you've done so already, you can use AirPlay 2 in the Music app to play your playlists to Sonos (if you have compatible Sonos players). Also, if you have an Apple Music subscription, your playlists and music should be available in there.

The team is investigating this now, and we'll update you when we have more to share.

For anyone that's updated and isn't currently seeing any of their music, go into the Sonos software and under Manage > Music Library, remove your music library, and then add it, but choose the folder that has your music library. This should locate all of your tracks, since they're still in the same music format which Sonos can read. It's just the XML files that are currently an issue.

If that's still not working, alan_52 shared that you can do the following:

uninstalled using CCleaner
Removed Sonos and Sonos Library from Settings > Security & Privacy

Installed Sonos from scratch
Tried adding Library - no dice
Granted Sonos Library Full Disk access in Settings > Security & Privacy
Granted Sonos Full disk access in Settings > Security & Privacy

Sonos now plays my own library and Sonos created playlists again

You may not need to fully uninstall, I'd recommend starting with granting the disk permissions:

Granted Sonos Library Full Disk access in Settings > Security & Privacy
Granted Sonos Full disk access in Settings > Security & Privacy
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Hi Whiskers, as you guys guessed, 10.15 Catalina isn't fully supported in the Sonos app yet. The team is working on it.
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To add a graphic to alan_50's solution:

alan_52 wrote:

Granted Sonos Library Full Disk access in Settings > Security & Privacy
Granted Sonos Full disk access in Settings > Security & Privacy

Sonos now plays my own library and Sonos created playlists again

Since Catalina no longer supports XML files, I noticed that my Sonos Imported Playlists no longer update with any changes in the Music App. I went to Music > File > Library > Export Library to manually export an XML file for my library and replaced the current (and defunct) iTunes Library.xml file with it. Updating my Sonos Music library now reflects the new changes to my (formerly iTunes) Music Library and everything is there.

Catalina has been a nightmare. My Sonos speakers are now useless [if I want to play my own iTunes songs/albums/music] unless I ‘buy into’ the monthly cost of Apple music. That’s just the tip of the iceberg with Catalina. I have now turned off all ‘auto updates’. My Fujitsu ScanSnap is also useless - I needed to buy a compatible scanner now that Apple upgraded from 32 to 64 bit hardware. Fujitsu was nice enough to offer a $200 off coupon. I sure do hope Sonos finds a workaround so I can play my songs/albums. Beyond frustrating AND costly! I only there was a button to uninstall Catalina!

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Hi there,

IS THIS THE SOLUTION?  IT WORKED FOR ME: (until the next issue at least...) :grinning:

I just though I’d share what has worked for me: I have a Play:1 and two Ones, and when I installed Catalina on my iMac, I couldn’t access my music  library any longer.  So, I messaged Sonos on Messenger, and they suggested the following, which worked - it’s now set up as it was before.  Step 1 below alone didn’t work, but after Step 2, the problem was solved, so I’d recommend doing both.  Also maybe throw in a computer re-start etc (although I don’t think I actually needed to do this). So:


  1. Check the System Preferences -> Security and Privacy settings of the computer. From there select the Privacy Tab and scroll down to and select “Full Disk Access”. From this screen make sure Sonos has permission. You'll also want to ensure Sonos has permission under Files and Folders (which is below).
  2. Remove your music library from the Sonos App and then re-add it by first opening Sonos Desktop Controller App for Mac (computer, not the phone app). From the “Manage” menu, select “Music Library Settings”. Click on the folder you would like to remove (the whole music library). Click - (minus) and confirm you wish to remove the library from Sonos. Then Re-add the Music Library by clicking on the + (Plus) button in the same area (If you use iTunes or are not sure where your music is stored, leave “In My Music folder” selected. If your music is located outside of the My Music folder, select the appropriate option) - I have iTunes and left it as it was, with “In My Music folder” selected.


So this worked, and for now my speakers are working again.  I’ve shared this to try to help others suffering the same nonsense.

But that said, these speakers, apart from the good sound when they do work, have been quite annoying for the couple of years I’ve had them.  Sometimes disconnecting for no reason, stupid messages like Sonos can’t connect that then just go away a few minutes later, the Sonos app is much slower at responding to play, stop, skip etc requests than doing so to the speakers directly through iTunes/Music app.  Getting them on the wifi when you move house is more annoying than you’d expect in this day and age.  Smetimes they just stop playing half-way through a playlist without explanation.  Somtimes the music library just disappears and you have to restart the app to resolve it.  Etc.  So yeah, they’re annoying.  And although I did eventually get help from regarding this Catalina installation problem by messaging them via messenger, their first answer was just that they were aware of the issue but that there was no solution at this time and they didn’t have a time frame for a solution!  It’s only when, incredulous that my Play:1 speaker was now essentially and indefinitely useless (people have been talking about this problem on these forums for at least a month), it was only when I pushed them that they tried a couple of other suggestions (those above).  So yeah the speakers have very annoying issues (I wouldn’t recommend them unfortunately to older people who might not know what to do in these situation - delete your music library, re-add it, allow full disc access… whatttttt??), and the customer service/response rate to simple but debilitating problems just isn’t good enough: we as end users/customers shouldn’t be going through this nonsense in 2019 - I sometimes feel like I’m trying to connect to dial-up Internet in the 1990s with the amount of work and hassle these speakers, which should be plug in and play, have caused over 2 years), but anyway - I hope the above helps people for at least this particular issue.

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Recent posts in this thread suggest “the problem is fixed”, but I’m not sure which problem people are referring to. Need some help here pls.

I am running the current version of Sonos and macOS software. I never had a problem, however, with getting Sonos to recognize my iTunes (now Music) library on my Mac. This was true even before the latest Catalina and Sonos bug-fix updates.

The problem I was seeing, and still am seeing, is that Sonos is unable to find, display and play my Imported Playlists from iTunes. Even with the latest bug-fix updates, my Imported Playlists still do not appear in the Sonos app. And yes, I have run the software updates, removed and re-added my music library within Sonos, turned all devices off and back on, etc.

So, from my perspective, the problem is not fixed. But again, I’m not sure that I am experiencing the same problem as others on this thread. Can anyone confirm whether they now are able to see iTunes Imported Playlists in the Sonos app?

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But while Catalina is in beta, the more details we can get on potential issues, the better.
Catalina isn't in beta anymore. It was released yesterday. I can't play music files on my external drive either. Internal drive works fine, but external is a no-go. Deleting and re-adding the music folder doesn't make the music files playable. They don't even appear in the library. As I have a Play:1, AirPlay isn't an option for me. The speaker is basically useless for how I want to use it. It's incredible this hasn't been caught before now.
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Sonos should have been testing their app in tandem with the Catalina beta. Clearly they should have updated the app before Catalina went on general release. This is NOT just a playlist problem. I'm unable to play anything. My library is now literally unplayable. My music collection is bigger in size than my entire internal drive, so transferring the collection to the internal isn't an option either.
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Granted Sonos Library Full Disk access in Settings > Security & Privacy
Granted Sonos Full disk access in Settings > Security & Privacy

Sonos now plays my own library and Sonos created playlists again

Thank you alan_52. Allowing full disk access did the trick. I had a whole chat session with Sonos about this earlier today and they were clueless.

there appears to be no real resolution to this issue on the horizon.  SONOS are buying their hands in the sand over this.

when i purchased my SONOS speakers less than a year ago I was given a demonstration that showed that ai could control all of my music sources including those stored in iTunes from a single app.

I have updated to MAC OS 10.15 Catalina and find that my system no longer works as advertised during the demostration.  

I am signed up to SONOS and receive regular e-mails about updates and offers but at no time has SONOS advised me that I should not update to Catalina.  They do not think it is an issue.

It is becoming time too take this to the UK consumer court.


Any other UK SONOS users who feel the same please reply to this post.

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To BowlerBrown: I just created a new playlist in the Apple Music app, then clicked on Update Music Library Now in the Sonos app. My new playlist now appears in Imported Playlists, and the songs within the playlist play just fine. So I believe that, yes, Sonos does recognize newly recreated playlists in the Apple Music app.

Pls note I tested this only on Mac, not iOS.

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Liam, I am one of those old users you wrote about. I followed each and every step listed for the last month.  

I agree that the sound of these speakers is fair to good.

But the hassles involved in trying to use my Mac, iTunes and wifi offsets the sound and no wires.

I am going back to wires and a Yamaha receiver, the Sonos speakers are going to charity.

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To Ryan S: I will try to contain my frustration. I called Sonos support twice today, spending nearly 2 hours on the phone with Sonos support staff. Both individuals seemed to be Level 1 support. They each used TeamViewer to probe my Mac, and to try to resolve the “missing imported playlists” problem.

Neither individual had heard of the problem. Neither knew how to fix it. Neither, IMHO, really understood the difference between a Sonos playlist and an imported playlist. Neither was willing to escalate my call to someone with more expertise on the topic. One said I need to subscribe to Apple Music to solve the problem. Both suggested I call Apple for further assistance.

So how do I get help resolving this? How do I reach a person within Sonos with knowledge on this topic? My case number is 0136 8722. Thank you.

Userlevel 2
I readded the entire library with file sharing off and it has the correct path. It just doesn't seem to recognize any of the music in that folder.
Way back, many years ago (yes, my tongue is slightly in my cheek), Apple included DRM in all their files, which meant that Sonos couldn't read them. at some point (3 or 4 years ago?), Apple stopped doing that, but it didn't automatically change the files if you'd already downloaded them. I had a certain number of them in my library.

What you probably need to do is delete your local files, and then download fresh copies from Apple. The fresh copies will not have DRM in them (unless the artist has demanded it, there are still some that I think have DRM associated with them, but not many).

Try that, and see if it works.

I have probably been fortunate. My music files were preserved intact in their original iTunes location on my iMac. All my iOS devices find the system and play ok. I did have to relocate some of the album artwork to get it to display but was just a handful.


my biggest bugbear is not the loss of iTunes but the imposition of the new dire podcast app. I found the original iOS version pretty user unfriendly and the Catalina version is equally so.

worse still, it is wholly useless for use with Sonos. 
there are a number of podcast apps but none without subscription that I’m aware of, which will download rather than just play. I like to store them for later listening.

I was able to automate the process using iTunes/Apple script/Sonos library update. My only intervention was adding podcasts to a speaker queue. At present it’s a nightmare job!

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Hi BowlerBrown. Apologies if I was not clear. Yes, my music library is on an external drive. But the problem really had nothing do to with the location of my library. It had to do with the missing XML file, which in turn stemmed from the missing iTunes folder.

At one point I tried moving some of my music files to my internal drive, pointing the Apple Music app to that drive, and then rebuilding my Sonos index from that location (and from that location only). I even disconnected my external drive to remove one variable from the equation. But that did not fix the problem, as I still was missing the necessary iTunes folder. That folder seems to be required on the internal drive, regardless of where your actual music library is stored.

Hope that is a bit clearer.

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I’m sorry to be persistent but this Is important. Are you categorically saying that when I update my macOS to Catalina from Mojave, (as it is at present with everything working well with my iTunes library playing perfectly in the Sonos app, including imported iTunes playlists), nothing will change, with my library and imported iTunes playlists operating just as they have always done?

if you are saying this why do people like pomm4tous still say they have problems?

Just upgraded to Catalina; such a mistake. I find that if I move an album to my iMac's root drive (where System lives), Sonos is able to find it. Unfortunately my Music library is on a different HD drive connected to the iMac. Apple's Music app (formerly iTunes) has no trouble finding the music but despite futzing with permissions for the directories and drive and recommended changes to Security settings, I have not found the trick that would enable the Sonos App to recognize my album/song files.

I actually just did it for the first time just now. I came here initially because I wanted to see why my updates didn’t seem to reflect the changes I made. When I read that the new Apple Music App didn’t support XML files (and thus wasn’t updating the existing iTunes Library.xml file), I tried the File > Library > Export Library option. It worked!

I imagine, until Sonos figures out a seemless fix for Catalina, I will just use this technique to manually update the file so Sonos can sync with it. Yes, I put the updated XML file in the same place (actually, replace the existing) as the original iTunes Library.xml file. Since the new Apple Music App no longer uses needs it, replacing it shouldn’t matter… and it doesn’t.

I tried the recommended steps, but they failed:

  1. CCleaner uninstall
  2. Remove Sonos/Library from Full File access.
  3. Reboot
  4. New install of Sonos
  5. Add Library as option 2, external file
  6. Add Sonos/Library to Full File access.
  7. Restart Sonos app, wait a few minutes. 
  8. Nothing under Music Library Artists, Songs, etc.
  9. Removed that library and added option 1, “My Music Library”.
  10. Nothing.

Then I tried the alternative method of exporting Library.xml from “Music” app, and added the destination folder to Sonos. Right away, Sonos started adding files. Not progressing very quickly now, but it’s something.

Hard to believe Sonos, as a major software company, had no early developers access to early OS releases. 

Pete, I believe that they have moved all files for podcast deep into the library, in containers. (not a clue what this means) but my Son has the same problem, after upgrade Apple had removed all audio books, and podcast from A NAS DRIVE, and relocated them on to his hard drive. They all work normally, but he has no access to the files. At the moment he is trying to resolve this.

thanks Alan,

yes, you’re right. hidden in the library bowels!
i think I was lucky enough to have a setup issue and all my original files stayed put in iTunes folders.

it is possible to physically drag & drop podcasts from the Podcast app into any folder in finder. If I can find a way of dragging & dropping the latest episode using Apple Script, I can utilise that script in my daily Chronosync schedule as I did with iTunes and then followed that with a Sonos scheduled library update.

So, if you have saved the iTunes folder somewhere before you upgraded to Catalina, then you’re OK. Just copy that iTunes folder to a NAS on the same network. If you don’t have one, buy one if it’s that important to play iTunes playlists on Sonos before they fix this issue. Then all you do is add the location of the iTunes folder within Sonos. 

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Any chance there was an update to your NAS firmware at the same time that turned off SMBv1? Although I don't know what error that would throw, if at all.
Good thinking, though that should pull up an error trying to add the share entirely. Worth checking nonetheless.

@podsnap, can you send a diagnostic after it's been indexing for 10 minutes or more? If it starts indexing and fails partway through, it's usually due to an issue trying to read one of the files contained therein. Perhaps there's a corrupt file in there, or maybe an old copy of the depreciated "iTunes Library.XML" file that the new Music app has stopped used.