Unable to import all my previous iTunes playlists into Sonos Imported Playlist

Unable to import all my previous iTunes playlists into Sonos Imported Playlist.

I have read a great deal about how to do this, so please do not direct me to this information, I need info of what to do when it does not work.  I have imported some playlist from My Music Library location but are missing some playlists. I have also in Apple Music exported Playlists to a .m3u file then directed Sonos to that file in Sonos’s Controller on my Apple Mac not forgetting to Update the Music Library. Nothing works in that I do not see all the playlists that I see in Apple Music. I have restarted the Sonos app and the MAC computer, still no joy. Any further relevent help would be much appreciated. Thanks very much.


Best answer by John Von 9 March 2020, 16:19

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Userlevel 5
Badge +16

Hello @John Von,

Welcome to the Sonos community and thank you for reaching out with your Music Library issue. 

If you would like to submit a diagnostic report and post the confirmation number here, I would be happy to look it over. 

With Music Library and playlist troubleshooting, it’s usually best to reach out to our support team directly so that they can assist you with a remote session. 

Thank you very much Jean C. I have however found the solution and will post it now.

I have done some further investigation and found a solution to this problem, please read on.

The reason not all playlists can be seen is because your Mac/PC or IOS device has not downloaded all the songs in each playlist from Apple Music. When this is done a folder entitled with the name of the Artist will be created and populated with the downloaded songs on the devices storage. The Playlists file just contains pointers to the artist folders and its tunes on the devices storage and if they are not on the device the playlist will not be listed in Sonos, because Sonos cannot access a song that is not on the devices storage.

So now:

In Apple Music do

For each playlist download all the songs, you can do this for all songs in the playlist at a time.

In the Sonos Controller do

Manage, Update Music Library Now. This will probably take a few minutes.

Now if you look at the imported playlist you should see all of them there and be able to play each song with the Sonos app.

Assuming you now have all Playlists in Sonos, your Mac/PC will send them to iCloud which will then make them available to all your other Apple devices, assuming in Settings they allow the Music app to connect to iCloud.

For the life of me none or this has a worked ever since Catalina. And trying to put together playlists within Sonos is an arduous task. I’m pretty frustrated. All of my music in my playlists are downloaded. And still no imported playlists show up.

Userlevel 7
Badge +22

Could you explain what you are trying to do.

Are you playing direct from Apple Music or the Apple Music app within the sonos app.

Either way you don’t need any music download to your phone.

Please explain better.

I use my MacBook Pro laptop for all of my stored music as well as playlists utilizing Apple Music. It’s in essence my music server for Sonos. When I update my music with Sonos everything appears except my playlist. This has only been an issue since Itunes was eliminated and moving to Catalina. 


I think there is some terminology ambiguity. With the advent of Catalina I understand the name “iTunes” has been abandoned, and the iMac programme used to store one’s own uploaded/downloaded music is simply called “Music”. This is different to “Apple Music”  - the streaming service. 

I do not use Apple Music at all.  I have 10,000 songs on my iMac in Music. I have eighty self-curated Playlists in Music.

When I “Update Music Library Now” Sonos (a) does NOT import all my Music Playlists, but bizarrely (2) duplicates (that is, lists in the index twice) most of them as well, and, even more  bizarrely, (3) “reloads” about forty Playlists which I deleted from my iMac’s Music suite several months ago.

I have rebooted more times than John Wayne. I have deleted .xml files and “allowed” Music to rebuild them. The Playlists all work fine when played on the iMac.

Can someone please tell me how to fix these three issues in Sonos?


I love the phrase ‘rebooted more times than John Wayne’.

My personal experience with duplicates was that I had, within the folder I had designated to Sonos as the place where my library existed, more than a single .xml file. Likely from times when I had to rebuild when I used iTunes as a music player. Took me several delves into individual folders to eradicate them all, and end up with just a single one. I’m still a little scared to go into that library folder, due to the havoc that iTunes and Music has made of the various folders. Sometime, when I am brave, and want to waste a couple of hours, I’ll clean it up. And hope that I don’t mess up the Music app while I’m at it. Although at this point, I’m not using any Apple playlists at all. Music is just a method by which I import data. 

But that’s just a guess, based on my own personal experience, your situation may be different. I do know that I no longer get duplicates of songs in my Sonos playlists, nor do I pick up older playlists, which were buried 4 or 5 folders deep and required extensive searching to find. 

You may want to contact Sonos Support directly to discuss it, as it’s hard for us to conceptualize your system via a text forum, and the Sonos folks, if you give them the access, can likely root through the folders using remote access of some type, and give you a more concrete answer.

I usually suggest the phone folks, they have more tools available because they're on the phone with you, but they are available Monday through Friday during business hours. The Twitter support folks are available 24/7.  

I have an issue with Sonos no longer importing my playlists from iTunes. The problem seems to have come about when I recently updated to macOS Catalina (v 10.15). As part of that upgrade, Apple has replaced iTunes with Music. It looks and feels exactly like iTunes, but instead of writing the music library to a .xml file, it saves it to a .musiclibrary format.


In the old world, I used to copy my iTunes .xml file into my music folder. Sonos would then read that folder which contained all of my music and the copied .xml file and it would then import my playlists into Sonos.


In the new world, I have a copy of the Music (not to be confused with Apple Music streaming service) music library (in the .musiclibrary format) however Sonos doesn’t seem to be able to read that format, and hence will no longer import my iTunes/Music playlists.


Any chance @Sonos that you might recognise this new format at some point in the future?

Hi @wellandm. Thanks for the post.

We would be happy to note your feedback. May we ask which format you are referring to?

Hi @Adam S 

When you ask ‘which format you are referring to?’ I’m not sure I understand what you mean?

I’m using an iMac desktop computer running MacOS Catalina (10.15.5) which uses the new Apple Music App (v that is the app which Apple replaced iTunes with in the latest MacOS.

As mentioned in my post, the new Music app, no longer saves the music library in a .XML format but in a new format called Music Library.musiclibrary

If I open the package contents (by right-clicking and selecting ‘Show Package Contents’) it appears to be made up of .musicdb and .plist files (see screen shots)


To be clear, Sonos can still read my Music Library, but what I can’t do is get it to import my Playlists from the Music App, in the same way that I could from iTunes.

Thank you for the clarification. I misread the .musiclibrary point.

I would be happy to note your feedback for adding additional library formats. I would be happy to list the current workaround although it seems that you are well aware of this unfortunate circumstance.

Current workarounds for playlist support on macOS Catalina include:

  •  Using Airplay 2 to cast the respective playlists from the new Music App to Sonos.
  • Use iTunes on Windows to share music library to Sonos. 
  • Do not update Mac OS to 10.15 Catalina,
  • Subscribe to Apple Music and add as a service to Sonos.

We appreciate the feedback and although I cannot guarantee that the request for additional library formats will be implemented. I am happy to forward this feature request 

Thanks @Adam S 

Not many of the options for a workaround work for me, perhaps #1

  • Airplay to cast - might be my only option
  • iTunes on Windows - doesn't help because I’m on a Mac and I’m not buying a PC to move playlists
  • I’ve already upgraded to MacOS 10.15 Catalina so that’s too late
  • Pay for Apple Music on subscription just to add the service to Sonos??


It’s a real shame. When I first started using Sonos around 8 years ago, I thought they were the future, but Sonos don’t seem to want to go the extra mile to support their customers in the way that other services do (including the threatening email last year about older Play 5 devices no longer being supported, which led to a backlash on social media).


I think my relationship with the Sonos brand will probably result in me mothballing my speakers and moving on do a different, more forward-thinking solution. The irony is, that’s always who I thought Sonos were. A real shame. I hope that Sonos wake up to customer experience more in the future and come back to being the cool forward-thinking brand that they once were.

I’ve figured out a way around this. You can still create a manual XML export from Music as follows:

Open Music and choose File > Library > Export Library....