Unable to play song ‘song’ - the song is not encoded correctly. Issue since 15.2

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I have the same problem playing via YouTube Music. Please fix this, Sonos!

I don’t quite understand the delete from your library and redownload fix. With iTunes Match in the Cloud, I rarely have these songs locally at all. Like on my iPhone, I have very few of the Beatles songs downloaded. Some of them play fine on Sonos from a playlist I created, but some have the encoding error. I can even start playing from the Sonos app on my Android phone or Mac or ChromeBook and have the same problem and none of them have these songs downloaded. Am I misunderstanding something?

I encountered the same problem, half the playlist won’t work but i am using Youtube Music. Guess Sonos that’s broken rather than Apple or Youtube

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15.5 is out.  Doesn’t address the Apple Music “improperly encoded” issue.  Crap. 

15.5 is out.  Doesn’t address the Apple Music “improperly encoded” issue.  Crap. 

Confirming.  First thing I tried out, and nope, issue still exists.

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If you use the “My Music” to shuffle your music it seems to work, but that doesn’t solve the playlist issue. 

After emailing the CEO, I was contacted by an L3 Engineer.   He said it started with 15.2 but is telling me that it’s a network issue and it a problem with the group I initially started with.  Of course, it’s not a zone grouping issue and it’s not a network issue - I have a solid Orbi network that hasn’t been changed in years and I have a Sonos Boost.  I think they have no idea how to fix the issue.  Seriously, I may order the Nakamichi Dragon and find another way to listen to my music in different rooms. 

It’s just remarkable that Sonos has let this go on for so long.


Their support has been almost worthless since the off-shored it… How they don’t know about this problem when you call them is astounding… or would be, if Sonos had kept their support on-shore with people who actually used their products.

This is unacceptable. Sonos clearly claims to support Apple Music and I have a huge investment in both Apple Music and Sonos. This became a problem recently. MOST or nearly most of my music library now gives this error.  

Having the same issue as all of the above posts. Just got all my Apple Music setup, then connected to the Sonos App and it looks like only about 5% of songs are playable. We have one Symphonisk Table Lamp. Really disappointing, and I hope Sonos comes up with a fix as this was the entire reason we got the lamp/speaker in the first place.

I’m having the same error.   Songs aren’t encoded correctly.   Just started happening and it is very frustrating.   Apple Music/iTunes March user and it seems like some but not all of my iTunes Match songs are no longer working.   Can’t make sense as to why some play and other don’t.   There are some albums where certain songs play and others don’t and they all have the same properties.   This is very strange.   Sonos please get to the bottom of this!

I have nothing much to add, except to say that I’m experiencing the same issue since a recent update, and I think like others also have iTunes Match - though I hadn’t clocked which specific songs are affected, other than it being seemingly random songs from my Apple Music library rather than other music streamed from the wider Apple Music.

Thanks everyone for sharing all the updates.

I thought the problem had been resolved and removed the older Play 3. Went to play Amerca’s Greats Hits History, and it skipped the first song and gave the encoding error message. I plugged the old Play 3 back in, had that play the album as the lead and grouped the other speakers and it played fine. THE PROBLEM STILL EXISTS. 

Wow, I’m still having the same issues. SO frustrating!  Thanks to those here that gave the Play 1 work around. It really does work. Shouldn’t still have to be doing that though!!

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Up until the release of app version 15.1 the songs that I now cannot play directly to Sonos air play enabled speakers played without any issue to those speakers. This is a Sonos app issue that it would appear they have no intention of or no idea how to rectify their mistake! 

And, there are multiple possible answers, it may not just be a single cause. Providing data to Sonos CS directly would likely help either identify the particular issue for the programmers working on it, or provide an immediate solution to your particular use case. Either way, a win. 

I have the same issue.  A large portion of my enormous iTunes/Apple Music library simply won’t play on Sonos now.   


Sonos support: Please fix this soon !!!     Thanks

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Hey guys,


If you have not done it yet, you have to call customer service! 

I have upgraded just about all my speakers, but until SONOS resolves this issue, I am holding onto at least one or two previous generation speakers and starting all Apple playlists and AppleMatch music on the older speakers and grouping in the newer ones to it. It’s a little annoying, but it’s been working fine for me. I just keep the older speaker tucked away and muted. 

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What makes little sense is that you can delete a song that won't play and then re-download the same song from the same album/source and it will then play just fine. I've noticed that most of not all of the songs I have issues with are my older downloads. Anything I've downloaded over the last few months or anything that came off a CD I own (even if I added that CD long ago) seem just fine. 

I am just slowly going through my library and deleting and re-adding the stuff that doesn't play. It is an annoying process, but I am also finding stuff I never listen to and just permanently deleting it lol. 

With regard to Apple Music, it only happens when I use the Sonos app to play an Apple Music playlist I created.  It will skip songs until it gets to one that doesn’t get the encoding error.  However, if I use the Sonos app to find one of the songs in the playlist it won’t play, the song plays fine.  The error only occurs when using the Sonos app to play an Apple Music playlist.  Very odd.  Definitely a Sonos issue, but they have yet to address it.  

The first Sonos guy I talked to in April said it was a known issue and it had to do with the Sonos cloud.  The guy I talked to the other day acted as though he had never heard of this issue.  He put me on hold and came back saying it was an issue with Apple.  I told him it was not, that the guy in April said it was a Sonos issue, and he put me on hold again - he came back and said that Sonos is working with Apple.  To me, that was just a way of getting me off the phone.  I’d rather him say “yeah, it’s on us and we are working on it but no date as to when it will be resolved”.  At least the guy in April was honest.  Every support person should know about this issue and have a response that admits Sonos is working on it.  

Honesty works - we know too much to be jerked around by support guys!

KITFISTO - One question, when you delete the song, re-download it, and add it to a playlist, will it now play from the playlist?  It’s unclear because you said that the re-downloaded song plays, but is that when you go to the song directly or when you put it in a playlist where you got the encoding error before.  I already know that I can play any song through the Sonos app by navigating to the song directly, but when I play if in from the playlist, I get the error message.  


The only fix I have been able to find (Apple Music) is to delete the music that won't play and then re-add it to my library. Then, it works even if you download the same version you had before. It stinks having to go through thousands of songs and do this, but I guess at least it works.

I am facing similar issues for a few weeks now, and it is very disappointing. I use Deezer streaming service and half of the songs will not play in Sonos due to the encoding error. Can Sonos please be more proactive in solving this issue?

Frustrating this still hasn’t been fixed, I remember speaking to CS nearly a year ago about the encoding issues. 

For me it’s all purchased music, if I get something from Apple Music via the subscription it always plays fine, if I bought a track from the iTunes store it’s unplayable, and this is consistent.

A track only becomes playable if it transitions from a purchase only to being available via the subscription, in which case it’ll start to work.

Not sure exactly how to fix this as it’s clearly not just a Sonos issue, as my car can’t play purchased tracks either.

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Here’s the latest I recd from Sonos:

”The issue discovered with 15.2 is an Apple issue. It's something they put in a temporary fix for in late March, and have a permanent fix planned later this year. Again, this issue is a very specific issue that effects uploaded tracks, and always effects those same tracks.”

So Sonos rolls out an upgrade that breaks Apple Music playlists and it’s an Apple problem?   The songs play fine in Apple Music from the Sonos app except if you play them from an Apple playlist in the Sonos app  



Yes, it will then play from the playlist without any issue. I have course have to add it back to the playlist, because I previously deleted it, but once I do that it works just fine from the playlist. 

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You know where I don’t have a problem is playing music on my HomePod… so strange that Apple is the problem.