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

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Well, I have the same issue with Amazon Music. It happens randomly but I was able to capture the sonos app screen.

So I don't think this is an Apple issue.

I have a very stable wifi connection that I usually use for gaming. But this happens even when no one is using the network intensely. Even is that's the case, I think if you need to be very carefull with the type of network you use to be able to enjoy the experience that should be like a deal breaker for a lot of folks.

But the thing is that I am consdering returning my Era 300 because of this issue. Even if direct BT connection solves the issue, is not the same quality that directly with the app.



Hi @spaceman_spiff 

I refer you to my earlier post:

Hi @The Etron 

Thank you for reporting the issue with TuneIn Podcasts - we were able to replicate the problem and are now investigating.


For everyone else, please note that there are multiple reasons for the “not encoded correctly” error occurring:

  • Apple Music used to (years ago) provide music tracks with Digital Rights Management (DRM), which results in Sonos being unable to play them. Re-downloading those specific tracks would be the only way to fix this. Other sources may have done the same.
  • Failed WiFi transmissions can also cause this error. Our support team can identify if/where this is happening and assist.
  • Actual errors in the files themselves can also cause this error - if this is the case, the same files will produce the error each time, and probably at the same point. Again, replacing the files will be the only way to resolve. Most likely to be seen with Music Library rather than with music services.

I recommend each of 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.

I hope this helps.

Edit: I should add that if there were an issue with our software rather than encoding/transmission issues, we would also need to you get in touch to have the issue documented and investigated.

My reply immediately before yours was in reference to @alfonsoluis’ report of seeing the encoding error with Amazon Music, therefore the most likely (but, technically, not only) explanation in that particular case is interference. In your case (looking at your even earlier posts), the most likely explanation is Digital Rights Management encrypting the contents of your older music files (for which, Sonos does not have the decryption key).

This thread relates to Apple Music/iTunes downloads in spirit, but technically it’s title shows it to be about the error message itself, so whether Amazon Music and TuneIn Podcasts are off-topic or not isn’t easy to say, but it is making the thread a little confusing, to be sure. So, please don’t be frustrated - I am not gaslighting you, I am just giving the best-chance-of-being-correct advice to particular people based on what they report. For you, the error would indeed be 100% reproduceable, and nothing to do with interference.

I hope this helps.


I appreciate this post! Has anyone found a easy process to identify and convert songs that are DRM in bulk?

What happens if you ‘delete’ the local copy of the ‘matched’ song, and then download a fresh copy from Apple? Just as a test….I’m curious, not making a guarantee .

It works except I have thousands of songs and you don’t know which ones have the problem because they give you a quick warning then skip. If you delete and add again it fixes it. 
hiw can you tell which ones are not coded correctly?

Indeed…it’s an Apple problem, dating back to when they ‘matched’ your own files and downloaded a DRM version. Must be 5 or 6 years ago (maybe more?) when I essentially had to delete my entire ‘matched’ library, and force Apple to download ‘fresh, DRM free’ copies….of music I had ripped myself from various CDs. I remember being somewhat annoyed that Apple thought a DRM version replacing my locally ripped version was preferable. 

Can’t  really point the finger at Sonos on this one, unfortunately. Apple doesn’t share their DRM key used by Apple Music with a ‘third party vendor’ such as Sonos. It’s tedious, but @Ken_Griffiths has the right way to do it, annoying/frustrating as it is.

Thanks @torsion13 for documenting the issue. 

This is now occurring for me with SiriusXM streams

Same problem here. Half my playlist tracks won’t play due to this error. If I add an old non-airplay device into the group it works fine. Needs a fix asap.

Did you submit a diagnostic, and call in to Sonos support? There is certainly more than one possible reason for this, but either way, it may be helpful to provide Sonos additional hard data to look at. 

I am having same issues. Songs not coded from Apple very frustrating. If I play from Apple via air play it is ok. 
Is the sound quality worse if I do that instead of playing from Sonos app?

Sonos this is a big deal you have to fix this. 

Same issue. A few weeks now.


It seems that since the 15.2 release, there have been several songs that are not playing on your Sonos app. These songs were purchased over time from Apple Music, but they will still play on the Apple Music app. It appears that this issue is happening with all of your Sonos products and you suspect that a lossy codec may have broken with the latest release.

To answer your question, I am not aware of any known issue regarding this matter. However, it is possible that the recent release may have caused compatibility issues with certain codecs or file types. I recommend reaching out to Sonos support to report the issue and see if they have any solutions or workarounds for this problem.

In the meantime, you can try converting the affected songs to a lossless format or try playing them through the Apple Music app. Hopefully, the issue can be resolved soon so that you can enjoy your music on all of your Sonos products again.

Userlevel 3

Thank you, I will reach out to support.  I can’t convert to lossless, as Apple doesn’t allow this.  Uploading songs to Apple Music auto converts to lossy and these songs aren’t available in Apple Music as lossless.


I don’t believe this is anything recent as this Sonos support document below has been around for some time and mentions the issue with Apple and DRM …


…and I think it’s that old now, that the Apple link mentioned is no longer valid, but once-upon-a-time it pointed users to an Apple support document for using an iTunes Match subscription to remove the DRM from tracks.


Userlevel 3

I spent well over an hour this morning on the phone with Sonos Support. The rep I spoke with escalated the issue with a senior engineer. They had me go through a number of scenarios (rebooting my system, etc), and they apparently were capturing diagnostics. There was acknowledgment that there is an issue here. I had to leave the call after an hour and 20 minutes, and they said they may want to contact me later. But I feel that Sonos is going to deal with this. Here’s hoping they develop a solution soon. 

Userlevel 1

Numerous random song in my apple library that I either bought from apple or transferred to my library from owned CD’s wont play on my Sonos Ones, Roam or Fives using the S2 app. However, every single one of these songs will play from the Sonos S2 app to my Sonos Play 1’s and Sonos Play 3. Sonos, go figure! 

Userlevel 7
Badge +23

Sonos has never been able to play music stored on the OneDrive cloud system. 

Not remotely true: Microsoft supported this with the Groove service, until they didn’t. There is a third-party integration available somewhere as well.

Interesting. Thanks for the correction. 

This is driving me absolutely bonkers. Like 1/3 of the songs I have in an Apple Music playlist are getting this error when played directly via Sonos app. If I airplay the song to the speakers directly, they work fine. If I delete the song from my library (not just remove from playlist) and re-add to library/playlist, it works just fine in the Sonos app again. It is absolutely not a Wi-Fi coverage/networking issue as I’ve seen suggested across different google results. 

I refuse to do the delete/re-add dance for hundreds of songs, so I guess airplay it is until this annoying bug is fixed. Not sure how this got through their QA, and especially for so long. 

Userlevel 2
Badge +1

There is a definite issue on #spotify and sonos. Songs skipping.. going silent. Songs not encoded properly. I have been following this topic on various threads. Seems like the problems from other streaming service is less than Spotify.

#youtubemusic has terrible functionality integration with sonos app. Spotify has best integration functionality.

So leaving Spotify for #ytmusic comes at a cost of functionality.

None are taking accountability. Trying to deflect on the user's network. It's not the local WiFi network.