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

Userlevel 2

Since the 15.2 release there is quite a few songs that display this error when trying to play them.  These seem to be mainly songs that are not lossless.  They were purchased over time from Apple Music.  They will still play if I use the Apple Music app, but they will no longer play from Sonos app.  I suspect some lossy codex broke with latest release. Occurs with all my Sonos products.

Is this a known issue? 

39 replies

I just called Sonos to report the same issue.  After being on hold for several minutes, the tech came back on to say that this is a known issue and that it is with Apple.   There are work arounds, he said, but they require dealing with each improperly encoded song - which would take hours for me as I have a large library.   Hopefully Apple or Sonos figure it out and quit blaming each other.  I’d like to get all of my music back!    I am just a listener, not a lyricist.   Not sure where that came from after my name!

Userlevel 1

Glad I logged into this forum.  The teleophone support has been absolutely abysmal.  I am having the same problem(s) only I have NO airplay anything in my setup.  Just sonos speakers.   Furthermore most of my music is from CD rips and I have purched 0 music from Apple.  So the lossless element does not seem to be a factor… however, the erros are exactly consistent… “incorrectly encoded” and yes, the songs that I  know of, have been in my setup for 2+ years… but NOW they won’t play.  Furthermore they won’t even show up in Search after I do a music library update.   

I super miss the days when Sonos just worked.

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. 

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

Userlevel 1

Hey guys,


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

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.

Userlevel 1
Badge +3

I’m in the same boat, but:


  • Only songs in Apple Music that are part of playlists I created have an issue (not all songs, some songs) - I don’t even get the “encoded” message anymore, but those songs are skipped (even though I can play them directly outside of the playlist)
  • If I go directly to those songs through the Sonos app (I’m not using Airplay), those songs play fine
  • When I stream from Airplay to a Sonos device, the entire Apple Music playlist plays fine
  • I called Sonos a month ago after sending diagnostics and was told it’s a cloud issue on their end and that they are working on it.  It’s been a month, and no change.
  • 15.4 came out today - I’m at the office, so I’ll see what happens later today
  • My work-around is to stream using Airplay and there’s no issue, but that’s not a fix - c’mon, Sonos!
Userlevel 1
Badge +3

Well, 15.4 didn’t resolve the issue.  I used airplay to stream a playlist to one of my zones, and it worked fine. I then opened the Sonos app and chose the same zone, and it showed the music I was playing through airplay. When I went from song to song through the Sonos app, it was fine as it recognized every song. It’s only when I choose the playlist in the Sonos app that I get the encoding error and it starts skipping songs.  But any of the songs skipped due to an encoding issue can be played through the Sonos app by going to the album or just the song.  Very odd.   

Userlevel 1
Badge +3

I’m on with Sonos now.  He tells me this is an Apple issue and they are aware.  I told him a month ago Sonos said it was a cloud issue on its end.  I also said that there cleave been similar issues with other music services through Sonos.  He just put me on hold to talk to another person.  So, they have no clue.  

They have no intention of solving this IMO. 

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?

This is not just an apple issue. I'm experiencing the same exact issue using Tidal on a Note 20. Really disappointed I gave Sonos all this money and I can't even listen to my music. 

I have much the same problem. I use Apple Music but also have albums that I have purchased from apple over the years in my library and also CD’s that I own that I have put in my library. Many of these songs, but not all, have this issue. I have entire albums that will not play and others bought and downloaded on the same day that will play. Some of the purchased albums part play, with certain random tracks ignored by the Sonos app with others on the album playing fine.  My system is a mixture of early speakers (Play 1’s and 3’s) and newer stuff, Sonos Ones, One SL’s, a roam and 5’s that are all air play compatible.  Here’s the thing; all the problems are with playing stuff on my newer speakers. The songs that will not play on the newer speakers all play directly from the Sonos app to the Play1 and 3’s! I can even start these songs off on a Play 3 and then use the Sonos app to group the Play 3 with the newer air play speakers and they then play fine.  I note from this and other forums that numerous different streaming services are also affected. This surely must then point to a problem with the software trying to play the music, i.e. the Sonos app?  As for contacting Sonos support, I will but I know from previous contact they are unhelpful and lacking any real technical grasp of the issue.

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.