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


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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? 

Corry P 11 months ago

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.

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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!

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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

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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.

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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!
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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.   

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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. 

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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. 

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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.  

Thanks!

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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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. 

Thanks! One more question - did you delete it just from the playlist then re-add it, or did you delete the song from your library, re-download it, then re-add it to the playlist?  Either way, it would take me HOURS to do that for each of my playlists.  I wrote to the CEO today - one thing they can do from an optics perspective is to roll-back to the software version before the one that caused this problem, fix the issue, then re-issue the updates - and explain to users what they are doing and why - better than radio silence and customer service reps who are not up-to-date on this pervasive issue.

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. 

Thanks! One more question - did you delete it just from the playlist then re-add it, or did you delete the song from your library, re-download it, then re-add it to the playlist?  Either way, it would take me HOURS to do that for each of my playlists.  I wrote to the CEO today - one thing they can do from an optics perspective is to roll-back to the software version before the one that caused this problem, fix the issue, then re-issue the updates - and explain to users what they are doing and why - better than radio silence and customer service reps who are not up-to-date on this pervasive issue.

Deleted completely from my entire library. 

I’m having a similar issue attempting to play podcasts from IHeartradio. This makes me think it’s not an apple issue, but an issue of some missing codecs in the latest version of Sonos’ updates.

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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! 

I am having this issue as well. I’ve taken down and rebooted all my Sonos devices, and updated software on all devices that I use to listen to Apple Music on Sonos. I refuse to get on the phone with Sonos to just have them tell me to do that again. If they don’t pay attention to forums such as this one and fix the problem, I think the solution is to start looking into other ways to listen to music, like Amazon Echo. That sounds to me as if it may be the easiest, least time consuming, and perhaps even least expensive solution in the long run.

Just had this happen - difference is the error occurred when I was using Android app so start music. Switched to iPad, and the music (same songs/album) played correctly with no errors 

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. 

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Same issue but not with apple music, but with TuneIn Podcasts.

Here's how:

  1. In the Sonos app I search for: Nora Pure (new search method)
  2. I open recent shows and select: Nora En Pure - Purified Radio
  3. I click the three dots and add this to My Sonos.
  4. From this screen I can click on a podcast and it will start.

The above is fine, but there is an issue here:

  1. Kill and start the Sonos appication 
  2. In My Sonos I see my added podcast of Nora En Pure
  3. I open it and select the same postcast to start as before
  4. Here comes the error: Unable to play - the song is not encoded correctly.

If I do the search again, I can play the same podcast. This has been an issue for a long time.

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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.

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