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

Userlevel 3

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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144 replies

Userlevel 1

Unfortunately, I have my iPhones and iPads set to auto update all apps.  That was a mistake in the case of Sonos.  The new app is awful.  It’s a horrible user interface, and it did nothing to fix this issue with Apple Music and “not encoded properly” error (which for a brief moment I hoped would be its saving grace).

It leaves me between a rock and a hard place because a significant portion of my Apple Music library won’t play via Apple Music in the Sonos app because of this “DRM issue”, and I cannot reliably stream music from my local library on my NAS because music will randomly just stop playing from time to time (it will play fine and suddenly there’s no music even though the Sonos app shows that the song is still playing).  I’ve followed all of the steps provided by Sonos to but my speakers on dedicated, static IP addresses; but I still get this occasional skipping.


It’s clear that with a new Sonos 2 app in the pipeline they had no intention of fixing this problem. Glad I didn’t fall for updating to this ‘new’ app. There is a thread on this forum with some very annoyed people who have now got all manner of problems much worse than this one! It seems Sonos really don’t give a jot about their customers…

Thanks for all the suggestions above. Adding an old Play 1 to the group seems to be a temporary workaround for me, but it’s difficult to call it any more than a workaround, as who wants to have their entire Sonos customer experience ruined by having to add a Play 1 to the group every time you want to listen to your Apple music collection which has been built over a 15+ year period.

It’s difficult to call it anything other than a Sonos problem if there’s a workaround to get it working with older formats/devices. I’d be happy if the Sonos engineers just ‘auto-swapped’ to the legacy format when it runs into the issue, as they are requesting the tracks from Apple Music. My experience is that it will just jump to the next song (in a Playlist) until it eventually gives up after finding about five unplayable tracks—not exactly the user experience Sonos wants its customers to be getting during their usage of its otherwise great technology. 

So if you’re listening Sonos—and you should be—then give your engineers a nudge and tell them when this happens to auto-retry with a format request to Apple Music that does work with your Play 1 devices, rather than give up. This doesn’t feel like a difficult fix or a big ask, but you’re losing the loyalty of your most precious asset, your existing customers!

Thanks for listening.

I found a solution that seems to work.  As mentioned before, you can search in the Sonos app for the artist/album/song and play that way instead of going to your Library.  Or the fix I discovered consists of the following steps on my Mac.

Go into the Music app and:

1 - Right click on the artist or album and Remove Download

2 - Right click and Download again

3 - Find the artist/album folder in iTunes -> iTunes Media -> Music

4 - Copy the album folder somewhere else temporarily

5 - Back in the Music app, right click the artist/album and Delete from Library

6 - Go to File → Import to Re-import from the previously copied folder

7 - After it has synced with iCloud (will show down arrows for each song, may take several minutes) test in Sonos to see if it plays now

8 - Delete the copied album folder


Hope this helps!

Interesting. Thanks for the correction. 

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.

Really annoying this. Half the songs on my Apple Music playlists won't play due to this error.

I'm moving from Sonos, too many issues. Disappointed.

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

Userlevel 3

I have Play 3 and I just have my library of MP3s on OneDrive. Only a handful of songs work. Has there been any overall update on this?

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!!

Welp, it’s be at least 9 months and we are all still in hell

Where does this music live? 

Userlevel 1

I’m not convinced that this is just due to the DRM problem. I have music that has played fine for months that now recently won’t play and gives the same ‘not encoded properly’ error. Very frustrating. 

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

Same story and I have seen this for months. At least half of all songs I try to play gives this error. It’s a real problem Sonos. You claim to support Apple Music, but not really.


Sonos broke this with their rubbish S2 app update which they clearly have no inclination to or idea how to fix. Since then they blame Apple, Amazon, Spotify, YouTube and just about every other music streaming service, which is palpable nonsense. Bit by bit I am replacing all their speakers and look forward to the day when their products are a distant memory!! 

I am in the same situation as everybody here, I have at least over a third of my music bought over the years from Itunes that won’t play on my new Era 100. The Sonos Senior Rep I was in touch with just said “That’s an issue on Apple’s end, so unfortunately we can’t fix it, or it would have been fixed long ago.” Which means that Sonos is NOT working on a solution for this issue and they consider Apple to be responsible. However, all of my music plays flawlessly on Denon, Bose and, of course, an Apple HomePod. So, it’s not an Apple issue. It’s just that Sonos has no intent to work on a solution. My return window with Best Buy has just passed by a few days...I’m just going to try to return this device and buy one of the other brands that doesn’t have this issue. I see that this issue started over 10 months ago, hence it doesn’t seem like Sonos is willing to work on it. 


Unfortunately, welcome to the club! 😉😁

Oh no! I’m really sorry to hear about your speaker death. That sucks. Hopefully Sonos addresses this issue themselves soon so that we all can continue to enjoy our large investments for years to come. I had no idea at all that this may perhaps be an issue. I sort of feel like an idiot for not researching it enough, but oh well. 


Sorry forgot to say that the solution works for me. Start playback on the old Play 1 then add in the air play speakers using the S2app. Turn the volume off on the Play1 if you don't need to listen to it. 


Hope it provides a solution for your music listening Washufisi. Glad to help. Just wish Sonos were! I’ve invested well over £5k on speakers and this situation is so annoying and all they want to do is blame everyone else. To add insult to injury my 30 month old Roam died the other day having got stuck in sleep mode for no reason. Totally shot. Wont be buying any more Sonos stuff that’s for sure! 

Thanks so much for your response Gbiker. It’s really wild I may have to do this. I was so excited to develop this entire new sound system, only to be kicked below the belt. 


I found a refurbished Play 1 for $180. 


Do you have experience doing what I’m looking to do?


You need either a Play1 or Play 3 if you can indeed pick one up second hand. I’ve noticed they seem to be getting rarer and pricier too!! Can’t think why Sonos?! 

OK, so I am having the same issues as everyone. I have like 100 Grateful Dead concerts in my itunes match library that do not play on my ERA100’s. This is INSANE. 


In order to do that stupid work around involving starting playback on a non-Airplay speaker then grouping in my ERA100’s, what older gen speaker can I get to do this?


Thanks so much! I’m such a novice to this and my heart sunk when I could not access my Itunes Match library. 

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.