Sonos S2 order of artists and blank genre

  • 5 October 2020
  • 15 replies

Hi, I’m running Sonos 2 v12.1 on Pixel 4a (though I had this same issue on Pixel 2).

When I browse “On this Mobile Device” my music appears just fine under Albums, Songs, and Playlists. However, there’s no discernible sort order of Artists and my Genres are all empty. I’d appreciate some thoughts on how to resolve these. I’d like Artists in alphabetical order (or for someone to at least tell me what the sort order is) and for Genre to be populated. Thanks so much!

Artists - what order?


15 replies

Userlevel 7
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I would guess the Artist order is the file system order (assuming the file system is FAT). Its been a long time since I’ve used FAT, but I don’t recall a way of changing the other except by deleting everything and carefully copying the files back in the order you want.


Same issue for me too, nothing in "genre" folder. 

I'm still trying to delete empty playlists too. 

Having just upgraded to S2 I have to say I’m not impressed to find this issue has been completely ignored for a month…

I invariably listen to music on my own device by genre as it’s the easiest way to narrow down music to manageable categories rather than browse the entire list of albums/artists.  (And I do it on my own device thanks to both Amazon and Google withdrawing their cloud options (and YouTube music only listing the first 100 albums…  )   Congratulations, Sonos for breaking this in your new app and apparently not noticing or caring.

This is a crazy issue. They’re sorting Artists by FAT modification time, not alphabetically. Simple fix, but as a new Sonos user, it’s starting to look like they don’t care about local storage, just cloud services support (SMBv1 smh).

Userlevel 7
Badge +21

This is a crazy issue. They’re sorting Artists by FAT modification time, not alphabetically. Simple fix, but as a new Sonos user, it’s starting to look like they don’t care about local storage, just cloud services support (SMBv1 smh).

My guess is that there is no actual sorting at all, Sonos never never sorted anything in the controller code to my knowledge. I think they are simply doing s find-first/find-next which on FAT defaults to last-mod-first.

I got through to support today and after explaining my issues they said, “We are currently aware and investigating the issue you are experiencing. We do not have any timeline nor additional details to share at this time.”

So, too bad, I guess. 

This is so aggravating! I always play from my Android device. Not having genre support is such a fundamental miss on their part. Certainly feels like they don’t care about their customers now that they have our money.


This is horrible. I already thought it was bad enough that there is no folder option for local storage, since the other options have lots of issues if a single field is inconsistent (like genre). But to f up “artists” makes the app useless. I will try to go back to S1. When I called support, I got an arrogant jerk who kept insisting the way I listen to music is the problem not their app. 

I’m using the  S2 andoird app (12.2.7) on android 10 and have the random artist order issue as well. I’ve been using the S2 app for many months though, and the ordering only went weird in the past few weeks.


Hopefully that means it’s a bug that might be fixable, rather than intended behaviour?

I've been using Sonos 2 for a while with no problems. It's been updated to version 13 and now I have the "artist in random order" problem. What's going on??


In a way I'm quite happy that others are also having this issue, but at the same time quite amazed it hasn't been addressed as yet. Although I have no real idea, it would seem a relatively easy fix, especially as all the other apps that can play music that I have (MediaMonkey, Amazon Music, YT Music) all show Artists in the correct, alphabetical order.

Whilst I love my Sonos players, the app has never impressed that much to be honest. In addition to the above mentioned artist order and nothing in the genre sections issues. I can also confirm that the player also doesn't always update to show the current song that is playing, still showing the previous song.

And most annoying, if the app isn't open and the phone screen goes off, it stops playing at the end of the song, sometimes comes back on after a few minutes, but otherwise the phone screen has to be turned back on for it to restart. It's as if the app won't work in the background,  I have made sure that this is turned on though. Could be an Android issue of course but there are quite a few issues that could do with being addressed.

@thebuff, the cutting off when screen goes blank is very likely an Android issue.  All my music apps were doing that.  Go into settings -> Battery -> Background usage limits -> Sleeping Apps.  Long press on the Sonos app and hit remove.

As for the Artist sorting issue, this is maddening.  It's been reported for months and still not resolved?!  (And it used to work fine in S1 app anyway).


Thanks Gregory, I agree it is probably an Android issue, unfortunately Sonos isn't in my sleeping apps list, it was actually already in the never sleeping apps

Whatever the cause of this issue, anything to do with playing tracks stored on a mobile device is probably at the bottom of Sonos’ priorities.  It was the last source to be added to Sonos, and does not sit well with Sonos’ fundamental design, in which the app is a remote control and not a music player.

If you want Artists in alphabetical order, genre information and a Folders view, as well as some other advantages, I would recommend you switch to using the Sonos Music Library, store your tracks on a NAS or on a USB flash drive (if your router has a suitable port) and just use your mobile device as a controller.


Thanks for your reply John - I kind of get that this may be at the bottom of their priorities, but how does all that fit with the Sonos Move and Roam speakers? Are people really streaming everything when they are out and about and not using locally stored files i.e. on their phones?

I know I’m a bit of a dinosaur - I don’t generally use streaming services, much prefer playing local files. I therefore tend to use MediaMonkey and play music from my PC (gave up with the Sonos music library due to the 60k or 65k song limit thing) - this works fine for me during the week, as my PC is always on. But over the weekends I try and not turn my PC on, so playing from my phone has become the norm.

Are there other music player Android apps that can be used do you (or anyone else) know?

Many thanks