unable to play - server cannot be found


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Once again it appears that Sonos has lost connectivity to my music server. I use the Sonos bridge together with a Sonos 5 player and multiple Sonos player apps on PC, Android and the Sonos controller.

Along with not being able to see album art, clicking play on either my Sonos controller or in the Sonos PC app results in a notification to the effect of "Unable to play '<music title>' - cannot connect to //<myserver>/<share> because the server cannot be found."

I'm getting pretty tired and angry about doing the routine to shutting down all devices including my router and then restarting in the order of router, bridge, Sonos 5 device.

I've submitted diagnostic log 4072501.

45 replies

Userlevel 3
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Can you try to remove and re-add the share to Sonos? Let me know how it goes, thanks.
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Mohammed H wrote:

Can you try to remove and re-add the share to Sonos? Let me know how it goes, thanks.


I tried that but that doesn't work. After removing the share and attempting to re-add, it just doesn't see the server at that point. "Sonos was unable to add the music folder. Reason: The computer "<myserver>" cannot be found."

These flakey network connectivity issues all stem from the initial Sonos software update when the bridge-less/wifi support was added. Prior to that update, I never had these sorts of problems. I'm frustrated that Sonos isn't apparently listening to all the customers who have complained about this.
Userlevel 3
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Mohammed H wrote:

Can you try to remove and re-add the share to Sonos? Let me know how it goes, thanks.


Please check if your computer can see your music server on the network.

Go to Control Panel > network and Sharing Center > View network computers and devices.

If it does indeed appear there and you're still unable to add it we kindly advise that you call us (toll free) for further troubleshooting We'll be able to remote to your computer and look into the issue.

Let me know how it goes, thanks.

Mohammed H wrote:

Can you try to remove and re-add the share to Sonos? Let me know how it goes, thanks.


I am having the same issue, I called into tech support and the tech was very helpful but we still were not able to get my music library connected.  I have tried several things even going so far as installing the controller app on my laptop. I was able to add the local laptop library but not the one over the network.  On my PC the library is local but still will not add it; it gives the same error message that the "PC_Name" cannot be found. I work in PC support and am at my wits end, I can't seem to figure this one out.. Help!!

Thanks,
Mohammed H wrote:

Can you try to remove and re-add the share to Sonos? Let me know how it goes, thanks.


As indicated above, these problems all occurred after the update, and obviously haven't been solved. If Sonos doesn't solve this problem soon, some class-action lawyers may become interested. Please do something.
Mohammed H wrote:

Can you try to remove and re-add the share to Sonos? Let me know how it goes, thanks.


This is ridiculous - I have had Sonos for years without problems and in the last several weeks, I have had nothing but frustration.  I wish I could return all 5 of my Sonos components!!!!!!!!!
Userlevel 3
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Mohammed H wrote:

Can you try to remove and re-add the share to Sonos? Let me know how it goes, thanks.


Sorry to hear you're having trouble with the library. Have you tried to re-add it? If it still won't play please call us (toll free from landline) for further troubleshooting.
My problem is now fixed. I called Sonos support line and they were excellent. We went through a number of potential fixes until now I have no issue. Mine was fixed by fixing/reserving the IP address for the Sonos to connect to. My advice call the support line get them to remotely set your system for you and talk you through it. Very helpful and pleasant. 
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That's great, Tim!  Nice to hear that someone's experience has improved.

I use a Sonos bridge and don't use the new wifi mode. I have, however, just made the same sort of router config change to dedicate/reserve the assigned IPs to the various Sonos devices. If that makes a difference in stability of the wireless connectivity of the devices and their access to the music share, awesome. But it would be a mitigation on a regression introduced with the introduction of the bridge-less/wifi-only architecture.
M Walter wrote:

That's great, Tim!  Nice to hear that someone's experience has improved.

I use a Sonos bridge and don't use the new wifi mode. I have, however, just made the same sort of router config change to dedicate/reserve the assigned IPs to the various Sonos devices. If that makes a difference in stability of the wireless connectivity of the devices and their access to the music share, awesome. But it would be a mitigation on a regression introduced with the introduction of the bridge-less/wifi-only architecture.


my opinion is that the wifi-only option is great for 1st time buyers. its like a gateway drug to the sonos system. it can directly compete with the 'other guys' and it lowers the entry cost. once someone expands their system to multiple zones/multiple units per zone, the cost of the bridge or boost becomes negligible (or unnecessary), and you get a much more robust system and enjoyable experience.

pretty smart on their part, despite the (assumed) increase in support issues.
M Walter wrote:

That's great, Tim!  Nice to hear that someone's experience has improved.

I use a Sonos bridge and don't use the new wifi mode. I have, however, just made the same sort of router config change to dedicate/reserve the assigned IPs to the various Sonos devices. If that makes a difference in stability of the wireless connectivity of the devices and their access to the music share, awesome. But it would be a mitigation on a regression introduced with the introduction of the bridge-less/wifi-only architecture.


I didn't reserve any IP addresses in my router to fix this; I found that deleting the "Homegroup" settings from my PC took care of it.. I use the bridge and just have DHCP enabled on my wireless router.  When I called tech support he logged on to my PC and couldn't find anything wrong with my setup and said they would have to continue looking into it.. I'm not one for having much patience when it come to my tech not functioning so I started looking at what might have been missed. and that was it.. I hope that this helps someone else.
Userlevel 1
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Having same problem. Submitted diagnostic 4302298 

My firewall is turned off and was working last night without any changes to my system.
Sonos Customer Service helped me figure out that I had a bad cable between my router and bridge.  I would have never guessed as it was essentially brand new. Replaced that and all is good!
19/01/2015 06:34 PM wrote:

Sonos Customer Service helped me figure out that I had a bad cable between my router and bridge.  


Hi guys, I'm a Mac user and I just thought I'd let you know that Sonos customer services were great and helped sort this out. They said that with the last Mac update, it's affected Sonos, renamed the Mac and the new name was too long.

We renamed it in 2 places: WINS in Network Preferences/advanced and also under Sharing. It then connected perfectly and remedied the issue. Hope this helps.
I am experiencing same on a MAC.  SONOS should get something posted on this. 
19/01/2015 06:34 PM wrote:

Sonos Customer Service helped me figure out that I had a bad cable between my router and bridge.  


Paul, I'm on Mac too mate and have resolved the issue. See my comment above.
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After months of sporadic repros of this issue, I am now certain that VPN use on the music server computer is the culprit. Historically, I hadn't used VPN or extremely infrequently. My usage has gone up considerably in recent months. Basically at the time my Sonos "server cannot be found" issues started. While Sonos often continues to operate for some indeterminate amount of time after the VPN connection is made, at some point it will stop functioning. With moments after killing the VPN connection, Sonos will start functioning again and find my music library.

I've seen on some other VPN threads in this forum that re-opening ports will get Sonos to work again. However, that defeats VPN. That's not an option. I think I have just 2 options: (1) Be aware of the VPN interaction and make do or (2) move the music library to a different computer or NAS.
I have had this same problem consistently so I spent money on a Boost in order to establish a dedicated Sonos network, supposedly more reliable - it didn't help.  I have a Sonos 1, a Connect and a Boost wired into my Apple Time Machine which is, in turn, connected to my ISP's router. My Music Library is sourced from my MacBook Pro.  I have sent a diagnostic report 4434120.  What next?  I'm afraid that I don't fully understand some of the answers above but I have tried changing channels to no effect and I'm fed up with re-loading my music library.

Userlevel 3
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M Walter wrote:

After months of sporadic repros of this issue, I am now certain that VPN use on the music server computer is the culprit. Historically, I hadn't used VPN or extremely infrequently. My usage has gone up considerably in recent months. Basically at the time my Sonos "server cannot be found" issues started. While Sonos often continues to operate for some indeterminate amount of time after the VPN connection is made, at some point it will stop functioning. With moments after killing the VPN connection, Sonos will start functioning again and find my music library.

I've seen on some other VPN threads in this forum that re-opening ports will get Sonos to work again. However, that defeats VPN. That's not an option. I think I have just 2 options: (1) Be aware of the VPN interaction and make do or (2) move the music library to a different computer or NAS.


Hi M. Walter,

VPN was not designed for media streaming by any means, as it brings significant overhead that results in dropouts, name resolution issues and reduced bandwidth.

If a device needs dedicated open ports like for DLNA (which shouldn't be routed through a VPN anyway) the VPN provider has to allow port forwarding through their tunnel, which most VPN services don't allow selectively. 

"Warning" that Sonos may be the cause for the VPN playback issues is more than a stretch.
Userlevel 7
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First thing is make sure the boost is as far away from your router as possible (however long your cable or space allows).  That is where many first start off with issue.

Can you describe then the issue you exactly are having.    How far away are the Play:1 and Connect from the Boost (how far also from each other).


  wrote:

First thing is make sure the boost is as far away from your router as possible (however long your cable or space allows). 


The Boost is 2.5m from the ISP's router but is sitting on top of the Apple Time Capsule, which is itself linked to the ISP's router (sorry, named it wrongly before). So should I move the Boost away from its current position (and, if so, why?).

The issue is similar to other posts, error message - Unable to play name of track - cannot connect to //name of MacBook Pro because server cannot be found.

The Play 1 is on ground floor and the Boost and everything else is in the same room on the first floor. The Connect (connected to my hi-fi) is 2.5m from the ISP's router and (according to Pythagoras) 3.5m from the Boost and the Time Capsule.
Userlevel 7
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If your Apple Time Capsule is your wireless signal then having 2 wifi devices right on top of each other would cause problem.

Your MacBook Pro - is it connected wired or is it wireless.  If your MacBook Pro is operating wirelessly and is being used as your music source I can see there being trouble.  If the MacBook Pro drops wireless at all or your home wifi is crowded it is not going to be able to stream a solid stream to your Sonos.

In your case if the MacBook Pro is operating wireless - getting a Boost didn't help your situation because you still have your music coming from a device that rely's on your home wifi.

If this is the case I would recommend either the MacBook Pro be wired to your router when you want to play music from it with Sonos.  Or get a fairly inexpensive NAS drive and backup all your music to it - and it therefore stays wired to your network.


  wrote:

First thing is make sure the boost is as far away from your router as possible (however long your cable or space allows). 


Thank you for the explanation Chris.

The Boost is connected wired to the Time Capsule, should I disconnect it and move it elsewhere, I thought that it had to be connected to a router. 

Macbook Pro is operating wirelessly.  It is being used as the music source but I thought that this was only the case to initially load the music library which was then available from Sonos independently.  If not this means Sonos is reliant on the strength/capacity etc. of the home wi-fi network which is, in turn, reliant on the ISP's router strength/capacity etc. etc.

Should I take it then that the following para only applies if the music source is wired to a Sonos component in the "Sonos matrix network"?

DEDICATED SONOS NETWORK BENEFITS
Plugging in a product launches a reliable mesh network on a separate wireless channel, which means that your speakers don’t have to talk to the WiFi router directly, but rather can connect reliably through any nearby Sonos player. This increases the range of your Sonos system, and ensures that you’ve got great connectivity no matter how large your home or how many WiFi devices you use.

It is not practical for me to wire the MacBook Pro to the router every time I want to play music so failing all else it's looking like more expense to get a NAS drive and to wire it into the Sonos network - two questions then: 1. what Sonos component should a NAS drive be connected to? and 2. are all NAS drives much the same?
Userlevel 7
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The Boost you need to connect to your router - just keep it a foot or so away from your router/wifi device.

Sonos does not "load" your music library.  It indexes your library from the location that it is stored.  In your case it is stored on your MacBook.  So when you play a song in Sonos it goes out and has to pull the song from your MacBook.  Your MacBook is connected to your home wifi so it then has to send the song back via your home wifi to your router ... which in turn passes it to the Boost ... which in turn then routes it through Sonosnet.

What you want to do is get an NAS and hook the NAS to your router as well.  Then point sonos to the NAS to index and when you play a song Sonos will pull the song from the NAS drive - directly into Sonosnet (your home wifi is then removed from the equation and you should be good).  Have you noticed you don't have issues if you play an internet streaming service.  Because they filter through your router and direct into Sonosnet as well.

You can get an NAS drive to hook to your router for just over $100 these days http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Central-Personal-Storage-STCG4000100/dp/B00ARB5FNE/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&...

Good for music and storing lots of stuff!

Thanks again.

Yes, I had noticed that internet streaming worked fine.

Looks like it's a NAS drive then!

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