unable to play - server cannot be found

  • 15 October 2014
  • 41 replies
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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.

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41 replies

Userlevel 7
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and its a good sign that internet sources work well.  That means your router is not bogged down and SonosNet is working as it should.  Your problem is your home wifi reliability ... which is common and why going with SonosNet as you did (getting boost) is the way to go.
Userlevel 5
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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.

As convenient VPN connection from a client system are they often interfere as the target server uses the same private IP address ranges as your local network at home.

Essentially, your company uses one or several of the IP address ranges below which causes the the traffic being routed to the company server instead of the Sonos. There is little the Sonos app or the Sonos devices can do to alter this.

Long story short, the best you can do is to verify which of the IP ranges your company is using and putting your home network into a different address range.
E.g. if 192.168 ... is used by your company change your router configuration to 10.0 ... to avoid the overlap.

We have some true networking experts here in the community (and so has Sonos) who can assist way better then myself.

Lets see if one of them picks up the thread.

And in the spirit of a good community, my apologies as i misunderstood your configuration.
Userlevel 6
Badge +16
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 would contact sonos direct, they can probably resolve this for you. http://www.sonos.com/en-gb/contact?r=1
actually I've just realised that I can plug an HDD into the Time Capsule USB port so no need to buy a NAS
Userlevel 7
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I have never used a time capsule but sounds right.  Actually I think the Time Capsule itself can be used - sorry I didn't even think about it.  So you just put music on the time capsule and here I think this thread links to several ways to setup

https://ask.sonos.com/sonos/topics/best_way_to_use_apple_time_capsule_with_sonos_nas
Can you try to remove and re-add the share to Sonos? Let me know how it goes, thanks.

i agree, my Sonos was a complete waste of money, it is absolutely ridiculous and stupid for me to even try to consider the amount of time that I spent wasted trying to fix this stupid problem.  Sonos, go ahead and laugh, you got my money but i will make dam sure that none of my friends make the same mistake i made and buy one of these paper weights
Can you try to remove and re-add the share to Sonos? Let me know how it goes, thanks.

what is going on at Sonos. I have invested heavily in this system and it just doesn't work!!!
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Can you try to remove and re-add the share to Sonos? Let me know how it goes, thanks.

Scott, are you using a VPN on the computer hosting your music library?  That turned out to be my problem. Took me a long time to hunt down because at least with my system (Win 8.1), the fact that my VPN was still connected isn't obvious.
Guys, are any of you Mac users?  Sonos customer services were great and helped sort this out:

They said that with the last Mac update it's affected Sonos as it renamed the Mac and the new name was too long.  

You have to rename it in 2 places: WINS in Network Preferences/advanced and also under Sharing. It then connected perfectly and remedied the issue.

Hope this helps.
Userlevel 1
In the last few days I spent some time creating playlists in sonos that fetch flac files from a library on a windows 7 machine on my wired gigabit LAN (with wifi for phones / tablets). I quickly ran into the error that the OP here experienced. My iPad would frequently throw a "Unable to play '<music title>' - cannot connect to //<myserver>/<share> because the server cannot be found."

On trying to figure out if it was a DNS or other broader network issue I (pretty much accidentally) stumbled across something unexpected about the machine that the files are stored on. From the command prompt on the windows box I initiated a ping of itself (that was the accidentally bit, my morning cofee hadnt kicked in). To my surprise, the ping command showed an IPv6 address and 4 successful pings returned in good time. I do not run IPv6 on my network and thought that I had turned IPv6 off for that network card. I have now turned off IPv6 and restarted a few things such as the DNS server and have been able to play music and force library rescans without issue.

It has only been about 5 hours since I made this change so I may be jumping the gun but its about 4 hours more than what I was able to get previously. I hope this may assist others. It is my understanding that Sonos does not support IPv6 (only IPv4) and if people are trouble-shooting their networks, checking that IPV6 is disabled should only be a good thing.  

MD
Userlevel 5
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Its likely a NetBIOS issue which only supports device names with max 15 characters.
Likely renaming the PC and removing/adding the music library in the Sonos controller pointing tho the new device name will be the fix.
Userlevel 1
Its likely a NetBIOS issue which only supports device names with max 15 characters.
Likely renaming the PC and removing/adding the music library in the Sonos controller pointing tho the new device name will be the fix.


Machine name is HTPC5
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.


Thank you for this solution. Spent an hour trying to figure out what was going on, read this post and fixed it in under 1 minute!
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.
Don’t know if you found this out yet, but you can eliminate the computer as the middle man in this equation. For IPhone users, Google how to connect Sonos to Apple ITunes and it becomes a straight forward process. I imagine you can look up how to connect out music sources to Android phones.
I never had problems with Sonos and Windows 7 but I suffered big time with Windows 10 !
I hope the solution I found on Youtube will not stop working one day:

step 1: share the folders in Explorer => https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7cwikd_eAU
step 2: enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP => https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlmCohoZD-s

PS I'm very surprised that Sonos is not posting this solution anywhere, even if the root cause might be on Microsoft Windows (settings) side...