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When will Sonos fix the "no selections are available" if your music library is too large problem?


Hi, folks. I have a few Sonos devices and have overall been very happy with the system. But I do find one bug/limitation extremely annoying. It seems like if you have “too many” files in a local music library, Sonos just can’t cope with it, and shows “No selections are available” any time you try to use it. You have to delete some files to make your library usable again.

I don’t use streaming services. I only play my own music, that I own. It’s pretty ridiculous that I have to delete parts of my library or move them to places where Sonos can’t see them (and so I can’t play them on Sonos!), just because Sonos can’t write proper database code or something. I've seen discussions of this problem before, for years, and always assumed this would get fixed with a regular update because it’s such a ridiculous limitation. But I’m starting to lose patience (and would like to be able to buy more music!)

My library isn’t even *that* huge, anyway. I’m sure some folks have more music than me. I seem to have 19,238 files in the library at the moment, some of those are not audio files but PDFs and so on. I just did a cleanup to solve the problem (again), so I guess the limit is 20,000 or somewhere around that?

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Best answer by Corry P 23 June 2022, 09:56

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The recognised limit is 65,000 slots, but it depends on other things too apparently, like the track metadata, but I have seen many here with far more than 20,000 tracks. I have 25,000+ tracks in my own local NAS library, that all work without issue. 

One way around the Sonos limitation now, is to use a Plex server (NAS, PC or Shield TV etc). and the Plex service in-built into the Sonos App, or the Plex App, but there is a subscription required. See this link:

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/3405

Another option is to use the Windows Media Server service and enable that option in the Sonos App. See this link:

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/550

Thanks, Ken. I wonder why I seem to be running into it so low, then.

I don’t run Windows, so that’s out, but I could maybe set up a UPNP server. I’m trying to get *out* of the business of running my own servers, though, and don’t have any other devices on my network that are turned on permanently except the NAS itself. I guess I can see if it has any UPNP server capabilities. This all feels like work I should not have to do, though. :(

Welp, I found a plugin for my NAS that runs Emby on it, and VLC on my phone can see the server OK, but it doesn’t show in Sonos even after enabling “Show Media Servers” and “Show UPnP Servers”. :|

AdamWill,

How many tracks are in your library?

As I said above, on a quick check (if I ran the check right) there are about 20k files in the directory. Not all of them are music files, some are PDFs or M3Us.

65,000 tracks is the hard limit, but there is also a space limit. If your metadata (Artist, Track Title, Composer, etc.) are large, you may run out of space before 65,000. Unless you have bumped into a fundamental operating system limit (unlikely), there is no limit to individual track file size.

Some rippers will throw lots of data into the file names. As far as SONOS is concerned the track file names could be 1.flac to 65000.flac -- all in a single large folder. While this is not very convenient for the human, the file names wouldn’t require much space. The folder structure is more or less arbitrary and is only useful if you need to find a track for some reason. The folder structure is not used for the main library display. 

You should review your metadata and look for opportunities to reduce it. 

Why is there a size limit? One reason why the SONOS system is so fast and resilient is because SONOS stores a copy of the library index in each player’s RAM. Since RAM is a limited resource, there is a size limit for the index.

Again, pruning metadata sounds like a thing I should not have to waste hours of my life to do in order to enjoy my multi-thousand-dollar audio system.

I use the folder structure to navigate the library. I don’t use any of the organizations Sonos shows because none of them are any good; a lot of my music is classical and they just don’t work well for that. So I can’t really change that either. I use the filenames and metadata that the tracks come with from the stores I buy them from. When I rip CDs (rarely, these days) I use whatever Musicbrainz gives me. I’m honestly not going to prune all this stuff by hand just to play a fairly reasonably-sized music collection.

There are Tag (metadata) editors that can mechanize file name management.

You should look into one of the alternate library management schemes suggested above.

Again, pruning metadata sounds like a thing I should not have to waste hours of my life to do in order to enjoy my multi-thousand-dollar audio system.

Yes, I agree… It really should be capable of handling much larger libraries, but it seems to be a design limit in early players that hangs on to this day. As far as I’m aware, even S2 kit is no better, even though it’s now freed from the need to be compatible with early players. It seems that the world has turned to streaming, and Sonos has no interest in accommodating the remaining few of us who still have our own larger music libraries. 

To be fair to Sonos, even if they did upgrade S2 kit to handle large libraries, I wouldn’t spend the extra money on them as there are other ways of doing things these days.

I use the folder structure to navigate the library. I don’t use any of the organizations Sonos shows because none of them are any good; a lot of my music is classical and they just don’t work well for that.

I do the same as, like you say, the other Sonos facilities are painfully inadequate for classical listeners - particularly if one’s library also contains contemporary music - it just becomes a mess.

So I can’t really change that either. I use the filenames and metadata that the tracks come with from the stores I buy them from. When I rip CDs (rarely, these days) I use whatever Musicbrainz gives me. I’m honestly not going to prune all this stuff by hand just to play a fairly reasonably-sized music collection.

I found the Sonos Plex option very limited and, AFAIA, it hasn’t been upgraded since. I’m also not happy about changing the data in my library round simply to suit Sonos - so whilst some of the solutions offered could be automated, I want to keep the full info available to other more capable players - now or in the future.

Consequently, my only option would be to hold two copies of a music library - one purely for Sonos and the full version. Ripping a CD would increase the effort required, and both versions of the dataset would need maintaining and backing up. As the full version is 847GB and the cut down version is 732GB, this is a nuisance.

I currently have about 38K tracks in the Sonos library, but maybe a third of them are contemporary, which may explain the difference in our experience.

I usually run the Sonos system off of a sacrificial NAS, as Sonos S1 doesn’t support higher SMB versions. If I wish to see and play the whole library, then I use a media server on my main Synology NAS, using HiFi Cast (android app) to cast to Chromecast (either a CCA plugged into a Play 5 or built in to my AV receiver). This not only removes the limits on library size and removes the need for SMB1, but also allows higher res files to be played - if this matters to you. 

 

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Hi @AdamWill 

Thanks for your post!

Your number of tracks is well below the limit available - I suggest that there is perhaps another problem affecting the indexing of the library. I recommend 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 about the indexing process.

Thanks, Corry, next time I hit the limit I’ll do that. For now in some cases where I have both hires and transcoded low-res copies of an album (so Sonos can play it, since it still can’t play hi-res...) I’ve moved the hi-res copies out of my main folder, and I trimmed the metadata on one particular album which had very long track titles, so that should give me breathing room for a bit.

I suddenly “lost” my library this morning, getting the dreaded “no selections are available”-error. This without adding anything, and before applying the latest update (that was pending). I have 28k tracks. All with up-to-date MP3 tags and integrated low-res cover pics (which is the only way to get SONOS to show the album).

I migrated to SONOS about a year ago, due to my previous NAS-based system becoming “much too old”. I don’t give a FF about any internet sh*te, all I want to do is listen my OWN music, collected since 1972 and painstakingly transferred to digital format over time.

If SONOS can’t handle that, I am out. Regardless of the speaker sound quality, which is simply excellent.

And I’ll leave with a vengeance, since I will not forgive the company for selling an expensive system that arbitrarily limits my access to my own music. Regardless of the reason, that is simply ridiculous. There is NO warning that you can only use a limited amount of music with SONOS. All audiophiles with a large collection of music should warned about this. Correction: ALL potential buyers of a SONOS speaker should be warned about this.

Blaming “a need for speed” and a 64k RAM limit, without offering a functional direct access alternative, is really and truly bad system design. It is also technically ridiculous, since I can easily and quickly surf my NAS even from my phone. Add to that that there is no information about anything anywhere, so no possibility of taking any limits into account.

If the solution is to delete part of your library or destroy some of the information about it, isn’t that the anti-thesis of what a music system is supposed to be?

And yes, I am pissed. My music was available yesterday, SONOS has decided to remove it today. And I would have had better things to do than to surf the internet looking for “No selections are available”...

The last time I “lost” my library the suggestion was to delete it and add it again. Which I did. Only I had to re-introduce it in parts (which took the better part of a weekend), since SONOS couldn’t even scan in it one go (it “hanged” itself at some point).

Yippikayey...

@Graavarg

I would perhaps ‘painstakingly’ recheck your tags, as I use a similar size local library and my experience of using it with Sonos is entirely different to your own. It all works well for me - I have posted a reply HERE in response to another thread and the post hopefully shows I can re-index and access all local library tracks quickly and without difficulties. So I’m not convinced it’s a Sonos issue, maybe just take a another look at your library metadata.

Blaming “a need for speed” and a 64k RAM limit, without offering a functional direct access alternative, is really and truly bad system design. It is also technically ridiculous, since I can easily and quickly surf my NAS even from my phone. Add to that that there is no information about anything anywhere, so no possibility of taking any limits into account.

If the solution is to delete part of your library or destroy some of the information about it, isn’t that the anti-thesis of what a music system is supposed to be?

I agree, but I doubt that Sonos will do anything about it now, as everything seems to be geared towards streaming.

As an alternative system, I run a music server on my Synology NAS to a Chromecast Audio which is plugged in to my Play 5 Gen 1. This not only sees my whole library (separate copy to the Sonos one) with all tags/filename untouched, but also natively plays ‘hi-res’ tracks. It can stream direct to a Sonos device, but it gets a bit messy when you want to change back to ‘Sonos mode’.

Sonos was good when I bought it in 2011, but it hasn’t grown with my music collection - even in the S2 versions - , so I treat it as legacy kit nowadays. It sounds OK, and I don’t throw things away when they still have a use, but I wouldn’t recommend Sonos to anyone with large local collections.

@Graavarg

I would perhaps ‘painstakingly’ recheck your tags, as I use a similar size local library and my experience of using it with Sonos is entirely different to your own. It all works well for me - I have posted a reply HERE in response to another thread and the post hopefully shows I can re-index and access all local library tracks quickly and without difficulties. So I’m not convinced it’s a Sonos issue, maybe just take a another look at your library metadata.

I will try that, thanks for the tip. The info about max char lengths of different tags is completely new to me, have to parse the tags to check. There is no info about the file path, or is that included in the “file name” limit (100)? I use an Artist/Album/files

I do not think that is the problem, since everything worked fine for weeks, including yesterday, and nothing has been changed.

I did try to re-index, and it does say “Indexing...”, but mostly it just stops after a few minutes (in the same “no selections available”-state). A few times I got an “X is no longer available”-error, the same error as a few months ago when trying to scan the whole library in one go (removing it and copying the files back in smaller batches and re-indexing after each batch made it work again). And no, there is no real connection problem, and it is available, except in SONOS little amateurish mind...

I think the 100 in the file name includes its path (not sure🤔?)

I too use Artist/Album/Track.. a couple of examples of a path in my case might be something along the lines of:

\\NASBox\data\Music\Compilations\The Best Heavy Metal Album… Ever!\1-01 We Will Rock You.flac

\\NASBox\data\Music\Bryan Ferry & Roxy Music\Another Time, Another Place\1-01 The ‘In’ Crowd.m4a

So they presumably would take up one slot each in the index. 

Posted this in another thread, discussing the same problem:

So, I ripped all tags from 28k tracks into Excel, and lo and behold there were 11 tracks with faulty tags, spread over 7 (totally) different albums. By “faulty” I mean corrupt (strange bitrate numbers is a good indicator). Checked them with MP3Tag, interestingly the tags do seem to work in MP3Tag, but the codec info is missing, the bitrate is strange and the Tag field lists them as “ID3v2.3 Error”.

I removed these files from my collection, and now the re-indexing goes through (though it took > 7 minutes, which is unusual) and I have my library back. I can’t be 100% sure this was the reason (since SONOS has imported them twice before), but if faulty tags can mess up the re-indexing process it might be down to “code”.

Thanks to @Ken_Griffiths for suggesting a re-check of the tags!

 

 

Well, update time, I guess.

I bought some new stuff and the problem happened again. So I called tech support. I sent diagnostics, allowed a screen share (which is kinda excessive, but whatever), reproduced the problem live for the support agent. They ran through some stuff which was clearly from a checklist and was clearly not going to solve the problem - first enabling CIFS 1.0 on the computer, which a) is highly insecure and b) is completely irrelevant to my problem, then trying to check the sharing permissions, which didn’t work because the data is not hosted on the computer (it’s on a NAS), but is also clearly not the problem so I didn’t bother explaining that they’d have to check the equivalents through the NAS firmware interface, since that would’ve just been a waste of everyone’s time.

Then they said they were going to look some stuff up, put me on hold for ten minutes, and the call cut off.

Not very impressed.

Sonos is not having any trouble seeing the files. It’s clearly just hitting some kind of limit on something. All I need Sonos to tell me is, what freaking limit is it hitting on what? If I know that, I can maybe do something about it. But I couldn’t get this support person to understand that.

edit: So the agent called me back, and insisted on turning on the CIFS 1.0 support. I did that (but didn’t actually reboot the system). We moved a large folder of music out of the library and back in, and updated the library on a PC (I usually do it from a phone), and it worked OK. I moved back in three more folders I had previously moved out, updated from the PC again, and it still worked OK.

So I’m even more baffled at what’s going on now, but at least it’s working for now and I have all my tracks in the database. There’s no way the CIFS 1.0 setting on one random PC on the network which isn’t hosting the files could be affecting things, so it must have been something to do with moving the files around and re-updating the library from the computer instead of a phone? Still seems weird. I guess I’ll see if the problem comes back yet again next time I buy some music...

Well, update time, I guess.

I bought some new stuff and the problem happened again. So I called tech support. I sent diagnostics, allowed a screen share (which is kinda excessive, but whatever), reproduced the problem live for the support agent. They ran through some stuff which was clearly from a checklist and was clearly not going to solve the problem - first enabling CIFS 1.0 on the computer, which a) is highly insecure and b) is completely irrelevant to my problem, then trying to check the sharing permissions, which didn’t work because the data is not hosted on the computer (it’s on a NAS), but is also clearly not the problem so I didn’t bother explaining that they’d have to check the equivalents through the NAS firmware interface, since that would’ve just been a waste of everyone’s time.

Then they said they were going to look some stuff up, put me on hold for ten minutes, and the call cut off.

Not very impressed.

Sonos is not having any trouble seeing the files. It’s clearly just hitting some kind of limit on something. All I need Sonos to tell me is, what freaking limit is it hitting on what? If I know that, I can maybe do something about it. But I couldn’t get this support person to understand that.

edit: So the agent called me back, and insisted on turning on the CIFS 1.0 support. I did that (but didn’t actually reboot the system). We moved a large folder of music out of the library and back in, and updated the library on a PC (I usually do it from a phone), and it worked OK. I moved back in three more folders I had previously moved out, updated from the PC again, and it still worked OK.

So I’m even more baffled at what’s going on now, but at least it’s working for now and I have all my tracks in the database. There’s no way the CIFS 1.0 setting on one random PC on the network which isn’t hosting the files could be affecting things, so it must have been something to do with moving the files around and re-updating the library from the computer instead of a phone? Still seems weird. I guess I’ll see if the problem comes back yet again next time I buy some music...

Some kind of inherited share permission on the folder/tracks perhaps? - hence the moving out/in might have resolved the issue - those were my thoughts at least, from what you’ve described in the edit.

Well, update time, I guess.

I bought some new stuff and the problem happened again. So I called tech support. I sent diagnostics, allowed a screen share (which is kinda excessive, but whatever), reproduced the problem live for the support agent. They ran through some stuff which was clearly from a checklist and was clearly not going to solve the problem - first enabling CIFS 1.0 on the computer, which a) is highly insecure and b) is completely irrelevant to my problem, then trying to check the sharing permissions, which didn’t work because the data is not hosted on the computer (it’s on a NAS), but is also clearly not the problem so I didn’t bother explaining that they’d have to check the equivalents through the NAS firmware interface, since that would’ve just been a waste of everyone’s time.

Then they said they were going to look some stuff up, put me on hold for ten minutes, and the call cut off.

Not very impressed.

Sonos is not having any trouble seeing the files. It’s clearly just hitting some kind of limit on something. All I need Sonos to tell me is, what freaking limit is it hitting on what? If I know that, I can maybe do something about it. But I couldn’t get this support person to understand that.

edit: So the agent called me back, and insisted on turning on the CIFS 1.0 support. I did that (but didn’t actually reboot the system). We moved a large folder of music out of the library and back in, and updated the library on a PC (I usually do it from a phone), and it worked OK. I moved back in three more folders I had previously moved out, updated from the PC again, and it still worked OK.

So I’m even more baffled at what’s going on now, but at least it’s working for now and I have all my tracks in the database. There’s no way the CIFS 1.0 setting on one random PC on the network which isn’t hosting the files could be affecting things, so it must have been something to do with moving the files around and re-updating the library from the computer instead of a phone? Still seems weird. I guess I’ll see if the problem comes back yet again next time I buy some music...

Some kind of inherited share permission on the folder/tracks perhaps? - hence the moving out/in might have resolved the issue - those were my thoughts at least, from what you’ve described in the edit.

The odd thing is, though, there shouldn't be anything special related to the bug about those particular files. I just picked one big folder (Bach) to move out of the library more or less at random, to be sure the problem went away (this was to demonstrate it to the agent). Yesterday, those files were in the library and working fine, then I bought a couple of new albums (Elgar) and the bug showed up. Didn’t do anything involving Bach at all. In the past when the problem has shown up I’ve ‘fixed’ it by moving other things out. But somehow, when I put Bach back in again, the bug didn't show up again. I guess it could just be a pure coincidence that there was some underlying problem with something in the Bach folder and moving it out, scanning, moving it back, and scanning happened to clean it up, but that would be a heck of a coincidence...

 

So it’s just rather weird all around. I’m hoping it’s magically gone away for good now, but we’ll see.

Go to Settings → System → About My System and keep track of the “Associated Product.” Does this change from time to time and is the failure associated with a particular unit?

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