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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.

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