All tracks in music library now in alphabetical order

For some reason, all of my album tracks are now listed alphabetically instead of by track number. Any ideas as to why and how to fix?

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53 replies

Userlevel 1
I found the problem.

At some point Sonos silently stopped supporting track numbers containing slashes.

After some tag edits and media library refreshes here's what I was able to confirm just now:

- Sonos can only understand simple track numbers like "1" and will use them to sort the songs within albums correctly.
- Track numbers like "01/11" and "1/11" are effectively now invisible to Sonos. It treats them as if the field is blank and will instead fall back to order tracks alphabetically.

Some further clarification on this, now that I've had a few weeks to dig in-

I was/am seeing this behavior in FLAC files, whose metadata is stored as Vorbis Comments, not as ID3 tags. The change that Sonos made to cause this bug must lie in their Vorbis Comments importer.

I've found a workaround for now that allows me to retain my track numbers with slashes, although it does require re-tagging before Sonos will see the track numbers.

I use Tag & Rename to manage my file tags. There's a setting hidden its menus that needs to be enabled for Sonos to see track number data once again. I hope someone finds this helpful.

Within T&R, go to "Options/Options," click the "Advanced" tab, and scroll down to "Save Vorbis Comments Track and Disc total numbers to "TRACKTOTAL" and "DISCTOTAL" frames. Ensure that that setting IS CHECKED, and all of your tagged files from that point on will be properly ordered within the Sonos apps.
I got a response.

This approach to software development baffles me.

Essentially, "This loss of functionality is by design. But we'll put in a request to have it added back in."

We are aware that it used to work. Sonos controller changed how it displays files in the latest update, which is the version you are using. Unfortunately it can not be rolled back to the old way.

The best we can do for now is to add this to the future request list. We have already submitted the request to the developer team. I appreciate it if you could wait for this function to be added in the future release.

Why is this a feature request? The app gives you the options of Title, Track Number or Filename. Always has. Someone foobar’d here. Come on guys give us back the functionality you have provided in the Library Settings.
Given the (lack of) emphasis Sonos now places on library developments -- the vast majority of customers stream from the cloud according to their public statements -- you might be waiting a while. If they've only recently acknowledged the issue, the way things work is that a change may well not appear for some months. Your call, but in your shoes I'd simply fix my library.
Same issue for me here, gavdann. Any FLAC ripped albums show with track numbers next to them (and ordered by track, as in settings). All my older ripped CDs in WMA (variable) show without track numbers (both Windows desktop app and iOS) and are alphabetically ordered. Yet they are correctly tagged (and are ordered correctly) in my JRiver Media Center Player.

So I agree, Sonos seems to have dropped the ball on picking up the tags from WMA files.

(And I've deleted and re-added the library, re-indexed, switched settings for ordering in folders ... blah blah)

Might have to run a giant conversion on all the WMA files across to FLAC ... OR ... Sonos could just fix the bug.


Update from me. I've re-ripped a couple of CDs to FLAC and those have no issue with track numbering/sequencing. My issue is purely with WMA files. I know Sonos have only ever supported WMA bit rate of up to 355kbps but I'm not using lossless and they are all variable rate below that limit. The problem isn't with playback, it's purely track numbering.
I find it absolutely astonishing that Sonos would deliberately stop listing tracks in their correct order and choose to list them alphabetically instead. It actually boggles the mind. How many artists name all their songs in alphabetical order?

It is possible to list songs in their correct order - but first you have to click through to the folder where your songs are, then you need to right click on any song, then you need to select "Info and Options' and click on that, then select "View all Songs on Album"

You will have to do this for every album you wish to listen to. Its a real pain. I just wish that Sonos could spend 2 seconds actually THINKING about what they're doing.

We'll just have to wait until the genius that thought this was a good idea changes his mind and puts it back the way it used to be and the way the rest of the planet listens to their songs.
I ended up giving up trying to find a "solution" for the .wma files (everything else - .mp3 and .flac lists correctly in song order). I tried re-tagging using Tag & Rename as suggested elsewhere on this forum with various combinations of tag format, nothing worked (my .wma files were already track # tagged anyway, but I wondered if a forced retag then a forced Sonos re-index might fix it).

So I bit the bullet and ran a long batch file conversion for only my old .wma files into .flac format (using JRiver Media Center which I've owned for years). 10,000 files, took almost 24 hours, then a Sonos re-index, now everything is back to being listed in track order ...
Just posting a quick update that I think will solve this problem - it did for me.

In the Sonos app go to Manage > Settings > Music Library. Then click on the Advanced tab and select the 'Sort Folders By' (even though Song Number was already selected) choosing this option again sorted the problem for me.

I guess this was just a simple software bug.
This is a mess. I have the same issue as the rest that have seen their tracks suddenly go alphabetical, regardless of the setting I choose in "sort folders by."


For everyone that is re-ripping their library (mine approaches 4000 CDs) or manipulating their filenames.... What happens on the next update, when there is some other seemingly minor oversight?

I doubt this was a deliberate decision. Please fix your error asap Sonos. You have given us an excellent, excellent product. Now let's see your support in action!
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
Have you tried the fix in the post above?
Just posting a quick update that I think will solve this problem - it did for me.

In the Sonos app go to Manage > Settings > Music Library. Then click on the Advanced tab and select the 'Sort Folders By' (even though Song Number was already selected) choosing this option again sorted the problem for me.

I guess this was just a simple software bug.

Yes, thanks for the idea but it didn't work for me.
Which library view are you looking at? If it's the Folder view you need to change the library option to view tracks by track number. If you're in, say, the Artists view you're probably looking at the 'All' item for the chosen artist.
Already changed the order in music library settings to sort by track number. This action did not work.
That only affects the Folder view, which is why I asked ....
Do you know if there is a solution to this issue?
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
It's not normally am issue. What version of the app are you on?
Newest, I assume. "No updates are necessary." Same with PC version.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Is this on a PC? If so, could be a side-effect of the new http-based file sharing that replaced the SMB one.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
Newest, I assume. "No updates are necessary." Same with PC version. but what version? 8.6? You can check in settings, about my system.
The same thing is happening with the mobile app; it doesn't matter which device I use to play music.
It is version 8.6. Thank you for your help, BTW.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
Thanks. My theory is out then 😞

More investigation:-
What source is the music coming from?
When did this start happening?
Have you made any other changes to your PC or music source?

This is odd.
Drill down Artists>(Artist)>(Album) and look at the track list. Are there numbers down the left side? If not, try removing and re-adding the network share, so as to force a full re-indexing.
How would I re-add the network share? The source is - and has been from the beginning - a laptop hard drive.
Are you suggesting I remove the files from the computer? Or simply Sonos?
Just go into library settings and remove the share from Sonos. Add it back again and Sonos will re-index everything.