Connecting an external flash drive to an Android phone

  • 21 June 2020
  • 8 replies

  • Contributor I
  • 3 replies

Hi there, I’m new to Sonos. I’ve got a flash drive with music stored on it, attached to a Mi Android phone. I’ve installed the Sonos app on the phone. The phone recognises the flash drive fine and I can navigate around it using the file manager, but I’m not sure how to tell the Sonos app to use it. I went to Add New Share but none of my ways of identifying the share seem to find favour with the Sonos app. Can anybody help?


Best answer by John B 24 June 2020, 09:24

Hi. That is not possible. The Sonos system is network-based and the Sonos app is a remote control for the system, not a music player. 

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Hi @mjbr,

Thanks for reaching out and welcome to the community!

You won’t able to share music files stored on a flash drive using a mobile device, not unless it is network-attached storage or NAS drive. 

It is possible to share the music folder with Sonos by using Mac or Windows computer.

Here is an article that will guide you on Adding and updating your music library to Sonos.


Let us know how it goes and If you have any other questions or run into any issues, please do not hesitate to reach out.


Hi Annazel,


thanks very much for your speedy response. I’m sorry that I didn’t explain myself very well, though. I don’t want to share these files, just to play them through the Sonos app. I understand that, in the normal course of things, I could share them when the flash drive was attached to my computer; but I want to be able to use the Sonos speaker with my phone when I’m not attached to my home network by directly attaching the flash drive to my phone. Is there a way of doing this?

Thanks for your help

Hi. That is not possible. The Sonos system is network-based and the Sonos app is a remote control for the system, not a music player. 

But according to your profile you have a Move, so if you can play the music  on your phone you can use Bluetooth to play it on the Move.

As you have an Android phone,  'on this mobile device ' is another possibility.  Not sure if the drive would be recognised as being 'on the mobile device'.

Thanks very much for your reply, John. I had originally expected and planned to use a music player, but when I bought the Sonos and saw the app’s possibilities I sort of got seduced into it. I’ll go back to plan A. Just an idle question on a conceptual level: if the Sonos player isn’t a music player, how do the files on a NAS device get played; and if it’s network-based, what does it mean that it has a Bluetooth mode?

Hi.  Only the Move has Bluetooth, really intended for when away from the home network.  The app doesn’t have a Bluetooth mode. Away from the network the Move is just a dumb Bluetooth speaker.

Your question goes to the heart of the Sonos design.  Virtually all the software is on the speakers / players.  So are Sonos playlists, music library index etc.  The app instructs the speaker to fetch the music (from whatever source, even if it is on the phone) and play it.  So once the music is playing you could turn the controller device off and the music would continue.

So in the specific case of a NAS, once you have created your Sonos Music Library, each speaker will contain the library - by which i mean the indexed list of filepaths to files on your NAS.  You pick a song to play on a particular speaker, and the controller sends an instruction over the network to the speaker to play that song, and the speaker goes off and fetches it to play it.

I hope that helps.

Thanks very much for taking the time and trouble to reply, John. That makes perfect sense.

No problem.