Question

future of the 65k limit


I'm really impressed by the speakers and basically the idea of the system. But what's really frustrating is the song-limit of almost 65k...

Will (and when?) this be corrected somehow? This is the only (but heavy) obstacle for me to buy a sonos solution for almost every room in my house (by the way how many speakers can be connected AND is it working across 4 floors?). Lets assume this barriere is been gone some day - will the current speakers work in that "new" environment or does it means, that I need all new products? What products do I have to change?

I really cannot understand why sonos is so bullish in this point - hopefully I get a positive answer (cause exept this issue I like it very much!)

Thanks for any (positive) information!

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155 replies

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Lets see - I have 10 Sonos devices . . . and have heard the same non-answers for 3+ years. The guys in Product Management obviously don't care about solving this issue - otherwise Development would have solved it. It can be solved - not a question . . . it is just not a priority as the pain of serving those of us with 65K songs is not a priority. The part that kills me is that folks like me have spent a TON of money on this system - NOT knowing this limitation . . . and have yet to hear a clear commitment to solve the issue. Sonos keeps releasing new products - all of which have this limitation . . . but the problem remains unresolved. So - should I just sell my Sonos 'collection' and never come back? That is what you're telling me as a customer . . . the message is clear, you don't care enough about me - you want the NEXT customer. You've communicated very clearly through you lack of action. My turn to communicate back - by NOT spending any more money on Sonos. If you want to discuss this - fine, then reply to this thread on WHO to contact who gives a REAL crap about this. Hmmmm - seems I make this same post about every year or so . . . yawn . . .
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See here https://github.com/LMSSonos/LMSSonos
How will that work for a non tech normal Sonos user like me?
That's exactly it, Air. The memory int he speakers is lacking. Newer speakers could have greater memory, but then that leaves the older units out of the equation. I'm even willing to replace my older units with ones with more memory if they do go that route.
Exactly. They've abandoned their core base that they founded their company on. But yes... I would consider replacing all seven of my players should they at least double their capacity. I mainly use mine for my music collection, and occasionally listen to Sirius, but in my RV, I'm mostly limited to my local library because Internet streaming is a nightmare.
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Hello JSchulte,

We don't have any updates right now about the 65k track limit. This is a hardware limitation based on the amount of memory on Sonos components which can be allocated to storing our Music Index. As Sonos adds new components to the system, we're constantly trying to keep legacy units fully compatible so our customer's don't have to go out and buy the newest model.

You can have up to 32 Sonos components setup in your home and each one with extend the Sonos wireless network, so if you're putting on on each floor, they should all be within range. Depending on environment, this range is about 30-50 feet.

There are workarounds for the 65k track limit posted here; but our recommendation is a music service such as Amazon Cloud Player (in countries where it's available) or using Plex.

Cheers

Moderation edit: Updated on 1/20/17 to fix links and add Plex now that it's available.
Userlevel 1
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Hello JSchulte,

We don't have any updates right now about the 65k track limit, the Idea thread for this can be found here. This is a hardware limitation based on the amount of memory on Sonos components which can be allocated to storing our Music Index. As Sonos adds new components to the system, we're constantly trying to keep legacy units fully compatible so our customer's don't have to go out and buy the newest model. 

You can have up to 32 Sonos components setup in your home and each one with extend the Sonos wireless network, so if you're putting on on each floor, they should all be within range. Depending on environment, this range is about 30-50 feet.

There are workarounds for the 65k track limit posted on our User Forums but our recommendation is a music service such as Amazon Cloud Player (in countries where it's available). 

Cheers

Hi Ryan,

Your response is very helpful and brings up a couple of quick questions:

1. Do newer devices (e.g. Playbar and Sub) have larger amounts of memory? If so, why not just allow the controller software to use the maximum amount of memory available on the device?

2. Why not create a separate device for those of us with large collections that could store the index?

3. Any thoughts to open-sourcing the controller software or adding media server support for popular NAS devices (e.g. Synology)? I know that I can play to my Sonos system through my Synology DSaudio application but it would be nice to do it through the Sonos controller.

4. How about allowing the controller to spread the index over multiple devices? The index is currently not stored on every device in a room and the limit could be 65000 per device.

Thank you again for your assistance and I have already found the Idea thread. Although I am sure that there are not many of us with these very large collections, it is a significant problem and most of us do not want to use a streaming music service for music we have locally (i.e. why should we use internet bandwidth for poorer quality files than we can stream locally?).
I have decided to not buy this system. There are many new products coming out NOW that exceed features and sound quality of the 10 year old Sonos product line. I really do not understand people spending 400.00 on dated technology with memory limitation????? lol......these might be the same people who bought homes on 5year fixed and lost everything later. There are really nice new products out there now....compare !!!!!
Hopefully this will help some people.

Below is a simple script for Mac OS X users (probably will work on other *nix systems but hasn't been tested) that will create all your m3u playlists for you from your library.  There are a few caveats:

  1. The script is setup to work with a NAS - it will need to be modified to work with local file systems
  2. When setting up your NAS you'll need two shares - one for the actual MP3 files and one for the playlists
  3. Sonos will need to be able to access the MP3 share with public rights - but the share should NOT be added to the Sonos music library
  4. The playlist share is the share that is added to the Sonos music library
  5. In the script it's assumed you've mapped volumes to your NAS for both the mp3 files and the playlists - change as appropriate 
I've used cron to schedule an hourly update of playlists by running this script (I call it makeM3U.sh) and then just use the Sonos music library update processing to keep Sonos updated.

Your music files will show up under Sonos' Imported Playlists - music will not be indexed by artist, album or track.

The script:
MUSICBASEPATH="/Volumes/mp3/"
MUSICPATH="${MUSICBASEPATH}*"
PLAYLISTPATH="/Volumes/sonos/"
MUSICSHAREPATH='\\\\192.168.1.9\\mp3\\'
for artist in $MUSICPATH
do
  if [ -d "$artist" ]
  then
    echo "Processing $artist"
    artistName=$(basename "$artist")
    echo "  Artist $artistName"
    cd "$artist"
    for album in *; do
      echo "  Album $album"
      if [ -d "$album" ]; then
        if [ ! -d "${PLAYLISTPATH}${artistName}" ]; then
          mkdir "${PLAYLISTPATH}${artistName}"
        fi
        find "${artist}/${album}" -type f -iname "*.mp3" | sed "s%$MUSICBASEPATH%$MUSICSHAREPATH%g" | sort > "${PLAYLISTPATH}${artistName}/${artistName}^${album}.m3u"
      fi
    done
  fi
done
I was an early adopter and bought an entire suite of Sonus equipment way back when they were first available. I thankfully hit the dreaded track limit in time to return all of it. It was a shame, really. Back then as it is now, there were few wireless multi-room solutions that “just worked” (consistently synchronized and glitch-free playback, brainless installation, user friendly operation, great sound quality for normal consumers, and “sufficient” quality even for most audiophiles given the intended purpose and all around benefit.) Since then I’ve either moved into perhaps a couple dozen residences and offices and each time I “checked back in” to see if there was any progress here. There is still no “real” contender in this marketspace that makes a “definitely better” solution and I’ve gone to extremes with dedicated airplay servers, dedicated enterprise grade networking, and countless higher and highest end brands I’ll refrain from calling out here. In Sonos’ defense this is a shortsighted compromise made in the early days of creating their architecture to accommodate all the other benefits of their system (see above). To their detriment, they have lost not only enthusiasts such as myself as customers (I’d say potentially 20 or 30 units worth of equipment) but more importantly as user “1bit” mentions we are the most vocal evangelists. As a CTO with over 20 years in the industry my opinion is sought regularly and as with most tech (which I’m not a fan of ironically) there is this big footnote of the track limit on sonos systems which years ago were met with a shrug but increasingly it is NOT uncommon for that to be a low enough limit to dissuade buyers with my trickle-down opinion when they are asked why they “didn’t go Sonos”. I feel for Dale Hays – I know what it’s like to sign onto something with the faith that a shortcoming will be addressed (almost all tech ha). I feel for the Sonos moderators and representatives who clearly have nothing new they can add to the core question nor are their upstream comments to management and engineering being considered seriously enough for there to have been even a roadmap commitment. In Sonos management’s defense (and having been a part of several startups myself) I understand this is about user base growth and how best each dollar will yield a sharper curve. The real danger here is that frankly 65k tracks is NOT a lot - definitely not for the Long View. To me, it never was – even back then I had well over that amount. But now with music being so plentiful, cheap, and easy to amass legally 65k is something that will need to be addressed to prevent a ripple affect not only with user acquisitions but with customer retention. People who spend this much money (it’s no longer what I’d call cheap) will increasingly have this type of library and more importantly will NOT appreciate this “footnote” not being a CLEAR and honest marketing point up front. Would it really be so detrimental to spin it on the box (I mean EVERY retail box and on the opening page of every product on this site) to feature “control tens of thousands of songs in your personal library*” *footnote up to 65,000, or even “have fingertip access to over 50,000 of your songs in addition to the millions available at blah blah”? I only advise Sonos to really take a look at an argument made by Matt (the only real Sonos defender here) and think – do you want to sound like Matt? Is it really relevant that iTunes match has a lower limit (it’s not even a similar product). Does it really matter that in the real world Amazon’s matching service (available long before Apple’s) always crashes around 20 or 30k into the process and can go no further either? I admire Matt for – as a DJ “collecting music for over 20 years” – to have exhibited either restraint in his purchasing, have been very selective when adding to his library, or perhaps disciplined about selling music once no longer relevant to him. For me every CD good or bad represents a memory and thanks to data density doesn't take up cubic space that would make me look like a reality TV show hoarder (A 20-year DJ to have only 25k tracks is low by any measure and either points to a highly curated collection for a very specific client-base, or perhaps one that is mostly vinyl and unlike demented people like us, never made digital and meticulously tagged). And I don’t mean to bash Matt here because in principle I agree there is rarely a one-size-fits all solution for anything let alone in this space. But as an avid collector he should know that one would not visit a house with a large dedicated book library and criticize the an avid reader for not being able to read the books in one’s library in his/her lifetime based on the linear calculation. (even in backhand remark that with n books x n pages div ppm = 20 months which isn't impossible). Whether or not you are a bookworm, have you never gone into your own library of books and “gone shopping” for a single book (or even a single passage) that has yielded an excellent weekend reading session with a few other books in hand? Or had friends over and mid-discussion pulled out a great memory from a book you'd otherwise never read again that enriched the dialogue or ended up as more book sales for that author? Likewise no, I don’t listen to my 30k+ CD’s linearly (actually maybe more I’ve lost count after 20k frankly) and the argument that the calculated total play time exceeds practical limits is weak at best, uninformed at worst. Most wouldn’t have the time to even post these comments but I do it every few years - since I was “checking in” to see if I could keep it simple outfitting my new office with a wall mounted playbar, sub, and several plays I came across this thread and am doing my once-in-a-few-years civic duty. Having access to my entire library indexed and online makes for a great “always discovering new music” scenario when in shuffle mode. It’s always nice to hear a sort-of-familiar song on TV and use a song-recognition program to realize I already own something, had paid the artist my ,002 of royalties and just didn’t know the name of it (and now I do). As an aside, the weakest argument so far the collectors make is the sound quality argument which really doesn’t apply here – let’s be real this is a big-box store setup with many other merits (simplicity, ease of use, etc.) and sure we’d love an uber-SQ version but that’s not what this is for. That’s why when no one’s home we drop the needle on the record or bring out the master tapes and sit back for half an hour in bliss. And for the ardent few, come back to me after setting up distributed synchronized airplay and tell me how you feel after that! Matt, as a DJ of “over 20 years” must know the trend has dropped sharply of “good tracks per album”, and most collectors (of CD’s anyway) would rather rip the entire CD that decide CD-by-CD and track-by-track what will be worthy to fit into a track limit constraint. Perhaps a DJ’s collection is heavy on 45’s, but given the sheer amount of vinyl I’ve digitized (more than once with technology improving) I’m certainly not going stare at the needle and fiddle with which remix I want to keep or edit them out in post! If I had that kind of spare time I certainly wouldn’t be buying consumer Sonos gear! (For lack of this luxury of time, I’ll preempt the dubious by stating I started ripping a few CD's a day manual to now using two robotic 75-disc capacity rippers on dedicated workstations for as long as I can remember to digitize over years of effort to (what this year is) a 96TB capacity media server that houses among other things the songs once housed in dozens of 400 networked disc changers before ripped to WAV then trans-coded to various compressed forms to accommodate the likes of Sonos, iPhones, etc). Anyway, since I don’t have that kind of spare time but now more readily afford the Sonos gear, I’m afraid to say yet again I’m probably going to “pass” on what probably would have been a 2-3k big-box store run today. Who knows maybe I’ll do it again on a whim as the fact is I do listen to more pandora/apple/amazon/etc but only because I have 45 day return privileges. Place your bets now! Sonos moderator: I hope this post covers enough of the salient points your board needs to hear for it to be worthy of sending upstream to management. I get it, it’s not easy and it has been an educated choice by your committee(s) from the outset. You’ve done well so far. But this market moves fast (think of how many competitors have come and gone) and though it’d be best to attach some resources to a next-gen solution, at the least this “limitation” can be spun into a marketing line and slapped on each and every box so less-understanding early adopters and enthusiasts (read: evangelists) consumers aren’t infuriated after waiting through the process to hit that limit. If your marketing department has identified the 65k+ track crowd as outliers, then why not simply state it on the box? That’s the money-where-your-mouth-is constructive criticism I have for you: Put it ON the box. Put it ON the website. This is not for a support article we “check in with.” Make a mailing list specifically for this issue for the outliers and let us know when/if there’s a v2. (and "no update" updates are appreciated by our crowd if it means not having to "check in") If your research proved us to be an insignificant portion of the market (and hey you’re still around so they can’t be too wrong – SO FAR), that kind of up-front marketing message (eg. “holds over 50k of your tracks and stream millions more!”) should ENCOURAGE the valued majority of your about-to-be-new-users and reduce the impact of return policies the big box stores impose on you and more importantly minimize the incalculable “bad private press” you will increasingly receive from trusted opinion nodes who were frustrated and felt misled after having gone through all the setup only to find out what has been a day zero issue that could have been disclosed. (of special note to classical music collectors admittedly perhaps the smallest of the small bunch – the 65k limit is not a track limit but one calculated based on size of meta data, I believe – Sonus please correct me if I’m wrong! Ie, if you had a bunch of songs and albums that were only a few characters in length then you may hit a 2^16 issue but for those of us with significant classical music that are always bumping into 255 character limits in our file system pathnames expect the sonos “track limit” to be even smaller as it is technically an “index size” limit based on aggregate metadata. SO unless I have it wrong you may want to better characterize the limit in your FAQ's.) Let’s not forget Sonos – you don’t own the media rights in what is sure to be an even more heated round of battles among the media and tech giants. Streaming device platforms are allowed access to these services only because they are warring each other right now and need those eyeballs. But as the players who own the rights (or contracts directly with rights owners) start to make devices (you know who they are), and once that becomes ubiquitous, at the end of the day you have an amazing mesh audio network and some solid products. I can’t watch 4k movies on my Curved Samsungs (yet) since that media server Sony-the-also-content-company makes only works on my Sony set. Wanna watch House of Cards or Orange? Thankfully everything still plays Netflix (yes Vudu, that's you I'm jabbing). Sonos, your index is the only content differentiation for which you own the IP. It’s a good index no doubt but the limit has been obsolete for a select crowd since day 1 so either roadmap it for us or heck why not just take it away entirely? At the very least please make this limitation clear, if only in a spun “feature” ON the box and ON the retail site – if only so Sonos can live long enough for me to “check in” to a buried support article every so often and see there’s been no progress (I’d miss that).
Userlevel 6
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May I ask if you all purchased your 65 thousand plus songs.
Userlevel 7
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I have decided to not buy this system. There are many new products coming out NOW that exceed features and sound quality of the 10 year old Sonos product line. I really do not understand people spending 400.00 on dated technology with memory limitation????? lol......these might be the same people who bought homes on 5year fixed and lost everything later. There are really nice new products out there now....compare !!!!!
Your right about that. Come on here and call us all stupid next time when we know what our needs are and how Sonos satisfies them. Well more Than $400 spent and well worth every penny and will spend more. Haven't seen anything comparable out there yet. And I don't consider a $400 speaker expensive in the audio world.
Userlevel 3
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(If not yet posted in this thread ) Simply use http://www.subsonic.org/pages/sonos.jsp on some local NAS, RasPi or home server. Works like a charm with Sonos and the 65k Limit is gone.
Slightly over dramatic, the majority of the public won't care, most of them don't have anything like that many tracks and as something like over 80% of Sonos users already only use online services this issue will become less and less relevant as time goes by.
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...and not really a reason for crossposting the same post on every more or less suitable thread. You are not really making the best impression with your 6 posts.
I always wondered where all the whiny schmucks who post the off-topic nonsense to every Sonos Facebook post came from.
I reached my limit with 43,000 songs.
Then you could almost certainly free up memory by simply renaming your files to 1.FLAC, 2.MP3, 3.MP4 etc. A single batch task using a decent tag editor could do this, including backing up the current filename to a private tag.
I could also remove a couple of other - not so important tags - from my library.
There's be no point if Sonos doesn't index those tags. They'd be ignored anyway.

Does anyone want to buy my used SONOS?

Trading isn't permitted here. eBay it. They command an excellent price. For the vast majority of people these kinds of library limitations don't matter, especially as more and more music is streamed from the cloud.
There must be a hundred ways to work around this; search for Subsonic or Icecast, for starters.
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If you haveing issues, let me know then I will try to update the installation guide.
Thanks, but I really don't have a clue what this is about:

Installation
Compile and run Server

Download or clone the repository
Edit config.ts and change the configuration settings
Run tsc to compile all typescript files
Run node index.js
Configure sonos

Connect to your Sonosplayer http://[Sonos-IP]:1400/customsd.htm
Set the following values:
SID: 255
Service name: LMS
Endpoint URL (IP and Port same as in config.ts): http://192.168.178.100:8080/service1.svc
Presentation map (IP and Port same as in config.ts): http://192.168.178.100:8080/presentationmap.xml
Container type: Music Service
Capabilities: Search
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please tell me first about your setup (where is music stored, do you have LMS running) then I can tell you if it works or not before we dig into the details
My music is stored on a WD MyBookWorld and no LMS running - I don't even know what that is. Thanks for your help, although I fear I'm too much of a non-tech Sonos user.

It's a shame Sonos is letting users like me down in this way. But, what can we do about it? Nothing, I fear...
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Ok, then it get's really hard
Thanks again for helping out.
May I ask if you all purchased your 65 thousand plus songs.

Simply because I object to the implications of your question, yes... I and my partner have purchased each of the songs in our 88,000 song collection. We both have been buying CDs for decades and and now buy them from iTunes.

As for whether or not the streaming music fad will overtake those of us who enjoy keeping our music on our computers, I don't know and don't much care. I'll continue to do it because it's how I like to manage my music. When I pay for it, I want it to be mine forever. I'm not into renting art.
It works perfectly.

Just tried it again. The Sonos version still only sorts by artist or by album, so it's useless for anyone with a wider taste in music. Suggest that you get your facts right before posting such aggressive drivel in here.
It would be interesting (hmmm, now I need to go home and do some poking around) to be able to see how much actual memory is in each speaker. How many of my 18 to 20 devices would I need to replace, if they were to go that route? I'm relatively new to the ecosystem, so probably not many, but I can imagine the ugliness on these boards if they did take this route. I'd even suggest that if it was something that they were to decide to do, they should create a new "bridge" or similar device that could store the data for all speakers (gah, the programming changes involved in this idea are increasingly bad) and keep the old ones usable....

Just not a pretty picture, if they want to keep away from ugliness (I spend $50 on these speakers 10 years ago, and they don't work!). Most people don't comprehend that these really are individual computers with speakers attached to them, and there will be updates and changes along the line. Not something they'd have dealt with on old style "dumb" speakers.
I've always imagined it really wasn't a software issue at all, but a available memory in the speakers that caused that restriction. But that's just my imagination, I've got nothing to back that up.

It is.

The "ZoneIndexer" idea was a proposed way to support larger local libraries and, perhaps, to support more advanced indexing options without having to render older units incompatible (or to deal with retrofitting then in any way).

The UPnP standard that Sonos is based on supports a separate "Server" (which is what UPnP calls the Media Indexing function).

In fact the way Sonos does it could actually be considered to be unusual implementation of the standard, which seems to be written around the view that the media player and media indexing functions are on separate devices, rather than combined into a single device as with Sonos.

But a lot of this discussion is probably moot, as Sonos doesn't seem to be interested in expanding the system capabilities in this way.

Cheers,

Keith