New Sonos Listener - how to access files from external hard drive.

  • 14 May 2012
  • 8 replies
  • 27831 views

Userlevel 2
I picked up a Play 3 and a Bridge this weekend and was amazed at how easy it setup and how great it sounded. So far i have only used Pandora and a few other stations on the Android App. I love it!

I have not had the time to really jump into it but was wondering if someone could give me an idea where to start on how to access my 35,000 mp3 files i currently have on a external hard drive? Is it as simple as plugging into my computer and setting up the Sonos software on the computer?

Sorry if this is such a "NOOB" question...just not sure where to begin!

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8 replies

Hi, my SONOS is working well with all my Synology NAS devices (Synology DiskStation DS213+, DS416 and DS1511+). All you need to do is copy your music files on the NAS, create an account on the NAS and configure this account in the music library settings.
Sorry in advance, last question, will any Apple time capsule device work? I have a 4th gen 1TB.
What NAS devices work for this? Something as simple as 1 TB WD MyCloud for 100-150$
Userlevel 1
I have been trying to setup my external drive to play with Sonos as well. Whenever I go through the above linked steps, after 5 or so minutes I will get a message that says -

"Sonos was unable to add music folder.

Access to the shared folder is denied."

Any idea why this may be?

I was able to add my music folder on my hard drive.

Thanks in advance!


You'll have to give us more detail on how you've set up the share (sharename etc) on the external drive and so forth.
Userlevel 2
I have been trying to setup my external drive to play with Sonos as well. Whenever I go through the above linked steps, after 5 or so minutes I will get a message that says -

"Sonos was unable to add music folder.

Access to the shared folder is denied."

Any idea why this may be?

I was able to add my music folder on my hard drive.

Thanks in advance!
If this is what i do will i have a folder or file limit?
Sonos has a hard limit of 65000 tracks, and it doesn't care in which folders they live. There are some softer library limits which could become an issue if tag values or file pathnames are exceptionally long. These limits are an unfortunate side-effect of Sonos storing the library index in the memory of each and every player in order to provide the fast browsing performance.

Are there any benefits to using a NAS over your computer's hard drive from strictly a SONOS perspective?

Sonos requests files from network shares and doesn't care how they're provided so long as they do so within a sensible timeframe. (Equally the NAS/computer just sees a file request and doesn't know what it's for.)

Other than the need to keep a computer running and not allowing it to drop into standby, you might find that the occasional heavy burst of CPU or file activity -- a background virus scan, say -- could cause Sonos to run out of patience.
Userlevel 2
Thanks for the link! That looks like it would be easily do-able to access my files thru my computers share folders. If this is what i do will i have a folder or file limit? Are there any benefits to using a NAS over your computer's hard drive from strictly a SONOS perspective?

Thanks for your help!
Welcome to the forums, and to the Sonos community.

I have not had the time to really jump into it but was wondering if someone could give me an idea where to start on how to access my 35,000 mp3 files i currently have on a external hard drive? Is it as simple as plugging into my computer and setting up the Sonos software on the computer?
Pretty much, yes. This FAQ might be useful: https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/261

Note that you'll need to keep your computer running whenever you want to play music from the external drive. Many of us use a NAS instead: a low power dedicated network file storage which can often be set to spin down when it's not required.