Scattered Files

  • 26 October 2005
  • 5 replies

Userlevel 2
How well does the sonos handle the way that iTunes organises its files?
i.e. putting them in folders according to artist name.

Is there a performance hit while the sonos scrambles around finding the different tracks?

I've alway let itunes organize my music folder because I'm lazy when
it comes to file management. I get bored far too easily 😃

5 replies

Other than taking longer to index the library, no.

SONOS builds it's index in the zoneplayers. That's why scanning the index is so fast, no disk access is necessary.

If one wants to be strictly academic about things, the scattered files will take longer to access, but it is a small fraction of a second for each track. The exact timing depends on your system configuration and the current system load.
Userlevel 2
what if the files were on a NAS drive, such as the linkstation 250GB, and let's say 3 zones all playing different tracks?
Userlevel 2
The indexing happens once you setup Sonos. The index file is then stored on each ZonePlayer, so it doesn't matter how many Zones are playing, or which files they are playing. Sonos knows when you click on Metallica-Fade to Black, to look in \\Nas-Name\Music\Metallica\Metallica- Fade to Black, because this info. is stored in the index file. Same thing with if it was located would look under \\Computer name\you\get\the\point. :)

The only thing that can slow it down is extreme network traffic, your computer/NAS, or something else that is highly unlikely. Also, each time you add new music, you simply need to re-index your files, which is easily done with two clicks of a mouse button in the Sonos Desktop Controller software, or 4 clicks with the handheld remote.


While not specifically a SONOS test, we were stress testing a Buffalo TerraStation by requesting multiple streams.

We had two zoneplayers (one wired, one wireless), seven professional broadcast station players, and five PC's all running uncompressed audio streams on the network, stored on a single drive. This level of load was not stressful in any way for that network (we used a gigabit switch). I could not detect any slowdown of the SONOS zoneplayers, SONOS desktop controller (even though this PC was playing one of the streams), or the hand held controller, compared to my usual Buffalo Linkstation set-up.

At that level of "work" the Terrastation was barely aware of the traffic. At that point we ran out of computers to throw at the network.

In another location I have four zoneplayers on a Buffalo Linkstation and performance is excellent.

Note that the Buffalo units spin down after a period of inactivity. You will notice a delay if they need to spin up in order to play a track. Since the music index is stored on the zoneplayers, the controllers don't need to wait while displaying the index.
Userlevel 2
Thanks for the helpful info guys :)

I think it's persuaded me to go sonos... can't wait 😃