TuneIn BBC Radio Shows “song not encoded correctly”

  • 1 October 2021
  • 45 replies


I have issues connecting to BBC Radio shows as “listen again”, I keep getting “unable to play ‘Steffen Peddie: **/**/2021’ - the song is not encoded correctly.”

They were playing fine this morning, but they don’t play this evening.


Best answer by castalla 3 October 2021, 20:23

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45 replies

I get this constantly with BBC shows. Please sort this out Sonos!

I have the same issue since a couple of weeks and it’s annoying… of course I can use the BBC Sounds App. This works perfectly in combination with Google speakers, but not so well with Sonos. And on Android I can’t stream to Sonos speakers… only with my iOS devices I can stream to my Sonos speakers. I hope Sonos or TuneIn can give an update on this soon.

I think it’s the BBC that needs to authorize TuneIn, and by extension, Sonos, to carry that stream. Neither of those companies are allowed to “steal” streams on their own, it’s the owner that needs to allow it. 

The “song not encoded correctly” message is often a symptom of a stream corrupted by packet loss. In other words there are likely to be network issues, quite possibly local due to wireless interference.

Stop it. This “oh, must be your network” nonsense is a classic from the Sonos playbook and absolutely meaningless - just a way to blame the end user rather than spend any time whatsoever investigating why their own products don’t work consistently with a range of average consumer setups. 

We don’t build the products or develop the software, and we’re not tech experts; the onus is not on us. 

“Stop it”? I’ve seen how this “nonsense” plays out countless times.

The vast majority of Sonos problems -- probably well over 95% -- are caused by network issues. Sure, these could be issues at the distant server end -- which might be the case here with the BBC -- or the internet in between, but the weight of evidence is that local network gremlins, usually wireless, are to blame. The laws of physics are immutable.

Sonos provides FAQs to assist with diagnosing wireless problems. Moreover such issues leave clear tracks in the diagnostics, so Support should be able to help troubleshoot.

Yeah… there’s nothing wrong with my network when everything else plays fine! It’s this one particular part of TuneIn that is not working. Blaming my home WiFi is just like saying “have tried turning it off and on again?”. Actually, yes I have. Everything works, except these on-demand streams from the bbc, on TuneIn. So it’s almost certainly an issue with SONOS and/or TuneIn. 

Has this been sorted yet? I am seeing the encoding error when trying to play back BBC programmes stored in TuneIn. It used to work...

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Try using the new BBC Sounds service.... 

Thanks castalla, Sounds installed and working fine

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Glad it worked. 

Has any solution been found with this “encoded incorrectly” issue, for those who have older Sonos speakers and cannot AirPlay from BBC Sounds app?

Has any solution been found with this “encoded incorrectly” issue, for those who have older Sonos speakers and cannot AirPlay from BBC Sounds app?


If you are in the UK, there’s this:

I’m not. I live in the U.S.

Hi VSimmonds,

I have early Sonos, version 1, and was able to install BBC Sounds as a service within Sonos. This has enabled me to listen to my BBC programmes so got around the issue I was facing with TuneIn.

I'm guessing the BBC is barring your access to Sounds as you're US based :(

In which case this is still an open issue without true resolution

Thanks for the update. Yes, unfortunately BBC Sounds does not feature as a service through the Sonos app in the U.S.

I’ve been experiencing this intermittent error message for months now, it’s driving me a little crazy… as I’m sure it is many others. Hopefully will hear resolution soon.

Also - just for the record I’ve tried all above suggestions, resetting router and speakers, etc. I would try changing Sonosnet channel (as it seen on others feeds that it’s helped) but it’s greyed out:



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One solution would be to relocate your sonos profile to the UK. BBC sounds should then work. 

I changed my Sonos profile location to UK. Despite restarting app, BBC Sounds still didn’t appear in service options. I deleted app, redownloaded it, selected UK terms and conditions to agree to. Logged the app into my Sonos account and bingo, bbc sounds appeared so I added the service and I’m now listening without any error messages. THANK YOU! I mean, the problem still exists but I’m happy for the BBC Sounds work around 👍🏻

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Geoblocking which many broadcasters engage in is really irritating. 


You can thank the lawyers, and broadcasting rights for that. 

Edit: and the artists, who want to get paid for their efforts. Seems odd, but makes sense. 

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You can thank the lawyers, and broadcasting rights for that. 

Edit: and the artists, who want to get paid for their efforts. Seems odd, but makes sense. 

The BBC broadcasts (radio output) almost exclusively content for which it holds the copyright.  The only live stream content they modify outside the UK are some sport broadcasts, and Radio 3 (classical) where NON-UK listeners can't get the higher bit-rate stream.  Why they geoblock BBC Sounds is a bit of a mystery. 

It holds the copyright for where? Having dealt extensively with Disney on music rights, which are different for each region of the world, it makes a huge difference. And there’s a substantial cost difference for copyright access for the world, versus just one region. Not to mention the challenge that there could be on the BBC’s side,  in figuring out which content has world rights versus which content has UK rights.

Last time I tried, I was unable to get F1 on the BBC here in the states, as they didn’t bother with those rights, and did not allow non-license paying users (read non-UK) access to that. I seem to recall that there have been other instances posted on these boards regarding access to particular sports, from the Olympics to football or rugby matches. 

It’s entirely unfortunate that there are such the current world, everything streamed should be available to anyone on the internet, but unfortunately, that’s not the case. I wish it was. 

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I agree that rights must be a nightmare especially for music and even more so for sports (where billions can be involved).  Thank goodness radio seems less afflicted than television.