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Unable to Import / Index Music from iTunes

  • 4 April 2020
  • 7 replies
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I'm attempting to add my iTunes library to Sonos using my Mac. (Following instructions here: https://support.sonos.com/s/article/257 However, it seems like I've run into a snag stemming from how MacOS / iTunes manage the iTunes library and corresponding files.

A little about my setup.

  •     audio files stored on an external drive.
  •     i have ~12,400 items in my iTunes library
  •     iTunes Music Library.xml and Music Library files are stored on the drive on which MacOS / iTunes runs

Regardless of what import method I use (letting Sonos detect the library, or manually pointing to a location) nothing really gets imported / indexed. What's odd is that Sonos seems to spend a large amount of time running the index but nothing is available via the app once it's complete.

(Auto-Detect) My Music Method - Sonos imports playlists, but no audio is playable. Additionally, the playlist entries are all duplicated. The automatic indexing seems to run for quite some time but nothing ever becomes available to the app.

(Manual) Another Folder or Drive - Nothing is imported and it seems like nothing corresponding to the library is detected.

As a test for each scenario I dropped some audio files into the "Music" folder that corresponds with the default file paths for iTunes, and Sonos will detect that music almost instantly (when I run the update music library command) . If I copy the Library files into the same place as which my audio files exist, nothing is detected by Sonos.

Does anyone have any thoughts or guidance on how to proceed? I know that I could move all my audio files back to my primary drive / device and update the Library files accordingly, but it would likely be my last option to do so.

I'm also posting this to the Sonos SubReddit in case someone runs across this over there.

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Best answer by John G 6 April 2020, 23:24

@atlienk Thank you for the information. There is a known issue with OS running Catalina with the XML file for imported playlists. As a third party we can only read the data in that XML file. We do not create it, that file comes from your iTunes, which I believe is no longer supported by Apple. If there is an issue when it was created we may be unable to read/utilize it. Have you spoken with Apple about this?

After you can test the re-booting and a test file on your desktop I would recommend you follow up with a new diagnostic report number to our phone agents with your case number.

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Userlevel 7
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Are you starting the whole process from the desktop app of the Mac - it usually sets up easier that way.

When you copy files into the folder Sonos won’t detect immediately - it has to run a scan which you can set to do each night to pickup new files

All should be available once scanned under Browse - Music library … I assume that is where you are going to find the music once it has scanned.

You are looking in the correct spot for the scanned items (not in Apple Music but in the Music Library icon)

 

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Yes, I’m using the desktop app on the Mac to do everything.

Yes, I understand that the scan can run on a schedule or with a manual kick-off. Neither option seems to work.

Yes, I’m looking in the Music Library section of the Sonos desktop app to no avail.

Userlevel 5
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@atlienk Thank you for bringing your concerns to here in the Sonos Community. When dealing with a music library setup issue, i recommend that you call in for live agent support. Our phone agents will have more tools available to them and while on the call they may need to do a screen share session to check your computer and/or network settings.

I would also recommend to have a diagnostic report number for them when calling. It will also save you time to have your network topology ready for them with collecting the model names and numbers of the products that are wired or wirelessly connected on your network for any modem, router(s), extenders, access points or switches (managed or unmanaged).

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So here’s the summary of what I found out after contacting Sonos:

  • If the music library is stored on an external drive (USB, Firewire, etc.), the Sonos app may not be able to connect to it as expected. There is apparently some limitation on connecting to USB 1. and maybe 2.x drives that is not fully public (it seems like this info may be buried on another support site.)
    • A secondary internal drive or partition would / should have been usable for this configuration.
  • Given this knowledge, the only “workable” solution is to relocate my music back to the primary disk and rebuild my iTunes library. - Not impossible, just not simple.
Userlevel 5
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@atlienk Thank you for the follow up information. I am not clear as to when you say there is a limitation. Were you able to do a screen share with the agent? This sounds very much like an  issue with the computer or the network settings allowing Sonos to see that NAS Drive/External drive. How is the drive connected? Is it to the router via USB, cables or to the computer? Can you access the drive from the computer? Can you play the music to the computer speakers?

I can see a diagnostic report was taken and I would recommend a full network, computer, and Sonos equipment power re-boot off/on for 30 seconds with no lights on the products. When you are re-booted and connected please test the music playback first. Does it work? If not then attempt to remove/add your music library once more to that drive.

If you setup a test folder on your desktop with like 5 songs does that get mapped and is it playable? If yes, this sounds like you would need to call back in to do a screen share with an agent to confirm your network and computer settings are letting Sonos see and talk to that dive with your music.

If you try the above steps before calling the agents back please follow up with a new diagnostic report number here from your computer running the Sonos app.

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Yes, I was able to do a screenshare with a rather helpful technician. I am quoting her in this matter. (I will admit that we didn’t get into a review of the network configuration or a review of file / folder permissions. She saw my error rather quickly and came to her diagnosis almost as quickly.)

One thing that I was able to show her, and that helped prove that the external drive cannot be read properly, stems from the fact that the Sonos app will import my playlists but when it attempts to play any files associated with them it throws an error stating that the location in reference cannot be found. However, it explicitly states the location of the files in question. That tells me that it’s reading the path found in the iTunes library files but it cannot connect to it.

I can attempt your power-down approach tomorrow, but it will take some time as I have a decent number of Sonos devices in my house.

Userlevel 5
Badge +14

@atlienk Thank you for the information. There is a known issue with OS running Catalina with the XML file for imported playlists. As a third party we can only read the data in that XML file. We do not create it, that file comes from your iTunes, which I believe is no longer supported by Apple. If there is an issue when it was created we may be unable to read/utilize it. Have you spoken with Apple about this?

After you can test the re-booting and a test file on your desktop I would recommend you follow up with a new diagnostic report number to our phone agents with your case number.

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