Unable to play X - and the song is not encoded correctly

  • 18 January 2021
  • 68 replies

I was getting this error from time to time, but now I'm getting it on 3/4 of songs... Seems random, as sometimes a song that was working fine would refuse to play and start showing this error (or vice versa). 

My music source is YouTube Music. I've tried rebooting the speaker, reinstalling te app, rebooting the Wi-Fi router, etc. Also tried using an ethernet cable instead of Wi-Fi. Nothing seems to work. 

Diagnostic number : 1167656549

Screenshot :

Thanks in advance! 



Best answer by Airgetlam 12 February 2021, 20:13

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68 replies

Same problem with any XM channel.  But Funny….no problem with Sonos Radio channel….



I’d have to concur. It’s unfortunate that most routers do not have a better facility to point out the issue. 

Thats all very well but not everyone is an IT expert.  Some of us are simply customers of SONOS endeavouring to use their products purchased in good faith.  I have no idea how to "PING" an IP address to the router.  

For some reason SONOS, out of the blue,  indicate that tracks on our playlists are not encoded correctly. 

I'd much prefer to receive proactive emails from them indicating there are apparent issues and suggesting fix's, in layman's terms, rather than emails trying to sell me something every two minutes.

Same problem îm running out of patience with Sonos product

I am not technically educated to delve into the areas discussed here.  My system has progressively degenerated over the years to the point where I wished I just connected my phone to Sonos like I do to my car’s sound system.  I can no longer listen to radio episodes nor shows. Sonos don’t have staff available at weekends to discuss.  Seems to me their entire systems are too fragile for 2022 when electronics are becoming ever more easy to operate and intuitive. Sonos have my contact detail should they wish to persuade me otherwise.  If they fix it, I’ll post again. Silence suggests they can’t be bothered. 

I totally agreed… SONOS sucks

Having this similar issue in the past 10 days.  

Local files are playing fine, but my vast music library sits in Subsonic & now is saying all files are not encoded correctly.  All Files...MP3, M4a, FLAC…..Nothing is playing through my Subsonic library.


The same folder accessed locally is fine.  


Very weird & frustrating.  Any suggestions????

The same thing happening here using Apple Music.  Very disappointing with Sonos constantly having to figure out what the H is wrong before enjoying our over $800 worth of Sonos speakers here at home.  Having to mess with this so often does not impress family and friends.

Recall and reimburse all of us attempting to enjoy and be entertained.

Sonos - Fix this Shi……!

I love paying thousands for a Sonos sound system that I cannot use. Its just wonderful.

If only you’d supplied any details that might help people try to assist you, or even submitted a diagnostic, and called Sonos support, who could look at the hard data there and provide some guidance….

In general, there’s two potential reasons for this.

First is the simple fact that the source file doesn’t match the the supported audio formats.

Second is some sort of issue with the speaker getting clean data from the server. That could be issues in the internet, issues with your local LAN(WiFi), etc. This is why a diagnostic and a discussion with those who have access to your diagnostic could really help identify what the issue might be. 

I’m pretty sure just posting a generic complaint on a forum won’t fix your Sonos system, although it may make you feel better. 

Is there any way I can access the logs myself?

I get this intermittent error with the “encoding” of a song from YT that usually plays fine, so the error message is most likely bs. I can play other tracks when I get this error, and when I try again the next day it usually works again.

I get it as well, but with the following services.

  1. Sonos Radio - Seems more odd that this is in the list here.
  2. Amazon music


I continue to have the same issue as others. Just within the past few months, my Sonos has begun skipping songs in the middle of play and moving onto the next song. This happens whether I am playing any playlist or if I am playing a full album either from my own library or Apple Music.  I receive a message that Sonos is Unable to play due to an ENCODING error. I have tried all off the suggestions mentioned including power off and on, removing both the Apple Music App and the Sonos app and reloading them. Nothing seems to work.  Any suggestions?


What did Sonos say, when you submitted a diagnostic after one of these events, and contacted them?

The issue I have (sounds like it is similar to others on this thread) is that playlists or songs from Amazon that I saved a while ago are now not playing and have an error saying the song isn't encoded correctly.  Current playlists will play. Seems maybe the playlist points to a file that has been changed on Amazon.  Really could do with a quick way to re add songs to playlists in order to get the 'new' song location.  Or for it to be fixed within Sonos or Amazon. I've also tried re-adding Amazon music in the app, but without success.  Songs in the playlists that are saved locally still play, it just skips any that are streamed from Amazon.

FWIW, this is what I tend to do to help get around the issue you mention…

I just create playlists in the Amazon ‘native’ App and I edit/changes them in that App, they all feed through to the AM Service in the Sonos App and from there, I save some of the playlists to the ‘My Sonos’ Tab - if things change at Amazon, then they ‘may’ show (sometimes) in the Amazon playlists in their native App and I quickly edit (remove/re-add) and then all is updated in the Sonos App automatically and continues to work.

Maybe give that suggestion a try and see if it helps.


I get this with the BBC 1XTRA shows.  I can play the shows fine with the separate BBC Sounds app, but not with Sonos.  The workaround is to play the sound to my Sonos Roam speaker with Bluetooth and then use the Sonos app to play the show on both the Roam and my Play:1 speaker. 

This same issue has just recently started happening for me. YouTube Music and Apple Music.

Having the same problem, mostly with Sirius XM, but sometimes with Apple Music. Music stops randomly, I wait a couple minutes, and then everything works again. Happening more frequently now than before.

In most cases, this is due to some type of wifi interference . It may not be much, but occurs at the moment the Sonos system is reaching out to grab the ‘definition’ of the file, and start the streaming process. Note that it’s entirely possible for the source of this interference to be outside of your network, and WiFi and SonosNet signals are subject to other radio signals. 

The only 100% certain way to know, however, is to submit a system diagnostic within 10 minutes of experiencing this problem, and call Sonos Support to discuss it. But even then, Sonos, looking at the hard data, would only be able to confirm that it is interference, without necessarily being able to tell the source. 

But there may be information included in the diagnostic that will help Sonos pinpoint the issue and help you find a solution.

When you speak directly to the phone folks, they have tools at their disposal that will allow them to give you advice specific to your Sonos system and network.