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Where are my Sonos Playlists actually stored?

  • 23 November 2021
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Sonos maintains the locations of about 65,000 song files that are found on a hard disc.  And I believe this metadata is maintained an EACH and EVERY Sonos device.   Is the metadata only supplied by indexing the hard disc? Or when a new speaker is added does metadata migrate from another speaker?

Can the user reset to original factory spec one or more Sonos speakers and then the metadata will eventually rebuild itself?

What about my custom Sonos Playlists?  Does this metadata also reside on EACH and EVERY Sonos speaker too?  If I reset a speaker to factory specs, will the Sonos Playlists information migrate from another speaker over to that speaker once it is reconnected?

What about my Recent Searches that are viewable only on my smartphone?  Does this metadata reside on EACH and EVERY Sonos speaker too?  or does it reside on the smartphone itself?  If I reset a speaker to factory specs, will the Recent Searches information survive?

What about my System data such as each Sonos device I own, which are stereo paired to each other  and which room they are each located in? Does this metadata reside on EACH and EVERY Sonos speaker too?  If I reset a speaker to factory specs, will the System data survive?

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Best answer by CC6004 23 November 2021, 23:48

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All data is stored on the speakers, and not on your controller device. If you factory reset a speaker, you would lose all copies of that data from that speaker, as it would be reset to as it arrives from the factory, erasing any stored data, from playlists, to log files, to information about your network. 

If you add a new speaker to a system that already has other Sonos speakers, all of the data stored on those speakers gets copied over to the new speaker. 

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Thank you for confirming my suspicions.  If this is so, Sonos support has told me wrong on more than one occasion, including today.  Before I do something foolish, let me ask one more time, more specifically:  I have seven Sonos speakers.  Two of them are connected to the wrong wifi and I cannot get them back onto the correct wifi. 

I am thinking why not factory reset those two speakers to be like new, and then add them to my system, and hopefully this time they find the correct wiki. 

Please confirm:  If I do reset a speaker to factor specs the connection to the wrong wifi name will be terminated and NO HARM IS DONE AT ALL.  After the factory reset the speaker will re-index all the music files from the hard disc and the other metadata for by Sonos Playlists will be migrated from the remaining 5 speakers?

Correct. When you factory reset a speaker, you erase all information stored on that speaker. When you add it to the ‘correct’ Sonos system, which has the other five speakers on it, the data from those five speakers will be replicated on it. 

The ‘new’ speakers will not actually re-index the data, it will just copy the index from the other speakers. 

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To finally try to fix this problem, today I was ready to factory reset two of the offending speakers (I was not going to mess with the Sub, because that one always magically fixes itself), but I decided to call Sonos Tech Support one more time to tell them my plan,  I was very fortunate to be routed to a very knowledgeable three-year veteran who AGREED this plan would likely work and with a little coaxing from me he also agreed that the standard “line” that a factory reset erases ALL metadata is not always true.  That the metadata is still on other speakers - and it will then migrate over to the reset speakers automatically.

But he had a better way for me to try first,  He walked me though System > Network > Manage Networks > Update Networks and he knew exactly what to do to fix what the other Tech Support folks were not able to do properly.

Now the S2 system on both my computer and my cellphone, all the metadata, all my indexed music files and all seven speakers are working 100% perfectly!!

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