Indexing 8,000 tracks -- pushing 4 hours now

  • 18 October 2018
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I am trying to reindex my iTunes library, which is housed on an external drive (iMac OS 10.11.6 wired to a Lacie drive). I have approximately 8,000 tracks. I've read other relevant threads and did as they suggested (reboot, clean up file types, etc). I called SONOS support but they said to keep waiting. (4 hour earlier wait, currently pushing 90 minutes after another reboot.) I've had the system a couple of years now and have never had to wait this long to index or reindex. What can/should I do?

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30 replies

Userlevel 4
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Is your Mac that is connected to your external drive wired to your network or wifi?
Userlevel 7
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Yea that was a bad answer. Something has locked up. Best call them back.
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I thought so too. Thanks for validating my suspicion. I submitted a support request by email after posting here. They say there’s up to a 48 hour wait but I’ll give an update once I hear from them.
Userlevel 7
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If it's taking that long, the index has hung up on something, which could be a corrupting file or maybe a character in a track name that's causing trouble. Have you had a chance to submit a diagnostic from your Sonos system while it's indexing and "stuck"? If so, can you post the confirmation number here?

There's no good reason a functioning index should take over 30 minutes or so. Even with poor network connections, slow drives, large, and other issues going on. So if it's taking longer than that, there's likely something wrong with what's being indexed.
Userlevel 7
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See ryan gives good advice.
Userlevel 7
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Not going to help you now but for the future, think about an inexpensive NAS device to hold your music, directly connected to your network and running 24x7. A simple point and click option is one of the WD Live (Ethernet connected) drives or my choice, a Raspberry Pi hooked to an old SSD with a USB to SATA converter cable.

It is a good use for an older Pi that is a bit slow, even a Pi v1 is fast enough, no need for an expensive NAS device, just one that supports SMB version 1.
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Have you had a chance to submit a diagnostic from your Sonos system while it's indexing and "stuck"? If so, can you post the confirmation number here?

Yes, here is the diagnostic confirmation #: 1664763430

Update: Here is the other information I gave SONOS:

Network
AT&T UVerse Gateway Router 5268AC
AT&T WAP Motorola VAP2500
Netgear Orbi extender

Standard wall/cable connections to UVerse internet cable provider; wireless connect to iMac running OS 10.11.6

Drive Set Up
External Lacie drive (on which iTunes library is stored) is connected directly to the iMac.
I am able to index music files and start playback (through the iMac speakers).
Home Sharing is off.

Library Server
It is visibly active in the Activity Monitor. (And I sent them a screen shot.)
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19 October 2018 Update: First SONOS support said to connect the iMac directly to the router without citing a diagnostics reason why. I pushed back on that and they came back saying to change the WiFi channel. This time they at least cited the diagnostics. I made the change knowing that would not make a difference (and it hasn't). They asked for a new diagnostic, which is 1169466414.

I've also reinstalled all the controller apps and I took all speakers except one offline. It doesn't look like you can completely "forget" a system. It tried creating a new one, but it seems to have picked up all the info of the previous one.

Interestingly, I got an error messaging saying "media folder X as not available." Kicker is, neither my iTunes library nor my SONOS library settings point to that media folder. SONOS has not commented on this yet.

Again, I'll keep an update log so when SONOS fixes this it's on record.

I'm going stir crazy without streaming music for four days, and I'm ashamed to admit I'm looking into alternate systems.
Userlevel 7
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Thanks mben. I see an error from an index several hours ago showing that the recursion limit for the amount of folders deep the player indexes. They'll usually go through 9 layers of folders before stopping, so make sure you don't have subfolders after subfolders, many layers down. That shouldn't cause the index to hang, but it could certainly add a little time to the index. For example, if your library looks like this: '//Macintosh/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/Weird Al Yankovic/Straight Outta Lynwood' than you're about 5 folders in by the time the player finds music and shouldn't have issues, but if it's like this: '//Macintosh/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/Weird Al Yankovic/Straight Outta Lynwood' you're going to have a bad time.

It doesn't look like the system is indexing at the time of that diagnostic, so if you don't mind, can you go ahead and remove the share (if it shows up), and then re-add it? When you're re-adding, please send a diagnostic after 5 minutes, and then again after 10 if it still says indexing.
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For example, if your library looks like this: '//Macintosh/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/Weird Al Yankovic/Straight Outta Lynwood' than you're about 5 folders in by the time the player finds music and shouldn't have issues, but if it's like this: '//Macintosh/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/Weird Al Yankovic/Straight Outta Lynwood' you're going to have a bad time.

That's good to know. My library (when I browse into it from SONOS) shows up like this /Volumes/External iTunes/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music/...artists and albums. Image attached. I'm OK aren't I?



It is also why I don't understand why I am getting this error, referencing a different media folder:



I am successfully indexing and playing back songs (on the native Mac speakers) from the External iTunes location.
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It doesn't look like the system is indexing at the time of that diagnostic, so if you don't mind, can you go ahead and remove the share (if it shows up), and then re-add it? When you're re-adding, please send a diagnostic after 5 minutes, and then again after 10 if it still says indexing.

Doing this now...

Here is the 5 minute diagnostics: 1482991444
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It doesn't look like the system is indexing at the time of that diagnostic, so if you don't mind, can you go ahead and remove the share (if it shows up), and then re-add it? When you're re-adding, please send a diagnostic after 5 minutes, and then again after 10 if it still says indexing.

Here it is at about the 10 minute mark: 1153269512
Userlevel 7
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That error message you copied is saying that the players were unable to contact the shared location on the computer called "Music", the path of where that folder is located looks like /Volumes/External iTunes/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music, as you mentioned, so it's going to the right place. That part is working out fine. My thought is that the index is starting, and at some point the computer's share becomes unavailable.

The recursion error is still showing up, so if you can check in that folder tree to see if somewhere in there you still have a series of folders that'd be great. I've seen hidden music folders with copies of copies before.

Is this computer only connected to the network with a wireless connection? Any chance you'd be able to get it to connect to the network with an Ethernet cable for the time it takes to index?

Also, could you try out copying a single album onto the top level of the drive and index just that album?
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Also, could you try out copying a single album onto the top level of the drive and index just that album?


I was able to index an album at the top level of the drive.

The recursion error is still showing up, so if you can check in that folder tree to see if somewhere in there you still have a series of folders that'd be great. I've seen hidden music folders with copies of copies before.

Just to clarify... I'm looking for hidden folders after the album level, correct? /Volumes/External iTunes/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music/Weird Al Yankovic/Straight Outta Lynwood/ANOTHER FOLDER...

I will look at the tree and report back. I may have questions since I am not entirely sure what I am looking for. Your help, Ryan, is a gift. Thank you for it.
Userlevel 7
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I will look at the tree and report back.
A quick way to see folder depths if you know your way around the Mac command line: in the macOS Terminal app, 'cd' to your 'Music' folder, then run the command:

find . -type d -print | sed -e 's;[^/]*/;|____;g;s;____|; |;g'

This will generate a textual tree view of all the folders under 'Music' (like the 'tree' command in Windows).
Userlevel 7
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I will look at the tree and report back.
A quick way to see folder depths if you know your way around the Mac command line: in the macOS Terminal app, 'cd' to your 'Music' folder, then run the command:

find . -type d -print | sed -e 's;[^/]*/;|____;g;s;____|; |;g'

This will generate a textual tree view of all the folders under 'Music' (like the 'tree' command in Windows).


Great suggestion!

Just to clarify... I'm looking for hidden folders after the album level, correct? /Volumes/External iTunes/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music/Weird Al Yankovic/Straight Outta Lynwood/ANOTHER FOLDER...
That's correct. It wouldn't be "hidden" as in the folder property, but hiding from you, as in, "oh, I didn't know that was there."
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I will look at the tree and report back.
A quick way to see folder depths if you know your way around the Mac command line: in the macOS Terminal app, 'cd' to your 'Music' folder, then run the command:

find . -type d -print | sed -e 's;[^/]*/;|____;g;s;____|; |;g'

This will generate a textual tree view of all the folders under 'Music' (like the 'tree' command in Windows).


ah man. i'm not familiar enough to get it top point to the folders on the external drive. but thanks. that's a great suggestion if i could execute it. hahaha
Userlevel 7
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If you go to the folder in terminal and then use that command, it'll just show you the tree for that folder and its subfolders.

Try "cd Volumes/External iTunes/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music" first, to get you to the music folder.
Userlevel 7
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Try "cd Volumes/External iTunes/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music" first, to get you to the music folder.
Minor mods to that command line:
cd /Volumes/External\ iTunes/iTunes/iTunes\ Media/Music
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Try "cd Volumes/External iTunes/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music" first, to get you to the music folder.
Minor mods to that command line:
cd /Volumes/External\ iTunes/iTunes/iTunes\ Media/Music


OK, this got me there! Thank you. I am looking at the tree now. (It looks ok so far.)

In going through music folder by hand, I did find a PDF -- a digital book that came with an album. Would a PDF muck up the indexing?
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Unfortunately, there is nothing in the tree farther down than this: Volumes/External iTunes/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music/Artist Name/Album
Userlevel 7
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Is there a Zip, tar or other compressed file in there? Don't know the Mac well but some systems interpret these type files as subdirectories and just scan itno them.
Userlevel 7
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Try "cd Volumes/External iTunes/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music" first, to get you to the music folder.
Minor mods to that command line:
cd /Volumes/External\ iTunes/iTunes/iTunes\ Media/Music


Yeah, that 🙂

In going through music folder by hand, I did find a PDF -- a digital book that came with an album. Would a PDF muck up the indexing?
It shouldn't. The index should ignore any file types that it can't read as music. If you wanted to test it out, you can always try to remove the file temporarily.

Since that single album at the top level indexed, I'm thinking this might just be an issue with the folder structure. To test that you, can you put the test folder into several subfolders, different than the existing Volumes/External iTunes/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music structure. For example Volumes/External iTunes2/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music2 and then share to that album again? It's best to use a different folder name than one called "Music" so that the shares don't get mixed somehow.
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Since that single album at the top level indexed, I'm thinking this might just be an issue with the folder structure.

Thanks, Ryan. I tend to agree. Or, perhaps it's a corrupted file somewhere I am not seeing quickly. Everything had been working smoothly for years until I tried to update my library with a few additions early this week. Yes, I removed those files but perhaps the damage was done.

Any way, SONOS support is asking me to delete files required by the OS, so I am not going to them for help any longer. Instead, my plan is to move my library offline and rebuild it from scratch. (ugh) I'll take tanley_4's advice about NAS.

Thanks everyone for all. I learned a lot. Even about how to get Terminal to do stuff for me. 😉
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UPDATE 20 OCTOBER 2018

Ryan S, would it be too much to ask you check on another diagnostics number? I made some significant changes, but I'm still not indexing.

I reduced my library significantly -- it now only has items purchased and downloaded directly from iTunes, nothing added manually; I moved the library off the Lacie external drive and back to the native iMac iTunes music folders/subfolders; and I connected the iMac to the router via ethernet. I'm pushing 2 hours on the indexing time.

(Also, my phone and laptop app can no longer find the SONOS system. This is a question from ignorance, is this because I went to ethernet?)

I wanted to see if I could get a reduced library wired to the router to index before investing in a NAS for a more permanent solution.

Do SONOS systems ever simply punk out?

Thanks.