Playlist constraints


I have no issue with the 65k track constraint with some 12k tracks in my NAS, but I am always hitting the constraint on the number of playlists/tracks contained.
I often get an unable to add to playlist message, followed by a message telling me I have too many. When I delete one, I am able to proceed.
What is the formal limit, and is there one on playlists as well as tracks in them separately? Where does one keep track of this in the Matrix call up?
Thanks.

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41 replies

What kind of playlist? Sonos Playlist or Imported Playlist?

There's supposedly an aggregate limit of 10k tracks across all Sonos Playlists, but I've seen that ceiling figure impacted adversely depending on the content of the playlists.

For Imported Playlists there's theoretically no limit (subject to queue capacity - 65k?), but in practice Sonos appears to time out if a queue loading exercise takes longer than 15 seconds.
Sonos playlists.

If the same song is on more that one playlist, does it get counted more than once towards the 10k limit?

Where is the total shown?
If the same song is on more that one playlist, does it get counted more than once towards the 10k limit?
I would think so.

Where is the total shown?

I've no idea. But I suspect it's a more complex matter, since hitting the Sonos Playlist limit triggers an error message suggesting that queues may also count towards the total.

On top of this I've found that having a random ordering of tracks seems to cost more space than if they're grouped into albums. Perhaps Sonos spots the fact that a sequence of tracks within the same album share a common directory pathname.

I also have a suspicion that URIs referencing online tracks may cost more than local tracks, but this could simply be because such URIs can include lengthy, seemingly random, strings. My experience is anecdotal at best.
Understood, thanks.

I am surprised there hasn't been much noise here about this constraint. It ought to be affecting a lot more people than those affected by the 65k one -that one is often raised here.
There has been comment over the years, but presumably folks have found ways of dealing with it. There's also perhaps been a reluctance to trust large, carefully curated, playlists to Sonos Playlist storage in the absence of a backup/export mechanism.

In the case of a local library, an Imported Playlist serves much the same purpose as a Sonos Playlist comprised solely of library tracks. The former occupies only one 'slot' in the index capacity and is rather easier to maintain -- using scripts or a conventional text editor -- than a Sonos Playlist.

iTunes users will tend to use that tool to master their playlists. Sonos has capacity for 40k such track entries.

Online services will have their own facilities for generating playlists that appear in Sonos.

Where such workarounds fall short is in the case of hybrid playlists -- snapshots of large queues containing content from a mixture of sources. Of course Sonos Playlists are the only option here.
All my CDs are ripped in iTunes, or are albums purchased there and then copy pasted to a folder on my NAS. I don't trust Apple enough to use the iTunes library on my mac directly.
I have needed playlists made from the files on the NAS, so without changing this approach is there a way to work around the 10k constraint?
Where are the playlists stored - I assume on each play unit that isn't a Bridge/Boost/Dock? So if one unit fails, the playlists should still be available?
Where are the playlists stored - I assume on each play unit that isn't a Bridge/Boost/Dock? So if one unit fails, the playlists should still be available?
Sonos Playlists are stored in every Player.

Although you may not trust iTunes with your NAS directly (somewhat ironic given you used it for other tasks), you could experiment with crafting iTunes playlists on your Mac and copying the 'iTunes Music Library.xml' file to the NAS. If it's in the correct location Sonos should try and interpret it on the next index update.
I don't trust the Lion type fiasco to not repeat with some tweak that Apple does in future to OSX resulting in a communication breakdown again affecting music play.
By keeping my music in ordinary folders in the NAS, OSX/iTunes is not involved once the files are copied to those folders.
I understand why you might want to keep iTunes away from the NAS. But assuming you have the same music catalogued into iTunes on the Mac you could compose the playlists there, then simply copy the ' iTunes Music Library.xml' file over. iTunes would have no direct contact with the NAS.
I will try that - if it will work even with the Mac shut down during music play. Will it?
Ahh ok, I am reading the link you provided, it seems like the answer. Thanks.
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Understood, thanks.

I am surprised there hasn't been much noise here about this constraint. It ought to be affecting a lot more people than those affected by the 65k one -that one is often raised here.


Probably because most people don't see the need for playlists in excess of 10k tracks, what would you ever use one for, given the amount of time it would take you to work your way through it.
If set for random shuffle, the program logic does this for me and I find it a neat way of beating the 80/20 rule. And who says that one playlist has to be more than 10k tracks??? 10 of 1000 tracks will do the job.

Imported playlists are visible and load into the queue. Music won't play, I get a message of unable to play....track not found. Something I have done in copy pasting to a flat folder in the NAS has broken something between the library and the files, I suppose.
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If set for random shuffle, the program logic does this for me and I find it a neat way of beating the 80/20 rule.

The what rule? I've not heard that before.

And who says that one playlist has to be more than 10k tracks??? 10 of 1000 tracks will do the job.


Well, either way, if you just want a random selection of tracks why just load your whole library into the queue and shuffle it?

Well, either way, if you just want a random selection of tracks why just load your whole library into the queue and shuffle it?

Because, my dear Sir, that isn't what I want.
What I want is a bunch of different playlists with a decently large number of tracks on them that I can play in order or at random. However, it seems that Sonos limits these to a total of 10k tracks across all playlists, so I cannot have as many playlists as I would like to have, even with just 12k owned music files. Once the 10k track limit is reached, counting tracks across all playlists created, no more playlists can be created and no more tracks can be added to existing playlists.
Imported playlists are visible and load into the queue. Music won't play, I get a message of unable to play....track not found. Something I have done in copy pasting to a flat folder in the NAS has broken something between the library and the files, I suppose.
In the original iTunes playlists the file path references are of course to the corresponding locations on the Mac. When it imports the XML file Sonos tries to remap those references to the matching files on the NAS. I guess it doesn't always succeed.

I think it could be made to work but we're way outside my zone of experience here. I don't use iTunes or OS X. Someone with direct knowledge might be able to chip in. Alternatively give Sonos Support a call.
I guess it doesn't always succeed.

I did not find that a single track played - I gave up after trying a few, but I suspect that the problem is deeper than the quote above.

I will wait to see if someone else has done this, else call Sonos for help.
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Because, my dear Sir, that isn't what I want.
What I want is a bunch of different playlists with a decently large number of tracks on them that I can play in order or at random.


Isn't the result the same though?
No, because in my way I don't end up having to hear Beethoven or Ravi Shankar, when I am listening to a randomly shuffled playlist of 5000 jazz tracks.
I prefer to listen to one music genre at a time. Some people feel that need.
I prefer to listen to one music genre at a time. Some people feel that need.
Perhaps an obvious question: have you tried simply adding all the tracks from one or more genres? Ease of use does of course depend on you having taken the trouble to clean up the myriad of genre variations with which albums are default tagged by the online metadata databases.
the trouble to clean up the myriad of genre variations with which albums are default tagged by the online metadata databases.
Because it is too much trouble to do this, I don't use the automatic genre classifications.
My classifications tend to be my own - for example jazz guitar can be one or vintage jazz can be another - and I build playlists around these. And the same track can be in two or more playlists at times, which brings me up against the constraint quicker, I suppose.
In the original iTunes playlists the file path references are of course to the corresponding locations on the Mac. When it imports the XML file Sonos tries to remap those references to the matching files on the NAS. I guess it doesn't always succeed.

I think it could be made to work but we're way outside my zone of experience here. I don't use iTunes or OS X. Someone with direct knowledge might be able to chip in. Alternatively give Sonos Support a call.

Looking at the error messages again, I see that the remapping of the path is only to the extent of using WD/Public to start, replacing Macintosh HD. The rest of the path is unchanged from the Mac - users/music/itunes media...and so on.
What needs to happen is a remapping down the file structure of the NAS all the way to the music file. I have no idea if this can be done given the nature of my file structures.
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Because it is too much trouble to do this, I don't use the automatic genre classifications.
My classifications tend to be my own - for example jazz guitar can be one or vintage jazz can be another - and I build playlists around these. And the same track can be in two or more playlists at times, which brings me up against the constraint quicker, I suppose.

So you've sub-divided jazz into multiple genres and are wondering why you can't select all jazz tracks? I think you've made a rod for your own back, as you've also apparently completely changed your directory structure when moving your files to the NAS I can't see any solution other than starting from scratch and recreating your playlists from the start all over again.
I don't think you understand the issue. Regardless, your responses aren't helping me, so please save yourself the time and effort.
Kumar,

Going back to your original query. As you know, I'm not an iTunes user, but my observation is that iTunes tends to automatically build playlists, and these lists can become quite large. It is possible that this "clutter" (in your case) is filling up space in the players. Check to see if there are some iTunes playlists that you are ignoring, but are tying up space.

Overall, I think that there is a pool of memory in the players that is used for SONOS Playlists, iTunes Playlists, and the Queue. While there are some absolute limits in terms of number of entries, one can also exhaust the pool if tag data and file names are long.

Just because I like to push on limits, I have padded my library with some small "tracks" with very short names. My "library" is exactly 65000 tracks. I just built two new SONOS playlists totaling 38000 tracks. This is in addition to my existing playlists. Attempting to add another 4000 track SONOS playlist fails. My total number of tracks in SONOS playlists is a little over 42000 and I am able to load all of these into the Queue. I can build a Queue of 65000 tracks. I have seen reports of users hitting the wall well before my test numbers. (I assume this is because their meta data is larger than mine) Of course my iTunes playlist count is zero tracks.