sonos playlist export or back up

Userlevel 2
I have had my 4 zone players and 3 controllers since Sonos got started. I love them.

Two years ago, one of my ZPs broke and I had to get a replacement from Sonos. Before I realized it, all my playlists were gone. It was rather depressing and lost not just a lot of work, but creative and sentimental value.

Since all my playlists are sonos playlists, I just know they will eventually disappear again over failed hardware or accident.

In a thread in 2009, Buzz wrote: "SONOS playlists are held inside the ZonePlayers and are not available for export or to 3rd party tools."

I can't fathom why they can't be backed up or exported. Can someone please explain why this simple precautionary functionality isn't available? Of course it could also be useful for other reasons as well. Will we ever see this function?

BTW, I just read thru the sticky on top 5 functions and this isn't even on it. Has anyone else lost sonos playlists?

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239 replies

Userlevel 6
Badge +16
This thread has been active for six years now, with 228 contributions on 10 pages of forum and with nearly 84,000 views. Clearly a lot of Sonos users interested in backing up, editing and/or exporting their playlists. Still nothing from Sonos. No "yes", no "no". Silence, that's all we get. A blatant disrespect for the needs of their patrons, that's what it is.
Userlevel 1
88,013 views and still no solution!!! I've owned Sonos kit for about 7 years, during which time Sonos have added lots of pointless (and sometimes frustrating) bells and whistles to their software... but still no playlist export/import capability. Why not???

As well as wanting to backup playlists - which is a perfectly reasonable and legitimate requirement - I'd like to move my playlists from Napster (which is appalling) to Spotify (which seems better). Unfortunately I can't do this without painstakingly trawling through playlists containing more than 10,000 tracks manually re-creating them.

Sonos: Please, please, please, please, please sort this out!!! Please!
Userlevel 1
Having had several major tantrums with my Sonos system, I came to the conclusion that Sonos is very similar to Apple

Irresistible force and immovable object

They each have a fanboy base which sees nothing but good, and a (smaller, very much smaller) number of people who find them irritating. I am one of the latter group

I know someone who doesn't use iTunes and has a wholly wired system, for whom it is a dream

I'd just come to the conclusion that I needed to go with the flow, ditch iTunes and all the problems that it causes with Sonos

And then I read this thread!

Nice to see that even when Sonos has no excuses (it's their playlists after all) they still can't get it right

And such a simple matter to sort out too
Wow! 5 years and no progress here!
Come on! Ability to export playlists is important.

I have 7 Sonos speakers all over the house. And i would like to share some playlists with friends or use in the car. I mean just names of songs.
Userlevel 6
Badge +16
Don't you think you are exaggerating a liiiiitle bit? Just a little?
Yes, he is. But in my mind his reaction underlines the seriousness of this problem.

Yeah, it is not good that playlists cannot be saved. So save them somewhere else!!!
You seem little willing to understand that being able to backup and saveguard Sonos playlists is not such a huge demand. Sonos should have made this possible a long time ago already.
Userlevel 6
Badge +16
You're probably right: it's not an easy task. But that doesn't mean that Sonos should do nothing about it. Not being able to backup and restore digitally stored data is simply not acceptable in this day and age.
I agree - we spend all this money on Sonos gear and we can't even back--up or export a Sonos playlist. How can this be in this day and age! I had to do a hard reset and lost two years of building my playlist. It was sickening. I hate this company. Back up is such and essential feature in the digital world today I wonder if a class action suit might be in order ? Why? Because they do NOT tell their customers that they cannot save their valuable data.
Userlevel 6
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I prefer not discussing hard resets, class action suits and those sort of things. But I still think that not being able to backup and restore digitally stored data is simply not acceptable in this day and age.
Userlevel 1
Badge +1
This is such basic functionality that it's hard to understand how it got overlooked in the first place.
I have 2 Sonos systems and I'd like to move playlists between them.

I recommend Sonos to lots of people. Some have even purchased the system. Not having basic functions like this just makes me look bad for the recommendation.
Userlevel 6
Badge +16
they havent managed a way of exporting playlists ?
No, it's sad to say, they haven't.
I have ten controllers. I can't believe there hasn't been any action on this for the last five years. This would be an obvious and significant improvement. Ands +1 for playlist exchange with Apple Music / iTunes.
The more i think of, the more i am "+1" ;)

"Backup&Restore" would be a useful option.
Especially if you have more than one Sonos, like Tony.

Since Sonos do support .m3u/pls files, a workaround is to build playlists using external tool, share these playlist files on a NAS, and then you can find it under Library/Imported Playlists.
Userlevel 6
Badge +16
Krika can export the Sonos Playlists
Something Sonos should have done...
Hmm, Im guessing they havent managed a way of exporting playlists ?

Shame as I want to move one to my itunes to play on the go
Is it ever possible to transfer playlists from one streaming service to another? What has that got to do with Sonos?

There are apps that will transfer playlists between services and or add your own m3u or whatever lists to a service.
Userlevel 2
Badge +1
Have not lost one, but made a "double load / save" on one. That means all tunes are here twice, and it is a nightmare to sort it out.
So a simple "export to a text file" would be nice
Userlevel 2
Writing back, could be like an imported playlist, one library or another wouldn't worry me

Exactly. Once we can get it out, we can get it back in. I wouldn't care if it is an imported playlist.

No wonder, the playlists got reset too...

Simply replacing one unit or adding a new one, won't affect the playlists.

I learned that the hard way, but when Sonos sent me back a replacement new ZP (my 1st ZP wired to my Router), the system wouldn't recognize it no matter what I did. Reset finally fixed it, but then I realized playlists were gone.

It's water under the bridge now, but I back up everything I have electronically. The only thing I can't seem to back up are my sonos playlists. Seems so 1990s.
Also be nice to export them to use in itunes for using on ipods.

iPad Sonos App is such a nice way now of creating playlists but is a bit of a dead end.

Making playlists in itunes is better as both systems can easily use them plus you can export. Who would have thought Apple would be less of a closed shop!

In terms of exporting the current queue and if you know which of your players is the current master, I've written a small Java program that will export the current queue to a .txt and .m3u file.

Have a look here:

I wrote the Java program inspired by the JavaScript code written by the blog author and he kindly attached it to the blog post.

So if you need to export a given playlist you simply:

1. Clear the queue.
2. Place the playlist on the queue.
3. Run the Java program.

I'll refine the program later to do all three for you and also figure out which player is the current master.

Hope this helps.


Userlevel 2
Badge +1
Hi Finn
I find it very interesting what you write, I think it is a major miss, the system not being able to export playlists, however what you describe is to complicated for me.
It stops when I have downloaded Apache Commons Lang. I can't figure out if I have (and how) to run it or what should happen. Can you be more specific, please
I'd love it if playlists sync'd back and forth with iTunes though I feel like sonos' understandable "don't write" policy means it's unlikely.

Getting them out in some format sounds like a good idea though.
Userlevel 2
+1 for exporting playlists!
Userlevel 2
5 controllers, sonos user since 2005
Userlevel 2
+1 for exporting playlists