Question

SONOS SEARCH function not working properly on the SONOS Apps


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The search function on my Sonos apps (Windows PC & Android mobiles) is failing to pick up a significant proportion of Artists, Albums & Songs etc stored on my BrennanB2 NAS drive and I can't work out why. The Artists & Albums etc are all visible when I scroll down through the full list visible on the Apps but when I try to use the SEARCH function on the apps they can't find many of them. I have updates the index on the NAS drive numerous times and Updated Music Index on the Sonos Apps but this hasn't made any difference. I've checked that everything is connected & switched on before updating but still no joy - Is there a known problem with the SONOS search function or am I doing something wrong?

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30 replies

You may just need to touch where it says "more".
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Sadly John, it's not as simple as that. When i search for an artist where i have several albums, the artist name is found but not all the album's by that artist...only some of them....and for some artists, the search function doesn't find the artist at all. There's nothing strange in the artist names or formatting etc and they are all there when i scroll down through all the artists and albums. The problem is that i have over 900 albums with 12,000 tracks and without the search function working properly, it's a bit of a pain finding stuff. It does also make me wonder whether the "random" shuffle all function is picking up these artists/tracks or not.
For the local library the search function works on the actual contents of the specified field. So if you search for Albums, you can't enter the artist name. You have to enter a string which will match with the desired album titles.

Just search for the Artist, then drill down to browse their albums.

Depending on the service, some online streaming sources will search in a more flexible manner.
only some of them....and for some artists, the search function doesn't find the artist at all. There's nothing strange in the artist names or formatting etc and they are all there when i scroll down through all the artists and albums.

If this is a Brennan device, is this doing the CD ripping? If so, are you sure that it's tagging the files properly? By properly, I mean the way that Sonos expects to find them?
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Ratty - I've done exactly that. What i can't work out is why some of the artists albums are listed and others aren't?....and yet when i go down the full list of artist names, and open up that folder, all the album's are listed exactly where they should be.....it's just the search function that isn't finding them for some reason.
An album search on the local library isn't designed to look for the artist name, unless of course the artist actually features in the album title.
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Amun. I can't be absolutely sure that the Brennan is creating metadata in the format that Sonos expects but that still doesn't answer the question as to why Sonos can read the data without difficulty in the full listing but then can't find it from the search function. This is why i am asking the sonos community whether there is a known limitation/problem with the sonos search command because it's certainly not working properly for me.
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Ratty. I understand that but when i search for the artist name under artists, it finds that artist name but then only lists 2 albums rather than the 4 albums i have on the Brennan. I've checked that there are no differences in the spellings etc of the artist and that i don't have a "duplicate" of that artist name somewhere else. It's weird!
What format are the files in? Are you able to see any of the metadata for "Artist" and "Album Artist"?
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The music files are all in FLAC. How can i look at the metadata within the files?
Ratty. I understand that but when i search for the artist name under artists, it finds that artist name but then only lists 2 albums rather than the 4 albums i have on the Brennan. I've checked that there are no differences in the spellings etc of the artist and that i don't have a "duplicate" of that artist name somewhere else. It's weird!
I don't quite get it. You said in the original post
The Artists & Albums etc are all visible when I scroll down through the full list visible on the Apps

So if you browse off the main menu > Music Library > Artists > artistname you see all the albums? And if you browse from main menu > Music Library > Albums they're there too?

When you search by artist, then drill down from artistname in the search results you ought to see exactly the same set of albums as via Music Library > Artists > artistname
If you want to verify what Sonos actually has in the index, point a browser to http:/x.x.x.x:1400/status/tracks substituting the IP address of any player (available in About My Sonos System). Analysis may be made easier by pasting the results into Excel.
This is why i am asking the sonos community whether there is a known limitation/problem with the sonos search command because it's certainly not working properly for me.

Sonos is usually very accurate, with no know issues, which is why everyone's trying to help you pin down the problem 😉
The music files are all in FLAC. How can i look at the metadata within the files?

MP3Tag is widely used to resolve all tagging issues. If you download a copy and have a look at some of the files that are playing up, then it may give you (and us) something to work with.
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Amun. I'm just trying to copy all the files into an excel spreadsheet to analyse them further and hopefully help identify the problem. To clarify my earlier comments, when i go into my sonos music library, all my Brennan music files are accessible in a separate folder. When i select that folder, i immediately get a full list of all the artists in my collection (c.400) and if i click on any one of the artists, i get a correct list of all the album's i have for that artist. That all works fine. However, if i then use the Search function, select artists and then type in the name of a specific artist, whilst the search engine finds that artist, when i click on it, it only has some of the album's listed. I have no idea why it's not finding all the album's for any particular artist. I'm currently struggling to copy all the files into excel but will let you know if i find anything significant.
Look in the Folders view in the Sonos app. Is everything there? This does not use the metadata. The search does.
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Amun. A bit of progress (i think). The albums (and artists) that are not being found by the search function are NOT listed on the 1400/status/tracks listing.
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Everything is there in the folders view but not in the search
Then it's the metadata that is the problem
Are you able to browse to the files using a Windows PC? (I can't help if it's a Mac). If so, right-click on a file, select Properties, then on the Audio Properties and Details tabs you should be able to see Album Artist and Artist. I think you will see discrepancies between the files showing up in Search and those not showing. As @amun suggested, you can always take a look with MP3Tag.
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Amun. I think I've found the problem. As far as I can see, ALL the missing artists/albums have an incorrect narrative of "some artist" in the metatag data column that should contain the artists name and the album column is totally blank for all of them. This suggests to me that the Brennan isn't picking this data up from the CD. Is that correct or is it something else? If it's a Brennan problem, i will contact them direct. It appears to be effecting only 30 albums containing 464 of my 12000 tracks but i have no idea why only those albums are effected.
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John & Amun. Fantastic support guys. Thanks a lot. I now understand the cause of the problem and have already emailed Brennan in the hope that they can provide a long term software fix rather than having to manually change every file.....I'm assuming it's a Brennan issue despite the fact that the problem only manifests itself with the SONOS search function. The Brennan app search function doesn't have the same problem so there is either a problem with SONOS search function reading the metadata from the Brennan OR, the data is not on the Brennan file from the outset (in which case i need to understand why it only applies to certain CD's. Thanks again.
Glad to be of help. They aren't Brennan files, they are FLAC files, and if the data isn't there it isn't there. You may find that the Brennan is using a different field, e.g. Album Artist rather than Artist. Or something like that. But I am pretty confident that Sonos does what it is designed to do.
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It's just strange that it only effects c.10% of the cd's that I've transferred onto the Brennan (which saves them as FLACs)...and some of them are recently purchased cd's whereas the others are older cd's.....there just doesn't seem to be any indication of why it effects some CD and not others.
As I understand it Brennan uses a local metadata database, which can be updated from the internet. Could your CDs perhaps be missing from your B2's database copy?