BUG: Plex does not transcode for Sonos when you Play a whole album



Just got my Plex / Sonos setup working (had to resolve some NAT issues). First album I went to play was a FLAC 96k/24 bit album. The Sonos app threw an error at me telling me it didn't know how to play 96000 hz sample rate. It seems Plex should know to transcode this format on behalf of Sonos, but it didn't. I'm running on Ubuntu Linux. Are there any settings I need to adjust to let the transcoding work? Or have I found a bug?


It's a bug. Playing individual tracks works, they are transcoded and play. Selecting "Complete Album" however does not tell the Plex Server to transcode and it sends the native audio files to Sonos which it cannot play as they are in the wrong format.


It would sure be great if this bug could get fixed! Does anyone know when to expect an update to the Sonos plugin?


@danielduerr said:
It would sure be great if this bug could get fixed! Does anyone know when to expect an update to the Sonos plugin?

I've been asking for any kind of feedback at all here for months. The only Plex employee who even seems to acknowledge that this is a thing is Emilio who moderates comments on the official Plex blog. You can see my comments there as "jamtr" on the blog post announcing this on July 20, over three months ago. He didn't approve my third followup last week which asked "well, another month has gone by and still nothing."

The way this is being rolled out (abandoned?) is extremely disappointing, especially considering Plex is commerical, paid software. There's literally not a single response on this forum from a Plex employee, at least that I've seen.

What happened? Why would you release beta software, make a big fanfare about it, say "here's our forum, please tell us about your experiences, ask questions, etc" and then vanish?

Obviously this is not a priority, or the project is being incredibly badly managed, or both. Either way I've given up on expecting this will be finished or fully supported.

If you want your music libary to be supported as a Sonos service, I'd suggest using Subsonic or Madsonic (a fork of it). Both of these are standalone servers that integrate well with Sonos.

There's no problem running subsonic side by side with plex, and even having both of them share your music files from the same library source (I do this).

Subsonic: http://www.subsonic.org/pages/index.jsp

Works much better than the Plex beta.

1) Does not require roundtrips to the internet to communicate with your server.
2) Supports most Sonos integration features, e.g. decade lists, starring, most played, etc.
3) Very fast.
4) Very configurable, you can set up custom transcoders, etc. so you can probably serve any music file format with the right transcoder

One inconvenience is that you have to register it manually with your Sonos, but it's not hard, and it's a one-time thing. Very inexpensive ($12 / year) for a license.

Doesn't support genre search. Updates are infrequent, so don't hold your breath for new features, but it basically works fine, I've been using it for 2 years.

Madsonic: http://beta.madsonic.org/pages/index.jsp

This is a Subsonic fork (before Subsonic became closed the source). It seems to be more actively developed. Registration with Sonos is much easier (just username/pw) -- same as any other Sonos service. A lot more expensive (1.95 euro/mo or 118 euro/lifetime). Otherwise, identical features for Sonos support.

If Madsonic eventually has full Sonos service support I might consider paying the hundred++ bucks. Not really worth it otherwise, as it offers no real advantages in Sonos support over Subsonic at this time.


Given that this is a feature that will be available for everyone, paid or not, I expect it falls lower on the priority list compared to features that are for paying customers only. Given the DVR functionality seems to be one such feature, and has had three different builds in less time than Sonos support has been around, I would imagine there's a lot of effort being put towards that at the moment. I'm sure focus will return to Sonos at some point... it's just a question of when.


@virgiliomi said:

I'm sure focus will return to Sonos at some point... it's just a question of when.

Whatever is going on, I don't think it's too much to ask that Plex simply communicate here what that is. They have failed to do that entirely. There is not a single official communication since the drop three months ago, other than from Emilio in the blog who's said "I'll find out what's going on" but never responded with any update.

The problem is the complete radio silence, not the amount of time this is taking or the priorities.


@jamietre thank you for the recommendation on Subsonic and Madsonic, nice to know I have some options to fall back on. I completely agree with your opinions on the way Plex is handling this. Like you, I'm a paying Plex Pass customer and I also went and dropped ~$2k on a whole house Sonos setup based on Plex's announcement despite having known about Sonos for years. I don't think Sonos would be very happy hearing this story when coupled with the apparent abandonment of the Sonos users they are begging to try out Plex. Not good for brands.

@virgiliomi thank you as well for your feedback. As a CTO of a software company with outside users, I don't think it is reasonable for my users to expect me to communicate some sort of roadmap, however near or far particular features may be from implementation/GA. My issue here is with the lack of communication, not with the delay itself.


@danielduerr don't let Plex's stumbling with Sonos integration let you second guess your decision. The Sonos hardware is amazing and the company has been fantastic with providing near contiuous improvements to their software and firmware over the years. You are in good hands with them.

Using Subsonic as a Sonos server is a fine solution. It's rock solid, the major downsides are just lack of new feature development. That is really what I was looking forward to with Plex -- I was hoping for some more industrial support since Plex has been pretty good about evolving their primary video server product.

So this is a disappointment mostly because I was looking forward to something even more awesome. But Sonos is awesome with or without Plex.


@jamietre thanks for the note, totally get it on Sonos and I'm stoked on the purchase in any case! When I have time to potentially evaluate another solution, I will try out Subsonic. Until then, fingers crossed Plex makes a priority out of a little communication. ;)


Same issue here (even though this is an old thread). Any update in the past year? Don’t see anything online that might give some hope…