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  #1  
Old Nov 4th, 2009, 08:49 AM
ebenjen ebenjen is offline
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Exclamation Unable to Connect to Server

I've been using Sonos with two zones in my house for a little more than a year. For most of that time it worked fine but the last few months I keep experiencing the following problem. It used to be sporadic but now it's almost every time I try to use the system.

Try to play a song and get the error message, "unable to connect to server". The message occurs when I try to play a song or add a song to the queue. It occurs on the controller, in the desktop software and on the iPhone app. I can see my entire library and I can play internet radio without problems.

To fix this, all I have to do is re-boot the Time Capsule. Easy enough, except it's not in a convenient location. The only time Sonos works without this error is immediately after re-booting the TC. I haven't timed it to see exactly how long after re-booting that the connection is lost.

I thought it might be a weak signal or interference so I added an Airport Express very close to both zones to boost the signal. It has not helped.

I tried turning on Interference Robustness. It has not helped.

Aside from upgrading to Snow Leopard recently, the only other new condition is that there are a lot of new routers in my neighborhood. There used to only be two or three visible networks but now there are about a dozen.

Mac OS X (Snow Leopard)
Airport Time Capsule
Shared USB network disk
latest versions of everything

(I emailed Support last week but haven't heard back from them.)

(I have re-booted everything, including both zone players, more than once.)
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  #2  
Old Nov 4th, 2009, 10:36 AM
buzz buzz is offline
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ebenjen,

Keep in mind that SONOS will ignore your WiFi network and your WiFi will ignore SONOS. The Airport Express will not directly help SONOS connectivity, but it may fill in a dead spot for your WiFi.

Describe your SONOS system and your network for us. What is wired? What is Wireless?

Does your hard drive shut down after a period of inactivity?
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  #3  
Old Nov 6th, 2009, 10:01 AM
ebenjen ebenjen is offline
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I have a Sonos Bundle 250.

TimeCapsule w/ USB disk that does not shut down. This disk is always mounted on my desktop computer and I never have any kind of availability problems. The TC and disk are on the ground floor.

My music is on the second floor. The ZP90 is connected to my network by ethernet. The ZP120, in the next room, is wireless. I keep the controller in the same room as the ZP120.

I also use the iPhone app.

I forgot that the Sonos system doesn't use the WIFI network.

I use Pandora radio a lot and it always works fine.

The problem seems to be with the net disk. It'll play fine for a while but then, after a period of non-use, when I attempt to play a song I get the "unable to connect to server" message. All three controllers (CR200, iPhone app, Sonos Desktop) experience the same problem -- I can browse the library but can't play anything.

Meanwhile, the music disk is still mounted on my desktop and I can read and write to it so the WIFI network doesn't have the same problem with the disk.

If I walk downstairs and reboot the TimeCapsule the problem goes away and SONOS functions normally.

Yesterday morning I unplugged everything and then powered them back on in this order:

Network Disk
TimeCapsule
ZP90
ZP120

Since then, I've not had a problem but I've been playing music a lot. The problem seems to most often rear it's head when I haven't used SONOS for a day or two.
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  #4  
Old Nov 6th, 2009, 06:01 PM
buzz buzz is offline
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ebenjen,

I'm not a Time Capsule user.

Keep a written log of events. You may be able to discover the timing.

If it is a simple time issue, you could set a silent alarm an an odd hour that will prod the drive and keep the connection alive.
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  #5  
Old Nov 8th, 2009, 06:04 AM
ebenjen ebenjen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzz View Post
ebenjen,

I'm not a Time Capsule user.

Keep a written log of events. You may be able to discover the timing.

If it is a simple time issue, you could set a silent alarm an an odd hour that will prod the drive and keep the connection alive.
Will do.

I may resort to putting the TC, modem and disk on a timer to reboot once a day. The down side is that the drive will have to be re-mounted on my desktop at the same time.
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  #6  
Old Nov 8th, 2009, 03:40 PM
ebenjen ebenjen is offline
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It just occurred to me...

The USB disk is partitioned. I wonder if that could be a factor...?

There are two partitions: "music" and "backups" -- the latter is used by TimeMachine on three different Macs. I have never had a problem with TimeMachine backing up to this partition -- the disk is always available on the wifi network.

Maybe I should reformat the drive into a single volume and simply put the music and backup data in different folders...

Does anybody have experience with partitioning network drives like this?

Last edited by ebenjen; Nov 8th, 2009 at 03:55 PM.
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  #7  
Old Nov 8th, 2009, 06:19 PM
buzz buzz is offline
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ebenjen,

I'm not sure what you mean by "partitioned". The buzzword I'm familiar with in this context is "Share". In any case the result is similar. Datasets can be hidden from some applications and available to other applications. In many respects, shares are easier to deal with because one can password protect a share without a lot of fuss.

I don't recommend combining your backup and music into a single share because SONOS will index ALL files in a share. This will result in the index process requiring much more time and expose you to the possibility of duplicate files. In the case of duplicate files, the user has no control over which file will be included in the SONOS index and this is very confusing for the human.

If you establish a Music and a Backup share on the drive, they will be distinct and any duplicate files in Backup will not be visible to the SONOS -- unless you deliberately link both shares to your SONOS library.

If you haven't done so, place an alias of your music share on your Mac desktop. This may keep the Music share alive longer.
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  #8  
Old Nov 9th, 2009, 08:00 AM
ebenjen ebenjen is offline
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Partitioning is a very common practice of taking a single physical hard drive and virtually splitting it into multiple volumes.

As far as I can tell, the Time Capsule only can share a single USB Hard Disk. By partitioning the disk I have what appears the be two separate network drives available.

I'm now considering reformatting the usb disk without partitions. To avoid the indexing problems you point out I would simply eliminate the network backup.
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  #9  
Old Nov 9th, 2009, 10:01 AM
buzz buzz is offline
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ebenjen,

OK, you really did partition the drive. I'll bet that the time Capsule can't completely deal with a partitioned drive.

In this context, to external systems, there is not much difference, but you may fare better if you use a single partition and multiple shares.
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  #10  
Old Nov 10th, 2009, 05:22 AM
ebenjen ebenjen is offline
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I just found this thread:

http://forums.sonos.com/showthread.php?t=8831

which I am now working my way through. Apparently, this is (or was) a common problem with Time Capsules.
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