If you've ever used an Android phone extensively, you might have come across times when you have pictures, videos, or music in your library that you never remember putting there yourself. Chances are, you probably didn't. What probably happened is that an app developer didn't properly flag a certain folder with a ".nomedia" file.
So what exactly is that? To understand it properly, let's first get into how "media scanning" works on Android - and what it even is. When you put music, pictures, or video on your phone, it gets scanned and added to your library. That way, you can just drag and drop whatever media you want onto your phone, and you don't have to tell your phone "hey, I just put some media there" - instead, your phone finds it automatically and adds it to your library. The library is used by many different apps - which means that if you add a music file, you will be able to play it on just about any third-party music player.
So far, so good. But what if an app wants to store an in-game soundtrack on your phone's storage, for example? In most cases, you won't want that soundtrack appearing in your music library. That's where ".nomedia" files come into play. Ideally, when an app wants to store that soundtrack on your phone in "user-accessible storage" (basically whatever you can access during normal use - this is almost always where you have your music, pictures, and videos), it will put it in a folder, and add a .nomedia file to that folder. A .nomedia file is quite literally an empty file named ".nomedia". Then, when Android is scanning for media, and it sees a .nomedia file in a folder, it ignores any media in that folder. Normally this whole process works behind the scenes. Normally.
Of course, developers being developers, apps don't always follow best practices (true confession, though: I am a developer). So, sometimes, you will have things like that popping up in your music library - or also your photo library. This is where the StudioKUMA .nomedia Manager steps in.
With the StudioKUMA .nomedia Manager, you can easily put .nomedia files into folders with one click, and have an overview of which folders have .nomedia files. And for those who aren't very tech-savvy: don't worry, you won't even have to be dealing with files - you just have to mark the folders that you want Android's media scanner to ignore, and this app will handle the rest.
A word of warning, though: this app, for some reason, doesn't work with Android 4.2. It works with everything below, and depending on your configuration, everything above. But then, we run into the issue of access restrictions on Android 4.4 (KitKat). This is because Google has restricted apps' access to SD cards - and is a whole new can of worms. Basically, if you're on Android 4.1 or below, it will work. If you're on Android 4.3, it will work. And if you're on Android 4.4, you can give it a try - although this isn't the developers', but Google's fault if it's not working.
If you've ever run into media files you don't want in your library, and you're not using Android 4.2, then you can head over and download the StudioKUMA .nomedia Manager from the Google Play Store.
StudioKUMA .nomedia Manager — Free Mobile App of the Week
Size: 146 KB
Get your own favorite app published! Know a free and neat app? Then why not have it published here and receive full credit? Click here to tell us your suggestion.
Click here for more items like this. Better still, get the latest articles about mobile apps delivered daily via your RSS feeder or alternatively, have the RSS feed sent as email direct to your in-box.
Please rate this article: