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Old June 11th, 2009, 11:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Post Definitive android's folder structure

Okey, so I'm curious if someone know what is exact folder structure, which should be used. My question is about phone memory and SD card as well.

So far I suppose, these work:
If you want phone to find new ringtones (and only, not have it listed in music player) you should use following:

Code:
/sdcard/media/alarms
/sdcard/media/notifications
/sdcard/media/ringtones
These are for ringtones, alarms and notifications.
I wonder about dcim/100ANDRO and rest of them. Anyone can explain please?

Thank you

Note: I know Android can use almost any folder, but I would like to know which were supposed to be used for specific files.

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Old June 19th, 2009, 12:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeeRaX View Post
Okey, so I'm curious if someone know what is exact folder structure, which should be used. My question is about phone memory and SD card as well.

So far I suppose, these work:
If you want phone to find new ringtones (and only, not have it listed in music player) you should use following:

Code:
/sdcard/media/alarms
/sdcard/media/notifications
/sdcard/media/ringtones
These are for ringtones, alarms and notifications.
I wonder about dcim/100ANDRO and rest of them. Anyone can explain please?

Thank you

Note: I know Android can use almost any folder, but I would like to know which were supposed to be used for specific files.

What I use is the following four folders .... It may depend on the Music Player you use ...but, the default player does not see these by default ...

However the OS will see these folders of Name.ogg files and make them available to used for settings sounds to your apps ..

/sdcard/Alarms
/sdcard/notifications
/sdcard/ringtones
/sdcard/ui
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Old June 19th, 2009, 01:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by justjimjpc View Post
What I use is the following four folders .... It may depend on the Music Player you use ...but, the default player does not see these by default ...

However the OS will see these folders of Name.ogg files and make them available to used for settings sounds to your apps ..

/sdcard/Alarms
/sdcard/notifications
/sdcard/ringtones
/sdcard/ui
Yes, you are right. I've in mind default music player. It doesn't search every folder on sd card. But OS does these.
So audio structure is following:
Code:
/sdcard/media/alarms OR /sdcard/Alarms 
/sdcard/media/notifications OR /sdcard/notifications
/sdcard/media/ringtones OR /sdcard/ringtones
/sdcard/media/ui OR /sdcard/ui
What about 100ANDRO folder, it was created by system. However nothing seems stored here. And there are also some folders beginnig with com prefix. I guess this is from third party software. Do you know for what com stands for?
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Old June 19th, 2009, 01:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeeRaX View Post
Yes, you are right. I've in mind default music player. It doesn't search every folder on sd card. But OS does these.
So audio structure is following:
Code:
/sdcard/media/alarms OR /sdcard/Alarms 
/sdcard/media/notifications OR /sdcard/notifications
/sdcard/media/ringtones OR /sdcard/ringtones
/sdcard/media/ui OR /sdcard/ui
What about 100ANDRO folder, it was created by system. However nothing seems stored here. And there are also some folders beginnig with com prefix. I guess this is from third party software. Do you know for what com stands for?
I am not sure ... about >> com. but it might be a hold-over from windows com exectutable files ... that have beem compiled
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Old January 3rd, 2010, 01:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The com.whatever comes from the naming convention for the Android apps (based on the Java convention) where you use your organization's domain in reverse. Something about making sure that 2 apps don't share the same one. I don't know about 100ANDRO...wondering about that myself.
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Old January 6th, 2010, 04:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I can help with the /DCIM folder....

This is part of the DCF (Design rule for Camera File system) specification. All digital cameras contain a DCIM (Digital Camera IMages) folder in their root directory. Inside this will be multiple folders named nnnABCDE, where nnn is a unique directory number between 100-999 and ABCDE is a five-character alphanumeric string often (but not required to be) related to the camera manufacturer. Image files stored within these folders will have a file name in the format ABCDnnnn, where ABCD is a four-character string (often DSC_ or IMG_) and nnnn is a unique sequential index number.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 12:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Question Path to Alarms/Notifications/Ringtones files

FWIW, on the LG Ally (Android 2.1) these files are not in the SD card/media folder. There is no Media folder on the SD Card. I dug around until I found them here:

/system/media/audio

within that folder are

/alarms
/notifications
/ringtones
/ui

Each of the above folders is, by default, populated solely with *.ogg sound files.

I created a "Ringtones" folder on my SD card as has been suggested for using MP3 files for ringtones. In that folder I placed 2 files. One is a WAV file and the other is an MP3 file, both of the same sound.

Although the WAV version of the file does get included into the list of ringtones to select, the MP3 file does not. It apparently isn't recognized.

I tried to paste a copy of the MP3 into the system/media/audio/ringtones file using Explorer file utility, but was told this area contains system files so is read only.

I then tried creating the following folder tree:

sd card/media/audio/ringtones

and pasted a copy of the MP3 file there. But the Ally still doesn't find it in the menu of Ringtone sounds.

I would presume there must be some way to use MP3 files. Can someone help me figure out how?

Zoandroid.
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Old June 12th, 2010, 12:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoandroid View Post
[snip]


[snippity]
I would presume there must be some way to use MP3 files. Can someone help me figure out how?

Zoandroid.
I'm new to this - just got my HTC Evo activated 6/10/10 - but I've got it using MP3s. What I did - and I confess I found it elsewhere - is to create an /MP3 folder off of the root of my SD. Under it, I created the four folders *you* mentioned:

/alarms
/notifications
/ringtones
/ui

And when I drop MP3s in there, they show up in the various "Settings>Select [ring/notification/alarm/UI] sound" pick windows.

Hope this helps, and if I've violated any rules or been terribly clueless, apologies in advance.

Be well,
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Old June 12th, 2010, 09:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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New Android user! I just picked up my EVO 4G from Best Buy yesterday and I'm trying to figure out everything.

Alright, I've got all my audio uploaded into my new "ringtones", "notifications" and "alarms" folders. My question is, what has access to the "ui" folder?
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Old June 12th, 2010, 09:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ega278 View Post
New Android user! I just picked up my EVO 4G from Best Buy yesterday and I'm trying to figure out everything.

Alright, I've got all my audio uploaded into my new "ringtones", "notifications" and "alarms" folders. My question is, what has access to the "ui" folder?
First, just to be safe, those folder are UNDER an /MP3 folder you probably will have to create.

So far, the only UI option I found is somewhere in the User Input (duh) settings that asks if/what sound you hear when you type, feedback, etc.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 03:04 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Straight from the horse's mouth:

Data Storage | Android Developers

  • Music/ - Media scanner classifies all media found here as user music.
  • Podcasts/ - Media scanner classifies all media found here as a podcast.
  • Ringtones/ - Media scanner classifies all media found here as a ringtone.
  • Alarms/ - Media scanner classifies all media found here as an alarm sound.
  • Notifications/ - Media scanner classifies all media found here as a notification sound.
  • Pictures/ - All photos (excluding those taken with the camera).
  • Movies/ - All movies (excluding those taken with the camcorder).
  • Download/ - Miscellaneous downloads.
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Old September 22nd, 2010, 09:51 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoandroid View Post
FWIW, on the LG Ally (Android 2.1) these files are not in the SD card/media folder. There is no Media folder on the SD Card. I dug around until I found them here:

/system/media/audio

within that folder are

/alarms
/notifications
/ringtones
/ui

Each of the above folders is, by default, populated solely with *.ogg sound files.

I created a "Ringtones" folder on my SD card as has been suggested for using MP3 files for ringtones. In that folder I placed 2 files. One is a WAV file and the other is an MP3 file, both of the same sound.

Although the WAV version of the file does get included into the list of ringtones to select, the MP3 file does not. It apparently isn't recognized.

I tried to paste a copy of the MP3 into the system/media/audio/ringtones file using Explorer file utility, but was told this area contains system files so is read only.

I then tried creating the following folder tree:

sd card/media/audio/ringtones

and pasted a copy of the MP3 file there. But the Ally still doesn't find it in the menu of Ringtone sounds.

I would presume there must be some way to use MP3 files. Can someone help me figure out how?

Zoandroid.
argh! why do we users have to do this? I dont think this is mod. Google should provide this info, their android.com is empty. we cant even browse the market in chrome.
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Old September 22nd, 2010, 10:00 AM   #13 (permalink)
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This thread is more related to the Android system in general than the updates which roll out; I've moved it to the Android Lounge for that reason.
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Old December 1st, 2010, 02:27 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default This worked for me

This worked for me

copy/paste to:

....../zedge/ringtones

Got what i needed
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 08:56 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eckndu View Post
why do we users have to do this?
You don't have to. In your particular case you do but many standard users probably aren't even aware of the folder structure. If you're an enthusiast who needs this info, you'll find it.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 09:14 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Yes, you'll find it after wandering the wilds of Android information for months (I've just found this thread, very informative).
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Did you read the first post in the thread?
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Old December 20th, 2010, 09:13 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sinebubble View Post
Straight from the horse's mouth:

Data Storage | Android Developers

  • Music/ - Media scanner classifies all media found here as user music.
  • Podcasts/ - Media scanner classifies all media found here as a podcast.
  • Ringtones/ - Media scanner classifies all media found here as a ringtone.
  • Alarms/ - Media scanner classifies all media found here as an alarm sound.
  • Notifications/ - Media scanner classifies all media found here as a notification sound.
  • Pictures/ - All photos (excluding those taken with the camera).
  • Movies/ - All movies (excluding those taken with the camcorder).
  • Download/ - Miscellaneous downloads.
Pure gold - exactly what I was searching the net for. Just got my HTC Incredible 3-4 days ago and am still wondering what I've let myself in for after 12 years as a Palm user.

Is there a default directory for ebooks / document downloads, or would that be dependent on the reader software I'm using?

Thanks.

(Oh, and Hi, Ann!! Imagine my surprise to realize I recognized a name in this thread!)
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Old December 20th, 2010, 11:09 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Ross!!! How are you? This is where I hang around now, learning all I can - best Android forum, combined with XDA (have you found that one yet?).
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Old December 23rd, 2010, 07:17 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info, sinebubble! You helped me resolve an issue I was having with my MP3 files. Androidforums, FTW!
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Old June 27th, 2011, 05:08 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sinebubble View Post
Straight from the horse's mouth:

Data Storage | Android Developers
  • Music/ - Media scanner classifies all media found here as user music.
  • Podcasts/ - Media scanner classifies all media found here as a podcast.
  • Ringtones/ - Media scanner classifies all media found here as a ringtone.
  • Alarms/ - Media scanner classifies all media found here as an alarm sound.
  • Notifications/ - Media scanner classifies all media found here as a notification sound.
  • Pictures/ - All photos (excluding those taken with the camera).
  • Movies/ - All movies (excluding those taken with the camcorder).
  • Download/ - Miscellaneous downloads.
Great info! I was about to ask if this applies only to the SD card or can this also be set up on internal storage, but decided to test it on my Moto Atrix first.

After creating a \ringtones folder on my internal storage (I tried upper case first, but it did NOT work on the non-rooted Atrix with Motoblur), copying a .wav and .mp3 file into the dir, and a reboot, the ringtones are listed!

I like to have a consistent ringtone regardless of the SD card in my phone.
Thanks for the great info!
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Old June 27th, 2011, 09:13 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sinebubble View Post
Straight from the horse's mouth:

Data Storage | Android Developers

  • Music/ - Media scanner classifies all media found here as user music.
  • Podcasts/ - Media scanner classifies all media found here as a podcast.
  • Ringtones/ - Media scanner classifies all media found here as a ringtone.
  • Alarms/ - Media scanner classifies all media found here as an alarm sound.
  • Notifications/ - Media scanner classifies all media found here as a notification sound.
  • Pictures/ - All photos (excluding those taken with the camera).
  • Movies/ - All movies (excluding those taken with the camcorder).
  • Download/ - Miscellaneous downloads.
This is awesome! Just added a ton of my music and it was instantly recognized on my phone.

Question though: if I were to add movies under such a folder, would I need an app to play it? If not, how would I go about opening them on the phone? Thanks in advance!
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 07:56 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Default Creating Folders on SD Card?

Noob question I know, but can someone lay out a step by step on how to do this for me?
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 09:29 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Hi,

this is a good thread to get your feet wet on folder structure in the Android System.

grab a file manager such as ES file explorer, you can create folders to your hearts content. you can also connect up to a computer and explore form the computer.
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Old December 28th, 2011, 11:17 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Default Acer Iconia A500 Honeycomb 3.2 folder structure

So why does the A500's internal storage memory show up as "sdcard"? Since I have rooted this tablet, I use Root Explorer, which I have run on 2 rooted Android phones before I got this tablet. In the A500, I see a folder in the root of the memory named 'sdcard', which is NOT my installed 16GB SD card.

By digging around and from a forum post somewhere, I learned the actual external SD card is in /mnt/external_sd. BUT..... in /mnt there is ALSO ANOTHER folder listed as "sdcard"?? It appears to actually 'mirror' the same content that /sdcard holds. Is it just some kind of link, like when Microsoft made the Windows 7 Users/Username/Application Data shortcut which is the only way to get into the actual AppData folder? I wouldn't think they would have dual copies of those folders within the internal memory.

This gets rather confusing when you have a file on your SD card and you are trying to access it from some application in the tablet.
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Old January 2nd, 2012, 07:45 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Samsung Galaxy SII. New ueser. Using the file manager I have the following. Nothing for alarms, or the other files listed. The notifications folder only shows one file and it is some facebook notification? Can't seem to access the other files mentioned. I have show hidden files enabled. Please advise.
/sdcard/media/notifications
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Old January 2nd, 2012, 08:29 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Usually you have to create the media folders to add your own tunes in as extensions. The built-in sounds are buried in the system and only accessible when you're rooted.
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Old May 5th, 2012, 11:05 AM   #27 (permalink)
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I hope this thread isn't too dead for a new post. I just want to point out that no one really answered the question.

"My question is about phone memory and SD card as well."

Does anyone know where (or how) I could find a map of the directory structure for the phone?
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Old May 5th, 2012, 11:39 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uhclem View Post
I hope this thread isn't too dead for a new post. I just want to point out that no one really answered the question.

"My question is about phone memory and SD card as well."

Does anyone know where (or how) I could find a map of the directory structure for the phone?
If you happen to be rooted and are running a custom ROM, the issue gets even more complex. I have run 3 different ROMs on my tablet, and each time the layout of some of the file tree changed. Sorry, I don't have knowledge of where you might find a layout map.

But I did learn why there is an internal folder named SD Card. The tablet actually has a non removable SD Card internally. Why they didn't name it something else is a good question. But I ran across a forum in which a Samsung tech was talking about their grand plan for ICS to totally do away with ANY user removeable SD card memory. They want to encompass the total memory allowed for any Android ICS device to be completely internal, so whatever the device comes with, you're stuck with that amount. Ostensibly because it makes developing applications easier, as they won't need to be able to access external memory, which apparently adds a whole set of variables not common to every device.

I am opposed to the whole idea FWIW. I prefer options. Lots of them. User removable SD cards and batteries. But that violates their whole master plan to control every aspect of how we use a device. Call me a rebel if you like. The Android OS is all about breaking OUT of the 'controlled' box. That's what interested me in OWNING (not "leasing") and Android device.
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Old May 28th, 2012, 01:43 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Is there a default directory for ebooks / document downloads, or would that be dependent on the reader software I'm using?
I'm also wondering where to save the ebook files so the reader can find them. I use Moon+ and it can't find the ebooks that I saved on /mnt/extsd/Ebook (I want to save them on the removable card). My device is a Genesis GT-7200 running Android 4.
I have the same problem with music. I use Realplayer.
Hope you can help me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwarven1 View Post
Just got my HTC Incredible 3-4 days ago and am still wondering what I've let myself in for after 12 years as a Palm user.
Hey dwarven, I used Palm devices for many years too and still do. I would never (I know I shouldn't say never...) get rid of my TX.

Have a nice time!
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Old May 28th, 2012, 10:11 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by luizferraz View Post
I'm also wondering where to save the ebook files so the reader can find them. I use Moon+ and it can't find the ebooks that I saved on /mnt/extsd/Ebook (I want to save them on the removable card). My device is a Genesis GT-7200 running Android 4.
I have the same problem with music. I use Realplayer.
Hope you can help me.
It may well depend upon the reader software. On Android phones and the tablet I use, such locations sometimes vary with whatever ROM I am running, but I suggest you methodically dig through all the settings of your device and software and look for a default setting pointing to a specific storage area. The added PITA to my above information is that not only is the "internal SD card" a finite size of memory with no user options (such as installing a larger card) the OS defaults to wanting to put most everything there. Totally stupid design IMO. Why default to saving downloads (which can sometimes be rather sizable) to a finite chunk of memory when you have an external SD card to use??? And even Titanium Backup puts its files there!

So if your system has a major malfunction and the memory gets hosed, those dutiful backups of your (external) SD card you have been making thinking you are safe from harm will suddenly reveal you just lost all your app and data backups because they were never on the REAL SD card to begin with. I just happened to discover that early on completely by accident. So I make backups of both "SD Card" locations.

ICS further mitigates that issue by trying to restrict you from doing so, with their abandoning the option for USB Mass Storage access when you plug a PC into the device! But there is a workaround. Thanks to a fellow forum member pointing this out, one can use the tablet itself to copy the entire file set to a flash or external USB drive, instead of using a Windows PC and USB cable to do the backup. It is also much faster!
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Old July 4th, 2012, 11:23 PM   #31 (permalink)
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So why does the A500's internal storage memory show up as "sdcard"? Since I have rooted this tablet, I use Root Explorer, which I have run on 2 rooted Android phones before I got this tablet. In the A500, I see a folder in the root of the memory named 'sdcard', which is NOT my installed 16GB SD card.

By digging around and from a forum post somewhere, I learned the actual external SD card is in /mnt/external_sd. BUT..... in /mnt there is ALSO ANOTHER folder listed as "sdcard"?? It appears to actually 'mirror' the same content that /sdcard holds. Is it just some kind of link, like when Microsoft made the Windows 7 Users/Username/Application Data shortcut which is the only way to get into the actual AppData folder? I wouldn't think they would have dual copies of those folders within the internal memory.

This gets rather confusing when you have a file on your SD card and you are trying to access it from some application in the tablet.
Answer: Your device has a built in SD Storage so it is treated by the file system as if there were 2 different SD Cards. It is just like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.

Details:
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 actually has two SDCard mounts, one for a built-in internal SDCard which is different than the device memory on a typical Android phone, and the second is the removable SDCard.
  • /mnt/extSdCard --- On the Samsung Galaxy 2 tablet this is the removable SD card.
Every Android-compatible device supports a shared "external storage" that you can use to save files. This can be a removable storage media (such as an SD card) or an internal (non-removable) storage. Files saved to the external storage are world-readable and can be modified by the user when they enable USB mass storage to transfer files on a computer.
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Old July 4th, 2012, 11:29 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info. What I have learned since posting this originally is that the fact Acer actually named the internal SD Card "SD Card" in the folder tree causes problems. Some apps which expect there to only be one instance, that being the real external card, automatically default to looking for "SD Card", in the file tree for saving and downloading files, and out of those apps some do not have a setting to tell the files to go elsewhere. But this tends to fill up the much smaller internal 'card'. So when you think you are saving things like downloads and rather sizable multimedia files to your nice roomy 16GB external SD card, you are in fact storing them internally.

It also causes confusion when you later go to retrieve said files and can't find them on the 'real' SD Card. Having the added storage internally is fine. But they really should have chosen another name for it.
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Old August 11th, 2012, 10:42 AM   #33 (permalink)
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great thread. used info w/net10 lg55c android 2.3.1 on sdcard/media/ringtones with mp3 files worked perfectly. Thanx
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Old October 5th, 2012, 10:25 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Default One more time on the media files folder structure?

I'm still a little confused. Why is their more than one place to put the same kinds of file and which is the proper place to put them? Does this have to do with a "path" variable and/or something that searches and syncs files across folders? What's the algorithm?

I have all these places on my Galaxy S3 from T-Mobile running 4.0.4 of Android:

mnt/sdcard/Alarms
mnt/sdcard/Notifications
mnt/sdcard/Ringtones
mnt/sdcard/Music
...

It then have a partial version of the same structure on my external sdcard:

mnt/extSdCard/Music

I'm assuming I could create the same structure on both internal storage and external storage and the phone might have a path that looks in those places and I'm all set? I can have ringtones saves locally and externally and the phone looks in both places to find them?

But then what is:

mnt/sdcard/Media/Audio/Notifications ?

Is this a backwards compatibility thing from some previous version of Android? Or if you put something in one place it gets indexed, but in the other it doesn't?

And lastly, what formats are supported for ringtones and notifications? Thanks.
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Old October 5th, 2012, 01:48 PM   #35 (permalink)
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If it ever makes sense to you, let me know. Personally, I think its just plain nuts to have various path locations pointing back to other locations. But then I would prefer they did not name the internal accessible memory "sd card".

MP3 files work OK for notifications, to which I can attest.
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