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I have a new Nokia 3.1. After putting in and formatting an SD card, I copied a tonne of music to it (in /Music in the root folder). These are m4a and mp3 files. It seems only default apps can see and play music - although not very effectively since I don't want to pay or use the internet to listen to my own collection.

Every music player app I get (Musicolet, Pulsar, etc.) will not find the music automatically; will not find it when forced to rescan; will not play it when it is sent to the app via Files.

'Files' and 'Google Play' will see and play the files. Musicolet (the only one out of 10 different apps) will scan the files, pick up that they're all there - and then not update the music library or show anything.

I've tried clearing temporary storage, uninstalling/reinstalling music player apps, restarting the phone - the same story.

What is going on?

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Android uses a media database ("Android MediaStore Database") which is used by most apps. If the file has not been indexed by the database or is unknown to the database it doesn't exists for the apps.

If you have copied a "tonne of music" this database may be a bit overloaded by indexing all the uploaded music files (or may be even crashed).

Therefore I would first wait a while and then re-check if the media files are now visible in the player apps. If after some hours the files are still not visible, reboot the device. This usually triggers a re-scan of the media files.

Furthermore the actions I presented at the end of this answer also can be applied in your case.

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