I just got my Nexus 7 tablet and I was trying to load some music/videos to it. I have about 10 gigs worth of .mp3 files with no DRM in my computer. Since this is Android, I figured I would not be subject to the pain that is iTunes and I would simply be able to drag the music into a "Music" folder if I plugged in the tablet to my computer. Sure enough, I saw a folder named "Music" and tried dragging a couple of files to it. When I go to my Nexus, however, I don't see the files. I started reading up on this and it seems that the way to do things on Android is to use the Google Music Manager which would then put my songs in "the cloud" and make them playable from any device. That's all nice and everything, but is there any way to simply put a couple songs into my device locally without any of that funny business?

TL;DR: I don't want to use Music Manager, how do I locally upload a song/video to my Nexus 7?

4 Answers 4


Android uses a so-called Media Scanner to index your media files (this also applies to your images and videos). This Media Scanner ships with the system, and fires automatically on certain system events -- such as after boot, or when you insert your SD-Card. It does, however, not react on a simple "file-drop" via network. For such cases, it might need a little help to get to know it has to act:

Are two free example apps from the playstore which do exactly that: trigger the Media Scanner. Once the Media Scanner has indexed your new files, they will immediately show up in the corresponding apps such as the gallery (for images/videos) or your music player.

  • I tried closing down the Music app and starting it back up thinking it might be something like that, kind of weird to have to download an app to trigger the scan, but it did the trick! Thanks! Sep 5, 2012 at 6:25
  • You're welcome! You don't have to use those apps (unmounting and remounting the SD-card would do the trick as well) -- but it is the most convenient way (just push a widget, and that's it ;)
    – Izzy
    Sep 5, 2012 at 6:29
  • 1
    Restarting your phone will also cause it to rescan, and some music players (PowerAmp comes to mind) scan when they are launched.
    – SaintWacko
    Sep 5, 2012 at 13:11

Copy the files as before but use a music player from the play store. I would suggest a player that supports folder based play so it doesn't force you to sort your music by album/artist, which can be a pain if your music isn't tagged properly. I will not suggest you a particular music player because I don't want to turn this question in to a favorite music player discussion.

If you really have trouble finding one, post a comment here for a suggestion.

  • Thank you for your suggestion. Do you have a preference as far as music players go? I don't mind the one the Google Music one aside from the scanning oddity. Sep 5, 2012 at 6:26
  • 2
    I use MortPlayer Music, but if you are fine with the album/artist sorting than this might not be the best choice. I use it because I like the player to "just play the whole folder", like a computer would if I opened the folder in winamp/vlc. Other players ignore folder structure and play by album/artist or just play all songs.
    – Mihic
    Sep 5, 2012 at 8:46
  • @Mihic Please don't encourage people to ask for app recommendations as they're OT here.
    – user13391
    Sep 5, 2012 at 9:09
  • @Richard Borcsik: Removed.
    – Mihic
    Sep 5, 2012 at 9:26

My main use of Android MP3 files is to listen to podcasts. My workflow is as follows:

  1. Use Google Reader to subscribe to and browse podcast feeds. The MP3 files are linked in each feed, so the ones I decide to listen to get downloaded to my computer. I use DownThemAll for downloading, because it's good at this kind of download and because it preserves modification times on files it downloads. However, I'm moving away from Firefox, so I'm now looking for a similar plugin for Chrome.

  2. Periodically plug my phone into a USB port on my computer (use USB3 if you have it, absurdly fast), causing the SD card to be mounted as a removable disk. There's a directory, listen that contains all my podcasts.

  3. Since I listen to them in the order of the modification times, I sort the directory listing by mod times and delete all the ones I've listened to.

  4. I move all of my new downloaded files into the listen directory on my phone.

  5. I tell Windows Explorer to "eject" the removable drive (this ensures that all file writes are completed) and unplug the phone.

  6. I plug in my headphones and run MortPlayer Audio Books. Although not specifically designed for my use case, it has some features I need:

    • The ability to be pointed at any directory I want.
    • The ability to automatically sort my files by modification time.
    • The ability to automatically remember where I left off.

Obviously, the way I listen to MP3 files is different from the way most other people do, so you'll need to figure out your own workflow. In particular, you'll probably want a different audio player program. But judging from your prescribed needs, you want one that lets you just copy files directly into an SDCARD directory. Most do.

Ideally, one could use Bluetooth to copy files. I've tried that, but have found that Bluetooth copying software is slow, a pain to use, and doesn't preserve file mod times.


i usually put all my songs into a folder and zip it into a smaller archive with an easy short name. something like mp3files.zip move that folder( or a copy of it) to /android-sdk/platform-tools/ plug the nexus in with a good usb cable and go to settings/developer options set to "usb debug enabled" next i use # ./adb push home/android-sdk/platform-tools/mp3files.zip /sdcard/Music important to notice one space between path to file and path to destination also make sure your capitalization is correct while ./adb is moving your files you wont get any feedback that anything is happening until its finished so be calm and find something else to do i also use the vlc for android beta media player availible from the vlc developers forum--it works PERFECTLY its still a beta .but its not so much a hiccuped EVER for me and plays whatever i throw at it(im not associated with the project in any way i just am passing along some info i have found)

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