I use Sound Juicer to rip all of my music. I have a lot of songs that published in a different language, and moreover that use different characters. I find the native file system doesn't support much in the way of file names...

cp -R /home/ecarroll/Music/Tom\ Morello\:\ The\ Nightwatchman/ .
cp: cannot create directory `./Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman': Invalid argument

It just doesn't like a lot of characters,

mkdir "foo:bar baz"
mkdir: cannot create directory `foo:bar baz': Invalid argument

cp: cannot create regular file `./Rebel Diaz/Otro Guerrillero/1 - Which Side Are You On?.flac': Invalid argument

Currently the device is mounted as VFAT

/dev/sdc1 on /media/87B0-1816 type vfat (rw,nosuid,nodev,uid=1000,gid=1000,shortname=mixed,dmask=0077,utf8=1,showexec,flush,uhelper=udisks)

Can I possibly reformat my SD memory stick, and put a different non-FAT FS on it that the Android can read? For reference I'm running on Ice Cream Sandwich but wouldn't object to rooting the phone if required to get around this crap. I even pay for these songs...


1 Answer 1


The Theory

I guess this very much depends on your device and the ROM used. Searching the net, I found people using different file systems on their sd-cards successfully:

  • NTFS seems to work at least on a Transformer, according to this post
  • A post on XDA mentions an app to be used with the Samsung Galaxy tab (and S2) which made NTFS usage possible
  • According to this German post, CyanogenMod supports EXTFS on sd-card
  • different sources mention what sounds logical from the Unix/Linux standpoint: on a rooted device, you can format the sd-card with any file system supported, and adjust the fstab accordingly

Praxis: What does the Playstore say?

So following that Google-Search of mine, I checked the Playstore for hints -- as there was that mentioned app for NTFS in one of the threads. And indeedy, there were some reasonable findings:

  • Ntfs Mounter (requires root) claims: Automatically mount and dismount NTFS/FAT/EXT2/EXT3/EXT4 formated USB Sticks, USB HDD, SD Cards
  • NtfsSd (root) claims to be able to mount SD Card using NTFS

Conclusion and final thoughts

To sum up: If rooting your device is an option, above hints should offer you a selection of alternative file systems you could use on your sdcard. Which of those might be your choice will probably depend on some additional thoughts -- such as other devices you want to use your sdcard on. If those include a Windows system, you better stick with NTFS (as Windows is not easily convinced to read EXTFS). If not Windows systems are involved, you're probably better off with one of the EXTFS versions.

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