I'd like to have several audiobooks and/or podcasts on my Nexus 7, but every time I put any MP3 files onto the device, even if I make my own folder for it or some such, Google Music detects them and then adds them to its list of files.

This is a problem, because I'd love to be able to use the "Shuffle All" feature, but then it ends up shuffling in chapters from the Audiobook. I don't want it to do that at all.

Any advice?

  • 4
    You could try putting a .nomedia file in the folder containing the mp3's - this will stop Google Music seing the tracks.
    – Liam W
    Commented Jan 12, 2013 at 17:40
  • The "put a .nomedia file into the folder" hint is not working any more. All files will be scanned by the media scanner (except the folder itself begins with "."). Reason: The media scanner is used by MTP, which needs all files (and only spares ".xxx" files)
    – ce4
    Commented Jan 12, 2013 at 18:19
  • @ce4 are you sure about that? I'm using a Galaxy Nexus and a Nexus 7 running Android 4.2, and the .nomedia trick has been keeping me sane since the Nexus One. What version of Android are you running? Commented Jan 13, 2013 at 0:39
  • Not quite. But Google Music and many others (e.g. the Gallery) use the media scanner which does not omit folders that contain a .nomedia any more.
    – ce4
    Commented Jan 13, 2013 at 0:41
  • I put .nomedia in the folder and ALSO renamed the folder to be ".audiobooks" instead of just "audiobooks". When I rebooted the device, the audiobook was gone from google music's list. So, one or the other of those things does work. Which means a mod should close the question I guess? I'm not sure how it works if the answer was in the comments and not as an answer.
    – Lokathor
    Commented Feb 1, 2013 at 10:42

5 Answers 5


Well despite the comments about a .nomedia file not working in the newest version, on my fully updated Nexus 7 (as of April 2013) using a .nomedia file prevents the audiobook files from being scanned and listed in Google Music.

Some extremely simplistic testing seems to indicate that a single .nomedia file at the top of a directory tree is enough to prevent all sub-directories from being scanned. In the case I talked about in my question, a .nomedia file within the "audiobooks/" directory would prevent all books from being scanned, even if each book was a collection of .mp3 files within its own directory.

  • 1
    Is there a convenient way to create this file without the aid of a computer?
    – Nick T
    Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 15:33
  • 2
    In a file browser app, such as ES File Explorer, you can create the file easily. It just has to be called ".nomedia" as the filename, you don't need to put any special contents in the file or anything like that.
    – Lokathor
    Commented Jul 20, 2014 at 4:25
  • It seems to work on my Android 5.1.1 TV. I killed the music app, deleted the music app's data and had to reboot . Not sure if I needed to delete the music app's data or not but I did that first, it wasn't enough, so I did it again and rebooted and that worked.
    – gman
    Commented Nov 24, 2016 at 7:58

Adding .nomedia to the top level of a directory has worked for me, but also had to flip the source from "On device" to "All music". I am using Android 5.0.1 on an nVidia Shield Tablet.

  • 2
    I just added the .nomedia to the root, switched from "On Device" to "All Music" then back to "Downloaded Only" and it works. Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 19:11

I noticed that when I added .nomedia to my Podcasts folder (which I didn't want showing up in my Google "Play Music" app, it only disappeared once I changed the source from "On device" to "All music" and back again. Now it's working as described above. My Podcasts have been removed from my music player, but still show up in my Podcast player.


Utilizing .nomedia (using ES File Explorer to simply create a file called .nomedia like Lokathor), all of my ringtones, podcasts, and notification sounds disappeared from Google Play Music. I'm using 5.1 on an HTC M7. (8/4/15)


Running Lollipop on a Note 3, I added .nomedia and restarted the phone, and it did NOT clean up. Then I flipped off Downloaded-only, and flipped it back, and "shuffle all" still was not cleaned up. I then restarted the phone again, and it was finally cleaned up.

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