There's a couple of issues that i have with the way Android sees my card...

  1. The Gallery App shows CD artwork as a separate photo album.
  2. I want to exclude some things from shuffle playback by the music player.
  3. there's probably more thing that could appear better if we new what Media Scanner was doing....
  • 1
    I've found this: developer.android.com/guide/topics/data/… but Gallery App still reads pictures from music folder
    – Mesh
    Feb 11, 2011 at 10:29
  • Seems Gallery ignores Folder.jpg, AlbumArt.jpg, AlbumArtSmall.jpg - so just using windows search with *.jpg and delete the non matches... 'fixes' the gallery
    – Mesh
    Feb 11, 2011 at 10:57
  • 3
    you can also add a file called ".nomedia", minus the quotes, in any directory you want the media scanner to ignore. it does not include sub-directories though, so you cannot just do /sdcard, for example, and have it not scan the entire structure. you would have to put a file in every folder you want ignored. Feb 11, 2011 at 12:26
  • i gather .nomedia is for app developers to hide their media files from the media scanner, When they don't sound effects etc to appear in the music player/gallery. If you use it you will NOT be able to play music from that folder.
    – Mesh
    Feb 11, 2011 at 15:33
  • .nomedia prevents the automatic media scanner from finding the files, you would still be able to browse to and open the file from a file browser though.
    – jakebasile
    Apr 21, 2011 at 18:46

1 Answer 1


Summing up from the comments, and adding a little.

Directory structure

There's no complete documentation for the entire cards structure, that seems not to be fixed. However, some directories seem to be more or less common:

  • the developers guide suggests app specific data should be stored below /sdcard/Android/data/<package_name>/files/ (<package_name> represending the name of the package the data belongs to, which looks like com.example.android.app), and /Android/data/<package_name>/cache/ for external cache files (basically, this corresponds to the /data/data/<package_name>/ directory on internal storage)
  • same source recommends a bunch of directories to store files intended to be shared among apps. All of those directories are located in the root of the card, and include:
    • 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.

Excluding directories from Media Scan

If you wish to exclude a directory from the media scan (i.e. from being indexed for the gallery), you can place a file named .nomedia there. This will tell the media scanner to skip this directory (including all files and subdirectories) from a scan -- thus neither images, nor audio or video files stored here will turn up in the gallery. You however can still access them by looking them up manually. Up to my knowledge, there's no way to restrict this to a certain media type (i.e. having the media scanner index audio/video, but skip images). Important: Note the "dot" at the beginning of the file name (making it a "hidden file"). This must be included with its name.

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