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I like to extract playlist information (i.e. path and filenames) I've created on Android's builtin MP3-player, to copy it with the MP3 files to a bigger SDHC card. Playlist information is lost when doing this:

  • Removing the SDHC memory card (after turning off the device), and re-insert it later, causes the MP3-player to forget all files in the playlists which I have created. This is especially annoying if you want to replace the SDHC card by a bigger one and want to backup all files including playlists from the old one

The reason for this issue is that Android mounts SD cards as /storage/UniqueId where UniqueId is a hex number (the serial number or CID of your SD card), e.g. A15F-1234. So your original SD card has a root path like /storage/A15F-1234/ and when you buy a new SD card, its CID is different, so the root path changes, e.g. /storage/F987-5432/, hence the player is looking for the old path as stored in the playlist and don't find the files anymore!

Note that this is a virtual folder and it cannot be renamed.

This becomes important because the music player stores the files of your playlist as absolute path, e.g.

/storage/A15F-1234/MyMusic/RickSpringField-LoveSomebody.mp3.

On your PC you will just see a path like

E:/MyMusic/RickSpringField-LoveSomebody.mp3

Once you copy the file to the new SD card, it will be on

F:/MyMusic/RickSpringField-LoveSomebody.mp3

(where E: is your old, F: your new card in this example)

But when you put the new card into your mobile after copying, your file will be at

/storage/F987-5432/MyMusic/RickSpringField-LoveSomebody.mp3

and your playlists are all empty because every single entry still starts with the old path /storage/A15F-1234/..., and the player (e.g. Samsung Music) can't find them, because it doesn't look into the new path (/storage/F987-5432/...).

Now I am looking for a way to backup the playlists or at least their content (i.e. path filename etc) to be able to edit the path to make them usable again.


More information:

The phone has a playlist folder, containing the Playlists, when I use a USB cable to connect it to the PC, I can see them (*.pla files) but they have 0 bytes and cannot be copied. Also, if I connect the SDHC card via cardreader, the files aren't useful.

Samsung Kies also did not work for me, it does not seem to support the playlists created on the phone.

I found this interesting question, which explains that Android stores playlists in SqlLite databases, but unfortunately, on my Samsung phone I could not find the database file (although there is a folder Computer\GT-I8190\Phone\Android\data\com.google.android.music which should contain it, but no databases subdirectory and no database files).

N.B.: The smartphone is able to read and import *.m3u playlists (via the player's "Music Square" menu - context menu "Library update"), but cannot modify them (if you add titles, they will only be available in the smartphone, the *.m3u file isn't changed).


To summarize my question (one of the options below would help me):

  • Do you know how I can backup the playlists on the phone and then extract the file/path info contained in them in Windows?
    Phone Playlist -> Windows PC -> Extract Path/Filename to text file

  • Or do you know if there is a tool available (for Android, or for Windows reading it from the mobile phone) converting the playlists into a compatible text format (like .m3u playlists)?
    Phone Playlist -> M3U file

    (Note: The other way round it is possible, as this forum post explains). Here's an example of a M3U file, note that relative paths (like Sounds/Sample.mp3) are allowed as well (if the player supports them):

    #EXTM3U
    #EXTINF:123, Sample artist - Sample title
    /storage/extSdCard/Sounds/Sample.mp3

(where extSdCard stands for a CID like F987-5432 and #EXTINF:123, Sample artist - Sample title is metadata, see M3U playlist format)


Your help is much appreciated!

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  • 1
    Andrew's answer of Dec 14 works very well for list that use the standard Android db. I had to recreate my Amazon and Google music list using Music Player. Then used PlaylistSync to backup the list to my Google drive. Now for the first time I feel like I have recreated my playlist for the last time.
    – BroPage
    Oct 28 '18 at 16:10
  • Unfortunately, Andrew's answer got deleted. He wrote that he was using the app Playlist Backup. It worked fine, but unfortunately not on the latest android version (>=10). There is also the app PlaylistSync, but that requires a cloud account. The app Playlist2Folder does not backup the playlist, but the entire files contained in the playlist.
    – Matt
    Oct 19 at 6:28
3

Playlists are stored in a SQLite database in /data/data/com.android.providers.media/databases/external.db.

I've made a Python script to convert the audio playlist from this database to M3U, it's called m3truid. You need a PC and ADB enabled.

Not as nice as an Android app but especially useful when your screen is dead.

1
  • Are you still able to access this .db file?
    – brasofilo
    Sep 2 '18 at 16:14
0

Update 2: After a long research, I found a music player "Muzio" in the Google PlayStore which can save internal playlists as text file (*.m3u) and load them later (the player uses Muzio/Playlist Backup directory on your internal storage).

To save, use the three dots menu beside the playlist.

This way, you can edit the m3u file with a text editor (e.g. QuickEdit Android) - or you transfer it to a PC and edit it there.

After fixing the paths (search + replace) you can load the updated m3u file with the music player Muzio.

To load, use the three dots menu on the upper right corner of the menu bar and select "Import playlist".

Download link: Muzio Player

Note:

  • If you want to copy the files in a playlist rather than the playlist itself, you can do that with Samsung Music player and the Tool "Total Commander" installed: Select the playlist (tip and press finger for a while to select), then select "Share" and in the share menu select "Total Commander". Choose the desired target folder. Then switch to Total Commander and you'll see the copy starting.

  • You can use m3truid as well, if you export the database to the PC, as described in Kris' answer. However, I have not tested this option yet.


Update: Andrew has kindly provided an answer, which directly solves the issue. However, I keep this answer in case someone likes to develop a player on his/her own which will include a playlist import/export. Just use the link above which will take you to the source code.


There was no answer provided yet, so here's what I found out by myself so far. It is rather an idea how it could be solved.

The solution is to write an Android player app, which has access to the playlist database through the Android API. This app can read the properties of the playlist and save path, filename, title artist etc into a text file, preferrably M3U format.

At AndroidHive.info I found the source code for an android MP3 player, not including the feature mentioned above. But I am sure it can be implemented with some effort.

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