Playing Music from Micro SD

This isn’t a “service” issue with republic, apologies if this is out of place.

I’ve been trying to get music to recognize/play from a new Micro SD card. I have roughly 225 albums, but the music apps only recognize 98. I had them in a root folder “music>artist>album”. I’ve changed it to have only the album folders in the root. Same difference, limited recognition.

I’ve verified that the music is indeed on the card, I can see them in the “Files” app. I’ve tried Google Play Music and Muzio as my media player.

I’ve tried this on both my current phone (Moto G6/Android 9) and an older phone (Moto X Pure). Any tips/suggestions/help would be greatly appreciated.


Hi @garenc,

As a starting point, is the MicroSD card formatted as adoptable or removeable storage. There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer on that, it may just help us better help you. I do note you’re moving the card between two phones, so would guess removeable but wanted to be certain.

I believe Google Play Music limits playlists to 1000 songs but am not aware of any album limits. For what it’s worth, Google is in the process of dropping Play Music (at some as yet undetermined future date) in favor of YouTube Music. You might give that a try:

As an aside, there’s no need to apologize about posting your question here. While indeed not a Republic issue per se, the idea of Community is members (Republic likes to call customers members) helping other members. We’ll do our best.

1 Like

Hi @garenc

Check and see if some of the folders have a .nomedia file in it.

(This is step #6 in the article. The rest of the article might help as well.

If a folder has .nomedia file in it, then its files will only be visible through a file manager app. They will not show up in other supported apps such as a gallery or music app. So, you should check your folder that has music in it. If it has a .nomedia file, delete it. Third-party apps usually add the file.

To check for .nomedia file, open the file manager app on your phone and navigate to the required folder. Enable show hidden files in the file manager settings. Then, look for .nomedia file in the folder. Delete it. Refresh Google Play Music, as shown above.

@SuperT, I checked the files, there’s none that have a . nonmedia file. The ones that aren’t being recognized do have a “desktop” file that’s listed as a configuration setting file.

@rolandh, I’m not sure what kind of card it is. I kind of just popped it in straight from the packaging without formatting first, assumed it was more of a plug-n-play storage…

The only other notable difference I’ve seen is that the recognized files are in MP3 format, whereas the unrecognized files are WMA. Maybe modern media players don’t recognize that format anymore? Odd, since about 95% of my music was run through Zune software (RIP), I would’ve assumed when I ripped the CD it would’ve been all one way or the other, not half and half.

Hi @garenc,

Ah, the Zune. Frankly, I have no real familiarity with that sad attempt by Microsoft to compete with Apple’s iPod. If, however, the Zune software was similar to Apple’s iTunes, it likely offered the ability to rip music CDs in multiple formats. Why some were ripped as WMA and others MP3 is not a mystery we’ll solve here.

The above said, it may be the manner in which you’re attempting to add the WMA files to Google Play Music. If copied directly to the MicroSD card, that seemingly doesn’t work. Presuming those WMA files are not hampered by digital rights management (DRM), please see if the method noted here helps:

1 Like

Correction: I did have a brief dalliance with an iPhone 4s before switching to the Republic…

Hi @rolandh

I have used that method with Play Music - it essentially takes your physical files and uploads it for online use with Play Music. I current have my music library uploaded with them, however it’s only accessible with an internet connection.

That works fine at home, but one reason I decided on the SD card route was so that I could access my library without eating into my data when I’m at work.

I guess I’ll need to look into a file converter, or a media player that supports WMA.

Hi @garenc - I have used VLC Media Player on my PC for a long time. Have not used VLC for Android but it might be worth looking at. VLC has a good reputation and I’m pretty sure it supports WMA.

Just my 2 cents worth :grinning:

1 Like

Hi @garenc,

VLC mentioned by @freddyp will play just about any type of media file again presuming those files are not encumbered by DRM.

If you want to convert WMA files to another format, iTunes (available for Windows at the Microsoft Store) is one option. It’s also possible though not free to use iTunes to manage your music library on your computer then sync that including playlists using the method outlined here: Moving from iPhone to Android: How to Sync iTunes Music.

Do note, the default file type for iTunes conversions is M4A (also known as MP4) rather than MP3 but this can be changed in preferences. If I’m remembering correctly, Google Play Music supports MP4 as well as MP3.

Thanks everyone for your help and suggestions. I’ll try VLC for now just to get up and running, then look into converting my library down the line. Glad to no longer be racking my brain over this!


Hi garenc, I spent a lot of time searching for a way to store and retrieve my music collection. I have a lot of music, much of it legally downloaded from Freegal, a terrific program offered by many libraries. I wanted something that could carry my music in a sort of jukebox fashion. I also wanted to organize it by category ( rock, jazz, classical, etc) and with sub-categories (classic rock, soul, etc). I found Folder Player, which I think does almost everything I wanted. It does have a problem with WMA files, though these files can be converted to MP3 if needed. Hope this is helpful in your search.

Message an
Expert customer