How to Refresh Android MediaStore Using ADB

How to Refresh Android MediaStore Using ADB

21 May 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment Tech-Help

For those who frequently sync music or other media files to their Android devices using the Android Debug Bridge (ADB), ensuring that the media library is up to date is crucial. After transferring new media files to an Android device, you may notice that your media player apps do not recognize the new content. This is because the system’s media store database has not been refreshed to include the latest changes. This article will guide you through the process of triggering a media scan using ADB commands, so your media apps can properly interact with the new files.

Triggering a Media Scan on Android

The Android system uses a media store database to keep track of all media files on the device. When new media files are added, moved, or deleted, this database needs to be updated to reflect those changes. This process is known as a media scan. Here’s how to initiate it through ADB:

For Android KitKat and Later

Starting from Android KitKat (4.4), the MEDIA_MOUNTED intent is restricted and cannot be used to trigger a media scan. Instead, you should use the MEDIA_SCANNER_SCAN_FILE intent, which is designed to scan individual files:

        adb shell am broadcast \
          -a android.intent.action.MEDIA_SCANNER_SCAN_FILE \
          -d file:///mnt/sdcard/Music/<exact_file_name>

If you need to rescan the entire music directory, you can use the following command:

        adb shell "find /mnt/sdcard/Music/ -type f -exec am broadcast \
          -a android.intent.action.MEDIA_SCANNER_SCAN_FILE \
          -d file://{} \;"

For Newer Versions of Android

In the latest versions of Android, a more direct approach is available using the content call command. This method triggers a scan of the entire volume:

        adb shell content call --method scan_volume --uri content://media --arg external_primary

This command will ask the MediaStore to scan the primary external storage, where the media files are usually stored. To check if the scan was successful, you can filter the logcat output for MediaProvider:

        adb logcat -s MediaProvider

Integrating with Repeato

When managing media files on Android devices, especially during development and testing phases, automating the process can save a significant amount of time. This is where Repeato, our no-code test automation tool, can be particularly useful.

Repeato allows you to create automated tests for your apps without writing any code. It uses computer vision and AI to identify UI elements, making it easy to simulate user interactions. For developers and testers needing to refresh the media store as part of their test setup, Repeato’s ability to execute ADB commands via script steps can be invaluable.

With Repeato’s test batches, you can sequence a media store refresh command right after syncing new media files, ensuring your automated tests run against the updated library every time. This tight integration with ADB commands enhances the efficiency of your automated testing workflow.

For more insights into Android development and automation tools, visit our blog or explore our documentation for detailed guides and best practices.

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