The case of the missing music files.

My Android phone uses a micro SD card on which all my music files reside. I never had any problems accessing my music until two days ago when I copied over some more music to the card. Afterwards my phone began to run very slowly and before I knew it, the entire card was overwritten with some strange file that replaced the folder structure that was there previously. I still don’t know what caused this to occur, although it was probably from too many apps running in memory that placed a heavy load on my poor phone.

To make a long story short, I had to re-format my memory card and restore the music files from backup. The next step was to change my ringtone and notification sounds, but when I tried selecting the two files from my music library for this purpose, I noticed those two files were missing. I could see some of my other files so I began to sense perhaps I didn’t copy everything over.

The mystery deepened when I pulled up the file manager on my phone and sure enough, all the music files I needed to copy were there, yet most of them were absent from my music player’s playlist as well as from the list of available ringtones and notification sounds.

So I began to search online for a solution to this problem and came across this page which had this solution:

Here is another method I’ve used to completely delete and build a new database:

Settings>>Applications>>Manage Applications. Select the All Tab. Scroll down to Media Storage and select it. Clear the Data (acknowledge you want to do this). THEN

Settings>>SD Card and phone storage. Select Unmount SD Card. When it’s unmounted, take it out and put it back in. When the card is fully mounted, the Media Scanner Service will begin.

I noticed that after I remounted my SD card, my music player didn’t detect any music files at all, so I restarted my phone, and after that everything finally showed up.

Back up your Android data.

I was browsing through the Google Play store in search of a utility that’s able to back up the data on my phone as I prepared to purchase a new phone as part of my move to a different mobile carrier. I was hoping to find something that would back up all my apps so I wouldn’t have to re-install them all on the new phone.

SyncDroid is one backup program I found, and although it doesn’t back up my apps, it does back up all my other data, including contacts, saved text messages and photos to my PC for easy transfer to the new phone.

The neat thing about SyncDroid is that it comes as both an Android app and a Windows program you can install on your PC. The two programs work together to transfer your phone data over your wireless network to a local folder on your PC.

But the neatness doesn’t stop there. The Android version of SyncDroid is also capable of backing up your data directly to your Dropbox, which is another reason why I find Dropbox so handy. Either way, you’ll never lose your phone data again.

Use your phone as a speedometer.

Cell phones can certainly do a lot nowadays. You can use them to browse the web, take pictures, play games and even make phone calls. It never even occurred to me that you can also use them as speedometers that measure your speed and distance.

I recently came across DigiHUD Speedometer which does just that. It uses your phone’s GPS to perform its magic and works so well that I’ve invested in a cell phone mount for my bike just so I can continue using it without my hanging on to my phone.

The only downside is that it uses your phone’s GPS and won’t work without it. Prior to embarking on my two-wheel venture I need to make sure that the GPS is on and that my phone can pick up the signal, which takes some time but the wait is worth it. This app is a real marvel.

Essential apps from DU Apps.

Recently I made the move to the 21st century and upgraded to an Android-based cell phone. Since then I’ve been having fun browsing the Google Play Store and trying out some of the apps I find of interest there. Some apps don’t stay installed for long as I tire of them quickly while others have proven themselves so useful I continue using them every day.

The apps from DU Apps Studio definitely fit in the Useful category. I have two of them installed, starting with the DU Speed Booster, which keeps your phone running in peak condition by cleaning up junk files, optimizing the RAM and terminating unnecessary processes that run in the background. It also has a built-in virus scanner that scans any apps you download and confirms they’re safe for use.

The virus scanner actually saved my phone once. I was downloading a silly app from the Google Play Store that claims to detect the presence of ghosts when Speed Booster intervened to inform me the app was malicious. I uninstalled it right away before it could do any harm. This was the one and only time I got such an alert from all the apps I’ve downloaded. I wonder how such an app even made it to Google Play in the first place.

Other cool features include easy access to the App Uninstaller and the Permission Manager that gives you control of what the apps can access on your phone. It’s scary to see how nosy a lot of them are.

The companion DU Battery Optimizer app maximizes your usage between charges. It terminates any power-hungry processes that drain your battery and helps you implement simple changes to your phone settings to prolong your battery’s life, such as turning off your Wi-Fi, adjusting the brightness and decreasing the idle time before the phone sleeps. It even calculates the additional usage time you gain as a result of these changes.

This app really opened my eyes as to what really goes on in my phone. Some of the apps quietly set themselves up to start when I turn on my phone while others start up by themselves to try connecting to the Internet, such as Dropbox and Evernote. None of them have any place to hide during the optimization process.

These are some serious quality apps that work wonders. They should come pre-installed on every phone.