MobileSheets Forums

Full Version: Inability to access ext card
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
My new Samsung P900 is greatly limited in what I can use the external card for. Although stock apps are allowed r/w access, this is not true of anything else . in my case, of course, this means Mobilesheets Sad .

I had the same problem with my Colorfly, but managed to find a method of gaining r/w access through a simple modification of a file (documented elsewhere on this forum).

However, even this route has now been blocked by KitKat and above and the only way to make the necessary changes requires rooting the device. Personally, I'm not about to root (and potentially void my warranty on) something I paid 500 euros for only a week ago. Next year, I might be more willing to do so.

Many MS users have quite a lot of data stored and it can be a lot more convenient if this data is on the external card, particularly for devices with limited internal memory.

Hunting the 'net revealed this little gem;

"KitKat doesn't prevent use of the SD card. It instead requires programs that want to write/read the SD card to do it in a different more secure manner. The real issue is that many programers have not updated their APPS to conform to this new security feature. So if your preferred app doesn't conform complain to the developer to get onboard. Clearly if the stock phone programs work then any program can work if it follows the correct protocalls."

If this is the case - and I have no reason to think it isn't true - then I think I have to ask Mike what he knows about this and if any changes will be made to MS to accommodate this requirement?
I just got mine. I happened to read that Samsung is starting a rollout of a update to ver 5, maybe that will help.
(05-06-2015, 12:42 AM)Skip Wrote: [ -> ]Graeme;
I just got mine. I happened to read that Samsung is starting a rollout of a update to ver 5, maybe that will help.

Maybe, but all the reading I've been doing lately suggests that this is a 'feature' which is part of Google's on-going development of Android and any future updates to the OS will still require third-party apps to adhere to the newly implemented protocol. Which is a long-winded way of saying don't hold your breath Smile .

Personally, I believe that I paid quite a lot of money for a product and the manufacturers of that product should not be dictating to me as to how I should use it - in my opinion, that is my choice, not theirs. To sell a device with a large external memory potential and then deny its use seems at best stupid and at worst, draconian. Not to tell me, before purchase, this is the case - see if you can find anything in the specs that says you can only use the external memory for a limited number of apps, I can't - is almost tantamount to not telling the purchaser the truth and possibly flouts consumer law.

The implementation of this new protocol has, apparently, broken quite a few user-installed apps already and there's been quite a groundswell of complaints along these lines, with little positive response from Google, so I guess we will just have to bite the bullet and do it their way - or change the operating system to something else.
I'm not sure I'm with you, I just took the ext card from the asus, installed it in the p900 and loaded all my files from the card to the internal memory with no problem. Then I went to the settings and selected the set storage location and it gave me the option to use the ext card. Now I'm caught up, the ext card errors out as read only when I tried to backup to the ext card.

Edit: I just found a post that says the app has to 'request' to write to the external card. So it looks like the ball is passed to Mike [unless you root].

I totally agree with you on device use. At the minimum they should have given us the option between the two ways or described how a user could change to r/w.
AFAIK, anything can read the card, writing to it is another kettle of fish entirely.

It certainly seems the ball has been firmly placed in the hands of the developer (and not just Mike, all third-party developers).
For the strange behaviour regarding SD card usage Android has to be blamed.
Regarding MobileSheets:
MS does not need write access to your score files. So if you find a way to copy them onto the SD card MS is working fine using them from there.
My personal workflow is that I copy all my "one file per song" files into "SD0" / "emulated 0" / "legacy 0" meaning that part of the internal memory that is handled by Android like it handled formerly the external, removable SD card. A number of these files are ChordPro files that I edit occasionally on the tablet.
I have several fakebooks as complete big PDFs in use that add up to some hundreds of megabytes. So I stored them on the external, removable SD card. This setup works really well for me.
Except one issue that I already addressed in a different thread: when I restore a backup with "restore files to their original locations" MS reports an error that not all files could be written - meaning that due to missing acces rights MS could not restore the files onto the external SD card. My proposal is that MS should list the failed files in detail so that I can easily make sure that everything is in the correct place.
I agree that Google takes the blame for all of this nonsense.

I don't agree that, because of the situation you are now in, you should be forced to jump through those hoops - just to use your external memory. I know it can be done, the question is, why should we be forced into doing it?
Just to add to the conversation: With Android 4.4 (KitKat), there is only one way I can write to the SD card, and that is if you use the following directory - <extSdCard Path>/Android/data/com.zubersoft.mobilesheetspro/files. If you create those folders, my app will have no problem writing to that folder, and any folders you create under it. If you go into the MS Pro settings, and click the storage location option, this is the path that is used if you tap the SD card icon and you have an external SD card present.

On Lollipop, Google did provide a mechanism for developers to access the external SD card again, but it's a huge pain. I would basically have to change every spot in my application where I access files to instead go through Google's new API to request access to a specific external SD card folder or file. It would require major changes, and it would only affect devices running Lollipop, which would mean about 10% of my users. That's not to say I won't try to do this at some point - it's just going to take time and effort.

As a side note, if you use the path I listed above for Lollipop, you will also have no problems writing to that folder. The restrictions Google has in place are for folders on the external SD card that are not in the dedicated application storage path.

Mike, thank you for the information. Why Google have decided to go this route is anyone's guess and it seems a pity they can't trust their users a little more.

Although I can't remember what I did before, I probably ignored your pre-populated directory route in favour of one of my own choosing. Obviously, a big mistake to think I could name my own directories and expect it to work. I'll have another go later today (currently in the middle of a plumbing emergency).

I fear you will have, at some time, to go though the pain of changing everything to accommodate Lollipop. It might only represent 10% of MS users today but, as people buy new tablets and existing users upgrade - either deliberately, or by having it thrust upon them - that figure is bound to increase.
Adding that to the manual may help, at least it will provide a reference to point to.

Edit: I changed to the recommended path on my card and added a folder, '900 backups', because all of the songs in the library are located in 'files' and the backup was at the end. Numbered folders are placed at the beginning of the list, making the backups easier to get to. I used ES File Explorer to make the additional folder. The complete path, as shown on my p-900, is; Root>storage>extSDCard>Android>data>com.zubersoft.mobilesheets...>files>900 Backups.
I backed up the whole library and then set the external card path, as outlined by Mike a couple of posts above. Restored and it all worked well - everything is now located on the removable storage, as I wanted it to be. Since it seems that I can create sub-directories under the obligatory one, I'll probably follow Skip's lead and do some minor re-organisation for ease of access.

I also agree that this is a point which should be emphasised in the manual - many of us would not expect this Google limitation.
I've added a section to the manual about external SD card access. I'll probably need to add some more information along with updates to the FAQ, as this is bound to be a common problem.

On a side note, I really think I'm going to need to create something more akin to a "Quick Start Guide", as I think the current size of the manual is too much for most users to want to read.