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How does DoggCatcher use SD cards and large built-in storage?

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If you landed here because of a "Storage Problem" notification in DoggCatcher, skip down to KitKat Storage Directory Configuration

Overview

You can configure DoggCatcher's storage directory to be any directory on your device that applications have write access to. In this directory, DoggCatcher will store media files, feed thumbnail images, and backups.

The setting is managed in DoggCatcher's Settings/Miscellaneous/Storage Directory.

KitKat Storage Directory Configuration

Prior to Android 4.4 (KitKat), you could select just about any directory on your SD card or large built-in storage device if you have one. Starting with Android 4.4, on some devices, the locations that applications can write to have been restricted.

If DoggCatcher is displaying a notification labeled 'Storage Problem' and your device was recently updated to Android 4.4, it is likely that this is affecting you.

Steps to correct configuration

  • Open DoggCatcher menu (... at the top right)
  • Press Settings > Miscellaneous > Storage Directory
  • Press on one of the orange entries, then confirm by pressing "Yes"
  • Press "Ok" to restart Doggcatcher

This will auto-configure DoggCatcher to use the directory that Android determines that we should store data.

Steps to correct configuration - if only some feeds are failing

If you have any feeds which have been configured with a custom storage directory, they will need to be reset to the default setting

  • Open the feed options for each feed
  • Scroll down to feed storage directory and press the 'default' button

Copying previously downloaded media files from the old storage location

This is optional but avoids re-downloading all of your media files.

  • Determine the old location of the media files - usually "/storage/extSdCard/DoggCatcher", but sometimes "extSdCard" is replaced with something similar
  • Determine the new location of the media files - re-open the Storage Directory in the settings and take a look at the text box at the bottom - usually something like - "/storage/extSdCard/Android/Data/com.snoggdoggler.android.applications.doggcatcher.v1_0"
  • Use an Android file manager to copy the media files from the old location to the new location - E.g. - /storage/extSdCard/Android/Data/com.snoggdoggler.android.applications.doggcatcher.v1_0/files. We recommend - ES File Explorer File Manager Available at Google Play Store
  • Open DoggCatcher and press on the Audio tab to verify that your previously downloaded media files are available
  • If all is OK delete DoggCatcher directory located at (/storage/extSdCard/DoggCatcher)

Details about the problem and its cause

Android 4.4 places new restrictions on applications that limit their access to only directories like this:
/[whatever your device's path is]/Android/Data/com.snoggdoggler.android.applications.doggcatcher.v1_0 - Paid version
/[whatever your device's path is]/Android/Data/com.snoggdoggler.android.applications.doggcatcher.premium - Lite/Premium version

If you had DoggCatcher configured to use your removable SD and then received an Android OS update that seems to have broken DoggCatcher's ability to download and playback media, then you are likely being affected by this change in Android. In that cause, you'll need to reconfigure DoggCatcher to use the new directory mentioned above.

DoggCatcher will attempt to detect the best locations for your storage directory but devices vary quite a bit, so if you run into problems, please let us know so we can update DoggCatcher to better support your device.

IMPORTANT WARNING
Another important change in the Android OS update is that if you use one of the storage directories that contain "Android/Data", when the application is uninstalled, all of your media files, feed thumbnails, and backups will be DELETED.

There is some very interesting reading on this topic here - http://www.androidpolice.com/2014/02/17/external-blues-google-has-brough...

Maybe not so interesting for most, but here are the tech details - http://source.android.com/devices/tech/storage/

42 Comments

I've been walking around your site trying to get around the kitkat issue but I still didn't manage to solve my problem.
You say I should change the storage directory but when it does it crashes.

What should i do?
Thanks,
Damm

There is resolved bug issue: Crash when configuring storage directory on KitKat if no storage device is mounted - http://mantis.doggcatcher.com/view.php?id=1880 - currently being beta tested and should be released on the next production version of DC this Friday or the following.
If you wish to join the beta group, see the FAQ article posted in the forum for information on how to do so ( http://www.doggcatcher.com/node/4189 )

I did an Android software update on my T-Mobile Galaxy S4 this morning and discovered I couldn't download new podcasts to my external SD card directory. I called Samsumg aupport about this and they say that the problem on Android 4.4.2 which is preventing Doggcatcher from writing on an external SD card is a Doggcatcher bug and needs a software fix by Doggcatcher. Apparently there is a new standard which all developers are expected to follow in order to write on external SD cards. Many of my installed applications are already able to do this but not Doggcatcher. If you go into Settitings, Application Manager to get a list of installed apps, then press the heading SDCARD you will get a list of applications which are compatible with Android 4.4.2 and can write on the external SD card. Is it possible the necessary corrections could be made to Doggcatcher so that it can wrote on the external SD card after the Android software is upgraded to 4.4.2 and above? Thanks/

From the "Storage Directory" screen, (In the DC Menu>Settings>Miscellaneous>Storage Directory) press on (/storage/extSdCard/Android/Data) in orange - then press "Yes' on the dialog box - this should auto-fill the storage directory box down below - on the second dialog box press OK - DC will restart

The DC created storage directory should look like this from a file manager "See below"

(/storage/extSdCard/Android/Data/com.snoggdoggler.android.applications.doggcatcher.v1_0)

To access previously downloaded media, you will have to manually move/copy DC's storage directory from (/storage/extSdCard/DoggCatcher) to (/storage/extSdCard/Android/Data/com.snoggdoggler.android.applications.doggcatcher.v1_0) or create virtual feeds for the podcasts at the original storage location.

Step 1 Open a file manager (Recommended - ES File Explorer File Manager Available at Google Play Store) - Locate (/storage/extSdCard/DoggCatcher) copy DoggCatcher folder to (/storage/extSdCard/Android/Data/com.snoggdoggler.android.applications.doggcatcher.v1_0/files)
Step 2 Open DC verify you can payback previously downloaded media files .
Step 3 If all is OK delete DC directory located at (/storage/extSdCard/DoggCatcher)

Procedure works perfectly

It worked perfectly or fixing the issues I had with my Galaxy s3 after the kitkat update.

Most notably that Doggcatcher was unable to download podcasts.

Thank you.

I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 running 4.4.2 and when I select /storage/extSdCard/Android/Data as the storage directory Doggcatcher is still saying it's Limited. I moved files there (Computer\SCH-I605\Card\Android\data\com.snoggdoggler.android.applications.doggcatcher.v1_0\DoggCatcher\EpisodeEnclosures\etc...) and they're not showing up in DoggCatcher. What am I doing wrong?

The storage directory will always be listed as 'Limited" due to the Android 4.4 update & Android may not recognize files managed by a PC, try using Samsung's default file manager to copy/move files to the (/storage/extSdCard/Android/Data/com.snoggdoggler.android.applications.doggcatcher.v1_0) location

It took me forever to get a combination of a storage directory setting that worked, was actually on my SD card, and then getting the files moved to the correct location, but I did it. For whatever reason, the file manager I used wouldn't let me move the actual audio files to the SD card so I had to connect it to my PC and move them. Seems to be working now but if there's any way to simplify this process it would be greatly appreciated!

Currently it's not possible since the KiKat update Google (Android developers) has decided to limit read/write permissions on the external sd card to most, if not all third party apps to the Android/Data directory.

Since the latest update the "Storage Problem" notification keeps popping up, despite not having any problems (on KitKat 4.4.3).
I'm using /storage/sdcard1/ (My SD card, obviously), is there a way to stop this notification from popping up without disabling all notifications entirely?

Can you please exit the app, start it up, and then 'report problem' in the dc menu right after you see the notification.

Thanks.

Just updated my AT&T \ Samsung Galaxy S3 to Android version 4.4.2 (baseband version I747UCUFNE4) and DoggCatcher is giving me a "Storage Problem" everytime it tries to do an update. All downloads were saved to my /storage/extSdCard/DoggCatcher, but since the OS update, it will not write to it anymore.

DoggCatcher version: 1.2.4068 \ Release Channel: Paid

I have followed all the suggestions mentioned with no success. The list below hightlights my discoveries:

1. All podcast that were there before will continue to play.
2. No new podcast gets downloaded.
3. I have reinstalled DoggCatcher and remove all folders; but DoggCatcher will not create any folder on the extSdCard.
4. However, if the storage directory is [Default] - /storage/emulated/0, then no problem.
5. Tried manually creating storage directory on extSdCard and moved the files to it; no problem playing all the podcast, but again no new can be downloaded.

What am I doing wrong?

Repeat the steps to point DC to the new Android data location (/storage/extSdCard/Android/Data/com.snoggdoggler.android.applications.doggcatcher.v1_0)

Then on the feeds screen long press on each feed with error notification>press "Feed Options">Scroll down to “Feed storage directory” & press on the “Default” option

There seems to be an issue on some devices after changing to the Android data location, some feeds are still pointed to the old (/storage/extSdCard/DoggCatcher) location that no longer works or now non existent storage directory

Hi there again,

Your instructions seems to work, except that now i'm getting this message
Error playing episode - java.lang.Exception: Playback error in listener

> Some files seems to be OK, but not always.
> DoggCatcher seems to hang up for 15+ seconds before I get the error message
> Usually If I persist, it will eventually play.
> I've tried switching from Integrated Player to External player with not much effect.

Please advise. Thanks.

Try deleting the episode with the error & re-downloading it again

Tried reinstalling Doggcatcher, and it makes no difference where the downloaded files are located. Is there a compatibility problem with 4.4.2 update?

Uninstalling/re-installing the app wouldn't resolve the playback problem if you getting a playback error with same media file whether it's stored on the external sd card or device storage

It's possible the particular file isn't supported by Android

All the podcast were playing before the 4.4.2 update. Funny thing is that if i keep trying to play the file, either by exciting DoggCatcher or try another and then back again, eventually it will play, unless the there is some notification or phone rings, then I start all over again, and from the very start and not where it was last left off. Any suggestions?

Send a log right after a playback error occurs (In the DC Menu>Report problem) probably something wrong with the Android player

Note 3 just updated to 4.4.4. Attempted the above fix (select the orange entry under storage directory), but it had no affect on the issue. Continue to get the storage issue error. Tried to submit a report in app, but that also errors because the app can't write to the directory.

Redid the steps above. It is pointed to the android/data location. Went into the individual feeds to make sure default storage directory was selected. No effect on the error.

The SD card could be corrupted, try another card to verify or reformat. Reformatting will delete all media stored on the card

no SD card installed. I am working off the internal storage while having this issue.

That's why you're experiencing this issue, point DC to {Default} - /storage/emulated/0 for internal storage - then press OK - the Android Data location isn't necessary when you're using internal storage.

Repeat the steps to point DC to the new Android data location (/storage/extSdCard/Android/Data/com.snoggdoggler.android.applications.doggcatcher.v1_0)
From the "Storage Directory" screen, press on (/storage/extSdCard/Android/Data) or
(/storage/sdcard1/Android/Data) in orange - then press "Yes' on the dialog box - this should auto-fill the storage directory box down below - on the second dialog box press OK - DC should restart
Then on the feeds screen long press on each feed with error notification>press "Feed Options">Scroll down to “Feed storage directory” & press on the “Default” option

I had storage directory error on internal storage after the 4.4.4 update. Have tried pointing to new location in directions here, reset it back to defaut, have uninstalled and reinstalled the app, verified individual feed locations while trying both locations. Still broken after update.

The internal storage maybe full, check in your device settings>more>storage - check if other apps have the same error, if so & internal memory isn't the problem....check with your carrier or device manufacture to see if they can resolve the problem

I gather that Google has opened up access to the SD card again, but if I understand correctly, apps need to access new APIs to be able to use this "new/old" functionality.
Is my understanding correct, does DC need to be updated to support this?
Reference, e.g.: http://www.androidpolice.com/2014/11/04/android-5-0-makes-sd-cards-great...

When I first bought this I had the same issue - inability to place my storage folder on the external SD. I gave up and just let it use the internal, but now the internal is getting too full and I'm back at trying to change it.

I've tried everything listed above, multiple times, and get the "storage problem" error no matter where I try to put the storage directory on the external SD.

I've got a Samsung S3 mini, Android 4.2.2. I've "reported problem" when the error is happening.

Just for the heck of it, I reformatted the SD (in the phone) and then changed the directory to the card, and it worked - the card's folder location was shown in green when choosing a location, and new podcasts downloaded. Then, overnight, it became "read only" again and fails, reporting any location I pick on the external as "read only". I assume immediately after the format for some reason the phone did not set permissions on the external, but it caught up with that later...

Should I just give up? I have plenty of internal storage for apps (8 gb) but I listen to a lot of different podcasts and seems silly I can't store them on the external to keep the internal memory clear for apps.

Try a different card, the current one you're using could be defective & that's what's causing the problem.. since you reformatted and the error returned after awhile.

Thanks for the suggestion, but this is the third or fourth SD card I've used in the phone. I have multiples around the house, from 2G to 32G and I've tried several of them. I've tried formatting with the phone as well as formatting on a PC... In all cases the symptom is the same - works for a short period, then becomes "read only".

In all cases, the SD card works fine for any other normal purpose. I can read/write to it using ES File Explorer or Total Commander.

One note I just realized... Many of these posts refer to the creation of a Doggcatcher-specific folder on the external, in the Android/Data folder. I have no such folder. Whether Doggcatcher is pointed at the internal memory or external SD, no such folder appears. I've been attempting to point Doggcatcher to locations elsewhere on the card.

Is that the issue? Is it because Doggcatcher hasn't done something to create it's own data storage folder on the external, and therefore Android doesn't think it "owns" any location on the external?

If so is there some way to force that to happen? Perhaps I should just manually create a folder under Android/Data with the naming conventions described here?

What version of DC is installed on your device? Also send a log right after the read/write failure (In the DC navigation Menu>Report Problem)

so.... I gave up on this, I did submit a problem report but nothing came of it....

Now, I've changed phones - and rooted the phone I have - in the hopes of changing this behavior but no such luck...

I'm currently on a Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini (SM-G800F) running KitKat 4.4.2 (kernel version 3.4.39-5365191.) Doggcatcher is v 1.2.4113 paid release)

My social security number is..... nevermind.....

This time around I rooted the phone - just to TRY to end this SD card stupidity. That doesn' t seem to have fixed this problem (or, really, any problems with SD card access.)

If I check with RootChecker it verifies the phone is rooted. I ran SDFix, and then opened platforms.xml and verified the proper entry was made under the write permissions for external SD (as is described on many websites.) Of course I've re-booted multiple times....

If I reformat the SD using the phone, immediately after that I'm able to read/write to the phone. At some point after that, however, that stops being possible.

In this case (last night), I reformatted, found the appropriate folder on the SD card (under Android/Data/etc...), changed Doggcatcher's default storage folder (it was shown in list in Orange), then closed DC and copied my old DC directory structure over to that location.

I opened DC, forced a download. That worked fine - no "Storage Problem error".

Given past history, I postponed sacrificing a goat to the gods in thanks...

And, just fyi, I also started an overnight transfer of my backup for the SD card contents (music and pictures) from my PC back to the phone, again using the phone - (ES File Explorer) rather than hooking it up by wire to the PC - just because I figured if I use the software on the phone it might have a better chance of setting the proper permissions during the copy process than if I force things by tapping into the phone from a PC. Maybe meaningless, I don't know.

So.. I get up this morning, and:

1) DC no longer can download to the storage folder that it had no problem with last night. If I try, I get "storage problem".
2) If i try to play podcasts that show downloaded (they have the play icon in them and give file sizes), they do not play. Noting happens when I click Play. The UI changes to the same view I would have if I WERE playing (time elapsed and remaining) but tapping the play icon does nothing.
3) The other files and folders I transferred (music and pictures) are no longer accessible to any other apps on the phone either.

I've tried using TotalCommander to change the permissions on the DoggCatcher folder (and others) to 777 but that seems to do nothing - both for Doggcatcher's problem as well as anything else on the card.

Seems pretty obvious to me that when I reformat the SD card it completes that task with full read/write access for everything, then at some point something in the OS recognizes this, says "we can't have our users getting access to THEIR OWN DATA!!!" God forbid - then it changes that.

Now, fyi, my phone appears to have some bit of security software called "Samsung KNOX" on it. I don't know if this is related, but in the phone settings there is something telling me that "SE Android" is running in "enforced" mode. I've read the link below, I'm not sure if I completely understand it or whether it might be impacting this. As a result, since "bricking the phone" is not my objective (nor is going back to factory and having to reconfigure everything) I have not done that yet. If we think it might change this, however, I'd risk it.

http://searchmobilecomputing.techtarget.com/tip/How-to-manage-and-modify...

As the immediate question - how do I get around this for DC? I've submitted the problem report. I really, really do not want to use the phone's internal storage for podcasts if I don't have to. I have a long commute by train, I often have several gig of podcasts downloaded and lined up (data connections are spotty during some of the commute, don't want to get stuck). I'd rather not suck up 1/2 my internal storage with podcasts

And, if anyone reading this has any tips on how to change this globally for the entire card, that would be great. ALL I want to do is be able to read and write MY DATA to the card, I don't give a crap about moving apps there or anything else that might represent a "security risk".

Help us Obi-Wan, you're our only hope!

Are you using the same SD Card as before or a new one?

I'll have to check. I have many micro-SD's around the house. Just to be sure, tonight I'll try changing it - I'll plug it in, reformat it using the phone's system, and do the same process of pointing DoggCatcher to the SD.

Fingers are crossed, I hope it's that easy!

Try a new card if you can, older cards can be defective and cause the problems you're experiencing, even after reformatting the original or other older cards.

OK, so I NEVER would have believed this one but I did swap out the SD and so far it appears to be working. Here are the steps so far...

1) Removed existing micro-SD (32G).
2) Replaced with random SD around the house (4G).
3) Pointed DC to that SD (using the proper Android/Data/blah,blah, blah directory for DC). Listed in orange in the choice selection.
4) Copied existing Episode Enclosures folder to the SD card directory.
5) Started some new downloads - worked fine.
6) Left it on overnight, checked again in morning - forced a download, worked fine.
7) Playback of existing files works fine.

So... when the "bad" card was in the phone it exhibted no problems except inability for KitKat to write to it - which is a known KitKat issue. Reformatting the SD in the phone "fixed" that problem - for some short time - then it recurred. I made an assumption that KitKat was reasserting it's rights to limit permissions to the card.

I've now taken that card out and checked it in a PC and I can see nothing wrong with it. Read/write is fine, reformatting works fine, etc.

God only knows what could possibly be wrong with the SD that could create this error condition but not manifest itself in any other way, but now I'm buying a new card.

Just fyi, I also know in the past I've found 32G micro-SD's to be a bit flaky. I've had at least one other that "just stopped working" (and couldn't be resurrected by reformatting in a computer), so maybe there's something about cramming that much data on a card. I'm going to try smaller cards...

These solutions did not work for me. I have a gs4 lollipop from the Sprint network . I've even tried removing the SD card putting it on Windows machine a checking for errors still doggcatcher can't write to the SD card what do I do now

Please try a new card, sometimes cards that work on Windows devices, just won't work on some Android devices..even when the card has been reformatted

I have tried and failed several times to configure DC's podcast storage to the SD card. (I have run out of space on the interal storage). Any advice, or is it even possible to do this for DC on the Samsung Galaxy S7?

See FAQ post "Why am I experiencing external storage (SD Cards) problems after my device has been upgraded to Marshmallow (Android 6.0)?" - http://www.doggcatcher.com/node/6493 - This info also applies to devices running Android 7.0 Nougat & 8.0 Oreo