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Some months ago I spent considerable time creating a playlist containing thousands of songs.   I recently tried to return to it and play music.  The playlist name is still there but contains 0 tracks.   I have not changed the directory structure or even added any tracks. 

 

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This is an often discussed subject. What most likely has happened is that you either removed your sdcard while the device was switched on or it somehow through a malfunction, did not see its sdcard and found it again.

when this happens both android and Poweramp kick off a media rescan. As the "removed" data is no longer found, both update their media databases by removing the lost entries. Once the sdcard is recognised again, eg reinserted, again mefia scanning takes place, this time adding the newly found media. However, the media is treated as new and any links to the previous entries are lost. Hence your empty playlists.

Always make sure you export your playlists as .m3u8 files. This is the only way to back them up

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It's notexactly clear how you do that (backup to m3u8 files).  I created a playlist,  'Exported' it.  Deleted it and then did the 'import' thing and .... it's gone!

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Why import as you already have it as an internal Poweramp playlist? There must be something i am missing.  Poweramp only imports native android playlists into its own database

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I did a test.  I created a playlist,  exported it,  deleted it in Poweramp and then tried to import it but nothing imported. 

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Got it. Poweramp does not import .m3u8 playlists, there is no need. It will pick up the exported .m3u8 playlist  and treat it like a normal playlist, They show up under File based pkaylists.  Exporting is mainly as a backup.

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When you export, Poweramp tells you where it will be saved. After that you can either copy it to a folder which is scanned by Poweramp, or go into Settings, Folders and Library, Music Folders. Make sure the relevant folders are selected.

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As TheoKlink has said, there are two types of playlist. When you create one inside the app using the Add to Playlist feature, it is somewhat transient, local to Poweramp and only saved in an internal database within the app.These 'internal' playlists simply refer to songs within Poweramp's library database. As you have unfortunately found out, if a song vanishes from the library (even briefly) then it also permanently vanishes from any playlist that may reference it. Entries lost this way cannot be recovered as the file is considered as having been deleted, so if a song re-appears in the library later during a subsequent scan then it is a 'new' item; playlist entries for 'old' lost song files cannot be restored.

The other sort of playlist is based on a physical file which has a .M3U or .M3U8 extension (these are both slight variants of the same format, there's a technical difference in available character sets only). This is simply a text file which contains a list of song files along with the path details to find each song. These external M3U(8) files are read automatically from storage during a Poweramp scan whenever they are noticed - as long as they are in a location that Poweramp is permitted to read (defined in Settings > Folders and Library > Music Folders).

External playlists are more robust, Poweramp cannot change the contents of the files themselves, and a file can contain references to songs which are not in Poweramp's library, or which have been removed from it. Of course if a song is not in the PA library then that playlist entry can't be played, but should the song file be returned to the library later then that part of the playlist will again be playable.

The 'Export' function simply makes a copy of each Internal playlist (i.e. the local database ones) as physical .M3U8 files, so you can use them elsewhere or if you need to uninstall and reinstall Poweramp. The playlist files simply contain the full paths to every song in that playlist, so if a file has later been moved then the playlist may not know where to find it, but the entry will still be present. To be re-loaded into Poweramp there is no need to manually 'Import' them, simply place the file in a location that Poweramp already scans and it will be loaded automatically.

The 'Import' function in Poweramp is specifically designed to bring playlists that were created in within the main Android system of your device (e.g. made by the system's own Music app) into Poweramp. It does this by making a duplicate local copy within PA's database, as described above. It does NOT import any file-based lists, as mentioned previously those are dealt with automatically by the scanner.

Andre

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Thank you andrewilley for that very detailed explanation.  After adding the 'Playlist' folder to PA's scan function I then see my deleted playlist.  However,  it shows as 'Not loaded'  When I tap on it to load it,  it says it has zero tracks. 

Edited by lyntonc

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Could you take a look at the contents of the playlist file in a text editor/viewer? It should be a text file containing a simple line-by-line list of all the song files (with full path details). Do those entries match correctly with where the song files are actually stored on your device?

Andre

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That's very odd then, the paths are absolute so should work fine on the same device. As soon as you open a that has been scanned playlist, it should populate the contents for you (it will say zero until you open it for the first time). Could you perhaps post a few lines from the playlist file?

Andre

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Here's the first few lines:

/storage/6934-A82B/Audio/Music/Los Índios Tabajaras/20 Greatest Hits/Maria Elena.wma
/storage/6934-A82B/Audio/Music/Los Índios Tabajaras/20 Greatest Hits/Angustia de un Querer [El Amor Es Algo Maravilloso].wma
/storage/6934-A82B/Audio/Music/Los Índios Tabajaras/20 Greatest Hits/Mama Yo Quiero [Mama Eu Quero].wma
/storage/6934-A82B/Audio/Music/Los Índios Tabajaras/20 Greatest Hits/Vals en Do Sostenido.wma

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And that's the current numeric code for your SD Card, if you check it in a file explorer?

If so, then they should work fine as long as those song files are already scanned into Poweramp's library (i.e. the SD Card's Audio/Music/ folder is enabled in the MusicFolders list, in the same path format as above).

Andre

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20 hours ago, lyntonc said:

I did a test.  I created a playlist,  exported it,  deleted it in Poweramp and then tried to import it but nothing imported. 

I have been monitoring this thread for a while but I must admit, I am confused about what the actual issue is. The fact that the playlist is empty has been dealt with. The confusion for me is the exporting of the playlist to m3u8, deleting it in Poweramp and reimporting. The reimporting makes no sense to me as Poweramp only imports android playlists so this is what you will be looking at.. Remember that both Poweramp and android playlists lost their content so it seems to me that you are to importing an empty playlist from android. The second confusion is why would you not leave the original playlist (which you exported!) ??? and simply use export to as a backup

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The point is that PA imported a m3u8 file that does have something in it and then said there were zero tracks.  It was a test.  I don't want to spend hours creating a playlist list and then have the contents deleted just because the SD card becomes unmounted.  

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When you open the a-based playlist (such as the one PA that scanned from the M3U8 file you mention above) within PA, do you see the list of tracks but nothing plays, or do you see nothing at all? It might be worth trying a basic list with paths without any special characters in by the way (just simple alphanumeric) just to eliminate that as a possible issue.

Andre

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Now here's the thing!   The SD card on my phone became unmounted yet again - don't know why it does that,  the source of my PA problem.  All I do is reboot to fix it which I did.  On starting up PA and rescanning, it now reads the playlist files properly.  Problem solved.   It obviously needs to start the scanning from scratch. 

Thanx for all the patient hwlp.

 

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Great, glad you're sorted.

There is a trick if you want to save edits to file-based playlists within the app by the way. Normally, you can only make local internal changes (such as adding and removing tracks) with file-loaded playlists, but the changes are transient in that the physical file contents are not altered - which is why they are immune to losing all their contents if the file system for some reasons gets unmounted. What you need to do is long-press on the playlist's title in the "File-based Playlists" display and tap 'Add to Playlist' to create a new (internal database) copy of that existing list. You can then use the Export feature to save that updated list as a new file, which you can copy or move to the old saved location.

Andre

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Thank you yet again.   I had already  noticed that adding to the file- based playlist did not update the file.   Now I know how. 

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