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“Unknown artist”/"Unknown album"


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I use Tag&Rename on my pc to get my tags in order. I transfer my music files to my phone via Google Drive. Recently near all my transferred files have started to show “Unknown artist”/"Unknown album" in the list view. Sometimes it’s all of the files in an album and sometimes some of the files. When I open info/tags on an “unknown artist” file all the tags are there. I then have to push Edit Tags and then Save and everything is good. This I have to do with all files with unknown artist. What can cause this behaviour?

My phone is Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 stock rom and I’m on latest Poweramp.

Edited by Svendsvin
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This sounds quite much like what I where experiencing on a older firmware on my MiMax 3.

What do you do on your phone after you have added the songs to Google Drive? Do you go into the GD app and select the files and download them to your phone? Do you play them from the Download folder or do you then move them to another folder from where you play them?

My guess here is that Poweramp scans the files before they have completely downloaded to your phone. I think I saw Max mention in some other thread that there is a 20s delay from when a new file has been detected until PA runs the scan, if the file hasn't been completely downloaded in this time, then the metadata might be missing or incomplete.

Two things that I used to "force" a re-scan of the files with missing data on my phone where:

  •  Do a FULL rescan from the library settings in PA. This basically drops the database and rescans all the files. What I don't like with this is that you will loose data added.
  • Rename the file or directory from your file browser, this will trigger PA to rescan the file.
  • And also the edit tags that you mentioned.

So my assumption is that the download from GD is to slow and this triggers this problem.

I'm adding music quite often to my library so your workflow sounds to me a bit burdensome and slow, but if you only add music occasionally it might be ok, otherwise I would recommend you to change the workflow, some things that comes to mind:

  • Install FolderSync on your phone, this allows you to setup a folder pair, such as "Musik" on your GD account and a Local Musik Folder. Then what you do is kick off the sync job and all the musik files in the folder is copied to your device. IMPORTANT: There is an advanced option under the Folder-Pair, "use temporary file", this tells FolderSync to first copy the file to a temporary file and finally rename it to the right name and this triggers PA to rescan the file.
  • You can also setup a fileshare on your computer and use FolderSync to replicate the content of this folder to your phone. (This is basically what I do)
  • The Filemanager on my MiMax allows me to setup a FTP server, you can then run something like WinFTP on your PC and replicate your musik directory to your phone.

But I guess the easiest would be to try FolderSync on your phone, setup a Folder-Pair and let it handle the copy with the temporary file option.

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Sorry, I somehow missed replying to this post on Friday.

Automated sync software seems quite prone to this sort of issue, and while there doesn't appear to be any one specific answer, sometimes it seems that incomplete files are present on storage when PA's scanner notices them and adds them to the Library, but it does not find any metadata for as the file it is incomplete at the point of scanning. In other cases, the sync software itself has been known to optimise files when it copies them over - sometimes removing some embedded metadata (such as cover art). This doesn't sound like the case here though, as you can see the metadata later by viewing Info/Tags (which reads the tag data live from the file, it does not rely on previously scanned information in the Library database).

Doing a Settings > Library > FULL Rescan once all the files have been copied should resolve this anyway. If this issue persists, turn Auto-Scan off, or reduce its immediacy, in Settings > Library > Scanner. Then you can do a manual scan periodically as needed.


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@6b6561: Thanks to your answer I finally got my lazy ass in gear and set up MiXplorer's FTP server which I should have done long ago. Way smoother and way faster than GD. Thanks for that! It didn't actually solve the problem. I still saw the “Unknown artist”/"Unknown album" after transfering over FTP. The full rescan did the trick though.

@andrewilley: Thanks for answering my question. Next time I transfer files I try to disable auto scan and see what happens.

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  • 5 months later...


I hope that I might be in the right place to get a little help - seeing Andre's name above, has inspired confidence in being on this page!

My question in more of a very mild irritation.

I have been as meticulous as I humanly can be in completing the ID tags, when initially working with mp3Tag to get my current CD selection of almost 700 covers to play on my Android S20 Ultra phone, wherever I use it.

As a classical music writer, CD reviewer and musician, I know that I am extremely OCD where cataloguing is concerned so as to get the very best out of Poweramp's (full) settings, right down to correct accents not only in French words, but anything from Latvian to Maltese, to Polish to Croatian, and it never mucks up anything at all.

BUT my one annoyance is just this. When I review my collection on Powerpoint, in the 'Artist' mode, I seem always to have one cover which says 'Unknown artist', and does not have a CD cover as its image, but just the default Powerpoint icon - [4 inverted blue Vs, getting bigger from left to right] - but with nothing inside!

I try to delete this, as you would any single CD in the same Artists' view, but all it seems to do is the move the 'unknown' file around, but never makes it disappear. No bigger, of course, and now that I've got Android Auto running wirelessly in my car, Powerpoint really comes into its own as the best app (imo) for Classical Music Collections.

I don't see it in use, but I think that, if there is something which is making it appear - and it's hopefully not of my doing - then perhaps there might be a straightforward of of removing this littl cosmetic annoyance.


Many thanks, in anticipation! 

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@Wolksby So in the 'Artists' category view, you have an item showing as 'Unknown Artist'. Does it show how many albums it believes to be in that category, like this:


And what do you see if you drill-down into it, any 'Albums' at all - even blank ones? Although in my case it's just assorted old TV Themes where I don't actually know the performing artists - I really ought to Google some of them!



You could try a FULL Rescan (in PA Settings > Library) in case there's an issue with something that mis-scanned.


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