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Uploading new songs to my phone causes album art to disappears from some existing songs in playlists

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I'm a big fan of Poweramp in general & have been using it for years on various Samsung phones.  However I keep running into a small but frustrating recurring bug.

I currently use a Samsung Galaxy Fold 4 although this was also a problem on the Samsung Galaxy S21 I had previously. I always update to the latest software versions.

As a big music fan, I am always adding new songs to my phone's music library, which I do on my PC, in Windows Explorer, via a physical link to my phone. Usually when I add a song, I will be creating a new directory since I organise my music files by having a directory for every album I fully or partially own. Occasionally I move or delete a directory.

When I have made these changes and the changes take effect in Poweramp, I often find that existing songs whose files are located in the same part of the directory tree will lose their album art in the playlists they appear in. This only affects playlists. The songs still have their album art if I search for them individually and look them up within their albums. However the art is gone from the playlists they are in. Instead you see the Poweramp logo for that song. The song is still there in the playlist and does play, just without any art.

In the latest example where this happened (today), I added 1 new folder containing 1 MP4 and 1 JPG under my /Music/Singles folder. That new song is now appearing in my playlists with its correct art but all the other songs that are located in subdirectories under the Singles directory have lost their album art in every playlist they appear in.

Usually when this happens I can restore the art by using the Rescan / Resolve Playlists function. Sometimes that doesn't work however. When it doesn't, I have tried rebooting the phone and also using the Recan and Full Rescan functions under Settings. Again, sometimes these things work and sometimes not. Today none of these worked. When rescanning doesn't work, the only way I know to get the art back in the playlists is to remove each song from all its playlists and add it again. This can be  time consuming depending on how many songs are affected.

Any advice on how I might avoid or fix this in future would be gratefully received, Thank you.

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What is happening is that during a routine background rescan for new music, PA for some reason is not getting access to some of the subfolders on your storage. This will mean that any links in Playlists that point to those locations can no longer detect the files that they are refererencing, hence the filename-only entry gets shown for an orphaned entry.

On the next rescan, the main Library database will be repopulated again with the missing items, but corrupted playlists won't be re-updated as they are now broken in memory.

For internally created playlists, the 'Resolve/Rescan Playlists' function should fix this (as long as the files haven't really been moved of course).

For external playlists (e.g. M3U files) the M3U file is not re-read from storage when you use the Resolve function, so you need to do a FULL Rescan.

@maxmp is aware of this issue as I've been working through this problem with him, and there should be a fix (or at least a workaround) in the next Poweramp beta release.

In the meantime, if an external playlist gets into this corrupted state DO NOT make any changes whatsoever to the songs or their order in the list, as the corrupted data may be permanently written back to the M3U file.


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21 hours ago, kevint1972 said:

I assume what I've done wrong when it's been permanent is I've added newly loaded songs to playlists before I've noticed the problem and rescanned. 

Yes, I suspect that's what will have happened.

When PA first reads a playlist file, it tries to find matches with any songs & containing folder names in its internal database. Thus it knows in future the exact Android path to fetch. When you make any edits or changes to such a playlist, PA has to write the entire file back out to storage again in its modified layout (even if only a single line might have changed the whole file has to be re-written).

Thus an original PC-copied M3U file might look like this:


EXTINF:0,A Thousand Years (Radio Edit) - Christina Perri.mp3
D:\Music\TV, Films & Shows\Film Music\A Thousand Years (Radio Edit) - Christina Perri.mp3

#EXTINF:0,10 - Together In Electric Dreams - Giorgio Moroder ; Phil Oakey.mp3
D:\Music\TV, Films & Shows\Electric Dreams\10 - Together In Electric Dreams - Giorgio Moroder ; Phil Oakey.mp3

#EXTINF:0,01 - Love Is All Around - Wet Wet Wet.mp3
D:\Music\TV, Films & Shows\Four Weddings and a Funeral\01 - Love Is All Around - Wet Wet Wet.mp3

And it should get correctly re-written using PA's internal (Android) playlist layout as:


D0D8-84ED/Audio/Films/Film Music/A Thousand Years (Radio Edit) - Christina Perri.mp3

D0D8-84ED/Audio/Films/Electric Dreams/10 - Together In Electric Dreams - Giorgio Moroder ; Phil Oakey.mp3

D0D8-84ED/Audio/Films/Four Weddings and a Funeral/01 - Love Is All Around - Wet Wet Wet.mp3

Where this breaks down though is if PA has (still for reasons unknown) lost the directory path details for some or all of the songs. In that case, those song filenames will get written back to the M3U file with no folder information - and thus that song can never be found when the now-broken M3U file gets read again later:


A Thousand Years (Radio Edit) - Christina Perri.mp3

10 - Together In Electric Dreams - Giorgio Moroder ; Phil Oakey.mp3

01 - Love Is All Around - Wet Wet Wet.mp3

When you look at your M3U files in a text editor, is that what you see for the broken entries? Prior to them being rewritten with missing folder details, a FULL Rescan would simply re-read the original (PC-originated) M3U file, resolve the songs again, and all would be fine. But once the folder names are gone, PA won't ever be able to find the songs any more.


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