Thursday, 17 April 2014

Linux, Android, Banshee and file systems

I recently signed up to a new mobile contract, which came with a shiny new Xperia Z1 Android phone. The phone has been greate so far in the couple of months I've had it, but I've just encounted my first real irritation.

Trying to get Banshee to sync music to the SD card in phone is proving tricky. When I run the sync I get bucket loads of errors in the Banshee log:

"Error setting permissions: Function not implemented"

So I figure this must be a filesystem issue and formatted the card into NTFS, where I have had success in the past. Then when I reboot the phone it sees the card format as NTFS and wont let me use it without formatting it back to exFAT.

It seems the phone REALLY wants the SD card to be formatted in exFAT!

Before I got to this point I had to persuade my Fedora 20 system to mount the xperia z1 phone via a USB cable. At first it wouldn't recognise the card, but installing of two packages (fuse-exfat and exfat-utils) seem to sort that.

The system file explorer could copy files back and forth quite happily, so that works. It's just Banshee that's having issues with this exFAT SD card.

I closed Banshee as a bad job while I did some Googling, when I reopened Banshee I discovered the file count shown for the SD card had increased. It seems Banshee had managed to copy my music over despite lots of misleading errors.

So while I don't know how to stop those errors about not being able to set the permissions, it seems Banshee is actually doing what I want.

In case you are wondering, it turns out exFAT is a Microsoft proprietry filesystem they are hawking as the filesystem of choice for larger capacity memory cards.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ExFAT
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