Checking media availability for Android

Posted: February 9, 2012 in Android Dev

Before you do any work with the external storage, you should always call getExternalStorageState() to check whether the media is available. The media might be mounted to a computer, missing, read-only, or in some other state. For example, here’s how you can check the availability:

boolean mExternalStorageAvailable = false;
boolean mExternalStorageWriteable = false;
String state = Environment.getExternalStorageState();

if (Environment.MEDIA_MOUNTED.equals(state)) {
    // We can read and write the media
    mExternalStorageAvailable = mExternalStorageWriteable = true;
} else if (Environment.MEDIA_MOUNTED_READ_ONLY.equals(state)) {
    // We can only read the media
    mExternalStorageAvailable = true;
    mExternalStorageWriteable = false;
} else {
    // Something else is wrong. It may be one of many other states, but all we need
    //  to know is we can neither read nor write
    mExternalStorageAvailable = mExternalStorageWriteable = false;
}

This example checks whether the external storage is available to read and write. The getExternalStorageState() method returns other states that you might want to check, such as whether the media is being shared (connected to a computer), is missing entirely, has been removed badly, etc. You can use these to notify the user with more information when your application needs to access the media.

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