The Case Of The Non-Missing Files

My phone was stolen by some scumbag a couple weeks ago.  She walked into St. John’s, and in the course of wandering around for 20+ minutes, she went into the computer lab and took my phone, then rummaged in my backpack and also stole my Nexus tablet and a mifi device.

So I had to get a new phone, a Samsung S6.  It’s very nice.  I’ve been reconstituting stuff since I depend on my phone so much.  So thanks, “lady”.

One thing I had not really messed with was the music I had on the phone.  I had 450+ tunes on the stolen phone.  Most of the songs were from CD rips I had done over the years.  I also had 107 songs I had captured from the Sirius feed on Dish Network.  Those I captured with Audacity, and were stored on my laptop.  So yesterday I connected my phone to my laptop via USB, and copied the files over.  Being curious as to how much memory they took up, I fired up Windows Explorer and browsed to the phone, did a Properties,   But, there were 163 files, not 107.  I started drilling down, and there was stuff I had before the theft, but I had not transferred over just then.  WTH?

I had Apple iTunes on a previous desktop, and I had downloaded a number of songs.  I wasn’t happy with the results, as a significant number of the downloads were covers, even though the iTunes listing claimed to be the actual group.  So I didn’t keep that up.  I thought maybe the extra files were from there.  But I looked, and I had downloaded a total of 19 songs from iTunes, and that’s wasn’t enough to get to 163.  Also, the iTunes songs were in a protected DRM format, and wouldn’t play anyway.

I did some searching for a a couple of the mystery files.  They were not on the hard drive of my laptop.  I fired up our big backup drive, and searched there.  A couple of the files were there, maybe 20, but that’s it.

So I went ahead and ripped a bunch of the same CDs, and some others, and I know have 439 files taking up 1.5GB on the phone.

I would imagine that the “extra” files were stored in a cloud somewhere and got restored.  But I don’t know that I have ever backed that music up.  That raises the question of why some music was backed up, and not all of it?  The S6 is pretty darn smart.

07 September 2015, 1115 Update:

Today we were all driving to Tulsa.  I remembered I had ordered a song on Google Play, for something like $1.49.  I had looked for the song on the S4 several times, and was surprised it wasn’t in the music library.  I looked on Google Play today, and after a little bit of rooting around, I found a reference to the song in the “purchased and free” section.  I also noticed that if you want the song on your local device, you have to click a “download to device” link.  After not finding the link, I found a further reference that said you have to be connected to wifi for that to work.  So that was interesting.

But the really interesting thing was a list of songs that were most of (but not all) of the mysteriously non-missing songs I wonder about.  Apparently those were synced to the library on Google Play, and then when my new phone connected, they were synced down.  Useful, but inconsistent, a little unsettling, and kind of cool, all at the same time.


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