- May 9, 2015
Without root or the AOSP Files app there are only 2 ways to access USB files on modern Android:Question:
This might not be ROM related, because I didn't try this before I started using ArrowOS, but..
I have a music collection on a thumbdrive. I can transfer files from it to the Pixel just fine, but not a single music app I try can see the music on the thumbdrive. That is,except for the music player built into the Total Commander app.
The first is to use the Storage Access Framework API which is that thing where an app asks you to pick a folder for it. The second is to use the special All Files Access permission which works a lot like veeeery old Android where you can see (almost) anything but Google restricts which apps are allowed to have that.
Almost every music player out there uses a much simpler file permission which only gives it access to Media files. Android itself makes a list of music files on the device and tells the music app how to access them. This list does not include USB drives. For your use case you need to get a music player that either uses SAF or All Files Access.
EDIT: some apps should be able to play a song on a USB drive if opened first from a file manager but YMMV there.