[Android] Thumbnails on external storage?

Kind sir! I’ve read alot of your posts and I greatly appreciate your insight and vast RA knowledge. Apologies for tagging you via reply here, but as a new user, I do not believe I’m able to message you directly, let alone begin a new post/topic. Thank you for indulging me!

Wondering if you can shed some light on an issue I’m having- I’m using a 2nd gen firetv, and having storage issues on the device, as far as loading/using thumbnails goes.

I can use rhe online updater tool to pull in NES thumbs successfully, but I’m strapped for space to do any addtl consoles.

I’ve downloaded all desired thumbnail zips manually, and have unzipped everything I need. I’ve placed them on my USB hard drive, which is connected to the fire TV(where all ROMs are also stored).I’ve changed the directory tree in RA settings accordingly, and have tried to scan my box art folders using the add content function, to no avail.

How the heck do I get RA to pull in and apply thumbs to all my other ROM collections outside of using the online updater tool?

Many thanks in advance for your time!

Hmm, I don’t know if RetroArch is able to read/write files from external storage like that (thank Google’s bizarre “security” policies for that).

1 Like

It does work, I have my thumbnails on the SD card on my NVIDIA Shield Tablet and used @dlnp22 's method.

Maybe it’s a FireTV thing.

2 Likes

Thank you both for the quick responses!

It’s odd, as RA can read and add the ROM zips off the usb drive just fine. Frustrating, but I can live without the box art, I guess. :sunglasses:

Thanks again!

Metchebe, after you placed your thumbs files on your SD, how did you get RA to add/apply to your playlist?

Did you just set the thumbnail directory to that folder on your SD, and RA applied automatically, or did you have to hit the + icon and add the content by scanning the directory? (Hopefully that run on made sense :wink: )

Yes, I simply set the thumbnail directory to the folder on my SD card.

If correctly named, RA will show thumbnails for playlist entries, you don’t have to re-scan.

Sometimes databases change and thumbnails use old names, those need to be fixed manually (re-named).

1 Like

I am too having a hard time getting thumbnails to work from an external HDD. I should also mention I’m just starting to get the hang of using Romcenter to have a clean romset, but I don’t know if the names or formats are correct after that (which would cause in itself the problem of not loading thumbs). I moved the thumbs directory to the HDD because I’m on a 16gb nVidia Shield 2017, so required space would encumber the little premium real estate I have (and is probably why Genesis and Snes thumbs from the online updater repositories would never complete, no matter what).

Any thoughts on thumbs on external HDD as of 2019?

You might be able to get around the android permission issues if you name the folder accordingly on the external drive. There’s a similar issue for users of Kodi and they can get around it if they name the folder the same as the folder on the local storage. For retroarch it should be:

/[your_external_drive]/Android/data/com.retroarch/[thumbnail_folder_name]

Then in your retroarch config, point to this folder. Naming the folder like this allows write permissions for the app.

4 Likes

And BINGO, that did the trick. I’m no programmer or expert, but come to think of it, it makes a lot of sense. Thanks a lot for your Swift reply, Zach!

Thank you!! this is what I needed, now finally I can use an external USB to save disk space on my Fire TV Stick 4K, everything works like saves files, savestate files, overlays, shaders, and so on, the only thing that don’t work are cores, I wonder if there is a way to use cores from the USB.

1 Like

I was having issues where retroarch was not writing any files to the folders I specified on my sd card. Changing the path as you suggested now seems to have fixed this issue. Now playlists and saves are being properly saved to the sd card! I’m still working out the thumbnails however, even after moving them to the new path and pointing retroarch to that folder. I’m wondering, should the thumbnails be directly in the thumbnails folder on android, or should each system have its own folder (ie: “thumbnails/Atari - 2600)” like it is on Windows)? I ask because I did keep the “system” folder names intact with each system’s thumbnails in their respective folder, but they still aren’t showing up for me. Otherwise, every other issue I was having with sd storage has been fixed by using the path you suggested.

Thanks, -George

The thumb path should follow this:

https://docs.libretro.com/guides/roms-playlists-thumbnails/#thumbnail-paths-and-filenames

So then the updated paths would be something like:

/[your_external_drive]/Android/data/com.retroarch/thumbnails/
          Atari - 2600/
               Named_Boxarts/
                    Q_bert's Qubes.png
               Named_Snaps/
                    Q_bert's Qubes.png
               Named_Titles/
                    Q_bert's Qubes.png

And then your retroarch.cfg would include:

thumbnails_directory = "/[your_external_drive]/Android/data/com.retroarch/thumbnails/"