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Downloading On Android Is A Complete Shambles


notla49285
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As per the title, delete this or ignore it if you must, but I'm completely sick and tired of Android downloads.

 

A friend of mine is currently very ill in hospital, and one of the very few comforts they have is their tablet, with Emby on it. I took their tablet home to download a few of their favourite films and shows to watch offline whilst in hospital. They came to watch some of their downloads today and the downloaded media has completely disappeared. I checked the file system and can see all of the folders are there under Downloads (within com.mb.android on external storage), but no actual media in the folders.

 

I tried downloading again using the hospital's free wifi, but it was taking far too long and eventually cut out because of some certificate error. I've now brought the tablet home to download on my wifi, and the downloads are just sat there doing nothing. One says "Ready to Transfer" and the rest say "Transferring 0%", whilst doing absolutely nothing at all, there is no traffic going in or out of the tablet and my server is not doing anything either.

 

This download facility has been poor for a very long time, and it's getting seriously fucking irritating. It's basically unusable, which is why I personally don't and I discourage my users from doing so unless there's absolutely no alternative. Can somebody please advise when this facility will actually start working, I know I'm not the only one who's had problems with this.

 

Edit: It's only when I started deleting downloads from the list within Emby that it actually started doing any work. I've removed all downloads however the Android Download Manager is still trying to download them, so it seems downloads have to be stopped in two places to actually get it to stop.

Edited by notla49285
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 so it seems downloads have to be stopped in two places to actually get it to stop.

 

Right. Emby uses Android's native Download Manager (com.android.providers.downloads) to handle downloads. So you setup what you want to sync to the device and then, on the device, the Emby client hands off the download request to the native download manager. Now the Emby client can't control the download manager. if apps had the ability to do this, then every app whose sole purpose it is to steal all your data can download all kinds of malware to your phone (not execute though, that would requires another vector).

 

Bottom line is yes, you have to stop the download in 2 places.

 

As to your frustration, I've got nothing for you. I use Emby sync to mobile frequently and to multiple devices and I also have various problems. Just came here today to post one that seems to be really oddball. I can tell you I have the most luck doing offline sync to internal memory (because to external is just broken on LineageOS and its derivitives as well as Omni Rom) and I use a root app to symlink/folder redirect the internal directory to an external SD card. So if you are stuck try that. If you are not rooted, still try downloading to internal memory and see if it makes things easier. In the end, Plex's method for offline sync might be marginally better but I had tons of trouble with that as well (frequent sync failures). Good luck.

Edited by silkz
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Right. Emby uses Android's native Download Manager (com.android.providers.downloads) to handle downloads. So you setup what you want to sync to the device and then, on the device, the Emby client hands off the download request to the native download manager. Now the Emby client can't control the download manager. if apps had the ability to do this, then every app whose sole purpose it is to steal all your data can download all kinds of malware to your phone (not execute though, that would requires another vector).

 

Bottom line is yes, you have to stop the download in 2 places.

 

Is there no option to download internally rather than relying on the Android download manager?

 

 

I can tell you I have the most luck doing offline sync to internal memory (because to external is just broken on LineageOS and its derivitives as well as Omni Rom) and I use a root app to symlink/folder redirect the internal directory to an external SD card. So if you are stuck try that. If you are not rooted, still try downloading to internal memory and see if it makes things easier.

 

I know that external has always been more difficult than internal, and I don't know if the issue lies with the OS, or apps, or both, but it's time to sort it the hell out. People use external storage, deal with it. Unless smart device manufacturers start manufacturing devices with bigger internal memory and don't charge ridiculous prices for it, external storage is a necessity. One thing that's of concern is what if the user messes with it or removes it without unmounting etc. To be honest, that's the user's problem, if they know the risks and do it anyway, they can pay for it. I believe in most cases people will install external memory and then leave it until they come to change device, purely because there isn't enough internal space on the device when they bought it. I'm not in a position to root this particular device, but I wouldn't want to do it anyway, it can cause many issues as well as breaking certain apps that I use every day (banking mainly).

 

In this case of syncing, that I was posting about, there's nowhere near enough space on internal storage to download the media to.

 

 

In the end, Plex's method for offline sync might be marginally better but I had tons of trouble with that as well (frequent sync failures). Good luck.

 

I've seen a couple of other users who have resorted to Plex's sync facility, and what a ridiculous situation that is, depending on your main competitor to carry out the tasks that you can't :huh:

 

But thank you @@silkz for at least answering.

Edited by notla49285
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Is there no option to download internally rather than relying on the Android download manager?

 

AFAIK no, that's just not how it was designed. You can try and use something like IDM and make it the default download manager for Android, but I think you need root to make that happen and, I tried that way back before on Android 5 and it was not good. Plex's Android sync is also terrible, out of 5 videos I would sync at least 2 would error out and every time I let it go overnight to sync 10+ videos I would wake up to it all errored out and I would have no new medias for the day. So I don't think a native downloader would fix this problem.

 

I wish I can help you more, but what I've been doing is working around limitations like the ones you are experiencing. I've got no regrets going from lifetime Plex Pass to Lifetime Emby Pass on the basis of my privacy and the awful-for-customers direction Plex is going, but I do wish Emby would hire out some code farm teams to knock out these long standing issues (I say this as a non-dev). Good luck to your friend in the hospital, I hope everything goes well!

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  • 1 month later...

Went camping last weekend, tried to play videos downloaded to Android App on ChromeOS.. showed all the videos, but as soon as I pressed a button it just kicked you out to select a server/my downloads page again and refused to play anything, tried rebooting several times to no prevail. 

 

unfortunately everything download to the iPad just vanished too.. our plans to get the toddler to calm down and try to sleep backfired terribly. 

Edited by nayr
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  • 2 weeks later...

I've had some luck getting stalled downloads to kick off again in Android without having to delete the download in multiple places.

 

Maybe it is just luck, but here is what I do.

 

I go to downloads on the app in question.  You should see the download in question stuck at 0%.  I click the extended menu for that item (three dots) and choose "Edit".  Then I simply press the "Save" button.  I don't actually change anything.

 

It's worked for me a few times, and the download kicks off a few minutes after I do it.

 

Maybe I'm just lucky.

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Using a tablet (Android 5) I also had several times the problem, that the downloads disappeared (just as described in the OP). Using another tablet with Android 9, everthing is fine...

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  • 3 weeks later...

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