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Displaying Images from SD Card in Android

Learn from an Android example of how to access and display images that are stored on your SD card.

Below you will find a Android example of how to access and display images that are stored on your SD card.

I wrote part 2 for this article, where images are loaded in the background using an asynchronous task. It is an improvement over this article, but I strongly suggest trying this one first to fully appreciate the differences between the two approaches.

The main idea is to make use of the MediaStore class, which is a Media provider that contains data for all available media on both internal and external storage devices (such as an SD card). An adapter is used as a bridge between the data and the view.

The activity is shown below:

package blog.android.sdcard;

import android.app.Activity;
import android.content.Context;
import android.content.Intent;
import android.database.Cursor;
import android.net.Uri;
import android.os.Bundle;
import android.provider.MediaStore;
import android.view.Menu;
import android.view.MenuInflater;
import android.view.MenuItem;
import android.view.View;
import android.view.ViewGroup;
import android.widget.AdapterView;
import android.widget.BaseAdapter;
import android.widget.GridView;
import android.widget.ImageView;
import android.widget.AdapterView.OnItemClickListener;

/**
 * Displays images from an SD card.
 */
public class SDCardImagesActivity extends Activity {

    /**
     * Cursor used to access the results from querying for images on the SD card.
     */
    private Cursor cursor;
    /*
     * Column index for the Thumbnails Image IDs.
     */
    private int columnIndex;

    @Override
    public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
        setContentView(R.layout.sdcard);

        // Set up an array of the Thumbnail Image ID column we want
        String[] projection = {MediaStore.Images.Thumbnails._ID};
        // Create the cursor pointing to the SDCard
        cursor = managedQuery( MediaStore.Images.Thumbnails.EXTERNAL_CONTENT_URI,
                projection, // Which columns to return
                null,       // Return all rows
                null,
                MediaStore.Images.Thumbnails.IMAGE_ID);
        // Get the column index of the Thumbnails Image ID
        columnIndex = cursor.getColumnIndexOrThrow(MediaStore.Images.Thumbnails._ID);

        GridView sdcardImages = (GridView) findViewById(R.id.sdcard);
        sdcardImages.setAdapter(new ImageAdapter(this));

        // Set up a click listener
        sdcardImages.setOnItemClickListener(new OnItemClickListener() {
            public void onItemClick(AdapterView parent, View v, int position, long id) {
                // Get the data location of the image
                String[] projection = {MediaStore.Images.Media.DATA};
                cursor = managedQuery( MediaStore.Images.Media.EXTERNAL_CONTENT_URI,
                        projection, // Which columns to return
                        null,       // Return all rows
                        null,
                        null);
                columnIndex = cursor.getColumnIndexOrThrow(MediaStore.Images.Media.DATA);
                cursor.moveToPosition(position);
                // Get image filename
                String imagePath = cursor.getString(columnIndex);
                // Use this path to do further processing, i.e. full screen display
            }
        });
    }

    /**
     * Adapter for our image files.
     */
    private class ImageAdapter extends BaseAdapter {

        private Context context;

        public ImageAdapter(Context localContext) {
            context = localContext;
        }

        public int getCount() {
            return cursor.getCount();
        }
        public Object getItem(int position) {
            return position;
        }
        public long getItemId(int position) {
            return position;
        }
        public View getView(int position, View convertView, ViewGroup parent) {
            ImageView picturesView;
            if (convertView == null) {
                picturesView = new ImageView(context);
                // Move cursor to current position
                cursor.moveToPosition(position);
                // Get the current value for the requested column
                int imageID = cursor.getInt(columnIndex);
                // Set the content of the image based on the provided URI
                picturesView.setImageURI(Uri.withAppendedPath(
                        MediaStore.Images.Thumbnails.EXTERNAL_CONTENT_URI, "" + imageID));
                picturesView.setScaleType(ImageView.ScaleType.FIT_CENTER);
                picturesView.setPadding(8, 8, 8, 8);
                picturesView.setLayoutParams(new GridView.LayoutParams(100, 100));
            }
            else {
                picturesView = (ImageView)convertView;
            }
            return picturesView;
        }
    }
}

The layout of the main activity is shown below:


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<GridView xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android" 
    android:id="@+id/sdcard"
    android:layout_width="fill_parent" 
    android:layout_height="fill_parent"
    android:padding="10dp"
    android:verticalSpacing="10dp"
    android:horizontalSpacing="10dp"
    android:numColumns="auto_fit"
    android:columnWidth="90dp"
    android:stretchMode="columnWidth"
    android:gravity="center"
/>

In order for this to work, you need to emulate an SD card.


Enjoy!

UPDATE: In order to be bale to view thumbnails images from the SD Card, Android needs to create them first, hence you should start the Gallery application that comes preinstalled, and open the sdcard folder which will automatically create thumbnails for the images stored on your sdcard. This is a current shortcoming of the SDK that will be fixed in future releases (http://groups.google.com/group/android-developers/browse_thread/thread/3f01b284e2537312/fa9487d19db4907e).


UPDATE: For some reason, if you use


MediaStore.Images.Thumbnails.IMAGE_ID
like in the previous version of the above code, the images are not always displayed on the screen. Changing to
MediaStore.Images.Thumbnails._ID
seems to solve the problem. I will look more into why and get back to you.

Furthermore, some images have the wrong path attached to them.  I changed the creation of the cursor object from

cursor = managedQuery( MediaStore.Images.Thumbnails.EXTERNAL_CONTENT_URI,
projection, // Which columns to return
null,       // Return all rows
null,
null);

to

cursor = managedQuery( MediaStore.Images.Thumbnails.EXTERNAL_CONTENT_URI,
projection, // Which columns to return
null,       // Return all rows
null,
MediaStore.Images.Thumbnails.IMAGE_ID);

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