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How to get Android local files URI

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When programming applications for Android that requires the playback of audio or video files, sometimes, there’s the need to obtain the URI of those media files instead of using a String for the absolute path. But what is a URI? A URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) is an address to an local or internet resource. It’s more like a standardized path syntax that allows pointing to a specific resource that’s available over the internet, however we are going to use it to point it to a local resource.

A URI is specially useful, when using the VideoView class to load a video located on the res folder or in the SD card. Passing the video file to the VideoView as a String won’t even work on an emulated Android device. This way, we need to get the URI of the file.

'res' folder or SD Image

This can be used to get any file URI, at the 'res' folder or inside the SD Card.

To better explain how to obtain a file’s URI, let’s assume that we are trying to get the URI of a video named intro.3gp which is in the /res/raw folder. Here’s the code to get the URI:

Uri introURI;
introURI = Uri.parse("android.resource://" + R.raw.intro);

Now let’s assume the same intro.3gp is at the root of the SD card. The code to correctly get the file’s URI would be:

String introURI;
introURI = Uri.parse("file:///sdcard/intro.3gp");

And that’s it! This method can also be used to obtain any file URI. Expanding a little bit the previous example, to correctly play the video file while using the emulator, instead of using setVideoPath(String path) like:

String introURI = "file:///sdcard/intro.3gp";
VideoView videoView;

//...Omitted videoView initialization...


Obtain the video URI, as show on the previous examples and use the setVideoURI(URI uri) method, like this:

Uri introURI,
//obtain the URI of the video file from the 'res' folder
introURI = Uri.parse("android.resource://" + R.raw.intro);
//or get it the URI from a the video file at the SD card
//introURI = Uri.parse("android.resource://" + R.raw.intro);

VideoView videoView;

//...Omitted videoView initialization...


10 Comments to “How to get Android local files URI”

  1. Shubham says:

    Hi I try your approach to uri of file..but it show
    means some digit at place of file name…pls suggest me possible way to get exact path of any file from local folder.


  2. Juan Ci says:

    You define introUri as String.
    String introURI;

    Don’t you get an error with this assignement?
    introURI = Uri.parse(“file:///sdcard/intro.3gp”);

  3. soft_developer says:

    Hi, I would like to know how can I know the Mime type of the video media, after I but it in a videoView, indeed, I you to convert it into Base 64,

    Any idea / help?


  4. balwinder says:

    how to get the path of images of drawable folders in android

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