How Can I Stop My Phone From Creating "Duplicate" Music Files?

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Hi, first time posting. I have an LG 3 Stylo Plus (but this was also happening on an old LG G4 as well). I used Black Player App for music, and I store my music on an SD card. I've used this method and app for a couple years, no problem.

Some time recently the audio files on my SD card started "duplicating." I say that in quotes because they technically aren't duplicates. For example, if I had The Joshua Tree on my card, within the The Joshua Tree folder would be all the files (01 Where the Streets Have No Name, 02 I Still Haven't Found) preceded by "duplicate" files (._Where The Streets Have No Name, ._I Still Haven't Found). However, all these so called duplicate files are ALL only 4.00 KB, no matter what song, album, or artist. In the Black Player app, they show up as unknown artists but within the album (so these would be found under The Joshua Tree, as a file by an unknown artist). In the file manager it goes Music > U2 > The Joshua Tree > then all the original and "duplicated" files. Aside from cluttering up space, the fake duplicates don't play, and cause the shuffle function to stall, which is highly annoying.

The original files are all .m4a (AAC in iTunes). They have always been this way, and as I said, no previous issues. I have over 200 GB in my iTunes library, so converting the files to mp3 or something else is out of the question (besides, it was fine until recently).

I have tried unmounting/remounting the SD card. I have tried clearing the data in the Media Storage app. I have erased all the files, reformatted the SD card, started from a brand new phone, disabled the factory music apps. I have tried file detection apps (but i think technically these files aren't duplicates - different names and sizes). Nothing has worked. There's no way i can go through and manually delete each "doubled" file.

The main thing is that this didn't happen until a couple months ago, if that, and the thing i need to know is why it's happening and how do i make it stop. I have resigned myself to manually rebuilding my audio library on my phone. I am fine doing that as long as i know that after i do it, all the songs won't be "duplicated" yet again.

Thanks very much for your time and help!


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Feb 12, 2012
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Try a different folder. Put a few .m4a files in it. Play them with a different app. If they duplicate, it's a problem with the phone or the SD card (which I highly doubt). If they don't, play them with Black Player. If they duplicate (which I suspect they will), it's the app. A recent (a couple of months ago) update could have caused a but in the app.

BTW, AAC is a method of lossy encoding for audio files. .m4a is the file extension normally used for files with music encoded that way. Apples and hamburgers. A file encoded AAC can be an .m4a file (and should be). That's like a Word document should be a .docx file.


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Sep 10, 2018
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Original poster here. I don't know how to use this site! Trying to reply to Rukbat. Here goes.

I uninstalled Black Player (though it seems like there was an update in July and I already had the latest version). I created a new folder in the SD card, placed an album in it, inserted it back in the phone. There were "duplicate" files already there, even before i opened a music app (i took a screen shot, but not sure how to upload here). I unmounted the SD card, and tried a different one. New folder, different album. Same thing. I don't know how it could be the phone since it is a brand new phone, but it is doing the same thing as my old phone started doing recently. Is there some setting that could have been turned on somewhere that duplicates this files, or rather makes these small dummy files for every music file?

I just noticed a file on my SD card that is labeled ._.Trashes, which is also 4.00 KB, the same size as these dummy duplicate music files... any correlation there?


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Sep 10, 2018
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okay, so the "._" files were the clue. apparently those are files that OSX creates to store info (such as metadata, i think?) that don't fit in... something. basically what i think they are are tiny hidden info files that macs create and read along with the main files (album info, composers, etc). i still don't know WHY my phone started treating them like unplayable audio files, when it wasn't doing it previously. BUT the solution i found is:

1. insert SD card to computer

2. copy over the files like usual

3. open Terminal

4. type "dot_clean" (no parentheses) then a space, then drag the disk image of your SD card into Terminal, and hit return.

5. eject the SD card, insert in phone, and check the folder in File Manager. the dummy ._ files should be gone.

double check by tapping the three dot drop down menu and click "show hidden files." If it worked, you still should see no ._ files.

Thanks a million to Rukbat, who pointed me in the right direction multiple times.

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