Android Error 1, -17 Audio/Video Playback

If you’ve been experiencing strange behavior on your Android handset, the culprit could be the official Twitter app.

Recently my podcasts refused to play without a reboot of my phone. The first few times it happened I simply chalked it up to Android and its quirks. But then it became consistent. Not necessarily scheduled, but regular enough  to be annoying. I found myself dreading the moment when I would grab my phone to listen to Tech news Today or Security Now and my phone would spit that annoying error at me.

What to look for:

Once I figured that it was a real issue, I started to notice it in other areas; do any of these seem familiar to you?

  • YouTube app: “Cannot Play Video”
  • Camera app: “Camera Failed”
  • Doggcatcher: “Error -17” (or something similar)
  • Listen: “unable to play file”
  • Pandora: It just sits and spins, no verbose error.

So basically it’s an epic fail of any audio and video. A fix that I figured out that was (arguably) faster than a reboot was to unmount and re-mount the SD card. Something was definitely up. Even worse than the error itself was the fact that the above errors were so numerous and app dependent. Searches online turned up nothing; that’s what this post is for.

On to the solution:

After searching some more a couple of weeks later, I found a lead. A poster somewhere mentioned that uninstalling the Twitter app fixed his issue. I gave the solution a try and luckily didn’t get any issues a few hours later. 12 hours passed, then a day; and no problems! The following day my co-worker complained that his new Driod Charge was not playing any audio. I asked him to unmount/remount his SD card. No luck. Then I asked that he uninstall the twitter app. Once it was uninstalled and the phone was rebooted he could play any audio and Pandora.

He Tweeted:

I searched some more:

Which linked to:

It’s easier to find the solution when you know what to search for.

Thus far it seems to be related to Samsung phones only. If you have or do not have this issue, please post a comment! I want others to know about this issue and to figure out how to fix this. Besides, tweet deck is better anyway 😉


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  1. Hey Jamie, searching for ‘google listen’ brought me to your post! Anyway I was having similar problems with Doggcatcher – for several minutes podcasts would play fine, then if I get a call, when trying to resume the audio it just won’t play. I then tried BeyondPod which did the same thing.

    I then installed Google Listen. So far so good but I will uninstall Twitter and use Doggcatcher again. Odd that Twitter would be the cause though.

    • searching for ‘google listen’ brought me to your post!

      Nice! I guess content is king!

      If Twitter was the cause I totally want to know! I’ve had no luck corroborating these findings, so if uninstalling Twitter works for you, post again and let me know!

      • Uninstalled twitter and things seemed to be fine today with Doggcatcher, but I was listening to music with PowerAMP and during a song, it stopped all of a sudden. Tried to start it – no go. I had to turn bluetooth off then on again. This happened about three times total for the day.

        Will still monitor things with Doggcatcher and let you know if I get that problem.

      • The next time your audio dies, try unmounting your SD card and then mounting it again.

  2. I just purchased a Samsung Infuse, thought I was going crazy because I keep having this same error. I posted on a couple forums but people seemed to think I was just crazy.

    I’ll try uninstalling the Twitter App, see if that works.

  3. I had the same problem on my Samsung Vibrant. Found a posting in the forum that pointed to the Twitter app. I uninstalled it and no problems since. I’d been using other twitter apps before but I thought I’d try the “official” one to see how it was. I guess I learned that it screws up my media files. Thanks for the post.

  4. Thanks so much for posting this. I have the i9000 Bell Mobility Vibrant and this error has been driving me nuts for a number of months. I have uninstalled Twitter. We’ll see if that fixes it.

  5. I actually also experienced on my previous Moto Droid 1 as well when I was running CM7. I don’t remember experiencing the issue with the stock ROM however. Thanks for the research into this Jamie! I was really bummed when I still couldn’t use Pandora on my new Droid Charge (a problem I had hoped the new phone would have remedied) and now I’m back up and enjoying my podcasts and Pandora in the car!

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