Posts Tagged ‘file’

Android XML Adventure – Create & Write XML Data

October 27, 2011 8 comments

Article Series: Android XML Adventure

Author: Pete Houston (aka. `xjaphx`)


  1. What is the “Thing” called XML?
  2. Parsing XML Data w/ SAXParser
  3. Parsing XML Data w/ DOMParser
  4. Parsing XML Data w/ XMLPullParser
  5. Create & Write XML Data
  6. Compare: XML Parsers
  7. Parsing XML using XPath
  8. Parsing HTML using HtmlCleaner
  9. Parsing HTML using JSoup
  10. Sample Project 1: RSS Parser – using SAXParser
  11. Sample Project 1: RSS Parser – using DOM Parser
  12. Sample Project 1: RSS Parser – using XMLPullParser
  13. Sample Project 2: HTML Parser – using HtmlCleaner
  14. Sample Project 2: HTML Parser – using JSoup
  15. Finalization on the “Thing” called XML!


Have you mastered with parsing XML stuffs well?

Today, I’d like to talk about writing XML file, just like a normal Java program, there’s no differences.

Our steps are going to be:

+ First, create XML string (which is residing in memory for later use).

+ Second, write the XML string to a file, which belongs to internal storage of an Android application.

About the second step, I assume that you’ve already known how to do it. Shortly, `Context.openFileOutput()` will do the job.

For the first thing, there various ways to do; however, I’d like to introduce only most three common ways.

1. A normal String format

Understand what I mean?

	public static String writeUsingNormalOperation(Study study) {
		String format =
				"<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>" +
				"<record>" +
				"	<study id='%d'>" +
				"		<topic>%s</topic>" +
				"		<content>%s</content>" +
				"		<author>%s</author>" +
				"		<date>%s</date>" +
				"	</study>" +
		return String.format(format, study.mId, study.mTopic, study.mContent, study.mAuthor, study.mDate);

The Good:

  • Very quick and easy.
  • Not much code or custom objects required.

The Bad:

  • Straightforwardly static string, if you want to output a list of XML tags, this way doesn’t work.
  • Easy to make mistake while making the format for output.

2. Using DOM

	public static String writeUsingDOM(Study study) throws Exception {
		Document doc = DocumentBuilderFactory.newInstance().newDocumentBuilder().newDocument();
		// create root: <record>
		Element root = doc.createElement(Study.RECORD);

		// create: <study>
		Element tagStudy = doc.createElement(Study.STUDY);
		// add attr: id =
		tagStudy.setAttribute(Study.ID, String.valueOf(study.mId));

		// create: <topic>
		Element tagTopic = doc.createElement(Study.TOPIC);

		// create: <content>
		Element tagContent = doc.createElement(Study.CONTENT);

		// create: <author>
		Element tagAuthor = doc.createElement(Study.AUTHOR);

		// create: <date>
		Element tagDate = doc.createElement(Study.DATE);

		// create Transformer object
		Transformer transformer = TransformerFactory.newInstance().newTransformer();
		StringWriter writer = new StringWriter();
		StreamResult result = new StreamResult(writer);
		transformer.transform(new DOMSource(doc), result);

		// return XML string
		return writer.toString();

The Good:

  • Implementable for dynamic data output.
  • Flexible XML configuration.

The Bad:

  • Too much object creations, using a lot.
  • Performance gets worse if XML document is large.

3. Using XMLSerializer

	public static String writeUsingXMLSerializer(Study study) throws Exception {
		XmlSerializer xmlSerializer = Xml.newSerializer();
		StringWriter writer = new StringWriter();

		// start DOCUMENT
		xmlSerializer.startDocument("UTF-8", true);
		// open tag: <record>
		xmlSerializer.startTag("", Study.RECORD);
		// open tag: <study>
		xmlSerializer.startTag("", Study.STUDY);
		xmlSerializer.attribute("", Study.ID, String.valueOf(study.mId));

		// open tag: <topic>
		xmlSerializer.startTag("", Study.TOPIC);
		// close tag: </topic>
		xmlSerializer.endTag("", Study.TOPIC);

		// open tag: <content>
		xmlSerializer.startTag("", Study.CONTENT);
		// close tag: </content>
		xmlSerializer.endTag("", Study.CONTENT);

		// open tag: <author>
		xmlSerializer.startTag("", Study.AUTHOR);
		// close tag: </author>
		xmlSerializer.endTag("", Study.AUTHOR);

		// open tag: <date>
		xmlSerializer.startTag("", Study.DATE);
		// close tag: </date>
		xmlSerializer.endTag("", Study.DATE);

		// close tag: </study>
		xmlSerializer.endTag("", Study.STUDY);
		// close tag: </record>
		xmlSerializer.endTag("", Study.RECORD);

		// end DOCUMENT

		return writer.toString();

The Good:

  • Not like DOM, it requires only at least two objects to create XML document.
  • The syntax is so damn easy to work with.
  • The performance is pretty good.

The Bad:

  • At this point, I’ve not faced any drawback of using this.

4. Simple Framework


This is an amazing XML Serialization/De-serialization, it is really easy to use and having quite good performance on XML data structure.

However, I’m not going to talk about it here, so you might want to discover about it yourselves. Or maybe, I will give a quick look over this framework in another article.

Well, it’s end for today post, and happy learning!

Be await for the next article on the series.


Pete Houston


Check whether droid can handle PDF file

A cool snippet for today:

    public boolean canReadPdf(Context c) {
    	PackageManager pm = c.getPackageManager();
    	Intent data = new Intent(Intent.ACTION_VIEW);
    	// set MIME type
    	// if any package being able to handle PDF file
    	if(pm.queryIntentActivities(data, PackageManager.MATCH_DEFAULT_ONLY).size() > 0) {
    		return true;
    	// not found any
    	return false;

Hope you like it!

Pete Houston

Categories: Tricks & Tips Tags: , , , , , ,

A Quick Study on MP3 file structure

June 28, 2011 1 comment

Just had a little time playing around with MP3 file and found it quite interesting.

Do you like “New Divide” by Linkin Park, which is the Original Sound Track on Transformer 2: The Revenge of the Fallen? I personally like it very much. Ah right, Transformer 3 – Dark of the Moon is coming tomorrow, certainly I’ll watch it :D.

If you have the MP3 file of the song, on Windows Explorer right click on it and select Properties, open tab Details:

Windows Explorer: MP3 File Properties

Windows Explorer: MP3 File Properties

You can see its information like: Title, Artists, Album, Year, Genre, Length ….

Ok, try to open it using Mp3tag (v2.49):

MP3Tag - File Info View

MP3Tag - File Info View

The tag version of MP3 file is: ID3v2.3, which is basically derived from v1 and v2.3. Let’s have a look at the internal structure of ID3v1:

Internal layout of an ID3v1 tagged file.

Internal layout of an ID3v1 tagged file.

At the description at original page about ID3v1,

Song Title 30 characters
Artist 30 characters
Album 30 characters
Year 4 characters
Comment 30 characters
Genre 1 byte

If you one sum the the size of all these fields we see that 30+30+30+4+30+1 equals 125 bytes and not 128 bytes. The missing three bytes can be found at the very beginning of the tag, before the song title. These three bytes are always “TAG” and is the identification that this is indeed a ID3 tag. The easiest way to find a ID3v1/1.1 tag is to look for the word “TAG” 128 bytes from the end of a file. ” – Quoted from

Another pages on MP3 internal:



So we can easily extract any MP3 file tag information by parsing its very last 128 bytes (128 bytes at the end).

Once again, I open the song in a hex editor:

Hex Editor: MP3 Binary Format

Hex Editor: MP3 Binary Format

That’s right, the info is there!

Generally, instead of reading MP3 file header structure at beginning, we can use the very last 128 bytes to extract its basic info. Interesting, isn’t it?

We’re gonna make a library to query MP3 basic info using Java on Android in next article 🙂

Just take a cup of coffee and enjoy the song “….give me reason …. connect the space between …” , lol :))



Pete Houston


Categories: Tutorials Tags: , , , , ,

WinNC v5.5 – Good one for file management

WinNc is a tabbed file manager especially developed for Windows 7.

It also works on the older versions of Windows. This NC clone file manager is inspired on the dual panel idea of the old file manager Norton Commander. It has shortcuts to all the Windows 7 special folders and the tabbed interface allows you to organize your data by project.

Projects can include files and folders from all over the disk that are somehow connected to that project tab. With a new Windows 7 interface WinNc can do all the basic tasks you expect from a file manager like copy, move, delete, compress, uncompress and create links. But WinNc also converts audio, burns files on dvd and cd, create iso files and you are able to synchronize your files. From zip files it allows the creation of self extraction .exe files


WinNC 5.5

WinNC 5.5

License: Shareware




Categories: Tools Tags: , ,