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Old 01-06-2008, 11:34 AM
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Andreas Andreas is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Norway
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Default MTP vs UMS/MSC vs proprietary software

There are three ways a player can be connected to a computer. MTP (media transfer protocol), UMS (universal mass storage, also referred to as MSC), and proprietary software. Some players use only one of these, others use several - user selectable or not. There is a constant discussion what is best, but here's the difference, facts wise:

MTP is developed by windows and so using it on other OS-es isn't that easy. In windows XP SP2 and above you just plug it in, and it shows up as a portable media device. MTP is basically a dumbed down UMS, it's technically drag and drop but has some limitations as to what goes where on the device, for the sake of being user friendly. MTP is also compatible with a variety of media players like Windows media Player, media monkey etc, and allow you to synch with these programs, create playlists and so on.

UMS is basically exactly what it says - universal mass storage. It installs itself on any USB compatible OS (Windows 98SE and above, Linux, OS-X, and USB On The Go capable devices such as USB DVD players, car stereos etc). It shows up as a removable drive, and it's up to the user to put stuff where it belongs. This is preffered by many because of the OS independency, while others prefer to have the synch options of MTP.

Some less consumer friendly companies still insist on making the user install a seperate program just for one player, although these days most of these programs are volountary. Microsoft's Zune player is one of extremely few players who only supports proprietary software these days, after Sony finally gave up on its SonicStage. These proprieatary softwares are often buggy and less advanced than universal ones, and normally provides player specific video conversion and synch options along with other features. Voulountary software does somewhat the same, but at least you don't HAVE to use it. Seeing these softwares are so different, there are both bad and good ones, but most users will find them adequate for their purposes, for example video conversion.
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