Different files visible in MPT and MSC mode?

I’ve been switching back and forth between the two USB-modes, trying to find the right mediaplayer for handling my MP3s and transferring them to my Fuze.

Today I noticed I had two versions of certain MP3s on my player, so I connected the player to my computer (Windows XP) to delete the duplicates. But I could only find the files one time on the player.

I ended up deleting the folder that contained all the number by the artist, including the artists-folder, checked that it was deleted, and disconnected the player.

Much to my amazement, when the Fuze restarted, the player still showed the songs on the player, but this time, only once.

Then I tried switching USB-mode, and suddenly both the artist folder and the songs was visible on the computer!!!

Looks like some files are visible only in MPT mode, and other files are visible only in MSC mode.

This goes for both songs, folders and playlist.

Somehow the player can see all the songs and playlist, regardless.

Is this an error on the player or an error in Windows XP?

One more time . . .

Files put on your player while in MTP mode can only be seen by your computer (and you) while the player is connected in that (MTP) mode.

And vice-versa.

That’s why it makes sense to pick one or the other and stick with it. Unless you have to deal with DRM-encrypted files like with a subscription service like Rhapsody, Napster, or Overdrive Audio books, it’s much cleaner & simpler to just drag & drop in MSC mode.

Just my

Wow, if only I had two cents for every time this was explained.

Well, I’m so glad to hear, you already knew that.

I’ll give you the two cents, if you could answer my question instead.

Hint, it’s the sentence with the question mark in the end.

@ripraprob wrote:

Is this an error on the player or an error in Windows XP?

It’s not an error in either.  It’s because MTP uses a virtual file system.  Even though it looks like normal folders/files in Windows Explorer, it’s not.  It’s more like a database, where you send queries and updates via a high level protocol.  With MSC you’re accessing a true file system, just like a hard drive.  Without the MTP protocol running, you can’t access the data in the MTP data store.  Without MSC running, you can’t access the file system on the player.  So it’s either/or, you can’t do both at the same time.

As for why you would choose one or the other, the short answer is MSC is the standard used by all USB flash drives and external hard drives. It’s supported on every OS and offers the most options for managing the content on your player. However, it doesn’t support DRM protected content.

MTP is a protocol developed by MS to support DRM protected content. If you use subscription services or the like, you have no choice but to use MTP. However, it’s very limiting in terms of tools you can use to manage the content on your player. There is limited support for MTP on some non-Windows OS’s, but basically it requires XP or later and WMP10 or later.

So my advice usually is to go with MSC unless you need DRM support.

Thank you so much, for not only answering my question, but also for giving me the background for the behaviour. :smileyvery-happy:

I’ll try giving MSC another go. The reason why I switched to MTP was because it was the first time I got transferring playlist to work as expected.


This problem may be common knowledge for many, but after searching for the problem on the board (“files different MSC MPT” on the Fuze board), only one thread came up. I read that until “All tracks were visible prior to the FW update…” and since I had not made any FW changes, I decided that it wasn’t the same problem as mine.

Then I broadned my search to search only for “MSC MPT” and to more theads came up, one about Linux and another about connecting a Fuze to a car radio.

I then read the headlines on the first 4 or 5 pages of threads on the Fuze-board, scanning for headlines that might suggest, that the problem described, was the same as mine, and read those that looked like it might help me, but no luck.

Only then did I post my question, just to get a “one more time…” and then a “if I only had …” reply.

Thanks again Skinjob, for answering! :smileyvery-happy:

It’s MTP not MPT, which might explain your search problems.

Rob -

Sorry, I did not mean to offend you. It’s just that I get bored sometimes and I get a little smart-alecky. I must type this same message at least once or twice a week, and I know other’s do the same. So when we constantly have to answer the same question over & over, it gets a little . . . well, you know.

Very few message subjects ever address it though. Usually it comes up as it did in your post, so it might seem a little difficult to search out. But if you search for ‘MTP MSC’ the 4th post down from Sansafix does explain this. Usually people complain that their music does not show up. If you search with the words ‘no music in folder’ or ‘music folder empty’, the same post by SansaFix comes up as #2. Even the link you provided points to a reply by Skinjob that says this exact same thing. So it’s there, plenty of times.

I assumed (yes, I know how to spell it so it’s my fault), that because you have been here a while, you must have seen a post mentioning this. To a lot of us, this is ‘common knowledge’, and we forget sometimes that not everybody reads every message posted here.

This information really should be in the FAQ. There is one regarding MTP & MSC and it explains the differences, but does not explain this peculiarity between the two. This is important and should be included. There also is NO FAQ on the FUZE board! Many fuze owners would not think to look in the e200 board for any information that would pertain to their player, but in fact most of the FAQ’s cover many of the SanDisk players.

I have suggested adding a FAQ to the Fuze board in the Site Suggestions, but I doubt if anyone in authority (Admins, mods, etc.) look at it. Why do I think this? Because a.) nobody with any SD credentials has ever responded or replied to any post made there, and b.) sombody posted a problem with this site and the way it displays with the Opera browser over a month ago, and not only has it not been fixed, but nobody has even acknowledged it.


I get the difference between MTP and MSC, and that MTP is more a virtual file system, used because of DRM…and that MSC is a “real” HD mode.

Question…I, unknowingly, used MTP to add my DRM stripped music files to my Fuze (it was in the process of making Playlists without winmedia player on my microSD card)…am I ok, and it doesn’t really matter, or should I wipe my fuze and readd the music files strictly in MSC mode?


(PS…I have no problem seeing all my music files in either mode, just have to look in the right place)

I use my Sansa Fuze 8 ONLY for audiobooks, downloading from my public library and audio.  The audible.com ones are now ok, in their own folder.

I GET that some files are only visible in MTP or MSC.  But I have tried both, have tried showing hidden files (have Vista on my PC), and STILL I have a ton of tracks showing up under Music songs on the device that I am unable to see on the computer.

It is very hard to delete these on the device  – try to do them as deleting songs, but it seems in that case that the Album is still there. 


They have to be somewhere in either MSC or MTP.

Under Music, go all the way down the list to Folders and you can navigate by folder, just you would in Windows.

If you don’t see Folders, update your firmware–there are instructions in a sticky near the top of the first forum page.

Can you find your mysterious albums there? Get a folder name for a mystery album. 

Then just doublecheck to make sure Windows is set to Show Hidden Files and Folders (under Tools/Folder Options in XP, probably slightly different in Vista or Win7).

Then  use Search in MSC, and if you don’t find it, use Search in MTP. Then Open Containing Folder.   You can take it from there. 

Some other brands can show files transferred in both modes. In which way does their implementation differs?

If you find that you are giving the same answer to certain questions, over and over, and there is no FAQ section, do this:

1.  Write the answer in an email, Word, etc.

2.  Save it in a folder named : Sansa Fuse (or whatever) FAQs

3.  When you see the question - again - just copy and paste into the forum.

Thank you for that timely advice. Had you not provided it, a mere 7 months after the thread was last considered,  I would never have considered using the copy-and-paste function. What a revelation. 

There’s nothing like the personal touch, despite redundancy.

Especially if you have this little guy for company at the keyboard:

Bob  :smileyvery-happy: