Since this is a fairly new device (its my first Sansa player), it might be worthwhile to explain the consequences of MCP & MTP. Most of these I’ve learned the hard way.

From what I’ve seen:


  • Works with most OSs
  • You can edit the tags for music on the device
  • Database update is slower
  • M3U playlists must have filenames relative to the directory of the playlist, and can’t include both internal and SD files in the same playlist
  • No support for DRM (protected WMA)


  • Windows-only
  • Database updates in ~30 seconds (8GB)
  • Tags can’t be edited after music is on the device. To change tags, you must edit them on the computer.
  • Playlists are more flexible

Anything else?

Message Edited by bdb on 04-26-2008 07:32 PM


  • supports subscription content (napster, rhapsody, etc.)
  • drivers are native to windows, should be included with wmp11 or service pack 2+ updates.
  • Appears as a “portable device” in my comptuer, as opposed to “removable disk”

*its MSC , not MCP.

although DB refresh is faster with MTP , transfer is slower than MSC (MCP) because after each file transferred in MTP mode, device will refresh DB during the transfer process.

MSC is still faster than MTP when you consider: Time to Transfer Content + Time for Device DB Refresh 

I have only used MSC for one album, and it did seem to transfer faster…it wasn’t enough to affect the database time. Really I’d prefer to use MSC, but the posts about database rebuild time made me skittish.

Does MSC only have the very long rebuild time if you transfer a lot of music, or would it require a long rebuild even when you just added one song to a very full Fuze?

Message Edited by bdb on 04-25-2008 11:38 AM

@bdb wrote:

Does MSC only still have the very long rebuild time if you transfer a lot of music, or would it require a long rebuild when you just added one song? 

It’s relative to the amount of content you add. Even several hundred megabytes only takes several seconds in MSC mode. When you’re talking several gigs at one time it can take a couple of minutes, but like the earlier poster said, MTP just shifts that time by making overall file transfer slower so your not really saving time.

It would be interesting to see which one is actually faster counting transfer time + database refresh.

I’ve updated the original post in case anyone else searches for this. I have about half my music in MSC mode now (on an almost-full 8GB Fuze), and while the database update speed is slower, its not considerably slower. Also, the media converter doesn’t recognize MSC at all. Edit: this must have been user error.

Message Edited by bdb on 04-26-2008 07:33 PM

@bdb wrote:
 Also, the media converter doesn’t recognize MSC at all.

I’m not sure what you mean. Are you talking about the Sansa Media Converter for putting videos on the player? I always use MSC and the SMC does recognize my Fuze. 

I know this thread is a little old, but it seems to be a common question so I thought I’d add another point:

Since MTP mode does not mount as a drive letter, you are very limited in the tools you can use to manipulate content on the player.  For example, I use MSC mode and sync with Winamp.  After I sync I run a batch file that uses a number of command line tools to perform various post-syncing tasks.  With MTP it’s basically not possible to use any scripting or command line tools.  Also, most GUI tools that manipulate media files (tagging, renaming, gain, etc.) won’t be able access the files on the player in MTP mode either.

I suppose the average user may not care, but scripting/tool support was a primary concern with me.  Probably the main reason I won’t own an iPod or MTP-only device.  I want the option to be able to use any tools I choose any way I choose.