Download PDF version [opens new window]
In this article we will describe what Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) is, as well as its advantages and disadvantages.
The MTP protocol seeks to address concerns about the distribution of digital content in the consumer market as an increasing number of organizations create and distribute digital audio/video content. The aim of MTP is to deliver content via a secure, easy-to-use interface, and push it to a range of devices.
The Media Transfer Protocol, introduced by Microsoft, is a protocol designed for intelligent storage devices like smartphones and digital audio players. It is based on, and fully compatible with, the Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP). MTP allows the synchronization of files between portable devices and a personal computer (PC).
Standardized in 2000, PTP was originally developed to transfer images from a digital still camera to a PC. PTP is limited to transferring images and is an insufficient solution for media rich portable devices like smartphones and portable media players. Users required a method to transfer different file formats like media files, people contacts or video, which were not supported by PTP. Microsoft therefore introduced the MTP to address the shortcomings in PTP.
Before the development of MTP, mobile phone manufacturers integrated USB Mass Storage Class (USB MSC) into their products to facilitate file transfers between PC and phones. However, since the standardization of MTP as a Universal Serial Bus (USB) device class in 2008, manufacturers have slowly started moving towards implementing support for MTP in their devices.
MTP offers the following advantages over USB MSC:
Let us now turn to some of the disadvantages of using MTP:
Software trying to connect to these devices via drive letters will not be able to do so. One example would be the current version (V6) of the backup and synchronization software, SyncBackPro, SyncBackSE and SyncBackFree. Android devices like smartphones and tablets with the MTP protocol will have no drive letters allocated to them and the current version of SyncBackPro/SE/Free will not be able to perform data backups or synchronization to or from these devices. However, the forthcoming V7 of SyncBackPro and SyncBackSE supports MTP (it is not supported in SyncBackFree). Currently V7 is available in beta version via the appropriate section of the 2BrightSparks’s User Forum:
Please refer to the posts for important background information. The V7 forum section is also where any questions or comments should be posted about the beta version (so other beta-testers can review the questions and answers). Correspondence may be switched to the Support Area later (depending on the nature of the issue), but an initial post in the forum may let others know the subject has been raised.
In conclusion, the Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) is a class protocol for current and future portable media devices like portable media players and cellular smartphones. SyncBackPro/SE users can look forward to V7 as it will include MTP support.