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MTP Definition: What is MTP Mode?



The term MTP stands for Media Transfer Protocol and it is a communication method specifically optimized for the transfer of audio and video file types. Consumer electronic devices that can be interfaced with your computer normally support the MTP protocol -- especially if they are capable of handling video (movie clips, photos, etc.) as well as audio formats. The types of consumer electronic devices that typically support MTP include:

  • MP3 players
  • PMPs
  • Digital cameras
  • Smartphones / Cellphones
  • Other multimedia devices
These normally come with a USB (Universal Serial Bus) cable that can be directly plugged into your computer. However, the MTP protocol is not limited to a particular interface type; some devices for example have a fire wire port instead.

Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh Operating Systems
For Windows users, the MTP protocol is the recommended setting to use for your portable hardware device. This provides a user-friendly way to integrate your device to use: software media players, playlists, and music subscription services (Rhapsody etc.) for example. This contrasts with the MSC (Mass Storage Class) mode which is normally used for non-Windows operating systems such as Mac. When a device is set to MSC mode it simply acts as a mass storage device -- like a flash memory card for example.

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