FORUMS
Remove All Ads from XDA

The state of MTP on Mac OS X (as required for ICS/GNex)

195 posts
Thanks Meter: 34
 
By wanderfowl, Senior Member on 21st November 2011, 02:01 AM
Post Reply Email Thread
So, this isn't about the Galaxy Nexus per-se, but I know many of you are scared of the change to MTP and the interaction with the computer, especially those of you coming from Gingerbread directly through to the Galaxy Nexus.

I've had a Motorola Xoom (which doesn't support USB mass storage mode) for a while. Simply put, there is _no_ native support for MTP in OS X (10.7 or lower). If you plug your Galaxy Nexus into your Mac, nothing will happen at all. OS X won't see it, DoubleTwist doesn't see it, Songbird won't and iTunes (obviously) won't see it. As far as I know, there's no way of enabling your Mac to see the device natively, and all of the software designed for other MTP devices that I've tried doesn't work.

In fact, the only way your Mac will ever see it is if you download Google's Android File Helper software. This program, once installed, runs in the background, and whenever you plug in your Honeycomb (or ICS) device, it pops up a window showing the contents of the phone's memory. From here (and only from that window), you can pull files from the phone/tablet or put them onto it.

This works acceptably, but with a few hangups. First, unlike a normal finder window, only one transfer can occur at once, and there's no queueing. So, if you drop one folder on to copy, you're not able to move anything else onto or off of the card until it's finished. Also, large transfers (~10 GB) don't work particularly reliably, and may fail partway through, so you may consider dragging files in in groups. Finally, and most frustratingly, it will often not be up to date with what files are on the device, especially if you've recently deleted them. So, folders or files may still show up that you've recently deleted. Maybe this has been changed in ICS (I hope so!), but that's my experience.

That's your primary way on or off the device. I've had limited success using DDMS for transferring files on and off of the device, and although it's clunky and requires USB debugging mode, it's the most reliable way I've found for transfers that fail in the Transfer client. In practice, I'd recommend using something like SwiFTP to copy (smaller) files to and from your device, and avoiding the hassle when you can.

In short, you definitely CAN use OS X to transfer files onto and off of your Galaxy Nexus, but it's not as easy as it was for Gingerbread Devices, and tools like DoubleTwist and Songbird can no longer access your device at all (in their current versions). You can get around this using AirSync for DoubleTwist to load music, or doing so manually, but it's kludgey. It's unlikely that Apple will choose to support MTP in future versions of OS X (it's a Microsoft protocol now used mostly by Android), but hopefully Google will improve the tool as time goes on.

Sorry if this is all well known and obvious, but if you were on the fence about the GNex because of this, don't be. The MTP switch is annoying, but nothing showstopping, even for OS X. Just FYI.
The Following 10 Users Say Thank You to wanderfowl For This Useful Post: [ View ] Gift wanderfowl Ad-Free
 
 
21st November 2011, 03:19 AM |#2  
Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 25
 
More
Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderfowl

I've had a Motorola Xoom (which doesn't support USB host mode) for a while.

Which doesn't have USB Mass Storage mode (not USB Host - this is USB OTG where you can plug in other USB peripherals into the Xoom). Sorry just a pet peeve watching people confuse the two.

Thanks for an informative post. MTP looks like it is going to cause headaches to every non-Windows device by the looks of it. Ironic for a Linux based device ; ).
21st November 2011, 03:26 AM |#3  
wanderfowl's Avatar
OP Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 34
 
More
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jebus99

Which doesn't have USB Mass Storage mode (not USB Host - this is USB OTG where you can plug in other USB peripherals into the Xoom). Sorry just a pet peeve watching people confuse the two.

Thanks for an informative post. MTP looks like it is going to cause headaches to every non-Windows device by the looks of it. Ironic for a Linux based device ; ).

Whoops! Edited
21st November 2011, 05:01 AM |#4  
Senior Member
Oxnard, CA
Thanks Meter: 461
 
More
So WiFi File Explorer outta work though if your other ftp type app did?
21st November 2011, 05:28 AM |#5  
martonikaj's Avatar
Senior Member
Flag Seattle, WA
Thanks Meter: 1,707
 
More
Thanks for the info. I remember using the app on my MacBook when I had the Xoom. I didn't mind it too much, but it was a tad annoying having to open the app rather than just pop open 'finder' and go. FWIW it DID work just fine for my couple months with the Xoom.
21st November 2011, 07:29 AM |#6  
wanderfowl's Avatar
OP Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 34
 
More
Quote:

So WiFi File Explorer outta work though if your other ftp type app did?

Yeah, FTP apps of all sorts work fine. I use Transmit on the Mac to access the phone via FTP, and that works like a charm.
21st November 2011, 07:31 AM |#7  
wanderfowl's Avatar
OP Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 34
 
More
Quote:
Originally Posted by martonikaj

Thanks for the info. I remember using the app on my MacBook when I had the Xoom. I didn't mind it too much, but it was a tad annoying having to open the app rather than just pop open 'finder' and go. FWIW it DID work just fine for my couple months with the Xoom.

It works fine to the internal storage. Maybe I should've said explicitly that I had more issues using the Android File Transfer app with the SD Card in the Xoom.
21st November 2011, 07:59 AM |#8  
Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 841
 
More
I'm glad Google gave this a thought, now they should make one for linux too, but they probably won't.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderfowl

iTunes (obviously) won't see it.

My post is pointless, but hell will freeze over before iTunes recognizes a Samsung device, lol. If it wasn't for laws and standard, they wouldn't allow their PC to recognize Samsung devices either.
21st November 2011, 04:43 PM |#9  
wanderfowl's Avatar
OP Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 34
 
More
Quote:
Originally Posted by eksasol

I'm glad Google gave this a thought, now they should make one for linux too, but they probably won't.

That's the nice part about Linux. The people working on Linux have an active incentive to add this functionality, as it improves the experience. With OS X, they have an active (marketing) reason to not add it, anti-competitive behavior. Don't give up hope
21st November 2011, 06:24 PM |#10  
Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 283
 
More
Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderfowl

It's unlikely that Apple will choose to support MTP in future versions of OS X (it's a Microsoft protocol now used mostly by Android), but hopefully Google will improve the tool as time goes on.

It's a protocol native to the USB standard since 2008 so if Apple want to be standards compliant they should implement it. There are lots of other devices that use it as well.
21st November 2011, 06:36 PM |#11  
Senior Member
Flag Manchester
Thanks Meter: 95
 
More
Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderfowl

As far as I know, there's no way of enabling your Mac to see the device natively, and all of the software designed for other MTP devices that I've tried doesn't work.

Those apps probably just need an update to libmtp.. for some reason that library has the device ID of every device it supports hardcoded in, rather than working out whether a device supports mtp in other ways as things like windows do.

If anyone has ported mtpfs to OSX you should be able to get that going (will probably do that myself when I get time.. Android File Transfer is OK but a bit quirky).
Post Reply Subscribe to Thread

Tags
ics, mtp, osx

Guest Quick Reply (no urls or BBcode)
Message:
Previous Thread Next Thread
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes