Alt Mounter brings Android USB Mass Storage back to OS X

May 2, 2012

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Hands-down one of the most annoying features of the few Android phones that implement it is the MTP storage standard, which is frustrating on Windows PCs and nearly useless on Mac. Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich devices (and even some Samsung Gingerbread phones) have adopted MTP over the older and generally more reliable USB Mass Storage, much to the consternation of Android users everywhere. Luckily, there's a new project on XDA that gets around it and returns sweet, sweet USB mounting to your Android device and your Mac: Alt Mounter.

Basically, Alt Mounter creates an alternate connection between your phone and your Mac, sidestepping the MTP protocol for a separate connection. You'll need a separate application running on your Mac in addition to the FUSE package. Install the apps on your phone and your Mac, tap the widget on your homescreen and you're good to go with blessedly fast, old-fashioned file transfers.

Currently the program is only available for Mac, but the developer is thinking about creating Windows and Linux versions as well. It's also in beta, so tread with caution. You can download both the app and the OS X program at this file reservoir. Go now, Mac users, and transfer files with reckless abandon! (And by the way, if you don't want to mess with any extra desktop software, try AirDroid and a local WiFi network.)

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  • Mr. S

    I haven’t had any issue with MTP on my Windows or Linux computers. Additionally, there are reasons for switching to MTP for internal storage – one gains the ability to be able to access storage without having to unmount the partition from the device, have the DRM protected storage extend beyond a fixed size, dynamically update the media catalog and perform on-the-fly conversion.

    If it doesn’t work with your Mac, I’m sorry, but don’t paint this as a universal issue loathed by all.

    • Dana W

      It is Microsoft lockdown, like NTFS.

      • Mr. S

        Can you offer any proof in support of that assertion? While Microsoft created the protocol, they gave it to the USB Forum to standardize and own. Microsoft has done no such thing with NTFS.

  • Mine works fine, I only use Linux.



  • Jim

    If all you do is play Angry Birds and watch YouTube, I can believe that this isn’t a problem for you.  Ditto if you like playing with the command line all day.  I have no problem saying that it is the #1 most annoying thing about Android, period–although not as bad as being tied to iTunes.  I find it to be a major inconvenience that I cannot even run a simple sync utility to keep my work documents up to date on both machines.  And by the way, DRM protected storage isn’t a feature, it’s a cancer.  If I had it all to do again, I might book a Nook Color, and save myself the added money and frustration that comes with MTP.

    • Jim

       I’m so mad at the trolls I forgot to thank the developers for taking care of this.  Thank you!

  • Eric

    Not everyone hates the MTP feature, but I agree with the author that it’s annoying. I can’t thumbnail photos and basically work blind…

  • ikaruga

    Unfortunately, most linux users think using obscure commandline arguments is “working fine . I’m a linux user myself and I’ve found MTP absolutely horrible. After finally getting go-mtpfs to connect with my phone, the darn thing nuked my music collection when I deleted a file in the music player! Never had that issue with good ol’ UMS. Overall MTP in linux is very buggy and painful to setup. Can’t wait for something like this to come out.

  • mr.danon

    My TV can play videos from USB devices. Now I can’t play videos from my phone on TV. I wish, fucking googlers will put this MTP shit in their asses. I’m switching to iphone, android now is useless crap