Well, one issue down, another pops up. After I deleted the preloaded content and did a format, when I load music via MSC it won't go into the database. That is, it won't read any of the tags. Load via MTP, they're there.
The Music folder was hidden after the format - unhiding it doesn't seem to cure the problem. Anyone else using MSC mode have this issue?
edit: also, to get into the mode you don't need to do all the listed steps. at the home screen, putting it in hold then holding the left side of the scroll wheel for about 10 seconds (the items on the home screen will briefly disappear/reappear) puts it into the proper mode. you can release the left side and plug in, and there's MSC.