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I prefer UUIDs over labels due to being unique and thus there is less chance to mess things up by attaching another disk with the same label.

Thumbnails: In nautilus preferences you can choose the maximum size of files to generate thumbnails for. You might want to change this. Furthermore this might be related to some file formats not being supported. And you might want to check syslog for fails when getting those thumbnails.

I guess /media and /mnt are different only in the way they get labelled by SELinux. If you care about that, mount your disk in /media and create a symlink from /home/thingummybob/Music to it.

For mask permissions have a look at /etc/mtab. I don't think there are any differences.