It’s easy to put films on an iPad to watch on the move, and here we’ll explain how to do it.
There are several ways you can transfer videos to your iPad, one of which is to use iTunes to sync films (and TV shows) to the tablet. See also: iPad Air review
Although we’ll show you step by step how to do that, there are easier ways, especially if you need to use a computer other than the one with which you sync your iPad.
How to put films on an iPad: Don’t use the Videos app
There are lots of apps available in the App Store which can play videos, and some don’t require you to first convert the video into a format the iPad can play natively (i.e. MP4). Instead, you can play pretty much anything you like, including AVI, DIVX, MKV and more.
For example, CineXPlayer HD costs a couple of pounds but will play most formats and even supports surround sound audio: again meaning you don’t have to convert your video to have a stereo soundtrack first. It also supports separate subtitle files, which is handy if you’re watching a foreign film that doesn’t have subtitles embedded into the video itself.
There are other apps, including the free VLC player. This is currently in beta, but we’ve used it for several months without any major problems.
In order to watch films in CineXPlayer or VLC, you’ll still need to connect your iPad to your computer and launch iTunes. It doesn’t have to be the computer you use to sync and backup your iPad, though: any computer running iTunes will do.
When your iPad appears at the top of iTunes, click on it and then click on the Apps tab. Scroll down until you see the File Sharing section.
Scroll down the list and click on the appropriate video app, in this case we’ll choose VLC. Click the Add.. button to the right.
Vavigate to the film(s) you want to put on your iPad. Select one or more and click Open at the bottom of the dialog box.
The films will start copying to your iPad – a progress bar is shown in the pane at the top of iTunes.
Once they’re transferred, you can disconnect your iPad, launch VLC (or whichever video playback app you’re using) and the films will be there, ready to watch.
Bear in mind that playing video formats which aren’t natively supported by iOS will use up the battery faster.
How to put films on an iPad: Use a video downloader app
If you don’t want to have to connect your iPad to a computer running iTunes, there are other ways to get films onto your iPad. One is to install a video downloader app, such as Tube Downloader. Using the app’s built-in web browser you can head to YouTube or another video streaming site and find a video you want to watch.
When it starts playing, a pop-up window should appear giving you the option to download or save the video. You might have to type in a name for it, or it might automatically take the name from the web page.
How to put films on an iPad: Use iTunes or the iTunes store
If you launch the iTunes store on your iPad, then tap on Films at the bottom, you’ll find a great selection of the latest movies available to rent or buy. Renting a new film costs £3.49 in standard definition or £4.49 in HD. Classic films are a pound cheaper.
Although you can stream the films immediately, a bought or rented film will also be downloaded to your iPad so you can watch it without an internet connection.
Finally, if you prefer to stick with the built-in Videos app and want to put films from your computer onto your iPad, you’ll need to use the computer you use to sync and backup your iPad.
When your iPad appears at the top of iTunes (after connecting it with a USB cable or using Wi-Fi sync), click on the Films tab and you will see a list of all the films you’ve imported into your iTunes library. Bear in mind that they may appear in the TV Programmes tab if they’ve been incorrectly tagged. This is also true of TV Shows which are wrongly tagged as Films.
Tick the Sync Films box, then tick the films you want to add to your iPad from the list. Alternatively, tick the box next to “Automatically include all films”, and use the drop-down menu to choose an option from the list such as ‘all unwatched’.