Confused with video formats

Discussion in 'iPad Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by slippyr4, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. slippyr4 macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2008
    I have a music video which is an .mp4 file. According to ffmpeg, it's mp42 with h264 video at 1920x788 and an aac audio stream.

    As far as I can tell, the iPad 3 ought to be able to play this.

    Yet when I try and sync this to the iPad, itunes complains that the video cannot be copied to the iPad because "it cannot be played on this iPad"

    Any ideas why?

    It is SO frustrating getting media on to this iPad. All I had to do was copy a file to my galaxy tab, virtually any file format, yet on this thing it's an overly complicated process that just doesn't work.

    I thought the apple ecosystem was supposed to be better? This whole itunes and lack of formats support is a dreadful user experience.
  2. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Sorry about your having a bad experience with iTunes, I find that Apple stuff usually "just works" -- until it doesn't. :rolleyes: Then, it's very hard to figure out what went wrong. Anyway, I have no idea why your video file isn't working, but what usually works in that situation is to create an iPad version of the file. Select the file in iTunes, click on "Advanced" in the menu, and you'll see the option there. This leaves you with two copies of the same video, which is annoying, especially when there is no apparent reason why the original file doesn't work, but the newly created copy should play on your iPad.
  3. Cord77 macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2012
    Have a look at Airvideo app. It allows you to stream videos to your iPad from a computer (you install a computer side application also). As well as realtime streaming of files such as .vob, .mkv, .avi etc, it also acts as a front-end for their converter. It lets you queue up files for background conversion to .m4v format, and you can even tell it to sync the video next time you connect the iPad. It's really a very slick app, and gives you control over audio track and subtitle streams.

    Personally I don't bother with iTunes syncing, I just connect my iPad, when it shows up your iPad on the left side of iTunes, click to show the iPad subsections (music, films etc), then you can simply drag and drop .m4v files directly to your iPad from Windows explorer (or Mac, I guess it works the same).
  4. tugger macrumors regular


    Apr 14, 2005
    I own a bunch of DVDs and had already converted them to .mp4 format but couldn't get them to transfer to the IP3. There's a bit of a learning curve involved, but here's my novice suggestion.

    Your video is H.264 encoded already (I think this is required for playback on iPad), but it's in .mp4 format. So I think all you need to do is get it into .m4v format. For that you can use Subler (free application - only for Mac). Subler will do the conversion in less than a minute.

    Download Subler here

    Subler docs here

    One thing suggested in the docs is that after you open your .mp4 file in Subler, click on the Video Track in the upper pane, and in the lower pane make sure "Main @ 3.1 (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, AppleTV)" is selected from the H.264 Video Profile/Level pop-up.

    Then do a "Save As" and it will get your .mp4 into .m4v format. Then just drag the .m4v file into iTunes, do your sync, and (hopefully) it should work.

    Good luck.
  5. Hoggles, Mar 21, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012

    Hoggles macrumors regular


    Mar 7, 2012
    I agree 100%.

    iTunes is just a complete piece of cow dung. The layout, horrible. The ease of use, horrible. Actually being able to do extremely simple tasks, horrible.

    Something as simple as transferring a file, pic, photo or video...becomes this insane series of hoops you have to try to jump through.

    I had the exact problem you did. I tried at first to simply do what you should be able to do...and that is to drag a file or vid to the DCIM folder on the iPad, through windows. Ohh no no...that's way to easy to allow that :rolleyes:

    So, I covert a .MOV video (of my band), to mp4. Same thing as you, "iPad can't play it".

    I LOVE my IP3...and am very impressed by Apples software (on the iPad). iTunes on the desktop is an absolute clunky pig though. Apple really needs to completely redesign and rework iTunes. Maybe actually make a dedicated utility for Win/Mac to transfer files simply by drag and drop....and of course, allow more file types by default...for instance...a Quicktime .mov file.

    Bottom line is that Apple wants iTunes to filter every single file, pic, vid that you want to put on your device. It's such a horribly invasive and under preforming program.

    Simplicity please. Breathe...

    Lordy Lou!!

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