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Get the Most Out of Your Video iPad

So you bought an iPad either for yourself or for a gift, congratulations! You made a great choice. Face it, the iPad is the defacto standard when it comes to digital players. It’s a super cool device that just rocks – but hey you already knew that.

So what’s next? I mean you now have the iPad but what can you do to expand it’s wow factor and use? Well here’s a short list of items to consider,and we strive to help you get the most out of your iPad and work your new iPad to its fullest potential.

Making it as a digital photo frame

You probably know by now that the iPad doubles as a digital picture frame. You can access this function a few ways, but the easiest way?

When you wake the iPad, look to the right of Slide to Unlock. You’ll see a flower. Click it. The slideshow will begin after a moment. Toggle the speed in Settings—oh, and while you’re at it, turn off “zoom in on faces”—it tends to just grain/muck up your photos.

Downloading video for your iPad

We’re sure you’re well aware that your iPad is perfect for playing videos. iTunes was quick to offer downloads of a couple of popular television shows and music videos for a price, and while they continue to add more, there’s a lot of free video content out there for your iPad if you know where to look. Besides, with the YouTube app designed specifically for iPad, videos are even easier to find. And on the amazing iPad display, they’re more fun to watch. Especially in HD.Content is organized in a new way, so it’s easy to navigate and watch. Tap what you want to see, and the video automatically appears full screen. Use your fingers to play, pause, and advance through a video.

Converting video or DVD movies for your iPad

Or maybe you’ve already got a lot of videos or DVD movies of your own that you’d like to add to your iPad, but, surprise surprise, you didn’t think to encode them using the H.264/MP4 video codec (what were you thinking?!). No worries, you’ve still got plenty of options.

Of course, Apple is happy to help you create your own iPad videos – after you purchase an upgrade to Quicktime Pro. Luckily, there are plenty of other simple options that allow you to convert your videos or DVD movies to create your own iPad videos.

If you’re a Mac user, you can easily rip and save your DVD and video collection to your iPad with the best DVD to iPad converter Mac and best iPad video converter Mac here.

If Windows is more your style, Aiseesoft DVD to iPad Converter or that Cucusoft iPad Converter Suite are both good solutions.

Connecting more than a camera

Apple’s iPad Camera Connection Kit ($29) does so much more than its stated purpose. Instead of just transferring photos and videos from your camera or SD card, the adapter’s USB port attaches a range of devices.

Many USB keyboards work. The iPad presents a warning that the device isn’t supported, but if it doesn’t draw much power, you can ignore the message. Volume and media keys usually work, and you can even use desktop commands such as Command-Z. (Don’t forget that the iPad also officially supports Bluetooth keyboards and Apple’s iPad Keyboard Dock).

Streaming movies from your computer

Even if you bought the largest-capacity iPad, if it can’t fit all of your videos, it’s too small. Instead of trying to cram everything into the device, you can stream videos from a local or online PC. The process has one main caveat; if you bought movies or TV shows from the iTunes store, DRM restrictions block those files. (Podcasts and music videos should work.). But you can watch your own videos or DRM-free downloads without taking up iPad storage.

Of the many options available, I like Air Video ($3) the best. (A free version includes the same functions but limits the number of files you can browse in each folder). Similar to competitors, you run a server utility on your PC or Mac in order to route data to the iPad. In my tests, Air Video played most resolutions smoothly, including 720p video files over an 802.11n Wi-Fi network.