Home » Tutorial

How to Organize Video on the iPad

One of the most popular sections of the App Store centers on films. Every Tuesday, the latest releases are pushed out for rental and purchase along with a substantial backlog of classics from the 1990’s and 1980’s. It’s easy to build up a collection of favorites to load up on the iPad.

The only technical issues have to do with setup, and even then by following these steps it’ll be showtime before you know it.

Part 1. Organize movies from the App Store on the iPad.

Transferring over movies from the App Store and organize them on the iPad is simple. First, select a movie or TV show to purchase or rent. Once the transaction is completed, it’ll download to the “Purchased” menu in the Store, or “Recently Added” in the Playlists section. These will appear on the left side of the iTunes menu. Next, plug the device into the computer running iTunes and highlight the movie choice. Hold down the menu button and drag it over to the iPad’s Movies or TV Shows section. It will transfer after only a few seconds. Once finished, unplug the device and skim over to the Videos menu. Voila! There’s the program you wanted to watch.

This can be done with a large variety of programs on the App Store, though some will take longer than others. Some movies are very large in size, clocking in at over 1.3 GB apiece. That brings up the next section of the tutorial: organing movies.

There are two ways to organize video on iPad.

If your iPad is suddenly overflowing with movies and shows and no further programming can be added, simply follow one of two methods to remove them. The first, and easiest, is going directly through the iPad. Find the program that needs to be deleted, hold your finger down on it for one second, and a red “X” will appear in the left-hand corner. Tap the red “X” to delete the program. The device will ask for confirmation before it completes the action. And don’t worry, unless it was a rental, this movie or show is available for re-download through the App Store.

The second option requires the reconnection of the iPad to the computer running iTunes. Plug it back in, and it pops back up in the left-hand submenu. Click on Movies or TV Shows (depending on what you want to delete), highlight the choice, click the right mouse button (or select Delete under Edit menu), and confirm the selection. And like that, it’s gone (though, again, it can be downloaded again as long as it isn’t a rental).

Part 2. Organize the video from your computer on iPad.

Other types of video content – certain other Internet video files, and DVDs you’re legally allowed to rip – must first be converted into an iTunes-recognized video format before they can be imported into your iPad.

Preparing Video Content for your iPad
iTunes has the limited ability to convert virtually any file it can play itself into a format the iPad can play too. It will only convert content that is already IN iTunes. This content must therefore be playable by iTunes itself in order to be converted for the iPad. This method uses an Apple program called QuickTime to perform the conversion, it’s slow by comparison to some third-party tools, and there are no advanced conversion options available, nor really any options for the conversion at all. iTunes simply performs the conversion into what it deems is the most appropriate format, and therefore doesn’t always produce the most efficiently compressed file, resulting in larger than necessary file sizes. While this is generally fine for the occasional video clip grabbed off the Internet, advanced users will definitely prefer to use a third-party tool for all but the most basic video conversion tasks. The following iPad tutorials provide more information on converting your videos to an iPad-ready format using other methods and third-party tools.

How to Play DVD on iPad
How to Put Video on iPad, Play Video on iPad?
How to Convert DVD Movies to iPad on Mac

Transferring video content to the iPad
Once your video content has been properly tagged, the next step is to transfer it to your iPad for viewing on the go. If you’re using manual synchronization, this is simply a matter of dragging-and-dropping the content onto the iPad in the same way as you would for music content.

Managing Video Content with Smart Playlists
Although iTunes 9 (or above) has greatly expanded the options for synchronizing content to the iPad and iPhone, in our view these option still remain inadequate for large video libraries, where you may want more control over the specific content that is synced to your devices. For example, you might want to include a different number of unwatched episodes for each TV show, rather than relying on the global setting in your device’s sync preferences, or you may want to re-watch your favorite episodes of a specific show.

Fortunately, the ability to sync to selected playlists means that one of iTunes’ most powerful features, Smart Playlists, can be used to more effectively manage video content automatically on the iPad with minimum effort.

And that’s it. You’re on your way to a more customizable movie selection. Ultimately, recent versions of iTunes have greatly expanded upon the ability to effectively manage imported video content, and although there is still very definite room for improvement, we’re quite happy to see Apple starting to provide at least a basic facility for users to effectively manage their own imported content.