You probably already know by now that you can copy a movie to your iPad, iPod, or iPhone with iTunes or the Camera Connection Kit.
But what about copying a movie from your DVD or Blu-Ray onto my iPod, iPad or iPhone without iTunes or Camera Connection Kit?
In this article, I’ll show you in a few simple steps how to do this under Windows or MacOS X – it also allows you to copy files from your iPad/iPod/iPhone back to your computer! Unfortunately I have not been able to find a similar trick or application for Linux (suggestions are most welcome) …
Getting a copy of your movie
There are several ways to get a copy of your movie as a video file (preferably in MP4 or M4V format).
You can download it, or … copy a DVD or Blu-Ray you own. I’ve written a few tutorials based on HandBrake on how to rip a DVD to MP4 file. When copying a DVD or Blu-Ray disk, keep the following in mind:
- always use a preset matching your target device best, and
- don’t forget to use the “iPod 5G Support” option in HandBrake.
Tutorials on how to copy (or rip) a DVD to an MP4 file:
Once you have completed the ripping process, you should have a copy of your DVD in suitable a MP4 or M4V file.
Note that renaming the file to an M4V is advisable, since Apple software (like iTunes) seems to handle that better.
Movie file format: Only MP4, M4V and MOV!
Unfortunately, with the arrival of a new version of iTools, only MP4, M4V and MOV files are being supported.
If you’d like to transfer an AVI or MKV for example, then you’ll first have to convert it with for example HandBrake.
Transferring video without iTunes
Transferring your MP4 (M4V) file to you iPod/iPad/iPhone can be done in several ways – in this case we are going to use a handy little program called “iTools” which is TOTALLY FREE.
It even converts certain other non-compliant video formats, which we like to avoid since it’s a very time consuming process.
The only downside that I have found so far with the use of iTools, is that metadata of a movie file, when copied to your iPhone/iPad/iPod, will not be shown.
The big plus though is that this tools comes with a boat load of additional functions, not just to copy files, but it even manages apps, add ringtones, etc. You should really check it out.
iTunes needed …?
iTools utilizes particular functions that comes with iTunes, like device drivers for example. For this reason iTunes must be installed.
For Mac users not a problem as iTunes comes with your computer.
For Windows users it means installing iTunes or applying a little trick so iTunes doesn’t need to be installed.
iTools under Windows
Running iTools without iTunes
For more experienced users: with a little trickery you can run iTools without iTunes.
Download the latest iTunes version and extract the downloaded iTunesSetup executable with a program like WinRar or 7Zip.
You’ll find the following files in the list of extracted files:
AppleMobileDeviceSupport.msi (or AppleMobileDeviceSupport64.msi for 64 bit versions)
Double click these 2 files to install them – AppleApplicationSupport first, and AppleMobileDeviceSupport after that.
iTools should work now without having iTunes fully installed.
You’ll need to download iTools, and yes, we do offer it here.
As usual we highly encourage you to go the original website to get the latest version.
Download - iTools (Windows)
Installation is straight forward.
Unzip the downloaded file and place the iTools.exe file anywhere you’d like.
Next start iTools and click you iOS device (1) – in the illustration below my iPad.
Note : If you iOS device is not listed or recognized, simply unplug the USB cable, count to 5, and reconnect the USB cable.
Select “Media” (2) on the left side, below your iOS device, and then “Video” (3) on the right side.
Drag and drop you video file(s) (4) on the white open space (the list of titles on your iOS device).
Immediately after dropping the file(s), iTools will ask if you’d like to install a video conversion plugin.
It’s not really needed (denying the installation will not prevent you from copying) but it doesn’t hurt either and it’s just a tiny download anyway. The only benefit of this plugin that I noticed is that the playback time on your iPad is displayed corrected, but that doesn’t seem to have an impact on the actual movie playback. I suspect that the plugin will also convert most non-compliant video files.
Transfer of the video file to your iPod/iPad/iPhone will start instantly and after a few seconds the movie will be available on your iOS device under your “Videos”. And that’s all there is to it.
iTools for Windows
iTools under MacOS X
First you’ll need to download iTools, and we do offer it here as well.
As usual we urge you to go the original website to get the latest version.
Download - iTools (MacOS X)
Double click the downloaded DMG file and drag iTools to you “Applications” folder.
Next start iTools, plug your iOS device with an USB cable into your computer, and click your iOS device (1) on the left hand side.
Next select “Movies” (2) on the left hand side below your iOS device, and drag and drop your movie file(s) (3) to the list area.
iTools will right away start transferring the file to your iOS device and within seconds you can play the movie which is found under “Videos” … and that’s all there is to it.
iTools for MacOS X (old version)
The newer version looks a little different. Your device is already selected on connection.
Click “Movies” (1) in the button bar on top. Next click “Movie” (2) from the menu on the left and now you can drag your files to the list (3).
iTools for MacOS X (new version)