Saving MP4/AVI Videos onto Your iOS #iPad Device

Update 7/7/2012: Another easy approach is to use FlexPlayer. Read all about it here.

UPDATE 1/2/2012: It occurred to me that there's an easier approach you can follow for putting videos onto an iPad without messing with iTunes. That solution is detailed below; view the screenshot version.

An ALTERNATE solution that seems easier--and works--for putting videos sans iTunes on an iPad includes using SugarSync, an Dropbox like app. Here are the steps I followed:
  1. Create your SugarSync account
  2. Install SugarSync for iPad on your iPad and enter your username/password to LOGIN.
  3. Upload videos to your SugarSync account in the iPad device area.
  4. Go to your iPad SugarSync app and press SYNC TO IPAD.
  5. Wait for videos to be downloaded to your device.
  6. Watch the videos without an Internet connection.
Note that you don't have to install SugarSync on your computer, just create a web account and install the app on your iPad. For those that would like to read more about SugarSync, I wrote a series of blog posts about it some time ago:

Update 1/11/2012:
Another no cost solution:
Streaming/Saving Video/Audio to iOS or Android devices

Update 1/11/2012:
Other solutions listed immediately below include paid apps:

Others--via the Google-Certified Teachers (GCT) list--have suggested the following paid apps. I haven't investigated these because I prefer no-cost over cost.
  • YouTube Videos on iOS - iCabMobile (approx $3)
  • Another approach - Download DY Download app (lite version allows 10 free full-version downloads).  Copy YT link and convert with something like  It will then ask where to download converted file (will download to new app installed.)
    Then open the video in dy download -
  • MyMedia App -
  • The Dropbox solution will work if you upgrade to a paid Dropbox account which will sync all your stuff offline. The free accounts won't do this, they just stream from the web.
  • iOS app PhotoSync ($2). Use a free, online solution like to download a MP4 version of a YouTube version, and then PhotoSync will let you transfer the videos directly to other iOS Devices and even create new folders in the Photo Album of those folders for the videos.
Information sources for the paid apps included Wes Fryer, Nic Finelli, Dave Childers.

FIRST DRAFT OF BLOG ENTRY: The solution using Video D/L app works, but I like the SugarSync solution elaborated on above or in this blog entry. Please share YOUR solution in the comments!

A colleague online recently asked this question:
Working with a teacher who is creating some videos for her students and finding some online via YouTube.  She wants to put them all in one place so students can download them to their mobile (mostly iOS) device so the videos are then STORED on the device.  Is there anyway to actually MAKE the video download to the iOS VIDEOS area?  If not with this method, anyone else have any other/alternative suggestions?  Someone mentioned to me in another network to put the videos in a Dropbox folder for students to download and I haven't tried that yet.
Below is my response:

The problem with videos placed in Dropbox is that they don't download but are streamed. This means, you have to have an Internet connection. Also, we don't want to have to use iTunes to get the videos onto the iOS device. How does one accomplish that? 

In short, we need a solution that will do the following:
  1. Allow you to place YouTube videos in their "offline" MP4 format onto the iPad
  2. Not use iTunes
  3. Avoid streaming from the Internet because the device may NOT be connected to the Internet.
The following approach accomplishes all 3 points above, enabling you to "sideload" any video in MP4 video format and then play it using a free iOS app.

1) Get YouTube videos into MP4 format. You can use sites like or to get an MP4 version of the video (or convert existing videos with a tool like Miro Video Converter). Of course, you are encouraged to consider copyright issues before taking this action but let's go with you know that already. And anyways, you may just want to put videos you own license to onto your iPad without going through iTunes.

2) Place the MP4 video files on a mass storage site, like Dropbox or In this example, I used since they were offering 50 gigs of storage space for free at one time. We only need to go through this process once--downloading a video off the Internet--since you can just plug your iPad into your computer and copy MP4 videos via USB cable.

For example, notice that I have Failure-Michael Jordan video stored in my account (and not much else!):

Note that I'm not viewing my account using Safari or Terra browsers on the iPad, but rather, using the one included with Video Downloader Plus Lite v2.0.1.

3) Install the "Video Downloader Pro Free" app on your iOS device--which comes with its own browser and allows you to "download" content (up to 7 videos on the free version). You can read about it online at

You can use the Video Downloader's Browser (note the buttons that appear at the bottom of the screen above) to navigate to your or Dropbox account, then RIP MEDIA option will appear). The browser also includes a bookmark, so you can quickly find your way to your video repository.

Again, remember that if you plug your iPad into your computer, you can just copy videos to the Video D/L ->Documents folder. If it doesn't exist yet--because you haven't downloaded a video--download one video, reconnect your iPad to the computer, and then mass copy videos over.

The browser's extra features make it possible for you to save the video to your iOS device and then play the video:
Post-download of the video, you can play it or choose what to OPEN IN.

Note that the video can be played WITHOUT an Internet connection. This means students could take the device home and view videos without Internet access!

Once the Video D/L app is installed, you can transfer MP4 video files to the folder where it stores the videos, which is VIDEO D/L -> Documents . You can put as many videos as you want in there...bypassing the 7 video file limit as shown below:

This should make it pretty easy to load a large quantity of videos onto an iOS device for student viewing and completely allow you to skip using iTunes. Yay!

If working with audio, try one of these approaches.

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


hydra12 said…
If you put the video in your dropbox folder, you can mark it as a favorite in the dropbox app and it will save it for offline viewing. We videotape my daughter's dance team practices and she gets them onto her iPad this way.
Anonymous said…
I just long press with the dolphin browser and click save link...

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