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Extra photo and video storage for iPad Storage Devices
This hint requires the Apple Camera Connection Kit and some SD cards.

You may find it useful for all sorts of reasons to have extra storage space available on your iPad. In my case as a regular traveller I like to take a number of movies to watch on my iPad but there is a limit to how many large-sized films that can be stored on the device; especially if you have one of the smaller memory sized ones. I know apps like AirVideo can stream from your home computer even when travelling away from home, but this is not always practical depending on where you go.

I have discovered, after reading a hard-to-find hint elsewhere on the web, that photos and videos can be stored on an SD card, and imported with the SD card adapter in the Camera Connection Kit, as long as the filenames are in a recognised format. The original hint I found suggested that just naming the files correctly would work but I found that the files need to be in a specific folder to be recognised.

The SD card you use needs to have the folder structure that is created when the card is used in a camera, so I just used a card that already contained this structure, but one where all the old photos/videos have been removed.

The folder structure on my card looks like this: DCIM » 100DICAM, but yours may well be different. The important thing is that any movies or photos that you want to be able to import to the iPad need to be in the embedded 100DICAM (in this case) folder. I have another camera where the second folder is not there and on this card I put the movies directly in the DCIM folder.

Than all you need to do is add movies to this folder with the naming structure as used by your camera. An 8 digit name with sequential numbers. Examples could be P0000001, P0000002, etc. or DCM_0001, DCM_0002, etc.

When you then put this card in the Camera Connection Kit and plug it into the iPad, the iPad will ask to import the files. They will be added to the Photos app, but they play just fine from there. I have successfully imported a large HD movie (formatted with Handbrake for the AppleTV). You need a big card for this size of movie though.

With this process you can delete movies from the iPad when they have been watched and add new ones. The only difficulty is that the name structure required means that you don't know what film is what -- a good set of notes would be needed, unless you have a very good memory that is!

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one.]
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Extra photo and video storage for iPad | 16 comments | Create New Account
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Extra photo and video storage for iPad
Authored by: timcrawf on Mar 14, '11 09:22:59AM

You mention
"as long as the filenames are in a recognised format"
But you don't ever tell us what the format is.

Can you please elaborate on this?



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Re: Appropriate Formats
Authored by: ex2bot on Mar 14, '11 10:01:50AM

iOS (iPads/iPhones/iPod touches/Apple TVs) recognize only H.264 at certain encoding rates. I use the free program called Handbrake. Look at the presets for iPhone, etc.



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Re: Appropriate Formats
Authored by: timcrawf on Mar 14, '11 03:13:59PM

I understand how to make them iPad compatible. My question was regarding the "filenames are in a recognised format" statement. And what that special naming format might be.



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Re: Appropriate Formats
Authored by: ex2bot on Mar 16, '11 04:33:36AM

I don't think the filename matters.



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Extra photo and video storage for iPad
Authored by: nigelgoodman on Mar 14, '11 11:14:25AM

Keep reading, you will get there:

"Than all you need to do is add movies to this folder with the naming structure as used by your camera. An 8 digit name with sequential numbers. Examples could be P0000001, P0000002, etc. or DCM_0001, DCM_0002, etc."



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Extra photo and video storage for iPad
Authored by: lfthnd on Mar 14, '11 09:55:04AM

Why go through all that when you can just reformat your movies in HandBrake and move them in or out of your sync choices in iTunes? They are stored in iTunes all the time if you want them to be, but you can cycle them in and out too.



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Extra photo and video storage for iPad
Authored by: BMarsh on Mar 15, '11 10:56:17AM

if you are travelling with just an iPad, and no Mac, and want to bring additional movies with you on a longer trip/vacation.

You can load them from an SD card temporarily onto the iPad to watch, then delete when finished. (And as long as you don't erase the SD card, you could load again if needed)



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Extra photo and video storage for iPad
Authored by: fmaxwell on Mar 16, '11 01:41:14AM

Walk me through the process:

- You are sitting on the plane and your iPad is on the tray table in front of you.
- Your Mac laptop is in its case in the overhead bin.
- There's someone sitting in the seat next to you, so you can't just take his tray table.

How do you propose to move the movie you want from you Mac's hard drive (in the overhead bin) to your iPad?



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Extra photo and video storage for iPad
Authored by: ex2bot on Mar 16, '11 04:39:27AM

Before you fly, grab yourself a big @$$ SD card and load it with movies. When in flight, insert Camera Connection Kit, insert SD card, play desired movie, and hilarity ensues.

(At least that's the theory.)



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Extra photo and video storage for iPad
Authored by: macslut on Mar 15, '11 12:19:04AM

This is a really great hint. I'm going to by the Camera Connection Kit tomorrow just because of this. I think I might have a way to provide Title info for the movies, but I'll have to check this out before posting. I'll be back tomorrow.



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Extra photo and video storage for iPad
Authored by: mikesreach on Mar 15, '11 08:25:23AM

I think the poster read my rant in Apple Forums or in a Yahoo Group... there are more specifics so here goes:

iPad and USB/SD cards:

This is great and important news as it will allow you to expand your iPad greatly....

But first a problem: this happened in the OS upgrade iOS4.2 (both of these functions worked under 3.2: Apple fxxxed up)

First the bad news:

1. With the USB camera adapter most people can no longer use a memory stick (flash drive) Why?

Apple reduced the power allowance in the dock port from 100ma to 20ma in their software update iOS 4.2

Plug a 16GB memory stick in there with your pix or movies you get: "This device uses too much power"

Thousands of people that were using these flash drives on the iPads with OS3.2 & now can't use these expensive devices.. but if you happen to have a powered USB hub?

The only thing you can do to help solve this problem is leave feedback @ Apple: please do it: http://www.apple.com/feedback/ipad.html

Now the Good News and how it affects YOU:

2. You can use the other adapter that comes with the kit (the SD card reader)... but I've tried doing this for 2 days. Movies and pix were not recognized by the iPad. Why?

All media software triggers an application by its affix (like .jpg and .mp4)... but most software in the last 10 years easily converted .jpeg to .jpg: not the iPad OS (for now).

Hold on.. only three things to make it work... and this is truly insane:

1. All affixes can be no more than 3 letters/digits (e.g. no ".jpeg") So jpg, raw, mp4, mov, mv4 are ok. If you have anything named .jpeg you'll have to rename it (remove the "e").

Note: .pdf also works! So this is workaround is not just for media... you can upload and delete documents in .pdf format all without a computer.

2. All media must be inside a folder on the SD card named: DCIM

3. Here's where you hold on: NO FILE NAME CAN BE MORE or LESS THAN 8 LETTERS/DIGITS and NO SPACES (yep Mike is shouting!)

I had a movie project named Gay Baby. That name won't work.

Gay Baby must be renamed GayBaby1.mp4 (count em... 7 letters and 1 digit for
the title with no spaces and 3 letters/digits for the suffix/filetype)

If you don't change it... it will not be recognized. Remember: 8 character minimum and maximum!

OK... so now you can use 1, 2, 4, 16, 32, 64GB SD cards (and hopefully Apple fixes the power restriction problem for Flash drive use)

... but when you follow this protocol ... where do your movies, photos & documents go on your iPad?

They all go into Photos... yes even the movies & .pdf's go into Photos.

So what's really cool about this is that you can load movies onto your SD card, import them one at a time or multiple... and guess what? Then delete them after watching.. then load another: All without a computer... and that's the main point.

Want to thank me for 2 days of research? Click the feedback thingy above and tell Apple to restore the power!

Mikesreach



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Extra photo and video storage for iPad
Authored by: nigelgoodman on Mar 16, '11 08:05:27AM

Yes! With my 10-minutes of research I found that USB sticks did not work, hence my hint about SD cards.

I also forgot to mention about the necessary filename extensions. Thanks for that.



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Extra photo and video storage for iPad
Authored by: mikesreach on Mar 16, '11 09:57:48AM

I hinted at a fix for the flash drive...

1. if you plug the flashdrive into a powered USB (Belkin makes a really small one for Macbooks)...and then plug the hub into the USB connector
it works fine.. so your old Flash drives are not totally worthless... just more complicated to use for this purpose *

2. Of course you can plug your camera (which is battery powered or AC adaptor powered) into the iPad USB connector you're good to go. Afterall Apple meant it to be for cameras only in the first place.

But the inconvenience and of not being able to connect a cheap flash drive directly into iPad USB connector is a shame. Apple stated they were concerned about battery length on the iPad.... but connecting a flash drive to upload a movie took mere seconds. So you can bet DRM restrictions (copyright) played heavily into their decision on this one. They really want everyone to buy movies through iTunes.

Trouble is once the movies get on the iPad through syncing through iTunes (Apple's preferred way), you need a computer and iTunes to delete them. So it's really nice to be able to place 10-20 movies, documents you want to either read or share, 100's of photos... on a SD card and take it on vacation.. without the need of a computer. And best is you can delete them after watching and gain more free space on your iPad.

(iPad iOS prompts you to delete or save the movie/picture from the SD card or leave them alone from both the SD card and the iPad). My iPad 16GB is loaded with apps! but that only takes 5GB... leaving 10GB free.

Negative stuff: (and something to figure out). Somehow iTunes manages to get titles on movies and pictures, whereas using the SD card method you only see how long the movie (no title appears) and with pictures you see just a thumbnail of a picture... again no title. Somehow iTunes gets by that restriction. The only work-around I've found (so far) is to make sure the very first frame of a movie is not blank... if the first frame contains an image, that image will show up in the Photos app ... and if it's the title or recognizable you're in business.

Mike

* now if we could just find a powered flash drive... like one that runs on 3 hearing aid batteries ;-)



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Extra photo and video storage for iPad
Authored by: Modena on Apr 09, '11 08:20:42AM

Could someone tell me how I can delete a movie from my iPad that I transferred from an sd card? Thanks



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Extra photo and video storage for iPad
Authored by: Modena on Apr 11, '11 03:21:23PM

This procedure worked brilliantly. I formated a 16 gig SD card by loading it into my Canon EOS camera and selecting the format option: took no time at all to creat a DCIM folder. At first I didn't put the movie directly into this folder, but once I did I had it up and running in my iPad. Important to follow the 8-character structure, e.g. I renamed "The Maltese Falcon" as "Maltfalc.m4v" and it showed up in the Photos section of my iPad. Thanks for the research



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Extra photo and video storage for iPad
Authored by: Robertat19 on Aug 08, '11 03:37:06AM

I managed to download a movie using the camera file name but it won't play in photos. Any idea why ?



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