Download Videos to Your iPad Without Using iTunes

by Jhet Bhlak on November 30, 2012

Adding videos to your iPad without using iTunes is relatively easy. All you should need is a Shark 5 in 1 Card Reader and a USB drive or memory card. Follow the instructions below:

  1. Buy the Shark 5 in 1 Card Reader designed to work with the iPad, iPad 2 and iPad 3.
  2. Buy one of the following (Your current USB Drive may not work. See below*):
  3. Create a folder on your USB drive or memory card called DCIM.
  4. Copy your videos (or pictures) into that folder.
  5. Plug your Shark 5 in 1 adapter into your iPad.
  6. Plug your USB drive or memory card into the Shark 5 in 1 adapter.
  7. Select the pictures and videos you want on your iPad. Both pictures and videos will appear in the pictures page. Nothing is transferred to the video page.

My 5 in 1 card reader should be arriving in a few days. Once I’ve received it, I will post pictures on how to set up your iPad to use the usb drive or memory card.

* Some USB drives will not work with the Shark connector. Your USB drive will have to draw 20mA or less to power up through your iPad. Both of the USB drives linked in step 2 should work. I used the Transcend JetFlash 32 GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive for testing and it works fine.

Also, if you have a USB hub that plugs into the wall for power, you should be able to plug that into the Shark connector and then plug your USB drive into your USB hub. I used the Ativa Mobil-It Desktop 7-Port USB 2.0 Hub for testing and had no issues.


If you have all the correct equipment and you still cannot get your videos/images to your iPad, check the following:

  1. Make sure your USB device is formatted as FAT 32 by opening up My Computer, left clicking on your USB drive and looking at the left hand menu for File System: FAT 32. If your drive does not say FAT 32, SAVE ALL THE INFORMATION FROM YOUR USB DRIVE TO YOUR COMPUTER, then right click on it and choose Format. When the window pops up, make sure the drop down under File system says FAT32 and click start. When it is done, put the files you saved back on your USB drive.
  2. Make sure you have a folder on your USB drive called: DCIM
    Your iPad will ONLY look in this folder for videos/pictures so make sure everything you want to transfer onto your iPad is in this folder.
  3. Make sure all of your file names are 8 alphanumeric characters long plus the extension. No more, no less
    For example: ABCDEFG8.mp4 or 1234567A.jpg
    NO special characters can be in the file names. NO dashes, NO underscores, NO spaces. Letters and numbers ONLY.
  4. Images MUST end in the .jpg extension. .Jpeg does NOT work.
  5. You can place folders inside the DCIM folder but they MUST be 8 characters long or the videos/pictures inside will not be visible to your iPad. No more, no less. You will NOT see the folder structure on your iPad. You will only see it when you plug your USB into your computer.
  6. For the iPad 3, all file names must be lower case. (this may be the case with other versions of iPad as well. I have not verified this as of yet)

Previous post:

Next post: