Languages

iTunes: Frequently asked questions about viewing and syncing videos

You can play videos and even sync them to iPad, iPhone, and some iPod models. Here are answers to frequently asked questions about video playback in iTunes and on mobile devices.

Collapse All | Expand All

What are the requirements for playing movies, TV Shows, or music videos in iTunes?

You need iTunes 9 or later to access iTunes Store.
Note: You should always run the latest version of iTunes your operating system supports. iTunes requirements vary by version.

Playing HD video, an iTunes LP, or iTunes Extras from the iTunes Store requires a 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or higher and 1 GB of RAM.

iTunes Store movies (SD and HD) and TV shows (HD) require an HDCP digital connection.

What are the requirements for playing video on mobile devices?

Mobile Device Family Generations that can play video
iPad All
iPhone All
iPod/iPod classic 5th or later
iPod nano* 3rd or later
iPod touch All

* iPod Nano (6th generation) does not support video playback.

What video content works with iTunes and mobile devices?

iTunes:

  • Video content purchased from the iTunes Store.
  • QuickTime and MPEG-4 movie files that end in ".mov", ".m4v", or ".mp4" and are playable in QuickTime Player.
  • Video podcasts.
  • iTunes Digital Copies.
  • iTunes Store Movie Rentals (Requires iTunes 9 or later).

Mobile Devices:

  • Video content purchased from the iTunes Store.
  • Videos that have been shared to iTunes using QuickTime Player (Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard).
  • Videos that have been re-encoded for iPod with QuickTime 7 Pro.
  • Videos that have been re-encoded for iPod with iMovie, Final Cut Pro, and others. Refer to Exporting a movie from iMovie HD to iPod for an iMovie HD tutorial.
  • Video Podcasts that have been created for mobile devices.
  • Video files after using the iTunes File > Create New Version > Create iPod or iPhone version option.
  • Video files after using the iTunes File > Create New Version  > Create iPad or AppleTV version option (iPad and AppleTV only).
  • See below for detailed movie specifications.
  • iTunes Store Movie Rentals (Requires iTunes 9 or later).

How does purchased video differ from other video?

Videos purchased from the iTunes Store have FairPlay digital rights management embedded in the files and are in a format that can be readily synced to a video-capable mobile device. Just like with music you purchase from the iTunes Store, you own the videos you purchase. You can authorize up to five computers to play purchased videos, and you can sync the video to as many mobile devices as you like. A single device can contain purchased content from up to five accounts; iTunes will not allow you to add data from a sixth account.

Can I transfer my DVDs into iTunes?

iTunes and QuickTime Pro do not support importing content from DVD videos. DVD and Blu-ray purchases may include an iTunes Digital Copy.

How do I view a video in iTunes?

Check out Adding, browsing, and watching videos in iTunes for information on viewing videos in iTunes.

Can I sync my own video through iTunes?

Yes, as long as the video file is in a format that iTunes can re-encode. Add the file to your iTunes library and then create versions optimized for your device using the File > Create New Version menu.

Do I need to buy QuickTime 7 Pro to create videos?

QuickTime Player in Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard can share video files to iTunes for syncing to your iPod. For PCs and earlier versions of Mac OS X, QuickTime 7 Pro can also create video files for use with iPod.

In addition, once you've installed QuickTime 7.0.3 or later, most applications that allow you to create (export) QuickTime movies should also allow you to create video files optimized for iPod. For Mac, examples are iMovie and Final Cut Pro. Refer to Exporting a movie from iMovie HD to iPod for information on how to export using iMovie HD. Also, after upgrading to the free QuickTime version 7.0.3, any application that uses the QuickTime export panel will see the new "Export to iPod" option. iTunes can also create videos optimized for iPod or iPhone or iPad or AppleTV using the File > Create New Version menu options.

Can I display iTunes video on a TV?

Absolutely. For details, see iPhone, iPad, iPod: TV out support.

Can I view video podcasts on iPod?

Yes, as long as the video has been correctly encoded for your device. Otherwise, the podcast will not sync. The following iPods support video playback: iPod touch, iPod 5th generation, iPod classic, and iPod nano (3rd, 4th, and 5th generation). Learn more about downloading podcasts using an iOS device

Can I view widescreen movies?

iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, iPod nano (7th generation)

Yes, there is no need to adjust settings on these devices.

iPod (5th generation)

Yes, there is a Video setting for Widescreen (Select Videos > Video Settings > Widescreen to turn on or off). When viewing a widescreen movie with the Widescreen setting turned on, black bars display above and below the picture. If the Widescreen setting is set to off while viewing a widescreen movie, the left and right edges are trimmed but there are no black bars. If you are viewing a movie that is not in widescreen format, this setting has no effect.

iPod classic and iPod nano (3rd generation) or later

Yes, on iPod classic and iPod nano (3rd generation) or later, there is a setting for Fullscreen (Select Videos > Video Settings > Fullscreen to turn on or off). When viewing a widescreen movie with the Fullscreen setting turned off, black bars display above and below the picture. If the Fullscreen setting is set to on while viewing a widescreen movie, the left and right edges are trimmed but there are no black bars. If you are viewing a movie that is not in widescreen format, this setting has no effect.

Does the video need to be encoded in a special way?

All mobile devices which iTunes can sync video to can play the following video formats:

  • H.264
    File formats: .m4v, .mp4, and .mov
    Video: Up to 768 kbits/sec, 320 x 240, 30 frames per second (fps), Baseline Profile up to Level 1.3.
    Audio: AAC-LC up to 160 kbits/sec, 48 Khz, and stereo audio.
  • MPEG-4
    File formats: .m4v, .mp4, and .mov
    Video: Up to 2.5 Mbits/sec, 480 x 480, 30 fps, Simple Profile.
    Audio: AAC-LC up to 160 kbits/sec, 48 Khz, stereo audio.

Other formats may be supported by newer devices. The technical specifications can give additional details.

Why do I sometimes not see video but I hear audio, and other times I don't hear audio but I see video?

If you hear audio but don't see video, refer to iPod plays audio but not videos, movies, or TV shows. If you see video, but don't hear audio, refer to iPod plays video but not audio of some exported files.

Can I burn iTunes Store Videos to DVD?

You can save your iTunes Store movies to data DVDs for backup purposes (if you have a supported DVD burner), but these DVDs will not play in a DVD player.

With the right cable, video-capable mobile devices can be used to playback content on a TV.

AppleTV is another option for widescreen TVs, and offers a variety of connection options.

Last Modified: Sep 18, 2013
Helpful?
Yes
No
  • Last Modified: Sep 18, 2013
  • Article: HT2729
  • Views:

    87839
  • Rating:
    • 100.0

    (1 Responses)

Additional Product Support Information

Start a Discussion
in Apple Support Communities
See all questions on this article See all questions I have asked