How to play videos continuously on iPad
Ok, this article is not about Coldfusion or web development. It is about iPad. I know, that is not what this blog is meant to be about, but...let's call this an exception :-)
If you are here, you probably have the same problem as what I did. You copy some videos to your iPad. These videos belong to the same show or some kind of series but your iPad just plays them one by one. It finishes one file and returns to the video list screen instead of continuing to the next file. This is a major annoyance. (especially if you are watching movies on iPad while eating like me and got a hard time trying to find a clean finger to touch :-P)
Many people suggested creating playlist from iTunes and add your videos into it together with one song to trick the iPad into thinking that it is a song playlist. It worked for me except that when videos are played inside the iPod app (instead of the movie app), there is no video, only sound! So we need to create some kind of playlist but inside the movie app instead of the iPod app. The movie app unfortunately does not have playlist but it has one called TV Shows and it can be used as a playlist for videos.
Here is how to do it:
1. Copy movies to your iPad
The first thing we need to do, of course, is to copy movies onto your iPad. If you are managing music and videos manually like me, you can just drag the videos directly into your iPad. Once copied, they will be sitting under the Movies section.
2. Change the media kind to TV Show
Next, we need to change the media kind of these movies to TV Show and aslo change a couple of other settings on the files. IMPORTANT, make sure you SELECT ALL of the files as instructed below, don't do this step for one file at a time.
- Highlight those movie files > Right click > Get Info
- Click on the Options tab and change the Media Kind to TV Show
- Click on the Video tab > enter a name for the show. You can enter other info on this page as well if you want. Then click OK to close the dialog box.
Once you close the box, iTunes will update your movies and move them to the TV Shows section. (If you don't see the TV Shows section on your iPad, go to your iTunes Preferences and tick on TV Shows to show it).
You might be wondering why not drag the files onto the TV Shows section right at the beginning. I tried it but my iPad keeps putting them under the Movies tab. So I have to change this setting manually after the files have been copied. You can do this on yours? Let me know how in the comments.
That is it, your videos can now be played continuously! Well, almost... There is one more thing you might want to do. By default (I think) the iPad orders them by filename. Depending on your movie filenames, this order may or may not be the order you want. To specify your movies in a particular order, you can do so by setting a track number for each of them. Here is how:
- Highlight your movie file (just one file this time and don't forget it is now under the TV Shows section) > Right click > Get Info
- On the Info tab, enter the track number of this movie into the, guess what, Track Number field.
- If you are going to enter the track numbers for muliple movies, you can use the Previous and Next buttons at the bottom of the dialog box to navigate instead of closing and opening the box multiple times. The order will be track 1 first, then track 2 and so on, common sense ;-)
That is it! Enjoy watching movies on your iPad :-)
Thanks for reading. Got questions? Throw them in!
3. UPDATED: FAQs
1. [TOP QUESTION] Why are my videos not played in the order I want?
This appears to be the most common issue that many people have. They did everything as instructed but their videos seem to play quite randomly. In that case, have a look at the playlist on the iPad, do they show up in the correct order? If not, check to make sure that each of them have a track number. If setting a track number for them still does not work then rename the files on your computer to be in the order you want. One way is to prefix them with a number like 01_XXX, 02_XXX, 03_XXX, etc. and then sync again. By default iTunes should play them in alphabetical order, well, at least I hope their developers got this bit right.
2. Why don't I see the TV Show link inside my iTunes?
When you install iTunes, by default only a number of video types are shown on the left sidebar of your iTunes under Library. If TV Show is not there, you need to turn it on by going to: Top level menu > Edit > Preferences > General. You will then see a number of sources such as Movies, TV Shows, Podcasts. Make sure TV Shows is checked.
3. On the Get Info window, why can't I edit the settings? They are all greyed out.
There are 2 ways to edit your video file settings. One is to edit them first on your computer and sync them over to your iPad (doing so under the Library section). Second is sync them over first and edit their settings later once they are on the iPad (under the Devices section).
I chose the second way as stated in the article but sometimes it doesn't work. If that is the case, try the first way, edit them before syncing.
4. Why do my videos still not play continuously?
Well, this is what the whole post is about. But even though you have done everything correctly, videos are only played continuously if you play them correctly on your iPad. That is make sure you click on the play button next to the TV Show title, not the video itself as that will play only that video. Also, that Play button will play the list from where you left last time. See the screenshot below: