Transferring digital camera movies to iPod


Q: How do you transfer personal videos from a Canon SD850 camera to the iPod nano? I have the videos in my iPhoto library and tried to transfer them to my nano and it will not play or recognize the videos.

– Kenny

A: Due to the differences and complexity between various video formats, the iPod supports a relatively limited set of video formats—confined primarily to H.264 and MPEG-4 with certain maximum resolutions and bit-rates.

Most digital cameras do not store their videos in an iPod or iTunes compatible format, and these videos therefore have to be converted using one of the many tools available for this specific purpose. Our Guide to iPod and iPhone Video Formats and Display Resolutions and iPod/iPhone Video Conversion (Mac) provide more information on the formats supported and converting your own home video content.

A notable exception to this digital camera format limitation is the Casio Exilim EX-S10 Digital Camera which does record video clips in an iPod-ready format.

Note, however, that even though iPhoto will store videos, these are not transferred to the iPod, even if they are in a compatible format. Only photos are supported for synchronization from iPhoto. To transfer a compatible home video to your iPod, you must import it into iTunes directly in the same way you would any other music or video track—by dragging-and-dropping it into your library or using the File, Add to Library menu option. It is then synchronized to your iPod using the “Movies” tab on your iPod’s settings in iTunes.

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Jesse Hollington

Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.