Quick Tip: iOS USB/SD Card photo/video import

Say you want to take a very long trip with just your 32GB iPad, and while traveling you would like to catch up on a lot of movies and TV shows, but your 32GB iPad can only hold about 30 hours of content. What can you do?

Fortunately you can store your extra content on USB flash drives and SD cards and load them up as needed. Do do this: create a DCIM directory on the root of your FAT-32 formatted flash device, then put your iOS compatible videos in that directory using the naming convention IMG_####.M4V, e.g. IMG_0001.M4V, IMG_0002.M4V, etc…

To load up your content: connect your media via the Camera Connection Kit, and import them via the Photos app. You will have to watch your imported videos from the Photos app as well–no problem.


  1. I tested a 32GB flash drive and a 2GB SD card, no problems.
  2. Flash media should be formatted with FAT-32 if you want support for files > 1GB.
  3. I have not tested iTunes DRM encoded files. I am going to guess that it does not work. Use this for ripped DVDs and TiVo shows.
  4. You can reuse the IMG numbers on each flash device. E.g. each flash device can have a video named IMG_0001.M4V.

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