How to Convert Videos to ITunes Format to Play on an Apple IPod

by Andrew Tennyson
deucee_/iStock/Getty Images

So, you’ve got all these great videos on your computer, but the darned things aren’t compatible with your iPod. Remember that trusty old copy of iTunes you use to transfer content onto your iPod? Well, it can also convert existing videos into formats compatible with iOS devices, including your iPod.

Step 1

[Launch iTunes]( on your computer and import your video into the iTunes library. If you've never imported a video before, just click “File” on the main menu in iTunes, select “Add to Library” or “Add File to Library,” browse to the video and double-click it.

Step 2

Select your video in the iTunes library, click “Advanced” on the main menu and select “Create iPod or iPhone Version” to initiate the conversion process. You will know the conversion process has begun when the Converting icon appears on the left side of iTunes.

Step 3

Double-click the new video in the iTunes library to test that it converted properly. Because iTunes creates a new version of the video when it converts the original, you will see two video files with the same name. Select the one with the M4V extension.

Step 4

Connect your iPod to your computer via Wi-Fi or the iPod’s USB cable. Click the name of your iPod on the right side of the horizontal tab bar in iTunes.

Step 5

Click the “Movies” tab in iTunes, select your video and press the “Sync” button to transfer the video to your iPod. Again, because iTunes created a new version of the video when it converted the original, you will see two files with the same name. Select the one with the M4V extension.

Eject your iPod and open the video to test that it plays correctly.


  • Information in this article applies to iTunes 11. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.


  • If the video file does not convert properly or you encounter other errors during the process, download the newest version of iTunes from Apple’s website, reinstall the program and try again.
  • If you still can’t convert the video in iTunes, convert it first with a free third-party video converter such as Handbrake, MPEG Streamclip or Format Factory (links in Resources). After converting the video with one of these programs, import it into iTunes, try the conversion process again and then sync it to your iPod.
  • If the video won’t play on your iPod even though it is in an iTunes-compatible format, download a free third-party video player such as VLC, HD Player or Media Player from the App Store (links in Resources).


Photo Credits

  • deucee_/iStock/Getty Images

About the Author

Andrew Tennyson has been writing about culture, technology, health and a variety of other subjects since 2003. He has been published in The Gazette, DTR and ZCom. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and a Master of Fine Arts in writing.

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