Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Syncing media from your computer, part of iPad Tips and Tricks.
- View Offline
- When it comes to syncing media like songs, movies and TV shows between your iOS device and your computer, you have the choice of doing so by connecting your device to your Mac or PC with the included USB cable or you can do so wirelessly as long as your device and computer are on the same wireless network. In order to sync wirelessly, you do need to setup your device first by connecting one end of the included USB cable into the device and the other end into your computer. You do have to connect your iPad to your computer at least once. I'll talk about wirelessly syncing in an upcoming movie but for now I'm gonna talk about wired syncing.
Almost all syncing between your computer and your iPad happens through iTunes. If you have a Mac, you already have iTunes installed. If you're using Windows, you may need to download iTunes. Here we are looking at the main iTunes window and when I roll my mouse over this device button here, you can see it says "iPad." If you have more than one iOS device connected to your computer, this will be a menu where you can select the device you wanna work with. In this case I just have my iPad connected and clicking that selects it and brings up that device's details. The device appears up here at the top of the left column, I can see its capacity, its current battery level and some more information.
Below that is a series of categories with the Summary category selected. With Summary selected, you can find your device's vitals over here on the right, like its name, capacity, software version and serial number. Now, I go into much more detail about these different categories here under Settings in my course iOS8: iPhone and iPad Essential Training. You can check that out for an in depth look at using iTunes with your iPad. But in this movie I wanna go over how to sync files like music, videos, books and so on to your iPad. All right, so with the Summary category selected, I'm gonna come down here under Options and make sure Manually manage music and videos is checked, which it is.
You'll wanna check this if you don't want to automatically copy every single song and video that's on your computer onto your iPad. This is for when you prefer to manually drag specific songs and videos onto your iPad. Now, I shall also mention here that if you subscribe to Apple's iTunes Match service, this check box will be labeled Manually manage your videos and you won't be able to sync music the way I show you in this movie. I cover iTunes Match later in this chapter so you may just wanna jump ahead, if you're an iTunes Match subscriber. In this example, I'm manually managing my music. The way this works is once I have the device setup this way, I can go into my Music library and start grabbing any and all songs I wanna add to my iPad.
All I have to do is select the song and start dragging it and this panel pops up in from the left and I can just drag that right to my iPad to copy it. I could drag songs into existing playlists and I could also grab entire playlists and drag into my iPad so if I switched over to my Playlists view and I wanted to move Driving Tunes to my iPad, I can just drag that whole playlist right up to the iPad and you can see it now appears here. So this playlist on my iPad now contains the exact same songs in the exact same order as the version of the playlist here in iTunes. But because I'm manually managing my music, the version of the playlist on my iPad and the one in iTunes don't stay synced together.
If I we're to add more music to my iTunes Driving playlist, you can see those are the last three songs here but they don't appear on the iPad version of that playlist. The same is true in reverse, you can drag songs into your iPad playlists or even create new playlists on your iPad but they won't get copied to your iTunes library. That's not really a problem as long as you remember to redrag your iTunes playlists back to your iPad. iTunes will check to make sure you wanna replace the older version and once you do, the current version of your playlist will have been added to your iPad.
Manually syncing your music really does mean you have to drag over every song by hand in most cases. Now, you do have an option available when you're manually syncing music to have iTunes do some of the work for you. First, select your iPad then here under On My Device, select Music. Now, at the bottom of the window we have this button here to autofill. Basically, when you click the Autofill button, iTunes will fill up the free space on your device with songs from whichever library or playlist you have selected from this menu over here. This Settings button here gives you some control over this feature. You can choose to replace everything on your device when autofilling so if you're tired of all the music on your device, you can have iTunes replace everything with songs that weren't previously on it.
Choose items randomly is on by default, without this checked, iTunes will just work in order down your playlist or library. You also have the option here to choose higher rated items more often so if you're in the habit of rating your music, you can check this option so more of your favorite songs show up more frequently. Now, you may be thinking that Autofill sounds like a nice feature, but you don't really wanna fill up all of the remaining space on your device with music. Doing so won't leave you any room to install new apps or download podcast or shoot photos and video. That's what this Reserve space for disk use slider is for.
Just use it to specify how much space you want to remain free. Maybe in this case I wanna leave about 20GBs free for other things and Autofill won't occupy that storage space with music. You can click OK and when you're ready, you can click Autofill and iTunes will do its thing, I'm just not gonna do that right now. This Autofill option is only available if you manually manage your songs. Now, let's talk about automatically syncing your songs. To set that up, with your iPad selected, click Music here under Settings and in here check Sync Music. Now, it's very important to note here that doing so will erase all the existing content on your device because if you want the items on your device and iTunes playlist or whatever you're syncing to be identical, iTunes has wipe off what's already on the device.
For this example, I'm okay with erasing any existing music on my iPad so I'll click Remove and Sync. Now, just so you see this, when I go back to the Summary category, you can see that Manually manage music and videos is now unchecked. Let's switch back to Music here. Entire music library means every single song in my music library will be copied over to my device, or I can choose to sync only selected playlists, artists, albums, and genres. Now, it's entirely possible that the size of your iTunes library may exceed the storage capacity of your iPad.
So syncing your entire library might not be an option. If that's the case just choose Selected playlists, artists, albums, and genres, and now you have a column of your Playlists, Artists, Genres and Albums. All you have to do is make you way through these lists and select the items you want synced to your device. For example, maybe I want The Beatles and Bob Dylan, Foo Fighters, Fountains Of Wayne, The Jellybricks and so on on my iPad. As I click these, you can see the space meter down here update itself.
Now, the beauty of this is once you've made your selections, you don't have to do anything else. So with The Beatles selected here under Artists, all my Beatles music will get copied over to my iPad. But if later, I had a Beatles album that I didn't previously have in iTunes, the next time I sync my iPad, that new Beatles album will be automatically copied to it. If you wanna make sure all the new songs you've added to iTunes recently get added to your iPad, just check this Recently Added playlist here. It's a smart playlist which by default lists all songs added in the past few weeks, although you can modify the smart playlist so it finds songs added longer ago, in case you don't sync your device that often.
Now, we also have this check box for Automatically fill free space with songs which as the name implies, fills up remaining space on your device with other songs from your library. Although Apple doesn't offer any documentation on how it picks the content. Personally, my thought is that if you've gone through the trouble to select specific playlists, artists or genres to sync, why would you want a selection of random songs on your device as well. But if that's what you want, you can check that option up here. Once you've made your selections, you can click the Apply button down here, it may also say "Sync" and then iTunes will begin copying the files to your iPad.
So that's how you can both manually and automatically sync music to your iPad. It works pretty much the same way for movies, TV shows, audiobooks and ring tones. If you have your iPad setup for manual updating, you can just drag all of that content to your iPad manually. But under each of these categories is an option to sync them and in each case you can choose what sort of content to sync. For example, here in Movies I can choose to automatically include all movies or just my most recent movies or my recent unwatched movies. If I select TV Shows, I have the same options.
The same thing goes for Audiobooks and any other categories I select here. Basically, the chooses all boil down to either copying over all your content in each category or copying just the content you added recently or content you haven't yet watched or listened to yet. So that's how to sync media files to your iPad.
- Using iPad-specific gestures
- Typing tips
- Syncing media and other files
- Wireless syncing
- Receiving and organizing email
- Chatting with Messages
- Installing apps
- Browsing the web
- Connecting to an external display
- Using productivity software
- Playing audio and video files