Cloud problems sharing files from laptop to an iPad Air

By bazz2004 · 24 replies
Jan 7, 2015
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  1. I am trying to use free Cloud storage to access content on my iPad from a Windows 7 laptop. I’m new to the iPad and have never uploaded stuff before. Wishing to avoid Apple iTunes I set up Dropbox and managed to share some small files.

    I’m uploading a 500Mb mp4 file but it’s not going well. Dropbox showed massively fluctuating upload times and I left it running overnight but I haven’t succeeded. Worse, surfing the internet was snail like. I reinstalled Dropbox and after a few seconds of dramatic upload speeds everything slowed to how it was.

    Stage 2 has been uninstalling Dropbox and using Virgin Cloud. Better but it’s still going to take hours to upload the video file. My Virgin connection is 5Mb. It’s good enough to watch streamed video and Virgin have said that I have been upgraded to 10Mb. I take that with a pinch of salt because it takes them months to actually implement these free upgrades.

    I’m unimpressed with how Cloud storage is shaping up compared with using physical drives and have the feeling that I'm missing something obvious here? Any advice would be welcome.
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,138   +985

    You are spot on. There's lots of issues with the Cloud and privacy/security is at the top of the list. Compatibility across platforms is also not a given.

    The wife is a Macophile and I'm on Win/7/pro, but manage her iPad and iPod from my machine via iTunes nicely. Be advise however, that there's an uproar re iTunes 12 GUI changes (which is why I elect manual updates to my software).
    bazz2004 likes this.
  3. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,585   +250

    Thanks for the input. I was thinking that nobody was going to reply to this one.

    I would never have bought the iPad Air 2 had I known all the things that I have so far discovered. Widen that to I'd probably not get a tablet at all. I have the video file uploaded on Virgin Cloud and it plays from there on the laptop. I can see the file from my iPad but it won't play apart from a snatch of audio to accompany a still frame. It must have taken around 8hrs to upload.

    Tablet makers like Apple have locked everything down so you can't just connect to another drive. I'm still on the case and am looking into alternatives to the Cloud. I don't want to use iTunes but can you tell me if you can you use it for storing and playing files that haven't been purchased via Apple? I want to keep a tight rein on a small number of video files to transfer between laptop and iPad. There'll be no call for organising a large collection of files.
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,138   +985

    Like I said, don't use the Cloud in any manner whatsoever, so can't advise on that.
    Of Course. I have some 300+ albums, most of which are real CDs imported from media. Goodly portion then loaded to the iPOD for travel. Also have documents & pictures imported and then loaded to the iPAD for presentations. I have few videos, but they too import.
    As organization is important to me, I use the PhotoMgrPro App on the iPAD to create albums and nested albums. REALLY cool.
  5. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,585   +250

    So you use the laptop as your hub and move stuff over onto iPad and iPod. Sorry to be slow but how does this work with large files like video? You don't use the Cloud method and emailing them as an attachment would likely take a lifetime.
  6. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,585   +250

    Some daylight at last. I bought an app called Transfer Pro and you can link the laptop to the iPad using the home network to transfer a video file. The 500Mb took 2 mins to upload and then a further 3 mins to download to the iPad. That looked promising but the iPad immediately rejected it saying the file was incompatible. I then had a go with a different file and that one has worked out. It seems impossible to locate and move files around on an iPad so I hope that incompatible files aren't stored onboard taking up storage space.
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,138   +985

    Email is IMPOSSIBLE, due to ISP filesize restrictions. Typically, ~10MB can be sent and I have a friend who can receive up to 20MB but, the correspondents inbox must be totally empty! A network p-2-p solution is the only rational choice.

    Again, I have few videos, but they too move thru iTunes.
    bazz2004 likes this.
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,138   +985

    iPad videos must be MP4 as far as I can tell.

    under Settings -> Usage and you can get summary and details of what is consumed and where. Under my PhotoMgrPro app (when viewed via iTunes), I can see and delete whatever. I have not attempted to manage the Videos which is a native (ie Apple supplied) application.
    bazz2004 likes this.
  9. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,585   +250

    The video that played on the iPad was mp4 as was the one that the iPad rejected which is confusing. I had a go at converting the file with Format Factory on my laptop to be compatible with iPad. This again turned out to be in mp4 format but it was about double the original size. When the files are sent to the iPad from the laptop they all end up in the Photos app rather than the one named Videos. I don't have much control of what goes on compared with Windows. If it's possible to relocate the file or choose an app to play it I have no idea how it can be done. On the face of it the iPad seems so easy to use but that's not really true.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
  10. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,138   +985

    It takes a bit to get acclimated to using a touch device. It takes WORK to learn to control it.

    A major paradigm shift for touch devices is
    • the Application controls, defines where the data is located and then which file types it will accept.
    • PC users are accustom to folders with any content and the file-name extension controlling the default application.
    BIG change!
    For photos (not videos), I usually PULL from the pc within the iPad app itself, but then I use a 3rd part app too.

    The few videos I've loaded were imported to iTunes and then Sync'd - - worked just fine.

    I would suggest your aversion to iTunes is at the heart of your usability issues, after all, it WAS Apple that created the touch device paradigm. As the iPad is an Apple device, "when in Rome, use Roman tools".
    bazz2004 likes this.
  11. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,585   +250

    If a video is uploaded to iTunes is this the same principle as using Transfer Pro? It transfers over my Home network ie the router and will be very quick compared with the glacial Cloud?
    There are a number of player apps available so can I choose one myself for playback from within iTunes or is all that also beyond my control?
  12. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,138   +985

    Transfer is over your router (or your wifi depending upon your settings).
    (1) The flow is normally PC-->iPad where we enjoy portable videos.

    (2) Moving iPad --> PC is a tad strange, as how did the iPad acquire videos w/o a host?? Guess you got them via some hotspot - - oh well, doesn't really matter.

    Syncing iTunes has settings for Sync Library or Specific directory, so I guess that should work for you;

    Caveate Emptor:: The Mac/PC is usually the master source system and the iPad the slave. That means (1) above is the normal flow and treating (2) as the master may be "interesting".
  13. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,585   +250

    I had no grasp of what the iPad was all about until I actually started to move past simple surfing and emails. I haven't sent anything from the iPad to the PC so I don't understand
    "(2) Moving iPad --> PC is a tad strange, as how did the iPad acquire videos w/o a host?? Guess you got them via some hotspot - - oh well, doesn't really matter."
    At present I can't see it as being likely that I'm going to be sending stuff from the iPad to Windows laptop although it's a good idea to know how. Perhaps photos taken on its built in camera?

    I'm beginning to get brain ache with this. Thanks for your assistance and comments. I'll post again next week on how things are progressing. I've got some very promising leads to follow on alternatives to iTunes. Everything is locked down for iPad users so I'm less likely to screw things up than Windows newbies. Touch wood! :)
  14. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,585   +250

    I found a device that can be used like a usb stick to move stuff including video files between the iPad and a Windows PC. This is called iStick and has only been available for a short time.

    iStick is the name of the app too but of course it’s not going to work without the hardware. There’s a lightning connector on one end of the iStick and a usb connector on the other. Inserted into the iPad it shows folders for Documents, Music, Photos etc. If plugged into the PC it shows just the files that are saved on the iStick. The instructions are poor but these are being revised. It’s not obvious how to save a video file from the computer onto the iPad itself but after impressive assistance from their support it was easy enough.

    iStick looks useful. I’ve not needed iTunes or the Cloud to save a video file onto the iPad. Unfortunately, the early reviews for the app are not very good and I don’t feel conversant enough yet with the devices to post my own. I've passed on some of my reservations to their Support. If you have an iPad with a lightening connector I think it’s worth looking up the iStick. You should at least know what it is.

    The iPad is too picky about what video files it will play. You can convert with Format Factory which is freeware but what I’d like is a simple warp speed file converter. It looks like Apple may be about to loosen things up a little and they need to do so to match the flexibility of Windows and Android devices. A short while ago iStick would never have got Apple approval.
  15. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,138   +985

    Recommendation: Learn to use the device as intended. THEN look for secondary approaches to fit your style, personality and usage habits. There's nothing so sad as the student attempting to teach the class.
  16. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,585   +250

    I'll put that post down to your having a bad day rather than simply bad manners, Mr TS "Ambassador." :D

    Over the last few weeks I've learned a good deal about the iPad and it is opening up in new directions. On the basis of your reply it is clear that Techspot is not the right place to continue to post further on the iPad Air.
  17. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,138   +985

    Sorry, didn't mean to offend, but imo, you're making life hard for yourself. The dictum for many new adventures is "When in Rome, do as the Romans do". It frequently leads to a more pleasant experience.
  18. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    A big portion of dealing with 'the cloud' that Apple is pushing in the realm of video is if you purchase or rent a movie from iTunes. You can then watch it on any of your Apple devices or iTunes equipped PC without having to have it on each individual device, it streams the movie from iCloud much like Netflix.

    Cloud syncing of video of course is going to take a long time if you are trying to get a local file there because most ISPs have terribly slow upload rates vs download rates. Then you'd also need the video to be in an iOS/iTunes friendly format.. unless its mp4 the chances of it being compatible are low (hint: use Handbrake to convert).

    I understand your refusal to use iTunes to get files from your local network to your iPad, but that right there is the crux of almost all your complaints. That is the tool to make it happen, there are other less elegant ways to make it happen sure, and you are exploring those with frustration rather than just doing it the easiest way.

    Hell, if you really hate iTunes that much, run XP in a VM and install iTunes there. As long as the files on your PCs/network are mapped/accessible in the XP VM then iTunes will be able to see them.
    jobeard likes this.
  19. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,585   +250

    Well I haven't returned to this thread before today and regret starting it in the first place. I felt that I had to sort this for myself after reading the replies. The Cloud is pretty much no go for transferring video files as I've discovered, although it has other advantages.

    I was taken aback to be pretty well called iStupid for steering clear of iTunes. I haven't uninstalled the app though I am managing very well without it. I don't want to buy stuff from iTunes and similarly have an aversion to Microsoft Media Player. When I purchase an app I get a receipt from iTunes.

    There are two ways into this. I mentioned the iStick which works pretty much like the traditional usb stick. I can get a fair sized video file on the iPad in a few minutes this way. The only fly in the ointment is that the app isn't good enough in terms of the files it supports in playback. Converting files is slow and takes a bit of expertise so iStick isn't yet the dummies saviour it aims to be. Let's give them some time to work on this weakness.

    Second route is to go with the best video player available for iPad - Player Xtreme HD paid version. I've put video files into the app via my wireless network in about the same time as the previous method. The big advantage is that this video player has handled everything I've thrown at it and also supports srt subtitle files. Support failed to get back to me when I used the Feedback facility in the app but I sorted the matters I raised.
  20. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Nobody is calling you stupid. You can have iTunes installed and not buy anything from Apple. You can even disable it from launching anything on startup. You have a complete refusal to deal with iTunes but I'm telling you that if you use iTunes to get video files (and Handbrake to convert first if they aren't mp4s) ALL of the complaints and difficulties you are having go away. Your "managing very well" without it is not correct at all, look back at all you have written and all the hoops you've had to jump through to make something work that is made incredibly simple by using iTunes.

    I now think you are so involved in this and set out to prove jobeard and myself wrong that you will never use Handbrake/iTunes when it is the easiest way. You mentioned iStick and video conversion isn't completely straightforward - with Handbrake it is, you open the video file, and there is an option to select to convert it with optimal settings for your generation iPad.
  21. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,585   +250

    It's only because I raised the wrong question in the wrong forum. I should have googled about alternatives to iTunes and followed my nose. I'm not presently seeing any need for the iTunes app but as I said it's not been removed from my list of apps. Horses for courses as they say. Apple is changing but clearly early adopters can't necessarily see this yet. :p
  22. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,138   +985

    Again, sorry that you took offense, but no one said this of you, but rather that you were making life difficult for yourself by swimming upstream.

    Look on the bright side - - you have learn a lot and best of all, this thread is an education for all of us, including myself. That's known a synergism, the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.

    So, thanks for sharing :)
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  23. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,585   +250

    No problems. The responses did put a bomb under me to really get to grips with the device so that was all good. ;) I've made rapid progress in the last couple of weeks but there's lots to find out yet.
  24. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,724   +3,697

    I also hear Handbrake is the tool to use on Linux.
  25. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,585   +250

    Thanks for the suggestion. I'm OK on video conversion but whatever program is used the process is too slow and the better software is rather pricey. It's more sensible to watch the video on a Windows laptop or a desktop connected to a large screen TV. VLC media Player is able to play most files. Although I can now watch a video file on my iPad I think that maybe the PC option is generally better. It's good to be able to make a choice easily though and Player Xtreme HD looks as if it avoids the need to convert files to a compatible iPad format.

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