I would like to know if every YouTube video is playable on iPad2.

Further does iPad2 play .avi or .mp3 or .flv videos ?

For example can an iPad2 play these videos -

  1. http://online.itp.ucsb.edu/online/qcdscat11/arkanihamed/
  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJ3M3tp0GJE

A list to give a flavour of the kind of videos I watch and hence will hope to watch on my iPad.

If iPad can't play these then is there an app which makes it possible ?

4 Answers 4


I would like to know if every YouTube video is playable on iPad2.

No, not every single video but most YouTube videos are playable on iOS devices. It is not easy to determine which videos are playable other than just trying to play them. There are a few reasons why YouTube videos may not be playable: old videos may have not been converted to H.264 (remember before the iPhone, YouTube was all Flash) or the owner of the video may not want it to be viewed on mobile devices or embedded in websites.

Further does iPad2 play .avi or .mp3 or .flv videos ?

Kind of. It will handle mp3 and PCM stereo audio in .avi, but not flv.

For example can an iPad2 play these videos -



I can confirm the YouTube video you linked to works fine. The other link has a bunch of different formats but most of them are not playable. The flash links will not work. Usually mov links will work but these don't look like they are H.264 and do not work. Usually 3gp works as well but I could only open it in OPlayer.

If iPad can't play these then is there an app which makes it possible?

OPlayer doesn't work for every codec, but it does bridge the gap sometimes. And it has a free lite version so it is worth the download.

I think you should take a look at the official audio and video formats supported by the iPad 2:

Video mirroring and video out support: Up to 1080p with Apple Digital AV Adapter or Apple VGA Adapter (cables sold separately) Video out support at 576p and 480p with Apple Component AV Cable; 576i and 480i with Apple Composite AV Cable Video formats supported: H.264 video up to 720p, 30 frames per second, Main Profile level 3.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format

  • Thanks for your helpful answer. So can OPlayer play the formats on that page - online.itp.ucsb.edu/online/qcdscat11/arkanihamed/b ? Also can you check and tell me about the video link that I posted as a reply to baraboom's answer? Also can you comment about the formats on this page - video.ias.edu/pitp-2010 ? Can iPad/OPlayer/AirVideo play these?
    – Student
    Jul 8, 2011 at 18:45
  • I have awarded you the bounty btw.
    – Student
    Jul 8, 2011 at 19:24
  • The first link is invalid. The videos in the second link don't seem to work. If I were you, I would create a list of videos to test, go to the nearest Apple Store, then try each of them on the iPad. If you are concerned about playing every video, then the iPad is probably not the device you want and you may be looking for something like a netbook (cheap laptop). I hope that helps.
    – styfle
    Jul 10, 2011 at 5:49
  • That /b at the end of the first link is a typo. I can't take this testing at the appstore suggestion of yours since NO appstore near me has wifi connection. So its not possible to test any of these features. I want to use my iPad also as a phone..that is I will keep it on 24hrs and people should be able to call me on it. (..through may be an online number from Skype..) This feature can't be had on a netbook since netsbooks or even laptops disconnect from the wifi when they are in the sleep mode (..left idle..)
    – Student
    Jul 11, 2011 at 16:34
  • Also the second link and the videos on it work fine for me on my desktop.
    – Student
    Jul 11, 2011 at 16:35

There is a native youtube app for iPad (and other Apple devices) that will play the videos just fine. As for the link you sent, the Flash videos are not supported. The .mov files are not directly supported either but you could download them to your computer then transfer them to the iPad via iTunes. The podcast can be opened in Safari and viewed just fine.

  • Thanks for your reply. Can this conversion be done on iPad itself? Is there an app which will enable being able to play any video ? Like to give some more examples of the kind of videos I would want to play - - www-conference.slu.se/strings2011/programme_NEW.html - theory.tifr.res.in/~minwalla How do I play these? Most likely I will not have a computer nearby when I would be using an iPad. So I would like to know of means of doing things completely on the iPad.
    – Student
    Jun 27, 2011 at 22:55

As you can see from the many other answers, you can't play avi and flv files and in general not all YouTube videos are allowed or even converted to html5/quicktime formats for viewing on the iPad/iOS devices.

There is a new tool from google called swiffy that allows you to upload and convert files from flv to html5. It's not complete and supports a subset of flash commands, but there is recognition that tools like this are needed and commercially valuable. Adobe also is expanding it's professional CS tools to assist in converting / authoring flash to html5.

  • swiffy lets you convert swf files, it cannot convert flv files and it isn't at all clear that it can convert video within swf files either. Jul 5, 2011 at 17:38
  • Swiffy is dead and so is the other link.
    – Laurel
    May 1, 2019 at 2:10

There was an app called VLC that let you play a wide variety of video files. However it was foolproof (it failed to play some files I tried) and it is no longer available.

The best option I have found is an app called Air Video. It works injunction with software that runs on a Mac or Windows PC.

The Mac/PC software converts the video into a format that the iPad can play and the Air Video app streams the video from the Mac/PC. It also has an option for pushing the converted video into iTunes to sync onto the iPad.

I've yet to find a video that Air Video can't play.

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