I'm trying to copy a .avi movie-file that I ripped from a dvd that I own from my PC to my iPad. I've tried doing this with iTunes, to no avail, and frankly I'm sick of iTunes so I'm looking for alternative methods. So far, I have found none.

Does anyone know an easy way to transfer a file (specifically an .avi file), from a pc laptop (with windows Vista) to an iPad without iTunes? (Preferably through the usb connection?)

ps.: Don't worry about the .avi format, I've installed the flexplayer app on the iPad, which should be able to deal with movie formats other than .mp4 such as the .avi I've chosen here.

  • Flexplayer should support iTunes File Syncing but based the reviews in the store it doesn't really work anyway. You may be better of with converting your .avi's to .mp4 before syncing.
    – nohillside
    Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 9:56
  • What OS does your PC run? You'll need a program like PhoneView to copy the PC files into the documents folder of the flex:player app.
    – bmike
    Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 14:17
  • I cannot post a new answer, so I leave it as comment. Check i-FunBox. You will need to install drivers for iPad that come with iTunes though e.g. CopyTrans Drivers Installer.
    – dma_k
    Commented Mar 3, 2013 at 16:13

5 Answers 5


There are a lot of alternatives for iTunes which will allow you to manage your iDevice. Floola, Songbird and Yamipod are three popular alternatives for iTunes.

Then there is software which will allow you to treat your iDevice like a external hard drive, like iTransfer or SyncPod (not for Lion or iOS5). But my overall favorite is Bigasoft iPad 2 Transfer. I've used it quite some time and I have no complaints about it.

If it's an option, you could try and stream it. Make an server out of your Mac and stream it with Air Video to your iPad.

And there is even an alternative by using the cloud. Dropbox is a great example of this. It's all listed in this article of MacWorld, which made me wonder if you even have searched far and wide enough :)

  • Bigasoft iPad 2 transfer only works with the iPad 2 right? I have an iPad 1 unfortunately. And iTransfer and Syncpod only run on macs (I have a pc). As far as I can see, songbird, yamipod and floola can only manage audio files, and the article is (again) mainly about sharing files from mac to iDevice. So that leaves me with dropbox, which is a good suggestion (although still very cumbersome and still not a direct solution). Frankly I can't believe apple is making it this difficult.. But thanks for the help!
    – user22380
    Commented May 3, 2012 at 11:12
  • The link of Bigasoft clearly stated It also applies to the new iPad 3 or the 1st generation iPad and there is a Windows version of iTransfer and SyncPod too. Just click on the links.
    – Michiel
    Commented May 3, 2012 at 11:16
  • Not very clearly, but i see it now. And I did click on the links, I'm not a retard. But thanks for the condescending attitude!
    – user22380
    Commented May 3, 2012 at 11:19
  • No no no, it wasn't meant to be condescending! Really not. But I changed the links to windows links after I read in your question you had a Windows. So, maybe you clicked before and ended up with Mac versions. What I meant was, click again. I'm sorry for the misunderstanding!
    – Michiel
    Commented May 3, 2012 at 11:23
  • Oh sorry, my bad. I think I clicked too soon then. My sincere apologies for my reaction, and thanks again for the suggestions, it's appreciated!
    – user22380
    Commented May 3, 2012 at 11:32

Doesn't satisfy your "USB connection" criteria, but the Buzz Player app for iPad can play video files off any machine on your local network (provided you can reach it via SMB or FTP), and offers the option to copy them over to the iPad first.


I often use DropBox for this and either re-use an existing account or simply make a new account for just this purpose. Presumably you have WiFi when you are at your iTunes to USB to iPad location and can just dump all the AVI files into dropbox. The iPad dropbox app will hopefully see that flex:player has registered to play AVI files and offer to send the file to the app from within iOS rather than how the flex:player wants you to use iTunes to copy the documents into the app.

Alternatively, you could use a program similar to PhoneView to replicate the function iTunes serves by mounting the iPad so you can copy files directly into flex:player's documents folder on the iPad. That would totally bypass iTunes and still use the USB cable as you asked.


GoodReader supports file transfer from your Mac or PC using:

  • USB, using there own GoodReaderUSB app
  • USB, using iTunes file transfer
  • WiFi, using the in-app GoodReader webserver on your iPhone or iPad

Once your video is in GoodReader you can use 'open in…' to open it in whatever app supports the filetype. GoodReader is one of those 'swiss army apps' which does a bunch of things. It is considered an invaluable tool.

It supports both iPhone and iPad, and costs US$5.


This is something I found by thinking out loud what would happen if I connect my ipad to ubuntu directly since they are both unix-based.

If you connect the ipad by usb to your ubuntu notebook or desktop, it will show two drives in the ubuntu file manager - /documents, /ipad. In /documents you can find the folder for your apps (dropbox, vlc, acrobat, etc). You can just drag and drop your large files directly and it will be as fast as your usb can. The /ipad drive is for itunes folders and it doesn't seem to work adding files in there. But you can open the dcim folder in there and get your ipad photos and videos.

PS: Here's the caveat. I upgraded the ipad to iOS6 and now I cannot drag files into /documents drive.

  • 1
    There are many programs that mount iOS 6 devices so you can copy files into each app's documents folder. This answer would be great if you could list something that actually works on ubuntu...
    – bmike
    Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 14:20

You must log in to answer this question.