260 of 266 people found the following review helpful
IMPORTANT Information About This Product,
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This review is from: Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit (MC531ZM/A) (Personal Computers)
The card reader can be used to import media files directly into your iPad, without the need to sync to iTunes.
Extremely handy! Quick! Usable "on-the-go". Great for travel.
There are a few details you need to know to import media files this way.
1). Create a folder on any SD card and name that folder "DCIM".
2). Place media files into the DCIM folder.
3). Important: The media file names have to be exactly 8 characters long (no more, no less), or the iPad will not see them.
Examples: 8letters.mp3, 8numbers.jpg, 8Numbers.mp4, TheBirds.mp4, Img_9001.bmp.
Those are really the main details, but here are a few more:
When you insert the Card Reader (one of two devices in the kit) into the iPad, with an SD card in it, in a moment the iPad screen will show thumbnails of all the media files on the card.
You can import some or all into the iPad. You cannot play media files from the card, you must first import them. To select some media files, just touch them to highlight them and choose "Import". Or, you can select "Import All".
The iPad will ask if you want to Keep or Delete (on the card). Be careful to select Keep (in most cases).
Valid video files need to be in the ".MP4" format, version H.264. Or convert them to that format using almost any conversion program. I chose a size of 640 x 480, and it was perfect for filling up the screen.
NOTE: the media files are imported into the "Photo" section of your iPad. Even the MP3's and Videos. So, to watch a movie, for example, select the Photo icon, not the Video icon on your screen (it won't be in the Video section).
AND, you can delete any media files after playing them. That way, you can, for example, load a movie or two into the iPad, watch, then delete to make room for others.
You can carry an unlimited amount of media files with you, perhaps on a trip. Why not 100 GB or more? Fantastic!
ONE MORE THING [N.B.]:
When I first tried to import the media files, I knew about the DCIM folder (it's the same as your camera would create), but the 8 character requirement I hadn't known. Only one media file showed up.
So I called Apple and spoke to a senior support staff member. I was repeatedly LIED TO. Repeatedly. Which I found infuriating. Apple, or any company, is not required to give me information just because I want it. But lying about it is NOT appropriate.
One of the reasons for their "misstatements" likely is that prospective iPad buyers might not opt for the larger capacity iPads if they knew this information. New iPads like the iPad 2 charge a large premium for the extra memory, and it's very, very profitable for Apple. So be it. But Apple, don't instruct your employees to lie about it, and give them prepared scripts to mislead customers. Harrumph!!!
Remember, there is nothing magical about how your camera puts files on an SD card. The Camera Connection Kit Card Reader doesn't know the difference (there isn't one) and does not care, so long as it meets the requirements listed above.
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Showing 1-10 of 24 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 1, 2011 2:34:12 PM PDT
Virginia Reader says:
I would very much like to have more information about the lies Apple supposedly passed along. Thanks!
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2011 7:15:02 PM PDT
Here are a few examples of the statements made to me [approximate quotes] "The reason the iPad can only import media files that come from your camera, and not from your computer, is that your camera places a hidden file on the SD card that lets the iPad know it came from there."
I pointed out, to this first statement, that I can easily plug that SD card into my PC and look at all the files from my camera, including any hidden files if there (via the command to display all hidden files, etc. - not to mention by looking at the free space size available). Nevertheless, he insisted that what he was telling me was a fact.
To my question of exactly what form of file name the iPad might be looking for: "The file name has nothing to do with it, the iPad can only import files on an SD card that come from a camera, not from a computer or anywhere else".
To my further questioning, the senior help person insisted: "It can't be done, the iPad is not capable of playing any of those files you have using the SD card. The only way to import media files [other than from a camera] is to sync the iPad to iTunes and copy from the card, not the by using the card reader."
For example, he "explained" that you can tell there is a hidden file because of 'Auto-run'. "You know that when you place the SD card into your PC, the 'Auto-run' function opens a window showing you the contents of your "camera" media files. It knows to do this because there is this hidden file, see?". And on it went.....
As I said in my review, my complaint is not that they wouldn't give me the information. He could have said that they don't give out that info, or simply that Apple doesn't support that action (and left it at that). Or that he simply does not know the answer. But the real issue is that after the 'junior' help person heard my original
question, and immediately turned me over to this senior help person, I was at first given a series of seemingly scripted answers. And when that didn't work, and once I mentioned that I was aware of the requirement of a DCIM folder, he proceeded to make this series of false statements.
You asked me to provide some details, and above are those details. Your use of the word "supposedly" is curious. Btw, are you an Apple customer or an employee (just curious)?
Posted on Aug 11, 2011 12:45:03 AM PDT
Jose Rodriguez says:
Thank you Mike for your information. I'm about to by one Ipad (with some accessories, including this connection kit), for my wife's B-day and since I'm new to this, I still have some questions:
1) As I understand, the cameras normally create a DCIM folder in the SD card, do I need to create another one?
2) When you refer to media files, is photos and videos?
3) To create the DCIM folder, place the media files into that folder, re-naming to 8 character, (I have found names like Panasonic_108), do I need a computer and then pass them to the Ipad?
4) You mentioned that is possible to carry a very large amount of media files, probably 100 GB, the Ipads come in 16, 32 & 64 GB, How can you do this? since I'm considering the 16gb, because as you pointed out I found ridiculous that they charge $100 more for the extra 16gb or $200 for the next 32gb (48gb+total). When you can buy an external memory of 1Tb (that's 1000gb!) for around $100 or less, (WD my passport, Samsung, Seagate, or buffalo portable HD). I understand new technology cost, but this is way to much for so little (memory). And finally:
5) By the way, do you know if with this connector can read external memory (HD)?
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2011 4:37:26 AM PDT
Hi, in answer to your questions (as best I can):
(1). If the SD card has a DCIM folder in it already you do not need another one; it's just that it's the only folder the iPad will look in using the camera connection devices.
(2). Media files in this case refer to at least MP3's, Video (MP4, H264 standard). Jpeg images, and I think BMP images and maybe some others. I was most interested in loading video.
(3). I do not believe the file "Panasonic_108" will be seen without renaming, including the extension. I would use a computer to rename such a file to, for example, "Pana_108.jpg". Btw, I found that the "_" underscore character is ok, but not "(" or ")" characters.
(4). You can carry around a very large capacity of files, because you can take with you one or more SD cards, loaded with media files. Example: If you have the 16GB iPad, and you've already got it almost filled with files so that you only have one or two GB free, you can use the card reader from the kit to access an 8, 16, 32 GB or whatever SD card you've brought along. You can then import a few more media files, and after you've played them, you can delete them right from the iPad. And then load more files from the SD card.
Think of it this way. Let's say your iPad is almost full, and I gave you an SD card that had 20 hours of recorded TV shows on it, totaling about 20 GB. Without the card reader, you would have to turn on your computer, sync the iPad, and copy those TV video files to your iPad. But you don't even have enough room left to do that, so you first would need to delete or remove files from the iPad. WITH the card reader, you can just take along that SD card, and import any of the videos when you wish to watch them, a few at a time. Big difference. You can take with you as many SD cards as you wish.
(5). No, you cannot easily use Flash (thumb) drives or external HD drives. That's because, apparently, the other device in the kit, the USB connector, does not supply the usual voltage that regular USB ports do. I believe the port once DID supply this voltage, but an Apple update turned it off. Apparently, a camera may not need the voltage at this port, but Flash drives and HD drives do. I have not tested this with a powered external HD drive, so I do know about that. That might work as long as there is a DCIM folder on the drive.
(A Downside to all this). You access these files through the Photo icon, as Apple says to so with imported camera videos and images. But with any of these videos, or MP3s, the thumbnails do not show the name or file name. Just the playing time. So you need to either have a list with you, or just try each one until you locate what you're looking for. For example, if you have a movie with you and it is shown on you computer as being 01:48:37 in length, the iPad thumbnail will show you that, so you can find it that way.
Also, when I first loaded a bunch of videos using the SD card, they all worked but the thumbnail images were blank. So I thought it simply does not show thumbnails in this mode. I now believe that it does show thumbnails, but takes the first frame of the video, which is often blank. Usually, thumbnails are grabbing slightly later frames, but not in the Photo section. I discovered that these thumbnails were actually working when I imported about 50 video files, and saw that some did show a thumbnail image. Those were ones that had an image at the very first frame. FYI.
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 1, 2012 2:02:59 PM PDT
Nice Man says:
i just want to say THANK YOU for this info. i am a computer 'freak' like u but i think u are more knowledgeable. i had always worried about having an i pad and not being able to import media files -photos, mp3 and mp4 via the SD card. Now i know exactly how to do it.
Thanks once again.
In reply to an earlier post on May 26, 2012 7:38:26 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 26, 2012 8:11:52 AM PDT
Susan Fisher says:
Thanks for all the good information about using the Apple iPad connector kit, or should I say, compensating for its limitations. I had read reviews on Amazon including yours and was a bit dubious about purchasing it but thought it was the safest option. I bought mine at the Apple store after first calling Apple support to see what they had to say about the reported problems in Amazon reviews. They copped to nothing of course.
After reading how some users claimed to have lost photos in the process of uploading to iPad I backed up my SD card on my PC first. I deleted unwanted photos on the SD card and in the process eliminated the DCIM folder and iPad didn't recognize any files. Figured out by using other SD cards that the DCIM folder had to be there but then was stumped that other than eight character files weren't recognized.
Weird that you have to rely on user reviews to get accurate Apple product information. The iPad 3 is my first apple product and so far it hasn't been the most pleasant experience. Thanks again for your very useful hints.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012 2:24:59 PM PDT
Nick LoLordo says:
unfortunately this approach no longer works--on a new ipad (ipad 3, if you will)--no icons of any kind appear in the photo app. I've tried various file types, all w 8 character file names: none work. tried several times. no dice. not even digital photos from my hard drive. what it sees are images the camera took, nothing else.
i expect Apple has revised IOS 5 (I have the newest update as of June 1) to remove this, uh, "vulnerability." again, for the moment, we are trapped by Apple's desire to lock down the device. brilliant hardware, terribly frustrating OS!
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2012 4:01:06 AM PDT
If the iPad can "see" and import video from a camera, then it should still be working as originally described. Did you make sure that the video files were in a folder named DCIM?
Posted on Jun 26, 2012 7:02:19 AM PDT
Can you import from the iPad2?
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2012 3:01:29 PM PDT
No, I meant that if the new iPad can use the Camera Connection Kit to import photos and videos from your camera's SD card, then it should be able to import photos and videos that you load onto the card from your computer. But it must be in the same format, MP.4's. And it must be in a folder named DCIM (that you can create on the card). The other requirement is that the file names must be exactly 8 characters long, such as abCD1234.mp4. Can anyone confirm this on the newest iPad, using the Camera Connection Kit? Also...does the Camera Connection Kit work at all with the newest iPad?