iTunes : How to fix error message that video file cannot be copied to iPod / iPad

Last updated: June 22, 2016
itunes video cant be played on ipod o -ipad thumbnail

I recently bought an iPod Classic and since this iPod has a large capacity, you can easily store movies on it. So I added a .MP4 video file to iTunes which was able to play the movie without a problem. So I decided to Sync the iPod but to my surprise an Error Message window showed up stating:

…was not copied to the iPod … because it cannot be played on this iPod

In this article you will learn how to solve this problem in two different ways.

Video file sync error window in iTunes

What causes the error?

It could be that iPod / iPad lacks codecs support in which movie file was encoded. Another possibility is that the resolution of the video is too high for your device to handle. Whatever the reason, the solution is to convert the video files to the appropriate format.

There are two ways to accomplish this and we are going to examine both of them. One way is to install third-party converter software but focus of this article will be how to convert video files directly from iTunes.

Convert with third-party tools

First lets briefly examine third-party converter software. There are many you can choose from, some free others not so much. Personally I have been using Free MP4 Video Converter. Whatever software you have chosen, you have to accomplish three simple steps:

  • First you convert the movie file using that tool
  • Then add that file to the iTunes library
  • Finally you have to Sync the library to your Device, just make sure that under Movie tab you have selected appropriate checkboxes so the video files will also be synced.

Convert with iTunes

Converting video directly from iTunes is very similar to the 3 steps above.

Note: It seems, iTunes versions from June 2016 onwards don’t have the options to convert the movies as described in the steps below. We can choose “Convert ID3 Tags…” and “Create AAC Version” but they are intended for music conversion and as such are disabled for movies. The reason for removal might be that Classic iPods and iPods in general are not supported anymore. Luckily, using 3rd party tools for movie conversions as mentioned in previous step solves this problem.

You have to do the following:

  • You add the video to the iTunes library. Then in iTunes go to the menu bar and select File > Create New Version and choose either Create iPod or iPhone Version or Create iPad or AppleTV Version depending on the device you are having.
    Option in iTunes to Convert video

    Option in iTunes to Convert video

    Whatever option you have chosen, iTunes should start converting the file as shown below:

    iTunes converting video file

    iTunes converting video file

  • After conversion has ended, you will have both video files in iTunes. Select the original video and remove it from the list.
    After iTunes conversion of the video file

    After iTunes conversion of the video file

    If you cannot tell which one is the old original file, add a Date Added to the column. Right-click on header row (where you have Name, Time, Genre, Rating,…) and select Date Added.

  • Now all that is left is to Sync your iPod / iPad.
    Note: If the video is not added after the syncing, with Device selected go to Movies tab and check if you have checkbox selected for Sync Movies and that the movie file has also been selected.

If you prefer some other third-party converter tool, drop a comment and tell us about it.

I hope you have found this article useful.

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