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November 29, 2014

Why music and audiobooks take up storage space on your iPad, but movies don't

If you own an iPad, and have music, audiobooks, and movies in your iTunes library, you can access them. That's the main reason that I got an iPad, instead of an Android tablet, so that I could get to my collections in iTunes. But it turns out that it's not as straight-forward as that.

I'm going step-by-step here into the world of *the cloud*, which for me began with Apple TV. I use the term *cloud* loosely, as it just means using a device to access files that are stored remotely. That's what Apple TV does, it connects with the server at iTunes, checks to see if I own a movie, and if I do, I can watch it. So, if you follow me, the movies that I am watching on Apple TV aren't really being downloaded onto the device, they're streaming. It works great.

And the same thing works on the iPad. When I click *Videos*, all of the movies that I own show up. Over the years I've collected a couple of dozen, and when you figure that each movie is about 3 Gigs, there's no way that all of those files could live on my 16 Gig iPad. They don't, but I can play them from my iPad. Yes, in gorgeous high definition. It works great.

But it's different for music and audiobooks. Unlike movies, they have to be copied onto your device in order for them to play. So I copied a bunch of audiobooks yesterday onto my iPad. But the music that I own can't be played unless it's copied or downloaded to the device, too. And I just don't have that kind of storage space on my iPad.

Where it gets really confusing is the concept of iTunes match. That costs, as of this writing, $25 a year and it doesn't really store your music, it matches to what iTunes has on their server. And I've tried copying audibooks onto iCloud, but apparently it doesn't understand what to do, so nothing shows up on the iPad. And, unlike Google Drive, you can't go to your remote device and check what's in iCloud, there is simply no filing system that you can check. Things work only if an App likes them.

So the conclusion that I'm coming to is that the iPad, and iPhone, are not designed to be music and audiobook players. That's what the iPod is for. iPods, in spite of the *i* (for internet) are meant to be used as stand-alone devices, with a lot of storage. They don't connect to the internet, they play small files like music and audiobooks. The fact that I have been able to get the audiobooks onto my iPad is just an indication of how stubborn I am, I can't recommend it.

The bottom line is this - iPad for movies, iPod for music and audiobooks. So I'll be taking the videos off of my iPod, and keeping just a small amount of audiobooks on my iPad.

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