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lonelydragon's avatar

Why can't I transfer this video to iPod?

Asked by lonelydragon (7750points) February 28th, 2012

Recently I had to restore my 4th generation iPod nano and am uploading music back on to it. I have a music video that I bought in the iTunes store. It will play in iTunes just fine, but when I try to transfer it to my iPod, I get this message, “____ was not copied to the iPod because it cannot be played on this iPod”. I have tried going to Advanced > Create iPod or iPhone version, but that option is grayed out. I am really irritated that a video from the iTunes store will not play on my iPod. How much sense does that make? I cannot re-download the video from the store because it is no longer available. What else can I do?

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17 Answers

robmandu's avatar

Would you please identify the exact iPod nano model you’re using?

For example, I don’t think the latest model nano (6th gen) has the ability to play movies from iTunes.

lonelydragon's avatar

@robmandu ETA: It is 4th generation.

robmandu's avatar

I expect you’re fairly expert already at syncing and playing movies with iTunes and your iPod nano, but have you followed all of the steps listed here?

AshlynM's avatar

More than likely it’s because of digital rights management. Usually there’s nothing you can do to convert the video.

XOIIO's avatar

Try using a 3rd party conversion program, if that doesn’t wrok, upload it to a file sharing site, I beleive I may be able to remove the DRM protection from it when I get home later.

john65pennington's avatar

The problem appears to be in the digital rights management. If this is the case, you might be stuck with no conversion possible. me

robmandu's avatar

Curious… why the suggestions of DRM limitation if she’s downloading the video bought from the iTunes Store over to her iPod? Apple’s FairPlay DRM is native to the products at play here.

jerv's avatar

@robmandu That assumes that the rights have not been revoked. There is precedent for e-readers removing books from devices, so it’s not totally far-fetched.

robmandu's avatar

She can play it in iTunes… that’s the device that’s officially authorized. The iPod she connects to it is merely a peripheral and is authorized to play anything iTunes is.

My point is that, based on descriptions provided so far, there is no evidence at all of a DRM limitations issue here.

jerv's avatar

What file formats are allowed on a 4th-gen Nano anyways? Has that list changed over the years? Maybe the file is one that newer iPods can handle, but types can’t.

@robmandu I take it that you have never had a problem with worn locks no longer accepting your key before either. Been there, done that.

robmandu's avatar

Video formats supported by the 4th gen iPod nano: H.264 video, up to 1.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Low-Complexity version of the H.264 Baseline Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; H.264 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Baseline Profile up to Level 3.0 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, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats

@jerv, how does comparing the physical wear & tear on a key and lock cylinder have any relevance compared to the DRM rights affecting playback of digital media? Are you suggesting it “wears out” after so many plays?

I still say that if iTunes can play the video, then there is no DRM issue here. Whatever iTunes can do, then the iPod nano should as well (for supported formats, of course).

robmandu's avatar

@lonelydragon, I was assuming you’d successfully played this video on your iPod nano before the restore. Re-reading your post, I’m not sure that’s valid. Can you confirm?

It appears that rental movies from the iTunes Store will not necessarily play on all video-capable iPods. Exactly what kind of video is it that you want to play?

jerv's avatar

@robmandu No, I am assuming that the keys got lost, or that the lock changed. The former is akin to forgetting a password and has happened to me before; an update makes things forget things that used to be approved. I know that a full reset on a router makes it forget registered devices. Hell, I had issues getting iTunes to remember my iPod Touch a couple of times, so it’s not entirely unprecedented. The latter is hinted at in my first answer; a revocation of rights. Since it plays in iTunes, the latter is unlikely.

You also seem to assume that everything is functioning properly. Given that this problem is happening, I assume something broke. Given that it still plays, just not on the iPod, I assume that the file itself did not break. Or maybe it just thinks that the iPod is already registered to a different account. And isn’t there a five device limit? Maybe that iPod is not registered to the iTunes account at all because the OP already hit that limit.

Also note that I wouldn’t even mention those possibilities if not for the fact that I have seen those before. Again, not unprecedented.

BTW, good catch on asking if that video played on that iPod before. If so, then that eliminates many possibilities.

robmandu's avatar

The five device limit is on personal computers that run iTunes, not the iPods/iPhones/iPads associated with them.

Since she’s able to transfer music and other media to the iPod, I assume the connection to the iPod and its association with iTunes is okay. (That is, she’s not plugging “someone else’s” iPod into her iTunes—that’d require a complete wipe/restore.)

The fact that the “Create iPod or iPhone version” menu option is greyed out is likely the telling clue. While I don’t know that I would place that in the “everything is working properly” category, it might be that iTunes is operating as designed.

So… file format problems and DRM problems would both likely be resolved by @XOIIO‘s suggestion to convert the video file to something supported. Just depends on what we mean by conversion though.

If the video isn’t shackled by DRM, then Handbrake can handle the conversion process (size, sampling, format, etc.) quickly… and it’s free!

If Apple’s FairPlay DRM is involved, then a paid application similar to SoundTaxi Pro+VideoRip might be necessary. It’ll strip the DRM and yield a clean file. If the video format (resolution, quality, etc.) still isn’t right, then run it thru Handbrake after.

I’m hesitant to offer complex, paid solutions though if we’re still uncertain as to the root cause of the problem. That’s why I like to look everywhere else first.

XOIIO's avatar

Like @robmandu There are several programs to do it, if you don’t want to pay I can aqquire the software.

lonelydragon's avatar

@robmandu You are correct. I was able to play the video on the iPod before the restoration. iTunes also came out with an update around the same time, so that may be a factor as well. The video is an mp4.

Also, the iPod is mine and it is registered to my iTunes account, so the connection between the device and the software shouldn’t be an issue.

robmandu's avatar

This thread suggests that you should try:
1. Open iTunes
2. Open the Edit menu and select Preferences
3. Select the Devices tab
4. At the bottom is a button to Reset Sync History

After that, the ability to “Create iPod or iPhone version” should – hopefully – be restored.

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