Play Movies, Podcasts, or TV Shows with the Videos App on Your iPad

By Nancy C. Muir

When you first open the Videos app by tapping its button on the Home screen, you may see a relatively blank screen with a note that reads you don’t have any videos on your iPad and a link to the iTunes Store. After you’ve purchased TV shows and movies or rented movies from the iTunes Store or other sources, you’ll see tabs listing the different kinds of content you own.

1Tap the Videos app icon on the Home screen to open the application.

The Videos app opens.

2Tap the appropriate category at the top of the screen (TV Shows or Movies).

Your content will be different depending on what you have downloaded.

3Tap an item to open it. A description appears.

Details about TV Shows include Episodes, Details, and Related tabs; Movies contain Details, Chapters, and Related tabs.

4For a TV show, tap the Episodes tab to display episodes, each of which has a Play button; for a movie, the Play button appears no matter which tab is selected. When you tap the Play button for the content you want to watch, the movie, TV show, or podcast begins playing.

If you see a small cloud-shaped icon instead of a Play button, tap it if you want to download the content from iCloud rather than stream it. The progress of the playback is displayed on the Progress bar, showing how many minutes you’ve viewed and how many remain. If you don’t see the bar, tap the screen once to display it briefly, along with a set of playback tools at the bottom of the screen.

5With the playback tools displayed, take any of these actions:

Tap the Pause button to pause playback.

Tap either Go to Previous Chapter or Go to Next Chapter to move to a different location in the video playback.

Tap the circular button on the Volume slider and drag the button left or right to decrease or increase the volume, respectively.

6To stop the video and return to the information screen, tap the Done button to the left of the Progress bar.

If you’ve watched a video and stopped it partway, it opens by default to the last location that you viewed. To start a video from the beginning, tap and drag the circular button on the Progress bar all the way to the left.

If your controls disappear during playback, just tap the screen to make them reappear.

If you like to view things on a bigger screen, you can use the iPad’s AirPlay feature to send your iPad movies and photos to your TV via the Apple Digital AV Connector (a $39.95 accessory) or Apple TV (a device that costs $99). Depending on your TV model, you may need the Composite connector (for virtually any analog set rather than the Digital AV Connector, which is used only for HD TV).