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Downloading Video to a Portable Device

Downloading Videos to an MP4 Player

Many people own MP4 players – which are small, portable, hand hand devices that can display video (-normally, they can also handle audio, photo stills, ebooks, etc, as well, but their primary function is video).

However, not all MP4 players sit well with Linux: Apple iPods tend to be designed to work with their own computers and a lot of other manufacturers seem to assume everyone will be running Microsoft. If you're going to be synchronising your MP4 from your Linux PC (-and you should), then look for a device that, when connected to a PC, mimics a USB Flash Drive (-also known as a “USB Stick”). I use a player from PMP UK (, which does exactly that – although we believe the Samsung Yapp (YP- series) and others also do this.

To connect an MP4 player of this type, simply attach the MP4 player to one end of the supplied USB cable and the other end to a spare USB slot on your computer. Linux will automatically detect the device as another filesystem.

In Ubuntu, the device will show up on the desktop as an icon:

Mp4 Player Mounted on the Desktop

Right click on the icon and select “Open”:

MP4 Player Mounted on the Desktop

If you are using Fedora, the MP4 player will directly open up the File Manager window, with the player's files listed under an entry in the "Devices" section (-see the section on MP3 Downloading for an example screenshot). Click on the entry for the device to list the files contained on it.

This should open a window listing all the files on that device:

Files on the MP4 Player

Now, it is simply a case of opening a window/tab to the location where the video (“my_dvd_movie.avi” in the example below) on your PC resides and left-click/dragging it to the MP4 player drive and releasing the left mouse button to “drop” it:

Files on the MP4 Player

You will probably see a progress dialogue box showing that the copy is in progress:

Copying Files onto the MP4 Player

When complete, this dialogue box will disappear – and you will see your new movie in the MP4 filesystem window:

Once you have transferred all the video files you require, right click on the MP4 Player icon and choose “Safely Remove Drive”. This will allow you to remove the player without any adverse effects:

Note: in Fedora, you will need to right click on the device entry in the file manager window to see this option

Once the USB connection is removed, when you power on your MP4 player and browse your videos – you should see the new movie listed and you are free can to watch your content on the move!

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