What Types of Audio Files Does the iPad Support?

Don't be Tied Down to Just the iTunes Store as Your Choice of Music Service

The iPad and Apple's other portable devices (iPhone and iPod Touch) are designed to work seamlessly with the iTunes Store. However, you aren't limited to just the audio format that Apple uses for songs on its music service -- the AAC format.

The good news is that the iPad supports quite a few different audio formats which gives you the flexibility to choose from a good selection of iTunes Store alternatives.

iPad Supported Audio Formats

The current supported audio formats for the iPad (2 / 3 / 4 / mini) are:

  • AAC (bitrates from 8 to 320 Kbps)
  • HE-AAC (bitrates from 8 to 320 Kbps)
  • Protected AAC (DRM copy protection used on the iTunes Store)
  • ALAC (Apple Lossless)
  • MP3 (bitrates 8 to 320 Kbps)
  • MP3 VBR (Variable Bitrate)
  • AA (Audible formats 2, 3, 4) / Audible Enhanced Audio / AAX / AAX+
  • WAV
  • AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format)

Getting More Out of the iPad for Digital Music

The iPad is a great tablet device for syncing music files and listening to your song library on the go. But, it can do a lot more than this. For example, there are music apps for iOS that allow you to:

  • Find and listen to radio stations that stream over the Internet (Web radio apps).
  • Remix the songs in your iTunes library (DJ Apps).
  • Find and stream music videos for free on the Internet.
  • Make your own music from scratch if you're feeling really creative.
  • Stream an unlimited amount of music from subscription music services.
  • Stream podcasts (both audio and video) without having to download them.
  • Identify unknown songs (on the TV, radio, public place, etc.) using the iPad's built-in microphone (Music ID apps).