What Types of Audio Files Does the iPad Support?

You aren't limited to Apple's preferred ACC audio format

Woman Listening to Music

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The iPad, along with Apple's other portable iOS devices, is designed to work seamlessly with the iTunes Store and Apple Music subscription service. But, you're not limited to only the ACC audio format Apple uses for songs on its own music service. The iPad supports several different audio formats, giving you the flexibility to choose from iTunes Store alternatives such as Spotify, Amazon Music, Napster (formerly Rhapsody), Slacker Radio, and many others.

This guide applies to iOS 12+

What Audio Formats Does iPad Support?

The current supported audio formats for the iPad and other iOS devices are:

  • AAC (bitrates from 8 to 320 Kbps)
  • HE-AAC (bitrates from 8 to 320 Kbps)
  • Protected AAC (from the iTunes Store)
  • ALAC (Apple Lossless)
  • MP3 (bitrates 8 to 320 Kbps)
  • MP3 VBR (Variable Bitrate)
  • Dolby Digital (AC-3)
  • Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3)
  • AA (Audible formats 2, 3, 4) / Audible Enhanced Audio / AAX / AAX+
  • WAV (Waveform Audio File Format)
  • AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format)

How to Get 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 that. Certain iOS music apps allow you to:

  • Find and listen to radio stations that stream over the internet.
  • Remix the songs in your iTunes library.
  • 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 audio and video podcasts without having to download them.
  • Identify unknown songs on the TV, radio or in a public place using the iPad's built-in microphone.