Have you ever needed to download music or video files to your iPad or iPhone? The lack of a dedicated file structure on the iPad is an often maligned feature that leads some to turn against the iPad as a tool for the classroom, but it shouldn’t. At least not when there are free apps like Documents by Readdle, which have been created to help fill that void. It is one of the few genuine five star apps in the App Store, and here’s why.
Let’s say you are looking for some music to add to an iMovie project that students have created to demonstrate some of their learning. Your options are, initially, a little limited. There are some built-in soundtracks with iMovie, but there are only a limited number to choose from and none are any longer than 1 minute and 4 seconds. So, you turn to the web and find a good selection of royalty free music that fits the bill, but how do you get it into iMovie?
Enter Documents by Readdle. Use the browser in the app to navigate to the page where the link to download the music can be found, and tap on the file you want to download. The pop-up menu will give you the chance to rename the file and to save it to a folder of your choice in the Documents app. Once downloaded, you can select the audio file you just downloaded and use the Open In… option to transfer to the file to iMovie where it can be added to an existing project, or a brand new one.
Best of all, this doesn’t just work with audio files. You can download videos, and drag them to a folder that transfers them to the Camer Roll on your iPad. You can also download images, Office docs, and even zip files (which can later be opened inside the Documents app). As a teacher, this flexibility is fantastic for any kind of multimedia project. Just be sure to check that your students are downloading media that they have rights to use, and are citing their sources accordingly.
Of course, Documents is not just an app for downloading files. It could be great for teachers who want to access or organize files on the go. It includes some basic PDF annotation, and the ability to connect and access your iCloud, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, and other cloud accounts. You can also save email attachments, save web pages to read later, and protect everything with a passcode.
I use a number of Readdle apps, and have always been impressed with the quality of them, so this is one to add to my collection. The video below is a quick walkthrough of how to use the Documents app for downloading files.