.DAT files on iPod Nano 5G Video folder

What is the purpode of the DAT files on the video folder of the iPod nano 5G? I noticed for every .MP4 video recorder by the iPod camera, there's a similar-named .DAT file. What's it used for?
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The .dat extension is interesting, it can be just about anything. Since .dat is the file extension for VCD video files, camcorder video files, and some audio files... it can be easily confused sometimes.

In this case, it is not a video file or an audio file. It is entirely separate from the video file and doesn't need to be paired with it when saving to your computer or playing independent of the iPod. The .mp4 files are indeed the video files.

Files with the .dat extension are more commonly database or data files, containing information about almost anything. On your iPod, it's either information about where it was last paused or an index built for fast seeking, something to that effect. Windows will create them often for various reasons so it could be from a sync operation as well.

On the iPod itself, it would probably still play the videos even if the .dat files were removed and might even recreate new ones once you play the video files. I could be wrong, but doubt that it would change a thing!


.dat is the video
the  file with a DAT file extension is a Data file. It's the data source for the rest of the clip in the form of a Video CD. ie VCD Video compact disc Possibly
This ipod has created a video in teh form of a .DAT?

Is the filename something like AVSEQ01.DAT or something like that?

VCD is a form of DVD but for CD playable on a DVD player
If you want to use this .dat alone  just rename the file extension to .mpg. and see if that plays ok.
Or convert it
check this
What is VCD?
atipicoAuthor Commented:
OK, so the .DAT file is the video? How so? You mean the 9mb file, with .MP4 extension, that I'm able to open in my media player, is NOT the video, but the 308KB file with a .DAT extension is the video?

Sorry for being so honest but you clearly have no idea what you're saying. ( I mean, I know there are cases where .DAT files can be the video container, such as in VCDs, but this is not the case. As I clearly stated, (1) this is an iPod nano and (2) the video files ARE BEING RECORDED IN .MP4 FORMAT WITH AND .MP4 EXTENSION)
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atipicoAuthor Commented:
atipicoAuthor Commented:
I've been grabbing the MP4 files from my iPod and ignoring the DAT files for about one year or so. I was just curious about its purpose -- I suppose BlueThuda's explanation is the more possible guess, I just wanted to confirm it but I suppose I can live without this knowledge.
Did you read what I wrote?
>>the  file with a DAT file extension is a Data file. It's the data source for the rest of the clip in the form of a Video CD. ie VCD Video compact disc Possibly.

You think I don't know what I'm talking about.
Let me explain it then without using links.
.dat is an acronym for digital audio tape
In the structure of a DVD Digital video disc  or VCD  Video Compact Dis
when you play either of these on a disc they have a main menue and chapters, in order to see these you need the directories
These are referred to ifo and bup files on a DVD and .dat on a vcd.
They are the pointers used to point the laser to selected menues.
These dat put simply are just a general file extension signifying that the content of the file is data
You be wrong here>On the iPod itself, it would probably still play the videos even if the .dat files were removed and might even recreate new ones once you play the video files.<< no it will not

Once you remove these dat files your ipod will nolonger play recognise these mp4.
Same principle with camcorders and cameras.

If you take the video files off the camera / ipods etc the entire folders including the dat. and then try to put them back they will  no longer be recognized by the media.

Sigh, to clarify.......

Again, .DAT is not an acronym in this case, DAT stands for Digital Audio Tape, it's also ONLY USED FOR AUDIO when referred to as DAT, and only on a DAT recorder, which Sony stopped making in '05 I might add, iPods don't do that. It's a media, or a media standard even, not a file extension. I should know, I own an internal tape-backup version of the DAT which is called DDS and also considered buying a DAT recorder for music production purposes.


The .DAT files from VCD's are video files, but only .DAT in extension. They're actually mpeg1 and can be renamed .mpg and played as mpeg without any conversion, as stated by the other "Expert." However, like I said, the extension is used for many purposes, no one format or application exists for .dat or .DAT.

That being said, atipico I looked all over Apple's website and found quite a few people wondering about the .DAT files as well, but no definite purpose was ever explained.


A final note, the attached .DAT file you included can be viewed in notepad, as many .DAT files can, and although mostly jibberish, you can usually see a bit of information that shows what purpose they serve. In yours it clearly points to your .mp4 file.....

As seen in the first line of code:> doPIFmaC   $      @Ò IMG_0000.mp4    é  Šy

Supposedly the .DAT file may be created during the recording process for some purpose, but this is also assumptions others such as myself have made. I called Apple earlier, but alas, they were closed. I don't like loose ends either, and can appreciate curiosity ;)
I did state .dat is an acronym for digital audio tape
but that's ok
I think we have explained it enough now and the asker gets the drift.
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