iTunes U & What It Means For You

Here’s a log­i­cal fol­low up to our last post — 10 Free Uni­ver­si­ty Cours­es on iTunes.

It turns out that yes­ter­day Apple nice­ly inte­grat­ed iTunes U into iTunes. Now, you’ll prob­a­bly ask what is iTunes U, and why should I care about this inte­gra­tion? So here is the sim­ple answer:

iTunes U is essen­tial­ly a non-com­mer­cial ver­sion of iTunes that sev­er­al uni­ver­si­ties start­ed to use over the past year. And, in fact, some of the best uni­ver­si­ty pod­cast col­lec­tions (name­ly, Berke­ley’s and Stan­ford’s) were launched on this plat­form. The prob­lem was that you could­n’t access these pod­casts from the iTunes store that every­one’s accus­tomed to using. So, if you opened iTunes and searched for Stan­ford pod­casts, you got bubkis.

The dis­tinc­tion between iTunes and iTunes U was large­ly arti­fi­cial, and so it made per­fect sense to mesh togeth­er the two plat­forms. (Read the press release here.) What does­n’t par­tic­u­lar­ly make sense is the way in which the two plat­forms now fit togeth­er — or actu­al­ly kind of don’t. If you do a search for “MIT,” for exam­ple, you’ll see that some MIT pod­casts come up in a search results buck­et called “Pod­casts” (these are from MIT’s busi­ness school) and oth­ers come up in a buck­et called “iTunes U.” So, put sim­ply, the MIT pod­casts aren’t grouped togeth­er in one col­lec­tion. (Try it out and you will see what I mean.)

But why com­plain, the new inte­gra­tion is no doubt a good step in the right direc­tion.

by | Permalink | Comments (2) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (2)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • Mauzy Fledsoe says:

    For the record, Berke­ley’s pod­casts launched on their local site in late April 2005. Their iTunes U site launched a full year lat­er in April 2006.

    Good catch find­ing the one spot where the inte­gra­tion did­n’t fit. Still pret­ty ele­gant con­sid­er­ing. Regard­less, this is a huge step for­ward for iTunes U and will bring iTunes U‑only schools to a much wider audi­ence at last.

  • […] Since 2007, Apple has offered uni­ver­si­ties around the world a way to dis­trib­ute edu­ca­tion­al media via iTunes U. Fast for­ward to 2010, Har­vard has now set up its own iTunes U sec­tion, with more than 200 audio and video tracks cov­er­ing every­thing from the Har­vard Kuum­ba Singers to a course on Jus­tice with promi­nent polit­i­cal philoso­pher Michael Sandel. Oth­er high­lights include: […]

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.