iTunes U FAQs

iTunes U - Professional Development Center
Daniel A. Reed Library
SUNY Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063

Do I need a Mac? Do I need an iPod?
What is a Podcast? What is RSS?
What is the difference between iTunes and iTunes U? What is the difference between iTunes U and ANGEL
What is the difference between the public and course areas of SUNY Fredonia's iTunes U? What kind of training and support is available to faculty interested in iTunes U?
How do I edit the information in my course? Will my course be available to everyone?
How do I add a title/author/description to my podcast files? How do I upload my files to my course?
What types of files can I upload to iTunes U? What is the difference between an audio podcast file, and enhanced podcast file and a video podcast (vodcast) file?
Do I have to request a course each semester, even if it's the same course? Can I move my podcast files from last semester's course to this semester's course?
How can students upload their podcast assignment to their instructor's course? What kind of training is available to students?
I can't see the images in my enhanced podcast - what do I do? Is there podcast production equipment available for loan?
Are there user guides available? What about Copyright?
I can hear my Vodcast but I can't see the video - what do I do? Can I borrow an iPod?
Who do I contact if I have a question or technical problems?  

Do I need a Mac?

No, you do not have to use a Mac to access SUNY Fredonia iTunes U or to produce podcasts. The iTunes application is the same on the Mac and Windows. The iTunes application is a free download available at http://www.apple.com/itunes/download.

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Do I need an iPod?

No, you do not need an iPod to access SUNY Fredonia iTunes U or to produce podcasts. Podcasts can be downloaded and played back in the iTunes application on your computer. iTunes is a free download available at http://www.apple.com/itunes/download. Podcasts can be produced using a variety of applications and equipment (both Mac and PC).

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What is a Podcast? What is RSS?

Podcasting is the passive distribution of multimedia content through a subscription to an RSS feed. Think of it as subscribing to the newspaper. Instead of going to the grocery store to pick up the newspaper every day, the paper boy now delivers it to your doorstep. But with most podcasts, subscribing is free! RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It is through the RSS that makes the distribution of the multimedia content possible. Once you subscribe to a podcast through your iTunes application, it will check the RSS for updates and download those updates automatically into your iTunes Library.

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What is the difference between iTunes and iTunes U?

iTunes is the application (software) with which you access iTunes U. When you click on the link to Launch iTunes U, your iTunes application will open. iTunes U will then load under the iTunes Store heading in your iTunes application. The iTunes application is a free download, available at http://www.apple.com/itunes/download

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What is the difference between iTunes U and ANGEL?

Like ANGEL, iTunes U can be used to distribute course material to your students. The difference is that iTunes U allows students to subscribe to an RSS feed for your course, and the material that you add to iTunes U is then passively distributed to your students. In other words, once they subscribe to the feed, the material will be downloaded automatically through iTunes and can be added to their portable media device, such as an iPod. The students would no longer need to browse to a specific website to find and then download the material. iTunes U is accessed through ANGEL by using the iTunes U nugget on the course page. At this point, students would be connected to your course material on iTunes U. ANGEL has a maximum upload of 10mb per content item, iTunes U allows .5 gig per file.

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What is the difference between the public and course areas of SUNY Fredonia's iTunes U?

Anyone, including the general public, can access the public area of SUNY Fredonia iTunes U. This area contains podcasts from the University President, PDC workshops, Information Resources, etc. The course area, is only available to SUNY Fredonia Faculty, Staff and Students. These users would log in through ANGEL and launch iTunes U from there. Unless requested otherwise, all courses created in SUNY Fredonia iTunes U are set up in the authenticated course area and are inaccessible to the general public.

Does it cost anything to download iTunes and/or access iTunes U?
The iTunes application and accessing SUNY Fredonia iTunes U, are free. Go to http://www.apple.com/itunes/download for the iTunes application download.

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What kind of training and support is available to faculty interested in iTunes U?

Training on both iTunes U course management and podcast production are provided by the Professional Development Center. Currently iTunes U is in its pilot year. If you are interested in being part of the pilot contact Lisa Melohusky at lisa.melohusky@fredonia.edu
Additional trouble shooting and technical support are provided by the Professional Development Center. All requests or questions should be entered in FredQuest. Faculty can also request classroom instruction for their students on accessing iTunes U by putting in a FredQuest Ticket.

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How do I edit the information in my course?

Log in to your course in iTunes U by logging into ANGEL and clicking on the link in the iTunes U nugget and launching iTunes U. In the iTunes application, navigate to your course page. On your course page, click on the 'Edit Page' box up at the top right of the screen. Click on any of the pencil icons to change text. Click on the plus sign to add tabs or links. (See the image for editing specific elements on the page). When you are finished, click the 'End Editing' button at the top right of the screen.

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Will my course be available to everyone?

No, unless you specifically request that your course be made available to the general public, users will be required to authenticate through ANGEL before they can access your course content.

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How do I add a title/author/description to my podcast files?

Regardless of what software was used to create the podcast file, you can add or change the Title, Author, Album, Description, etc in iTunes. Open the file in iTunes application. In iTunes, right click on the file and choose 'Get Info'. The Get Info window will appear. Click on the Info tab and enter your information in the relevant fields. Before you close the window, click on the 'Summary' tab and take note of where the file is located. The path to the file is at the bottom of the window. When you open a file in iTunes, depending on how iTunes was set up to manage your files, it may make a copy of the file in a different location from where you initially saved it. The file in the path at the bottom of this window is the one with the updated (metadata) information and is the one you would upload to iTunes U. When you are finished, click the OK button at the bottom of the window.

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How do I upload my files to my course?

Log in to your course in iTunes U by logging into ANGEL and launching iTunes U. In the iTunes application, navigate to your course page. On your course page, click on the 'Upload and Manage Files' link at the top right of the window. A new browser window will launch. If you see a security alert, click the Yes button. Click on the tab for the area where you want to upload your files. Next, click on the browse button and locate the file on your machine that you want to upload. The file will be added to the queue and start to upload. When you are finished, click the Done button.

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What types of files can I upload to iTunes U?

  • For audio - .m4a and .mp3
  • For video - .m4v, .mp4, and .mov
  • Text - .pdf

iTunes U does NOT support office document files such as .ppt (PowerPoint), .xls (Excel), or .doc (Word)

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What is the difference between an audio podcast file, and enhanced podcast file and a video podcast (vodcast) file?

  • An audio podcast file is strictly audio, sound without images or video, and has the .mp3 or .m4a file type extension.
  • An enhanced podcast contains audio and still images, and may contain hyperlinks. It is a nonlinear narrated slideshow where the user can navigate throughout the audio using the images as chapter marks. Enhanced podcasts have the .m4a file extension
  • A video podcast file (vodcast file) is full motion video, audio, and/or still images.

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Do I have to request a course each semester, even if it's the same course?

Yes. Because the course has a different CRN from Banner each semester, you will have to send in a request each semester for your course to be in iTunes U. When the request is completed you will see the iTunes U nugget on your course homepage.

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Can I move my podcast files from last semester's course to this semester's course?

Yes. Put in a FredQuest ticket requesting that your course content be moved to your new course.

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How can students upload their podcast assignment to their instructor's course?

If you would like a "drop box" area for students in the iTunes U course, you must create a drop box tab. See the Getting Started guide for detailed instructions. This is the only area configured to allow uploads by students. Because this area functions as a drop box, students cannot delete the file once it has been uploaded. Instructors should encourage proper file name management. (For example, each student should not name their podcast "assignment #1", but something descriptive and specific to their file).

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What kind of training is available to students?

Instructors can request class presentations by the Professional Development Center on how students can access and use iTunes U. Requests should be made before the start of the semester or as early in the semester as possible.

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I can't see the images in my enhanced podcast - what do I do?

  • Click on the arrow at the bottom left of the iTunes application interface. This will bring up a small preview window.
  • Click in the preview window to bring up the larger playback window
  • Click on the chapter drop down menu at the top center of the iTunes application interface to view the chapter marks and move to different points within the playback of the enhanced podcast.

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Is there podcast production equipment available for loan?

Yes. You can borrow USB microphones, Flip Cams, and a digital video camera from the Professional Development Center. You must supply your own miniDV tape for the digital video cameras, which can be found in most office supply stores. This equipment is for instructor use only, and will not be lent out to students. The loan period for this equipment will be limited to one week.

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Are there user guides available?

Yes. Apple has several user guides available at http://www.apple.com/support/itunes_u/

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What about Copyright?

This is extremely important. You can NOT use any copyright protected images, audio, or video in iTunes U. Using material that is copyright protected can result in the shutdown of our entire iTunes U area. If you have questions about content, please ask before you post. All questions can be asked through FredQuest.
You can find images for presentations and podcasts at the Flickr Creative Commons website. Just be sure to follow the correct attribution license requirements.

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I can hear my Vodcast but I can't see the video - what do I do?

It may be that you have your video settings set to play through a TV instead of on your iPod. On a Video iPod go to the Videos menu, Video Settings, and set TV Out to Off. This will allow your videos to play on the iPod screen.

Can I borrow an iPod?

Reed Library has an iPod checkout program. These iPods are preloaded with audiobooks, but can also be synced with iTunes U content. More information about this program can be found at http://www.fredonia.edu/library/ipod.asp.

Who do I contact if I have a question or technical problems?

You can contact us through FredQuest by choosing the following options
Request Type: ANGEL
Classification: Course/Group component
Category: iTunes U

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The material contained in this document originated from SUNY Cortland and Tera Doty-Blance


Page modified 10/19/10