iTunes U Moves to a new site

Last fall, Apple announced a new management interface for iTunesU. With it, comes some very big changes to how it is managed. Here is the brief rundown:

Our current authentication environment, which allowed us to use our Unity userids (the one you use to log into your NCSU email) for logging into iTunesU, no longer works with the new environment. Instead, authentication relies on the use of Apple ID’s. As of now, there does not appear to be any way to adapt their authentication to our ID’s, so content creators will be required to create a Apple ID. It is recommended that this ID be separate from the ID you use for making personal iTunes store purchases.

The new site manager is a totally new way of organizing content, but it offers flexibility that we didn’t have before. In a nutshell, there are broad categories for content based on academic discipline, and keywords that help in discovering and sorting content. Both of these methods combine allow for flexible representation of content.

There are two classes of users now for content; top level Administrators, and Contributors. Contributors combine some aspects of midlevel administrators and top level administrators. Contributors can create a feed themselves; they no longer need to have this created for them. However, only administrators can create new contributor accounts. In addition, there is no limit on the number of contributors that can be logged in at a same time, but only one top level administrator can be logged in. Therefore, we will be no longer giving out administrative accounts. One way to emulate the old model, for those that were departmental iTunesU administrators, is to add themselves as a contributor to all feeds in their academic college or program. This way – they can create feeds for users, and help manage them.

One final aspect of the new site manager; it is only for publicly available content. There is no way to lock content down. However, it is not nearly as bad as it seems, for our old iTunesU site will continue to live, and will work the same way it always had, including it’s use of our authentication system. So, we will now have two iTunesU sites; one public, and one private. This is how other universities have been handling this demand for quite a while now, such as Duke.