iTunes U is a partnership between Apple Computer, Inc. and North Carolina State University. Apple provides us with storage space and a sophisticated framework for managing and delivering content. We (the University community) provide the content itself.

What kinds of content are available?

iTunes U uses a technology called podcasting, which supports audio and video content. Created by students, faculty and staff, this content is a mixture of curricula, information and entertainment.

How do I use iTunes U at NC State?

  1. If you do not already have Apple’s iTunes software installed, download the software and install it.
  2. After installing it, open a Web browser and go to iTunes U at NC State.
  3. Click on the link Launch iTunes U, which will take you to our iTunes U storefront.

How do I subscribe to a podcast?

  1. Go to iTunes U at NC State.
  2. Click on Go to iTunesU at NCSU.
  3. Explore the material that is available by clicking on the various links (images) in the main body of the page. Each link will take you to a page concerning one or more podcasts.
  4. When you get to a page devoted to a specific podcast that interests you, click on its Subscribe button. All current and future episodes of that podcast will show up automatically on your computer.

What does it cost?

There is no charge for using this service. It is free to both content creators and subscribers.

Are there options other than using iTunes software?

Feeds that feature audio-only content can be previewed and listened to through a conventional web browser, but to download content you will need to install iTunesU for either Windows or the Mac (which typically has it pre-installed).

Will this content work with my Apple iPod, iPad or iPhone?


What if I have a non-Apple media player or Phone?

iTunes U supports both AAC and MP3 for audio content. All portable media players support MP3, and many support AAC as well. The advantages of AAC over MP3 center around smaller file sizes for a given level of audio quality. AAC is more efficient, letting you store more content on your mobile player, and there are other benefits as well (e.g., bookmarking content such as audiobooks). Video content is almost always in MPEG-4 format, often labelled as “h264” (a term based on it’s compression technology). Again – many media devices other than Apple products can play back this content.

Synching this content via a non-Apple media playback device is not straightforward, but there are tools that can help. iTuneMyWalkman is a Macintosh application that will let you synchronize content with media players given they can actually play the content you want to synchronize (check your user documentation or the vendor’s support site).  Apple has a support page explaining how you can use this content with a Windows machine, and a non-Apple player. In addition, there is iTunes Agent, which works with iTunes on Windows to allow you to sync a iTunes playlist with your non-Apple media device.

If your player only supports MP3 content, you can convert AAC audio content to MP3 using Apple’s iTunes software as follows:

  1. Select Preferences.
  2. Select Advanced.
  3. Select Importing.
  4. From the Import Using pulldown menu, select MP3 Encoder.
  5. Select OK.
  6. Close Preferences.
  7. In your iTunes library. highlight a file that you want to convert.
  8. Either control-click (Mac) or right-click (Windows) on the file.
  9. Select Convert to MP3.

Since iTunes copies content from our iTunes U site to your local computer, you have the ability to copy content onto your mobile player using the management software that came with your player.

  • On a Mac, control-clicking on a file in your iTunes podcast playlist will reveal a popup menu. Selecting Show in Finder will locate the file on your computer for you.
  • On a Windows computer, right-clicking on a file in your iTunes podcast list will reveal a popup menu. Selecting Reveal in Explorer will locate the file on your computer for you.

You can now copy this file onto your media player.

I am affiliated with North Carolina State University. How can I use iTunes U at NC State to publish my content?

To have a feed created, send email to help@ncsu.edu. Your subject line should include the phrase “iTunes U Feed Request”.

Is iTunes U content copyright protected?

We do not use digital rights management software (DRM) to lock down content in iTunes U. The copyright ownership of the original media extends to the content delivered by iTunes U.

This means:

  • If you want to reuse content from iTunes U, you should ask for permission from the content creator or the University.
  • If you place your own content on iTunes U, you are not abdicating intellectual property rights to it (as far as is allowed by the University). It is the same as publishing a web page; those that “borrow” content from your page should give you attribution. Apple only reserves the right to choose to feature or promote your content if this content is publicly available.

We are not lawyers. We leave this stuff to people who do this for a living.

How do I learn more about iTunes U?

We suggest going to Apple’s own site on iTunes U.