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iTunes and iTunes U

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Continued praise for my primer level pieces on iTunes brought to mind a conversation that your crusty chronicler was having with some even crustier peeps in Los Angeles not too long ago. Online apps, downloads and “all that iTunes stuff” was the subject of said conversation. Believe it or not, some of your screwy scribe’s most supportive regulars still get their music from “record stores” and although they are well aware of other technology they don’t generally totally grasp all of the digital details. Specifically, it brought other articles originally written for a now defunct music website. The focus of these pieces was iTunes.

For those who missed previous pieces, iTunes was created by Apple Inc. in January, 2001. It’s a proprietary digital media player app. With iTunes the user is able to play and organize digital music and video files. This app can be interfaced with Apple’s iPad, iPhone and iPod to manage the contents of said electronic devices.

(View the list to learn more about the iTunes U)

iTunes U
iTunes U Courtesy of

iTunes U

iTunes is much more than just an Apple-owned website where one can purchase and download music.  Indeed, it has many different aspects and purposes about which not everyone knows. One part of iTunes that is not as well known is iTunes U.  iTunes U’s birth was announced by Apple in 2007.  iTunes U was formed to manage and distribute various educational material including university lectures.  iTunes U controls access to said educational audio-visual material for the student body of colleges, universities and even the internet.

iTunes U members
iTunes U members Courtesy of

iTunes U members

Institutions become members of iTunes U.  Once they are in the system the entire organization has the chance to have their very own personalized iTunes U site, which easily accommodates searching for audio and visual material.  Users may even enter stream feeds in order to listen to their own music libraries.  This particular service is free.  Documents may be downloaded and uploaded free of charge.  The iTunes U catalog features such things as campus tours, lab demonstrations, foreign language lessons, lectures and sports that are actually provided by the colleges and the universities themselves.  Learning institutions in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand are among its contributing members.

iTunes U and uploading
iTunes U and uploading Courtesy of

iTunes U and uploading

As of 2010 however, new member institutions are no longer able to upload material to the Apple company servers.  Any member organizations before then were “grandfathered” into the current system.  iTunes U has gathered materials from an assortment of locations around the globe, including not only colleges and universities but libraries, museums and other cultural institutions.  At present there are over 75,000 files available for download and they have had over 300 million downloads from almost 900 different learning institutions.

End-note Courtesy of


At any rate, for those of my "old school" readers who are ever so slightly behind in all things iTunes-related, consider yourselves (slightly) more enlightened . . . even if this is just the tip of the electronic iceberg.

My name is Phoenix and . . . that's the bottom line.