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Wiki Pages: Joining iTunes U

iTunes U: Steps to Get a Site


This document will explain the process for requesting and setting up a new iTunes U area for a college, department, class, or group. For more information, please visit the iTunes U website or read our wiki documents on uploading to iTunes U or podcast creation.

Step One: Account Request and Initial Meeting

To get started, contact the iTunes U support staff to request an account. We will follow up with you, usually within two business days, to discuss your need and possibly set up a meeting with you and any other people in your area who will be posting to your iTunes U area. We will work with you to determine the appropriate location for your content and help you decide how you want to organize your area. For example, a college may want to divide its content into sections by department or topic, while a student group may prefer to organize by event. Organizational structure for content is very important to consider at the beginning because it's not easy to change after content has been uploaded.

If your group is part of a larger group, such as a department within a college, we may also contact a representative for the larger group to make sure that your content is placed appropriately within the group's section. If the larger group already has a section on iTunes U, then you may be able to gain access by working directly with your in-house iTunes U administrator. If not, we'll work with your IT support team and/or your dean's office to make sure that you'll get the support you need once you get started.

Following our initial conversation or meeting, we will create a sandbox account for your group, with access given to each person who will be uploading content to iTunes U. The sandbox account is a private testing area where you can test your graphics and content prior to uploading files to your public area. You can also begin practicing in your sandbox account immediately, even if you are still deciding how to organize your public area.

When you have determined how to organize your initial content, we will create your public area, including your initial section dividers and content containers for you. We will also assign user access rights to edit your area based on the needs of the people working on the site. Access rights are heirarchical, so you can designate certain users as administrators over the entire area, while other users can be limited to specific content containers only.

Step Two: Designing Your Look

To customize your iTunes U area, you will need a large rectangular graphic (600x300 pixels) for your welcome page, a smaller square version of this graphic (300x300 pixels) for your section thumbnail, and one or more square graphics (300x300 pixels) for your course page icons. You may also choose to create small, square icon graphics (128x128 pixels) for your downloadable content. We can provide basic template graphics for you, or you can design your own. For more information, please see the following Apple documents:

You will also need to brand your podcast as property of UK and of your department or group by adding opening and closing credits. If you have only audio material, you can simply record someone introducing the podcast. If you have a visual component, such as slides or video, you can add credits using a podcast or video editing application, or you can create simple title screens in PowerPoint or Photoshop, save them as jpgs, and then add them to the beginning and end of your video(s). Credits should include information about the name of the podcast series, the group that is producing it, the title of the episode or event, and the names of any speakers or hosts. You should also mention the university or show a UK logo and state that the work is copyrighted. It's also a good idea to mention that more content is available at in your closing credits.

Step Three: Creating Content

iTunes U supports four types of content:

Podcast Type Format Extension Application(s) Description
Audio MP3, AAC .m4a, .mp3 Garageband, Audacity Audio only-recordings, such as radio shows, lectures, etc
Audio Enhanced AAC .m4a Garageband, Audacity Audio with still images, such as photographs or PowerPoint slides
Video MPEG-4 with H.264 compression .mp4, .m4v, .mov iMovie, Final Cut Pro, Windows Live Movie Maker, Sony Vegas Video recordings, with or without audio
Document PDF .pdf Adobe Acrobat, Preview, or export from most desktop publishing applications Text documents, exported PowerPoint presentations, newsletters, brochures, etc

Depending on the source, podcast content can be recorded with a digital audio device or video camera and imported onto a computer later, or can be created/recorded on a computer from the beginning. Content can be recorded and/or edited with either a Mac or a PC and files can be up to 1 GB in size. We recommend keeping podcasts to an hour or less in length, when possible. To produce professional content, make sure the sound is clear and easy to understand, without static, dramatic changes in volume, or too much background noise. Record videos in good lighting so details are easy to see. Frame the subject in the center of the video and avoid rapid zooming or other camera movements that may disorient viewers.

Step Four: Post-Production and Uploading

After you have recorded your content and prepared your opening and closing credits and graphics, it's time to put it all together. Import your content into one of the applications listed above, add your opening and closing credits and a watermark if desired, then export your podcast in one of the supported formats. Save your file with a short descriptive name, avoiding spaces or special characters.

When you have the exported file, it's time to add metadata, which can be done by dropping the podcast or PDF file into your local iTunes library, highlighting it, and selecting File->Get Info from the menubar. You can also apply a custom file icon graphic at this point. For more information about the uses of metadata, read the section on page 5 of Apple's Creating Content for iPod and iTunes document or see Part I of our wiki document Uploading to iTunes U.

When the podcast is edited, branded, exported, and tagged with metadata, you are ready to customize your course shell and upload your files. For instructions, see Parts II and III of our wiki document Uploading to iTunes U.

Step Five: Review and Publish

Once you have your site customized and your initial content uploaded, the iTunes U administrators will review your site and give you feedback. You may also demo the site for others in your group and make any changes that you like privately. When all agree that your site is ready to go, we will make it visible to the public. After this point, you may continue to upload content and create new sections or containers as you like. We will be here to support you, but once you're live, you do not need approval from us to post content. We may, however, periodically review your site and provide you with additional feedback.

Publication Date: 06/04/2010
Revision Date: 06/04/2010
Operating Systems:

Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard
Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard
Windows XP, Vista, 7

Related Documents:

Garageband Voice Recording
Podcast Creation
Uploading to iTunes U

Keywords iTunesU, podcasting

Please contact IT Support if you have any questions or problems while following these instructions. Our contact information and availability are available on the Main Wiki Page.

University of Kentucky Information Technology Support

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