Overview of UCLA on iTunes U

In conjunction with Apple Inc., UCLA on iTunes U is an exciting project to distribute digital content via the iTunes desktop application. Content developed at UCLA can be uploaded, searched, and downloaded via this program, creating an easy mechanism to get your video content out to users.

With UCLA on iTunes U, authorized campus participants can upload content such as audio, video, and PDF files to UCLA on iTunes U sites. The content can then be downloaded and played on computers or portable devices.

Users can also subscribe to serial podcasts, so that each new installment is automatically downloaded and stored for later playback.

Podcasts can be used for a variety of higher education purposes. They might deliver course lectures for review or offer supplemental material. They might promote campus events. They might feature interviews, guest speakers, foreign language samples, or a music series. Each campus department has the opportunity to create and easily distribute their content.

The power of portability and automation makes podcasting a truly evolutionary application of technology. UCLA on iTunes U helps simplify content creation and distribution. The ease-of-use and the popularity of the software enables the UCLA community to transition smoothly and effectively into this new realm.

The UCLA on iTunes U pilot project is a campus-wide collaborative effort utilizing 100% volunteer contribution. Campus units have offered staff to help design, organize, and contribute to the project. For more information, visit the UCLA on iTunes U project site.

What is Podcasting?

Podcasting enables the automatic delivery of digital content, such as audio or video files over the Internet to users' computers. This content can played on the computer or subsequently be transferred to the users' portable media devices, such as an MP3 player or iPod.

The ability to electronically distribute educational material -- either with or without supporting video, images, or other documents -- is not new. Course material delivery via the internet has been a popular and valuable contribution to the public mission of the university for some time. Some of these technologies, such as streaming media, has required that the viewer be stationed at a computer with an active internet connection to receive and view the content.

Podcasting, on the other hand, allows for automation and portability. A user can subscribe to a podcast, such as a course or lecture series, and each new installment will be automatically downloaded to their computer when it is published.

From there, the listener can choose to listen to it from the computer, automatically transfer the podcast to a portable device (such as Apple's iPod) and take it "to go," or even burn one or more podcasts to an audio CD for playback on a conventional CD player.

It is important to note that, despite its name, podcasting has no requirements for users to own an iPod. Anyone with a modern computer and a relatively fast network connection can enjoy podcasts.

Podcast Resources

UCLA Podcasts and Production Information

Sample Higher Education Podcasts

Sample Podcast Directories

Other Podcasting Links