The University of Alabama on iTunes U Information for content providers
The Center for Instructional Technology’s Multimedia Service (MMS) will assist content providers to ensure that content and accompanying images are appropriately sized and formatted. MMS will create images for campus groups for use in iTunes U (i.e. “album art”) and will handle any necessary file conversions to make sure video and audio submissions meet necessary file format and size requirements. MMS will also upload submissions to iTunes U and will enter metadata for each file. Content providers are responsible for securing appropriate release permissions for content, including any necessary copyright or distribution rights. Any requests or questions should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The University of Alabama reserves the right to review and evaluate content submitted for release in the public area of The University of Alabama on iTunes U for appropriateness regarding content, quality, and other factors.
Please note that materials posted in iTunes U are available to the general public for viewing and download. Please contact your campus area liaison to discuss your content and its placement on iTunes U. Through our partners at the Audio Visual Solutions, MMS has assembled several Audio Capture Kits. With minimal instructions and NO charge, you can record the audio of a presentation, lecture, or other event and MMS will convert it to an iTunes U-compatible format and provide you with a copy. To learn more, contact email@example.com.
Through MMS you can hire video recording and editing services. To facilitate the collection of content for iTunes U, MMS has created the Video Capture Package:
For $175, a one hour lecture can be filmed (using a single camera and only one speaker at a time). Also included are minimal editing and rendering in a format compatible with iTunes U requirements. You will be provided with a copy of the recording and MMS will handle posting it to iTunes U. Please note that recordings involving more extensive editing or other complications may result in higher charges.
iTunes U Grants:
The University of Alabama Office of the Provost has made funds available to document important or high profile events, guest lecturers, and other special occasions for posting on iTunes U when event/department budget constraints do not allow for recording expenses.
iTunes U grants are reserved for the video-recording of notable events and speakers that are of general interest and that involve educational content. Before applying for funding, contact your Campus Area Liaison to discuss your content and its placement on iTunes U.
In order to apply for an iTunes U grant, submit the following to firstname.lastname@example.org and CC: your Campus Area Liaison:
It is important to note that materials posted in iTunes U are available to the general public for viewing and download.
Please submit your content for iTunes U via one of the following methods:
To enter information about your submission, please complete the metadata form. If the necessary information as discussed below is available in another format (e.g. document, PDF, event flyer), you can email it to Gina Tinney at email@example.com.
For each file submitted to iTunes U, you should provide certain information. Each file needs to be tagged with metadata (file information). The title, author, description, and keywords tags are the fields that iTunes indexes for search. Metadata allows users to search for and know the origins of tracks.
Metadata is weighted in order by Name, Artist, Album, Comments. For example, a track containing the search term in the Name of your track will be returned as much more “Relevant” and higher ranked, than one with the search term in Comments alone.
Submissions should be accompanied by full descriptive information in the following fields. The metadata will be entered by MMS when the submission is uploaded to iTunes U.
In order to let users know the source of content, Apple strongly encourages institutions to brand all submissions to iTunes U. The need to ensure that visitors are aware of the content’s institutional source must be balanced with the need to make content easy to find. In order to accomplish the former, the University of Alabama iTunes U team determines whether a submission has already been branded and, if not, adds an introduction. The latter pursued through methods of categorizing materials.
All UA iTunes U submissions have University of Alabama related images that meet these technical specifications:
Size: 3000 x 3000 pixels
File format: .jpeg, .gif, or .png
Content provider suggestions regarding appropriate images for submissions are appreciated. All images will include University of Alabama branding. Examples include a photo of a speaker or a content provider logo.
Decisions regarding content classification for The University of Alabama on iTunes U have been made through discussions with other institutions, Apple representatives, and The University of Alabama Office of University Relations. The University of Alabama on iTunes U is divided into three main sections: Featured Content, Topics of Interest, and Life at UA. The Featured Content section offers The University of Alabama an opportunity to showcase certain contributions for reasons ranging from speaker eminence to topicality of content to contributor request. Topics of Interest were chosen as one of the main methods of categorization for several reasons. Since most iTunes U visitors find content through searching for particular topics or subjects, organizing University of Alabama educational content by its related subjects should allow for greater ease for users. While the topics listed are of course part of the University of Alabama, the diversity of content topics that is submitted from University of Alabama Colleges, Schools, Libraries, and Offices lends itself to organization by topic at this phase of our iTunes U implementation. The Topics used are derived from Apple’s Categories list (as found on Apple’s main iTunes U page); content contributors are invited to suggest one or more of the listed topics that apply to their submissions by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In certain cases, content may even be made available in more than one area of The University of Alabama on iTunes U. Within these Topics of Interest, content can be further classified based on a speaker’s field of expertise, a lecture series focus, or other factors. In order to invite users to learn more about a topic or its sponsoring academic program, links to pertinent University of Alabama Colleges, Schools, Libraries, Departments, and other groups are provided on each album page. The third category, Life at UA, offers the opportunity to share information specific to The University of Alabama, from campus tours to recruitment information. This category also includes items from Athletics and the Office of University Relations.
Content Creation Tips and Sample Criteria:
Several content providers have asked for hints to make video and audio more aesthetically pleasing and of higher quality. The tips below come from the Faculty Resource Center Videography Department:
The University of Alabama has more than 20 areas with content liaisons for iTunes U. Each area may have differing goals for participating in iTunes U and therefore different criteria for submissions. One college has developed the criteria below, though other campus areas have other means to determine what will represent them on iTunes U. These are NOT put forth as standard criteria for the University of Alabama, but instead serve as an example of one area’s approach.
Content providers who would like to prepare their own content for iTunes U need to follow the content specifications given below. For further explanation or assistance, please contact email@example.com.
Once your site is live in the iTunes U area of the iTunes Store, your institution’s content is available for download on a wide variety of devices (for example, iTunes, iPad, and iPhone) and to a broad worldwide audience with varying server bandwidth and performance. To ensure a good user experience, consider appropriate file size and compression when encoding your content. No individual file can be larger than 2GB.
iTunes U Public Site Manager is designed to support public content and therefore does not support hosting content on a secure server using an SSL URL scheme (https).
iTunes U Public Site Manager supports the distribution of:
Apple recommends using the following specifications for your audio content:
Some MP3 audio files, specifically ID3 version 1.x tagged files, have known issues displaying item artwork information. To use specific artwork with these audio files, Apple recommends either converting the files to MP3 files tagged as ID3 version 2.4 or converting the files to the AAC file type format (.m4a).
Apple recommends using the following specifications for your video content:
If you are using QuickTime to create and edit video content, it is recommended that you export your videos by choosing “Movie to iPod” from the Export pop-up menu in QuickTime Pro. For more information, see https://www.apple.com/quicktime/.
While you can also use iTunes U to distribute Portable Document Format (PDF) files, these should not be the only contribution listed for a content provider. Examples of ways PDFs can be useful include:
Under UA policy, content providers are responsible for making sure the content of the audio or video podcast complies with copyright, as well as that individuals who are in the recording understand how it will be used.
Types of copyrighted materials you might encounter include:
If you plan to use one of the above types of media that you suspect might be copyrighted, you should obtain permission from the copyright holder. If you are unable to obtain permission to use the materials, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further assistance. A media recording that the University of Alabama reasonably believes violates intellectual property law or policy — or for which the University of Alabama receives a Digital Millennium Copyright Act notification will be removed from the University of Alabama iTunes U Web site.
Main participants in the recording must sign a release before the recording can be put on iTunes U: Release form. It is unnecessary to include individuals who ask occasional short questions, such as in a course lecture or talk. The proof of release should be maintained by the campus area or liaison sponsoring the iTunes U submission.
Backups and Archiving
Please note that the content provider is responsible for keeping backup copies of any submissions. Submissions are neither archived nor saved by The University of Alabama. iTunes U is a hosted service by Apple and does not offer archiving or backup services. As a result, it is strongly recommended that you maintain copies of your submissions. Any submissions created by or converted by Multimedia Services will be given to content providers on CDROM or DVD.