New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

iTunes U Hits One Billion Downloads of Free Educational Content

itunes_u_iconApple today announced that its iTunes U service has hit one billion downloads, less than six years after its official debut.
“It’s inspiring to see what educators and students of all types are doing with iTunes U,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “With the incredible content offered on iTunes U, students can learn like never before―there are now iTunes U courses with more than 250,000 students enrolled in them, which is a phenomenal shift in the way we teach and learn.”
Apple notes that over 1,200 colleges and universities and over 1,200 K-12 schools are using iTunes U, offering thousands of public and private courses through the service. Over 60% of iTunes U downloads are coming from outside of the United States.

Apple also touts the sheer size of some of iTunes U's offerings, with several universities offering courses seeing enrollments of over 100,000 and Stanford University and The Open University each having topped 60 million downloads of their content.

iTunes U debuted as a partnership with Stanford University in October 2005 before launching in an expanded form in mid-2007. A year ago, Apple launched its dedicated iTunes U app as part of an education-focused event leveraging the iPad as the learning platform for the future.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

23 months ago
iTunes U is a great step toward a better society. Knowledge should be freely shared for everyone.
Rating: 5 Votes
23 months ago
Things like iTunes U are what I really love about iOS.

Supremely useful and sync across my iOS devices. I'm watching less and less TV and instead I've managed to take part in some fantastic classes.

One of the reasons I won't be off to Android/WP/Blackberry anytime soon. :)

Massive thanks to all involved in providing this, from the back end infrastructure to the classes themselves.
Rating: 4 Votes
23 months ago
I looked for stunt driving lessons but no luck...:(
Rating: 3 Votes
23 months ago

Many of the courses are downright amazing. Quality professors teaching with great visual aids, and the ability to rewind and watch portions of a lecture again. For example, when I find I've drifted off for 5 minutes and have no clue what the professor just said - I can just go back and hear it again.

Every college student should supplement his own college's courses with some of these courses if they have difficulty with certain subjects or just a topic within a subject.


I agree completely. I still am surprised that the content for iTunes U is still free.
Rating: 3 Votes
23 months ago
Awesome, I use it all the time! Great place to learn stuff outside of your field
Rating: 3 Votes
23 months ago
I can honestly say I have learned a lot through the lessons on iTunes U. But too bad it can't be counted for actual college credits, though.
Rating: 2 Votes
23 months ago
It is amazing the content that is available from iTunes U, most notable being cs193p. It is incredible that i can view those lectures. I would have no chance to take the course in real life, and no interest in taking the prerequisite courses either. I do wish that the Apple TV had an iTunes U app though.
Rating: 2 Votes
23 months ago

While that's very impressive I just feel there is a lot more that Apple could do with the iTunesU content and software. Wouldn't it be amazing if they mapped out the all the courses you would need for specific degrees so that becoming self taught is that much easier.[/

Apple's contribution to learning is truly amazing, the quality of course work excellent and availability unfettered. It's always good to seek improvement but what you suggest isn't feasible. You may not be familiar with academic degrees, but it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to boiler plate degree requirements. Every educational institution has a variety of degrees with innumerable options, including areas of major and minor emphasis, content options, elective choices and on and on.
Many universities offer, tuition based, online degrees where a clear path to a degree can be worked out with online help from the university. This is a 'free university' kind of experience for self starters, and a really outstanding one. A billion times outstanding.

Rating: 2 Votes
23 months ago
Currently doing the beginning class of programming from Stanford through iTunes U. It's an awesome service. Although, I wish that class updated the video quality. The teachers are great. You can truly see the teacher quality compare to other schools. Wish I had good teachers like that in public schools growing up.
Rating: 1 Votes
23 months ago
iTunes U looks fantastic, unfortunately there's very little of it I can actually access because I'm deaf. Very little of it is subtitled.

Subtitles would also help a lot of people who don't speak English as a first language. It would also help no end with searching and indexing course content. Google has done some fantastic work on subtitling, can Apple step up a bit more on subtitling please?
Rating: 1 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]