featured content itunes u 2xApple has informed educational institutions with iTunes U content that it will migrate iTunes U collections to Apple Podcasts when iTunes 12.7 is released in September (via MacStories).

Apple launched iTunes U in 2007 as a free repository of educational content through the iTunes Store, allowing educators to create course collections comprising audio, media, handouts, ebooks, and other bundled content. In 2012, Apple introduced the iTunes U iOS app, enabling users to access their collections within an app container.

However, from September, existing iTunes U collections will be automatically converted to podcasts to become accessible through the Podcasts app and the Podcasts section of iTunes on a Mac or PC. According to Apple, the iTunes U section will be removed from the desktop version of iTunes at the same time, meaning the public iTunes U course catalog will only be accessible from iOS devices.

With this change, users can access your collections using the Apple Podcasts app on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV, and using iTunes on Mac and PC. Your public iTunes U Collections will automatically be migrated and all links redirected into Apple Podcasts at the time of transition. While no action is required for the migration, we recommend that institutions review their current iTunes U Collections and remove out-of-date or unneeded content before the transition to Apple Podcasts.

The takeaway for end users is that from next month the iTunes U iOS app will only include courses, not collections, and there will be no way to download iTunes U course materials on a Mac.

With the migration to the Podcasts app, iTunes U collections will be assigned podcast categories automatically, but Apple cautions that they may differ from the ones previously assigned in iTunes U. The good news for collection creators is that they can use the iTunes Podcast Site Manager to change the category at any time.

Apple Podcasts supports all media types currently supported by iTunes U collections, with the exception of ePub files, according to Apple's iTunes U Public Site Manager support page. If collections contain ePub files, content creators are advised to replace the ePub files with another file type (for example, a PDF file).

MacStories notes that this advice contradicts Apple's Podcasts Connect support page, which says ePub files are supported by podcasts. We'll update this article if Apple provides clarification on this point.

Top Rated Comments

orbital~debris Avatar
58 months ago
This sounds like a mess.
I'm still not sure what's actually changing or why.
Is the iTunes U iOS app being removed (now or eventually)? Or is this because they want to offer the content via Apple TV but don't want to create an iTunes U app for tvOS?

EDIT:

This paragraph from MacStories' article clarifies things:

"As podcasts grow in popularity, converting iTunes U collections to podcasts should expose them to a broader audience. The transition also simplifies iTunes on macOS and limits the iTunes U app to the content that is designed to work best with it. Each of those reasons makes sense in isolation, but there is a gap that hasn’t been addressed. What’s missing is a way to access iTunes U courses on the Mac. It’s possible that Apple has decided that iTunes U courses should be iOS-only, but I can’t help but think we’ll see a new approach to iTunes U on the Mac this fall and that this transition may be part of a broader plan to dismantle iTunes."
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DeepIn2U Avatar
58 months ago
Of all the sections iTunes U is one I use the most frequently :( It sucks course materials won't be available on it anymore.
Grrrr! This is by far THE most stupid move Apple is going to make. The beauty of having course material in my iPhone, others using iPads both at home and in K12 education and then go home to a MUCH bigger screen connected to a Mac or the iMac itself and continue where they've left off is part of the Apple ecosystem beauty.

Now Apple wants to disrupt and compound this? iBooks works just as is and doesn't over complicate iTunes so why is it not being overhauled?!

Dumb move Apple.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
farewelwilliams Avatar
58 months ago
what? itunes is finally becoming...thinner?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tennisproha Avatar
58 months ago
This is so stupid. So basically Apple is limiting access to educational material. Way to go.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DeepIn2U Avatar
58 months ago
I don't see the problem here...

iTunes U collections have always been listed as if they were podcasts to begin with. The only thing that's happening is that they're losing the "iTunes U" specification and are becoming traditional podcasts, which as stated, already have the ability to contain all the notes/presentations, excluding the ePubs that have to be substituted for PDFs.

Not only do they no longer have to deal with maintaining the iTunes U app anymore, but this brings the content to third-party podcast players aswell (as in you'll be able to subscribe to these same collections in Overcast, Castro, Downcast, etc. now [at least you'll have access to the audio in most anyway]).
Here is the problem: 2:13 in.


Now Apple just wants a PDF and an audio/video file? Podcasts are horrible for rich content delivery, think about learning a new language at one of the iTunes U's where say you have a document, course outline to readily get to without affecting your location in the Podcast, that sweet tech Apple introduced years ago where you can pickup where you left off on your Mac and vice version on your iOS device. Doesn't AppleTV 4 support iTunes U? Will it after this change? I was about to purcahse one yesterday to replace the ATV3 I have.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NY Guitarist Avatar
58 months ago
That Apple is forcing educational users into using only iOS devices is pretty underhanded.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new flagship iPhones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end Ma...
macbook pro 14 16 2021

Three Months After Launch, Apple Still Struggling to Meet Demand for Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Monday January 24, 2022 7:12 am PST by
Three months after their launch, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros continue to experience high demand and seemingly short supply, with shipping dates for both models stretching into multiple weeks in several of Apple's key markets. In the United States, the baseline 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip is estimated to ship in three to four weeks, promising an arrival by at least...
General Dropbox Feature

macOS 12.3 Will Include Cloud Storage Changes Affecting Dropbox and OneDrive

Tuesday January 25, 2022 3:31 pm PST by
Dropbox today announced that users who update to macOS 12.3 once that software version becomes available may temporarily encounter issues with opening online-only files in some third-party apps on their Mac. In a support document and an email to customers, Dropbox said it is actively working on full support for online-only files on macOS 12.3 and will begin rolling out an updated version of...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
Apple Watch Red Yellow Green Feature 1

Apple Launches Black Unity Braided Solo Loop With 'Unity Lights' Watch Face

Wednesday January 26, 2022 6:05 am PST by
Apple today announced the Black Unity Braided Solo Loop for the Apple Watch, as well as a new downloadable watch face, to celebrate Black History Month. Following the launch of the limited edition Black Unity Apple Watch Series 6 and Sport Band in 2021, Apple today launched the Black Unity Braided Solo Loop as part of its celebrations for Black History Month this year.Apple is launching a...
att gigabit internet

AT&T Bringing $180/Month 5-Gigabit Internet to 70 Cities

Monday January 24, 2022 9:20 am PST by
AT&T today announced the launch of upgraded AT&T Fiber plans, which support speeds of up to 5 Gigabits for some customers. There are two separate plans, one "2 GIG" plan and one "5 GIG" plan, available to new and existing AT&T Fiber subscribers. According to AT&T, the new plans are available to nearly 5.2 million customers across 70 metro areas including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, San...
intel vs m1 max chip purple

Benchmarks Confirm Intel's Latest Core i9 Chip Outperforms Apple's M1 Max With Several Caveats

Wednesday January 26, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Benchmark results have started to surface for MSI's new GE76 Raider, one of the first laptops to be powered by Intel's new 12th-generation Core i9 processor. Intel previously said that its new high-end Core i9 processor is faster than Apple's M1 Max chip in the 16-inch MacBook Pro and, as noted by Macworld, early Geekbench 5 results do appear to confirm this claim, but there are several...
ios 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 With Fix for Safari Bug That Leaks Browsing Activity

Wednesday January 26, 2022 10:00 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3, the third major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems that were released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.3 come almost two weeks after the release of iOS and iPadOS 15.2.1, minor bug fix updates. The iOS 15.3 and iPadOS 15.3 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in ...