iTunes U Collections Will Move to Apple Podcasts From September

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 21, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple 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.
    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.

    Article Link: iTunes U Collections Will Move to Apple Podcasts From September
  2. farewelwilliams macrumors 68000

    Jun 18, 2014
    what? itunes is finally becoming...thinner?
  3. jmh600cbr macrumors 6502a


    Feb 14, 2012
    More like rearranged
  4. Avieshek macrumors 6502a


    Dec 7, 2013
  5. orbital~debris macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2004
    England, UK, Europe
    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?


    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."
  6. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    I expect a huge iTunes reboot within the next year.
  7. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Of all the sections iTunes U is one I use the most frequently :( It sucks course materials won't be available on it anymore.
  8. DeepIn2U macrumors 601


    May 30, 2002
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    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.
  9. tennisproha macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2011
    This is so stupid. So basically Apple is limiting access to educational material. Way to go.
  10. DeepIn2U macrumors 601


    May 30, 2002
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    And at the same time trying to make podcasting into a pseudo youtube clone. Who is in charge of eductional content at Apple? Eddie Cue? I don't see this as a good move. I LOVE iTunes U it's one of the reasons why I STAY with iOS over Android.

    Maybe there is something bigger going on for the reason for this change? If my guess that Eddie Cue is in charge of iTunes you and Podcast areas at Apple ... maybe a push into India/China both (sales of Mac's to create the content or could iPad now do this) for iTunes U local content not work?
  11. philosopherdog macrumors 6502a


    Dec 29, 2008
    Agreed. Completely confusing. What is a collection even? Terrible writing.

    --- Post Merged, Aug 21, 2017 ---
    Sounds like a decion based on what's good for Apple not what's good for users. I think this is what happens when the marketing department starts running the show and why Steve made sure this wasn't the Apple way. Trying to leverage users based on ecosystem lockout is not the way to do business. Just make great stuff and you won't need to play games like this.
  12. farewelwilliams macrumors 68000

    Jun 18, 2014
    they're still removing that section from the list. i count that as thinner.
  13. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    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]).
  14. NY Guitarist, Aug 21, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017

    NY Guitarist macrumors 65816

    NY Guitarist

    Mar 21, 2011
    That Apple is forcing educational users into using only iOS devices is pretty underhanded.
  15. DeepIn2U macrumors 601


    May 30, 2002
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    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.

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