Thursday, January 26, 2006

Apple Releases Free 'iTunes U' Software to Colleges for Coursecasting (

Apple Computer will allow any college or university to set up a customized portion of the iTunes Music Store to distribute course content and other audio and video material. The free service will let institutions limit use of some materials to certain people and make other content available to all.

The service, called iTunes U, will allow colleges to set up collections of materials that can be accessed using the free iTunes software, but that can be customized with the college's colors, logos, and photographs. The service was announced late Monday.

Colleges that participate will be given software tools that will make it easy for professors or students to upload content to iTunes, the company said in a statement about the service. The files themselves will be stored on servers run by Apple, but college administrators will have control over who can see the files. Colleges will be able to integrate the system with their existing network software so that students can log into the iTunes store using their campus user ID's and passwords.

The service's Web site notes that participating colleges "must enter into an iTunes U Service Agreement before being eligible to use the iTunes U service," and that "Apple reserves the right to determine eligibility." Apple officials could not be reached on Tuesday to provide details.