University of Massachusetts Boston

Launch UMass Boston on iTunes U

Educational Technology Educational Technology


Frequently Asked Questions

iTunes U is a free hosted content distribution system from Apple that enables colleges and universities to make audio and video material from lectures, interviews, and other sources more available to students with the ease of the iTunes Store. It allows users to download the content to their Mac or PC, transfer the information to their iPod or other portable media players and listen or view content anywhere and anytime.

iTunes U simply provides another option. If you already post content to the Internet using other venues or a department server, iTunes U can be a great secondary location. Many current, former, and prospective students already visit the iTunes site to download music and video files, so they are familiar with how to use this service. The growing popularity of iTunes makes iTunes U an attractive location for your content. Content from iTunes U can be downloaded to the users computer or portable device enabling them to view it without needing access to the internet.

iTunes U
You Tube
Requirements iTunes Software (Mac & PC) Macromedia Flash Player 7.0+ plug-in
Windows 2000 or higher with latest updates installed
Mac OS X 10.3 or higher
Firefox 1.1+, Internet Explorer 5.0+, or Safari 1.0+
Broadband connection with 500+ Kbps
Download to iDevices Yes No, Playable via YouTube player on computers and handheld devices.
Embed Content into web page No, but you can link to courses inside of the iTunes U store. Yes, embed video player directly on your web page.
File Size Limits. Supports files up to 1GB (approx 1.5 housr of video) 10 Minutes or 1GB
Supported Media Types Audio, Video, PDF, Screencasting Video only
Limit Access Yes, course can be password protected. No, content is open to the public

No, you do not need a portable device. You can view and download podcasts directly onto your computer.

iTunes U supports the distribution of compressed audio and video files. Apple recommends using the following formats for your audio and video content:

*Audio files (AAC, MP3) with appropriate file extensions (.m4a, .mp3). For best results during playback, Apple recommends converting MP3 files greater than 32 megabytes (MB) to AAC format. For AAC audio files, Apple recommends the following specifications:

  • Audio Format: Baseline Low-Complexity Profile with AAC-LC (Music)
  • Data Rate: Up to 160 Kbps
  • Channels: Stereo in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov formats
  • Output Sample Rate: 48 kHz
  • Encoding Quality: Better

*Video files (MPEG-4 with H.264 compression) with appropriate file extensions (.mp4, .m4v, .mov). For best results with iPod, Apple recommends using MPEG-4 with H.264 compression with the following specifications:

  • Video Format: MPEG-4 with H.264
  • Data Rate: Up to 1.5 Mbps
  • Image Size: 640 x 480 pixels
  • Frame Rate: 30 frames per second
  • Key Frame: Every 24 frames
  • Audio Tracks: Baseline Low-Complexity Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps

You can also use iTunes U to distribute Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

For more information on creating content please refer to Apples guide Creating Content for iPod + iTunes (PDF)

Yes. You are encouraged to create a link on your web site to tell your audience about your content on iTunes U. Departments also may include material for recruiting students that will be available to the public. With just a few clicks, your audience will be able to download your content onto their computer or portable device.

Yes, simply copy the URL for the course or file.

1. Navigate to the desired course page with-in iTunesU.

2. Right click (or control click) on the link for the iTunes U course. Select Copy iTunesU Store URL.


UMass Boston faculty and departments are allowed to post content on UMass Boston on iTunes U's site. For more information please contact


The Digital Learning Studio provides transfer services from one media to another. These services are free and the content should be related to course material or for promoting your educational program.
Please contact for more information.