back to article Oxbridge lectures now on iTunes

The universities of Oxford and Cambridge are to make lectures by well-known academics available through Apple's iTunes. Oxford will publish 150 hours of free video and audio podcasts of lectures and ideas from what it described as "world-leading thinkers". Academic types can now get their hands on education downloads that …

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Why not online?

Why is this being offered on iTunes for free?

If the subject matter was funded from the public purse and is being freely donated to a firm that is making money out of it, we should be allowed a portion of that. But before that, if it is educational material it should be open access for all should it not?

It's not as if even copyright laws can be used against file sharers. All matter used for educational purposes should be free at source.

The barskets have been sitting on it for long enough. Other colleges post their stuff online freely why is it always Britain that stuffs everyone?

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Jobs Horns

When I first read the title

I thought that Oxbridge was giving lectures about iTunes.

Something along the lines of

"iTunes was a service offered by apple but got dragged down by its own DRM, but was popular in the early 00's"

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Stop

@First poster...

"Why is this being offered on iTunes for free?"

Why not? iPods are the most popular audio player, so they're reaching out to the biggest audience. Plus, podcasts can be played on many non-Apple audio players too. Apple is hosting and distributing the podcasts for free.

"being freely donated to a firm that is making money out of it"

Making money? What part of FREE DOWNLOAD don't you understand? Apple aren't making any money out of it since the downloads are FREE. It's unlikely they'll sell hardware out of this, as anyone who wants an iPod probably already has one.

"Other colleges post their stuff online freely"

Eh? That's EXACTLY what they're doing here. You really need to learn how to read - clearly these free podcasts are going to be far beyond your level of intellect.

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Boffin

So is the free to Apple?

From what I can see they are offering the podcasts to everyone free and it's being used by Apple as a way to get people to install the iTunes software on their PC (or Mac) which will then of course encourage them to buy an iPod as well because "it's so much better integrated with the software" than any other media player.

They say that the media will play on any device that supports MP4 video but when I clicked on the intro video on the iTunes web-site I got a prompt to install Quicktime... another Apple product?

While I'm happy that this important resource is being offered free to everyone, I'm not best pleased that it's being used as a marketing device for the Apple empire.

Then there's the obligatory, but still very important, reminder that iTunes only runs under OSX and Windows, so those of us with a proper operating system are stuffed anyway. I don't particularly want to run one of those O/S's *and/or* iTunes at all. I just want free, simple, access to the files. FTP site anyone? Ok maybe just a smidgeon of HTTP and tags... Or put the whole lot on ThePirateBay if you want a mass audience. Anything O/S neutral is ok with me.

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Nice idea

I'll check this out when I get home. I don't really have a problem with it being iTunes-only because I already have an iTunes installed, which doesn't really bother me. Apple don't charge me to use iTunes, and i'm not forced to use it (Other than syncing my iPod) either.

In fact, I only have a few problems with iTunes:

- Update hungry

- Doesn't blend-in with the Windows OS very well

- To enable features like Genius, or to even download free stuff, you need an iTunes Store account, which involves dishing over Credit/Debit card information.

Regardless, it's a good idea. A bit of a shame that you need iTunes to do it, but if Apple are hosting it then, well, what do you expect?

I don't know whether or not I should use the iFan or the iHate icon here. Hmm.

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Anonymous Coward

Not worth much

The quality of lectures and lecturers at Oxford is extremely poor. So it's pretty unlikely that it's worth the cost of the bytes to download them.

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itunes?

Since when has Oxofrd catered to fashionistas .... they should be on the BBC iplayer.

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Anonymous Coward

Seems good...

However, it is on Itunes and Quicktime which makes my computer grind to a crawl. If it was MP3, then it would have been better. I am waiting for the day that Open University makes their archive of programmes that were shown on BBC2 years ago to be available online. That would be excellent.

Unfortunately, Open University stopped while I was at university. If it was announced the year before that it would be the last year, then I would have made more use of the video recorder.

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Anonymous Coward

@ not worth much

A Cambridge man I take it?

Or from that other great British university - Hull.

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@@ First poster...

So iPod are providing the interface for the severely impoverished British universities?

I stand connected.

So instead of just giving them little tiddly computers, couldn't the humongous US firm see its way to supplying Britain's elite with real computers so that the dons could have the opportunity to put the stuff online for the rest of humanity that don't have teeny tiny tinnitus brains.

I think it is disgraceful that theird r#ate tschnical colleges at the back of beyonf like the ones I had to frequent in my irredeemable, should have huge big servers and top class internet connection but these universities have to go cap in hand to that crapware warrior.

But what do I know. Maybe it's a protection for the rest of us that only losers will get access to all the thinking that has brought us what we now have?

Crooked bank managers, crooked politicians, illegal wars, out of control society. A chimpanzee in the wit house.

OK not all of the above is computer powered and very little of what is wrong is directly related to...

as far as we know ...not all of the above is computer powered and very little of what is wrong is directly related to....

OK maybe we could have...

ummm.

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It *is* free

Universities are legally obliged to not disadvantage blind or deaf people, so pretty much all of the content on iTunesU from UK universities should be available via some other route. In the case of Cambridge it is. Mostly in a number of formats so as to not exclude particular OSes either.

Declaration of interest - I was involved with the Cambridge system:

http://sms.csx.cam.ac.uk/

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iTunes not required for Oxford's podcasts

Anonymous Coward writes: "iTunes only runs under OSX and Windows, so those of us with a proper operating system are stuffed anyway. I don't particularly want to run one of those O/S's *and/or* iTunes at all. I just want free, simple, access to the files." Later he/she adds: "If it was MP3, then it would have been better."

The podcasts from the University of Oxford are being made available through two routes. If you have iTunes, then, yes, they can be accessed through iTunes U. If you are unable/unwilling to use iTunes, you just need a web browser and software to play the mp3/mp4 files. Links for both routes are provided at http://itunes.ox.ac.uk

I'll follow Julian's example: Declaration of interest - I was involved with the Oxford system.

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