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Higher Education Podcasts
October 21, 2005 6:27 AM   Subscribe

Stanford iTunes is a service from Stanford University that allows the public access to free speeches, lectures, forums, and more via iTunes. Want more academic audio content? Check out the University Channel at Princeton or the Havens Center at UW-Madison.
posted by trey (38 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Great stuff! Thanks!
posted by blendor at 6:33 AM on October 21, 2005


I think this is pretty cool, but I'm a little disappointed that Stanford opted for a proprietary solution by offering these files only through the iTunes music store. I would have preferred to see normal mp3 downloads made available, like UW. Also, why do they insist on putting the FAQ in a .pdf?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:52 AM on October 21, 2005


I'm with monju. A simple intranet web directory index would accomplish the same thing. Podcasting can be done without iTunes. I suppose the friendliness factor might have something to do with the choice, or perhaps there was very little development cost for the school.
posted by odinsdream at 7:03 AM on October 21, 2005


Wouldn't open for me...I get a "store is busy" message (but the regular itunes store opens just fine)... overloaded with a simple metafilter link???

And, I prefer the itunes solution, easy, quick, familiar...
posted by HuronBob at 7:14 AM on October 21, 2005


I agree it's somewhat pointless to limit access like this. At least they're unprotected aac format, so you can play them in other players like WinAmp.
posted by smackfu at 7:28 AM on October 21, 2005


I don't have or want iTunes. So [this is meh].
posted by Harry at 7:29 AM on October 21, 2005


I guess this is the end of the line for those companies that sell sets of academic lectures for hundreds of dollars a pop.
posted by alms at 7:34 AM on October 21, 2005


Only one of the links is iTunes-only.
posted by trey at 7:37 AM on October 21, 2005


Why iTunes? Probably so Stanford doesn't have to pay for the bandwidth or retrain people to maintain the archive. Are the files really protected? AAC isn't proprietary, the encryption that's wrapped around the AAC is.
posted by substrate at 7:41 AM on October 21, 2005


I can't see any listings. Is this worth installing iTunes for? In general I tend to distrust ~15MB downloads for simple music players - like, what other crud gets installed along with it? Also, does iTunes try to hijack all your codec settings?
posted by meehawl at 7:45 AM on October 21, 2005


There are about 300 tracks listed, but I think some of them might be cross-listed in different categories.
posted by trey at 7:48 AM on October 21, 2005


Bah to all you naysayers. This is awesome.
posted by danb at 7:53 AM on October 21, 2005


Really fantastic. Thanks! Can anyone recommend good speakers/lecturers to look for at the linked archives?
posted by sudama at 8:20 AM on October 21, 2005


Why iTunes? I'm guessing Stanford's taking advantage of having an iTunes server on campus. Kudos to them for leaving them un'protected'.
posted by kimota at 8:30 AM on October 21, 2005


Neat!
posted by mazola at 8:34 AM on October 21, 2005


I'm looking forward the Tobias Wolff interview + discussion tracks at Stanford. I love his short stories.

Can someone tell me if there's a way to navigate to that Stanford content in iTunes w/o having to follow the link from Stanford's site? Is there any way to bookmark things in iTunes?
posted by wheat at 8:37 AM on October 21, 2005


Significant stuff. Now possible to connect the dots on all the stuff that Apple has been doing lately.
posted by spock at 8:37 AM on October 21, 2005


I also saw a Cornel West lecture at Stanford that might be worth checking out...
posted by wheat at 8:37 AM on October 21, 2005


Excellent post, I'm excited about getting through some of this stuff!
posted by OmieWise at 8:39 AM on October 21, 2005


I'm at Princeton and I didn't know about this! It looks quite useful actually. Thanks!
posted by ob at 8:47 AM on October 21, 2005


I am really going to have to pull up some of those AskMe threads about how to download streaming audio and convert it to MP3s. Great post!
posted by LarryC at 9:07 AM on October 21, 2005


I guess this is the end of the line for those companies that sell sets of academic lectures for hundreds of dollars a pop.

Or not. Even if these lectures are good, there's plenty of value to be had from The Teaching Company. Does Robert Greenberg teach at Stanford? Until his lectures are available for free, I'll be paying for them. (Though eBay is a good source for Teaching Company stuff...)
posted by jdroth at 9:30 AM on October 21, 2005


This is great news!

What to nab first...
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:40 AM on October 21, 2005


Stanford recently coupled with Yahoo Music to offer free Yahoo Music Unlimited. It's great.
posted by gramcracker at 9:53 AM on October 21, 2005


jdroth: you ever try any of those Portable Professor titles at Barnes & Noble? Looks like fun to me.
posted by wheat at 10:31 AM on October 21, 2005


And, I prefer the itunes solution, easy, quick, familiar...

Providing the lectures via itunes and via standard MP3 downloads are not mutually exclusive options.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:31 AM on October 21, 2005


Whoa, there's a talk by Evan Williams about podcasting in Stanford's itunes area.

This is wicked cool and I hope other universities sign on. I love free university lectures and stuff that the Long Now foundation is doing around recorded lectures.

I have a sneaking feeling that $0.00 [Buy Song] listing on every track won't stay at $0.00 for long. It'd be nice if many major universities did this for their distinguished speakers, but I bet down the line someone wants a cut of the action and suddenly they start costing money and becoming yet another profit center for universities.

If I'm wrong, why even have a price listed?
posted by mathowie at 10:32 AM on October 21, 2005


You may or may not be right about it being free forever, but I'm guessing the price is listed to assure people that it doesn't cost any money. Seeing as it's located inside the iTunes "Music Store," it would be logical to assume that people are used to pay $0.99 per song.
posted by trey at 10:34 AM on October 21, 2005


awsome, id love to see this get more popular and see even more content from schools.
posted by chuckforthought.com at 11:17 AM on October 21, 2005


So I was just at a conference for an organization called Educause which is for IT in Education.

Apple of course works very closely with higher ed institutions and had entire departments set up to develop these sorts of ideas. There are also companies like Tegrity that provide integrated options with couse management systems like Blackboard and WebCT. Tegrity specifically offers subscription podcasts for the student that just can't make it to class.

Apple's presentation was, not surprsingly, about how all of Apple's cool products could be used on campus and how the iPod is a "must have" student tool. If Apple is are out there developing the tools for little or no cost to schools, is it any wonder that schools are taking up their products first?
posted by Red58 at 11:18 AM on October 21, 2005


Just checked. MIT's Open Courseware seems to be offered in plain listed mp3.

The MyMusic thing is pernicious. Napster, Real and Yahoo are cleaning up by offering these subscription services to colleges as a way of dodging RIAA lawsuits. Currently Apple doesn't or can't (because of technical, marketing, or both?) offer subscriptions.

I saw an analyst report that said Apple was on target for around $850m revenue in total this year from the iTMS single-fee licences.

The same report also predicts by the end of the year that Yahoo will hit between $800m and $900m in licence revenue from its subscription model, and it only started a few months ago...
posted by meehawl at 2:33 PM on October 21, 2005


I see that you aren't limited to 30-second samples of the tracks from Stanford. If you double-click one, the entire track streams. iTunes proper can't do that...
posted by emelenjr at 4:54 PM on October 21, 2005


where is berkley in all this? Once they were conributing creative new ideas and many of them were internet related. Now, they are completely awol. What gives?
posted by Eric123 at 5:13 PM on October 21, 2005


This is very, very good. An interesting change from the MIT courses I've been following.

I love this chance to study subjects that didn't interest me when I was younger, without having to sacrifice my career.
posted by I Love Tacos at 7:14 PM on October 21, 2005


Fantastic. And I really hope other Universities follow suit - I can't be alone in having listened to more lectures since I bought an iPod than I did when I was at University.
posted by jack_mo at 11:13 AM on October 22, 2005


wheat: Can someone tell me if there's a way to navigate to that Stanford content in iTunes w/o having to follow the link from Stanford's site? Is there any way to bookmark things in iTunes?

Sure, control-click on any element in the store (song, album, cover art, etc.) A contextual menu comes up: "Copy iTunes Music Store URL"

Example: Stanford link
posted by Fofer at 4:56 PM on October 23, 2005


(Though eBay is a good source for Teaching Company stuff...)

As is that other bay...
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:19 PM on October 23, 2005


Pirated stuff like that fascinates me. It's almost altruistic. For instance, I've seen Pimsleur language program sets on pirate sites. That's 16 CD's to rip. That's a lot of work, and it's a lot of work to actually listen to them.
posted by smackfu at 6:27 PM on October 23, 2005


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