Why is Ross on iTunes U such an important release?
The Apple iPod (digital music player) is transforming society in the same way that email did in 1990, laptops did back in 1998 and wireless did in 2000. Apple sold 4 million iPods in all of 2004. In 2005, Apple sold over 15 million iPods - 4 million iPods during the holiday season alone. The "iPod revolution" is showing up in other industries as well. Cell phone vendors are integrating iTunes into their phones. Car companies (BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, GM and the list is growing) are advertising conveniences such as iPod holders in new model lines. Finally, walk around campus and notice the high percentage of students who are wearing the very familiar white Apple ear buds.
What's the difference between
iPods and iTunes and
Do I need an iPod or an Apple computer to participate?
An iPod is a physical
listening device for digital music - generically referred to as MP3 players,
named after the technical name for digital music. There are other companies that
produce digital music players (remember the Sony Walkman?), so you do not really
need an iPod to take advantage of Ross iTunes U.
The Apple iTunes application (available for Windows and Apple computers) is what connects our audio and video content to you. When you launch iTunes from My iMpact, you are taken to a custom web site designed especially for the Ross School of Business by Apple. From this page, you can view all of the content we have available, download those audio and video pieces that interest you, or most important, you can choose to subscribe to content that is delivered to you automatically. For example, you can choose to tell iTunes that you want to receive every news story from our alumni Dividend magazine as soon as it is published on iTunes.
Is this the same as "podcasting"
that I hear and
read so much about?
Basically, yes. Anytime you electronically record an event - or even yourself talking about any subject - and distribute that content to others, it is referred to as podcasting after the popularity of the Apple iPod. You can podcast by placing a digital music file (MP3 for example) on your web site. We have chosen to podcast by partnering with Apple to create a custom distribution store on their popular iTunes site. Again, the advantages of iTunes for us is that the product is extremely popular, is available for both Windows and Apple computers, easily catalogs content and distributes content by either requesting a particular item or through a subscription.
How does digital music have anything to do with academics?
The Apple iPod and iTunes started out as a way to listen to regular audio CDs. Several advantages with the iPod quickly made listening to other forms of audio attractive. First, iPods and iTunes easily catalog your audio or video by name, author, subject (album), etc. Second, companies quickly came to market with products that allow iPods to be connected to car and home stereo systems making it very convenient to listen. So, today, instead of having to listen to audio or video broadcasts on a computer screen - which can be awkward and inconvenient - the iPod allows listening anywhere and at any time. For example, students can prepare for class by listening to lectures while studying in the library, walking across campus, etc. Alumni can connect back to the school by listening to guest lectures on current topics while driving to work. The possibilities are endless.
Okay, I'm convinced that this is
important for the school.
How do I take advantage of the Ross on iTunes U service?
Easy. Download the software using the link below "Download iTunes" or if you already have the software click on the "Launch iTunes" button to proceed. Imagine how the automatic distribution of audio and video information could be relevant for your department. Speak to someone in Computing Services about jumping into podcasting. It's easy.