The University of Oxford launched its podcast site on iTunes U on 7 October 2008. In the first week there were 168,000 visitors to the site and 60,000 downloads, by August 2009 there had been over 1 million downloads from the site, and now there have been well over 20 million.
This free site features public lectures, teaching material, interviews with leading academics, information about applying to the University, and much more.
Key facts since launch (2012 figures in brackets):
- 23 million downloads from iTunes U
- 6,400 (4,200) podcast items processed
- 5,500 hours of material ranging from quantum states to welfare states
- 4,780 (3,480) academic speakers and contributors
- a worldwide audience of 185 countries (including 31% from the USA, 17% from the UK and 7% from China)
- material arranged in 416 series
Among 2013's most popular series are:
- Challenging the Canon
- General Philosophy
- Quantum Mechanics
- Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art
- Building a Business
- The Elements of Drawing
Shakespeare's entire First Folio, including original spelling, is being made available to download for free, as Oxford University becomes one of the world’s first universities to add ePubs to iTunes U:
- Shakespeare's first folio of 36 plays, ePubs to accompany Oxford’s 'Approaching Shakespeare' lectures
- ePubs to accompany our 'Not Shakespeare: Elizabethan and Jacobean Popular theatre' lectures
If you have iTunes on your computer already click here to visit Oxford's site
What if I do not have iTunes on my computer?
If you do not want to install iTunes or are not running Windows or Mac OS you can also access all of our podcasts through any web browser through our podcasts.ox.ac.uk site.
FAQs about iTunes U
What is "Oxford on iTunes U"?
The iTunes Store is Apple's online digital media store where music and films can be downloaded using the iTunes software. iTunes U is an area within the Store where an educational institution can provide its own collection of audio and visual material (such as lectures, talks and interviews). Unlike the music and films, this material can be downloaded free of charge. The University launched its own site on iTunes U in October 2008. Download iTunes here
Is it really free to access this material?
Yes. It is completely free of charge to the public.
Do I need any special equipment to listen to/view your podcasts?
No. All the podcasts can be downloaded to a computer and listened to or watched. You can also move these to a range of mobile devices capable of playing such files, e.g. mp3 players, iPods, and mobile phones. For more information on iTunes please see http://www.apple.com/support/itunes/
If I cannot install iTunes on my computer, is there another way of accessing these resources?
Yes - we have a web version of the same material at http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk. The web version only requires a normal web browser on your PC, Mac or Linux system. This web version is ideal for situations where you cannot install the free iTunes software.
Why is the University of Oxford participating in iTunes U?
The University of Oxford is keen to reach out to a global audience with its vast wealth of audio and video material. Our site features lectures and interviews with world-leading thinkers, news related material, and a video promoting our major fundraising Campaign.
It also features podcasts about the application process, including selecting a course of study, choosing a college, and attending interviews.
Should I look at Oxford's site in iTunes U now instead of its website for information?
The University of Oxford’s website will remain the authoritative focal point for online information, including text and photos, as well as audio and video material, about the University.
However, the huge diversity of the University – with its many colleges, departments, faculties, and schools – means that it can be difficult for people to find all the audio and video material they are looking for. Our site on iTunes U will enable the public to navigate such material easily and quickly.
How can I find out which other universities are featured on iTunes U?
Please visit the Universities and Colleges index. (Note: you will need to have iTunes installed on your computer to see this information)
What should I do if I wish to use one of your audio or video podcasts in a public arena?
The creator of each podcast owns the copyright and it is up to them whether they allow third party use. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any request to use a podcast in a public arena.
What do I do if I wish to create/submit a podcast?
If you would like to create an audio or video podcast please see our advice page.
If you would like to submit an audio or video podcast which has already been produced, please contact email@example.com
Please note that audio material needs to be in an mp3 format and video in an mp4 format (h.264 encoding).
Please ensure that you have sought the permission of everyone featured in the recording, including any audience members who can be clearly identified - during a Q&A session for example. The best means of doing this is to inform the audience that the event is being recorded, and anyone wishing not to be included should indicate this at the start.
If anyone under the age of 18 is identifiable in your recording you will need their parents' or guardians' permission to publish the recording. If you cannot secure this permission the footage concerned will need to be removed.
We reserve the right not to publish material that we deem inappropriate, in breach of copyright, or defamatory.
It would be very helpful if you could also provide a high quality photo that reflects the content of your podcast, so that an ‘album cover’ can be made. The more appealing the image and the title of the podcast, the more likely people are to download it. Please remember that you need the permission of the owner of the photograph, and if you are commissioning your own photography it is good practice to complete a consent form.
What should I do if I wish to complain about a podcast?
If you are concerned about any of our podcasts please contact firstname.lastname@example.org making clear the basis of your concern and which podcast you are concerned about.