iTunes U & Podcasting FAQ

Here are some answers to some common questions about podcasting and iTunes U.

iTunes U

What is SMU on iTunes U?

iTunes U is a service provided by Apple Computers that is giving SMU a new way to make lectures, interviews, events, and similar materials available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. SMU on iTunes U is your portal to SMU-related podcasts and other media-rich content.

What equipment and software do I need?

You need a computer with an Internet connection and Apple's free iTunes software. iTunes runs on both Windows and Macintoshes and can be downloaded from

How do I connect to SMU on iTunes U?

Go to If you have an SMU ID, click SMU Community Login and enter your SMU ID and password. Otherwise, click Take Me to SMU on iTunes U. Note that you cannot access SMU on iTunes U by going directly to the iTunes store. You must use the above url.

What is the difference between the two logins?

The SMU Community Login will give you access to campus-only materials as well as publically accessible materials. The majority of what is available through SMU on iTunes U is publically accessible.

After I click one of the login buttons, my web browser is complaining that it doesn't know "what to do."

First, make certain that the iTunes software is on your computer.

If iTunes is installed and you are using Firefox:

  1. Enter "about:config" in the address bar, which will open the advance configuration options of Firefox.
  2. In the text field labeled "Filter" enter 'itms'
  3. Quit and then relaunch Firefox and type the following for the url: itmss://
  4. Hit return. A drop down menu should appear.
  5. Check the box for "Remember my choice for all links of this type."
  6. Click "Launch Application." You should only need to do this the first time you access any iTunes U site.

I'm using FireFox and I get a panel asking if I'm sure I want to use this helper application, but the URL is too long for me to click the button.

See response to previous question (above).

I'm an SMU student and my course uses iTunes U.

All course-related iTunes U materials are accessed through the Blackboard course management system. Go to the course on Blackboard and look for links your instructor has made for iTunes U materials.

I'm an instructor at SMU and I not sure how available to make my podcasts, as outlined in the "Faculty Content Release Form for SMU on iTunes U."

While, we prefer to make everything public, that might not be your preference. This page may help.

What does it cost to listen to or download tracks from SMU on iTunes U?

All iTunes U content is free. However, it may be copyrighted by the content creator.

How do I transfer material on to my iPod?

Sync your iPod as usual and any material you have downloaded or subscribed to will transfer. The same restrictions apply to copying iTunes U materials between iPods and computers as applies for commerical music and other iTunes tracks.

Do I have to own an iPod?

No, in fact, you don't need a portable music player at all. As long as you have iTunes on your personal computer or laptop, you can listen to or view anything in the SMU on iTunes U site. If you want to access materials on another brand of music player, iTunes can convert audio podcasts into mp3 files ( your player needs to support the standard mp3 file format). Google the keywords itunes mp3 for instructions.

I need help using iTunes or an iPod.

Apple's iPod 101 should answer all your questions.


What is a Podcast?

The word Podcast is a combination of iPod and broadcast. iPods are the best known type of portable digital audio players. Broadcast in this context refers to audio or video content being sent not over the airwaves but over the Internet. As one "how-to" book puts it, the new medium "can turn anyone into a broadcaster with a global audience!"

Podcasts are not difficult to create, particularly audio ones. Podcasts are even easier to listen to or view. If a Podcast you like is produced regularly, you may be able to have your computer subscribe and automatically download new shows. If you have an MP3 player, you can even automate the process of transferring Podcasts from your computer to your device.

So what does this have to do with academia?

Here are just a handful of ways universities around the country are using Podcasting to reach potential and current students as well as alumni and the general public:

Unlike a personal computer or even a laptop, many students will routinely carry a music player, giving SMU another way to reach them any time, anywhere. As an alternative to downloading Podcasts one at a time, it may be possible for your students to subscribe to them at the beginning of the semester. From then on, all of your lectures and other Coursecasts will be available automatically as the semester progresses.


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