Stanford on iTunes U | Frequently Asked Questions

Will I have to pay to access Stanford on iTunes U?

No. You may freely preview and download all of the content from Stanford on iTunes U.

How do I access Stanford on iTunes U?

First, make sure you have the most current version of iTunes installed on your Mac or PC computer. To download the application, visit to Also make sure that you are running the most current update of your system software.

Next, launch the iTunes application and click on “iTunes Store” in the source list. Select "iTunes U" in the top left navigation area, and click on “Stanford” on the resulting page. Alternatively, you can go directly to our iTunes U page via the "Open Stanford on iTunes U" link at

Is Stanford's content part of the iTunes Music Store?

Yes! You may now search for and access Stanford content directly in the iTunes Store. Look for Stanford in the “iTunes U” section.

Is the Stanford on iTunes content under copyright protection?

While we do not implement any digital rights management (DRM) for Stanford on iTunes content, we do use Stanford University copyright releases to protect each piece of content on the site. We are working with the Stanford General Counsel’s Office and Apple’s legal team to develop an integrated solution for copyright protection of Stanford on iTunes digital content.

What are podcasts?

"Podcasting" refers to a push-pull delivery technology (namely RSS feeds) for downloading digital media files. You may subscribe to any of our collections by clicking on the "Subscribe Free" button on the collection page. You may also copy the subscription link and paste that URL into your favorite podcast aggregator.

Where in iTunes is the content I downloaded from Stanford on iTunes U?

Currently, users may access Stanford content in the iTunes Store via direct download and progressive download previews. Content downloaded from Stanford on iTunes U appears in a smart playlist called "Stanford" in the playlists section of the iTunes application.

In the near future, we plan to introduce RSS feeds to select parts of the site which may be subscribed to and found in the "Podcasts" section of the iTunes application.

Do I have to use iTunes and Apple products to have access?

Currently, you must use the iTunes application to download content. Apple offers a free Windows version of iTunes at For those who use another operating system such as Linux or wish to avoid iTunes altogether, you may visit our RSS feeds page at

You do not need a Macintosh, iTunes, or an iPod to play the audio files. All you will need is a player capable of playing .mp4 AAC (Advanced Audio Codec) files. (AAC is not exclusively Apple's, although Apple prefers it to alternative file formats.)

Why did Stanford and Apple collaborate on this project?

Stanford on iTunes U grew organically out of a pilot project with Apple, beginning in the spring of 2004, to deliver supplemental course content to registered students using iTunes. We soon realized that the same platform would be an elegant and cost-effective way to provide access to an archive of Stanford content to alumni and the public as well.

The project has proven to be a great fit between Stanford and Apple. Apple provides us with an intuitive and broadscale method for distribution, as well as the storage and bandwidth for our content.

How do we create our own iTunes U site?

Stanford on iTunes U is a part of the Apple’s iTunes U initiative. You can learn more about it by visiting the iTunes U website.

Why did Stanford choose to implement AAC encoding?

AAC has better sound quality and smaller file sizes than .mp3. You may use either iTunes or Quicktime for Windows to play .mp4 AAC (Advanced Audio Codec) files in addition to a number of other open source and shareware players that can be downloaded from the web. In addition, there are a growing number of portable devices that can play AAC files.

Can I use other .mp3 players with iTunes?

There is moderate support in iTunes for some third-party .mp3 players, but they will not be able to play .mp4 AAC files (including content purchased from the iTunes Store.) Apple offers a full line of iPod products and accessories which will give you the best digital experience. Otherwise, you may enjoy our content on a computer or a CD, or you may convert the AAC files.

To re-encode the AAC (.mp4) files into the .mp3 format, download the content first into your iTunes application. Second, in the iTunes preferences, click on the "Advanced" icon and navigate to the "Importing" tab. Next, select "MP3 Encoder" in the "import using" menu. Finally, highlight the file(s) that you wish to convert, go to the Advanced menu, and click on "Convert Selection to .mp3."

I am an alum interested in contributing content; whom should I contact?

Please mail a CD/DVD sample of your work to:

Stanford on iTunes U
425 Santa Teresa Street
Stanford CA 94305-2245