Stanford, Apple team up to offer audio content through iTunes
Today, the university will publicly debut a project called Stanford on iTunes, providing Stanford-related audio content via the iTunes Music Store, Apple's popular music jukebox and online music store. Stanford on iTunes will give alumni and the general public free access to a wide range of Stanford-specific digital audio content.
Stanford's project—developed with Apple and led by staff from the Stanford Alumni Association, the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and the Office of University Communications—focuses on providing Stanford-specific content on the iTunes Music Store. Among other features, the service gives visitors the ability to listen to audio content on a computer or an iPod.
Stanford on iTunes will provide alumni—as well as the general public—with a new and versatile way of staying connected to the university through downloads of faculty lectures, campus events, performances, book readings, music recorded by Stanford students and even podcasts of Stanford football games. At launch, the service will contain close to 400 distinct audio programs, and the university will continue to add new content as it becomes available.
"Stanford has been fortunate to partner with Apple in a project that allows us to share the intellectual and cultural life of the university with our alumni," said Howard Wolf, vice president for alumni affairs and president of the Stanford Alumni Association. "We are especially pleased that the project's focus is to deliver substantive content that so clearly supports the university's mission of teaching, learning and research both in the classroom and to our thousands of alumni around the world."
In addition to content targeted at alumni, the project includes audio related to academic courses exclusively for Stanford faculty and students. Instructors in Stanford's Introduction to the Humanities program began using the tool last spring to distribute course audio such as lectures, music and readings to students. Since then, academic computing specialists have made a number of improvements to integrate Stanford's online course management system, CourseWork, with iTunes so that access to content can be restricted only to registered students in a course. If results are successful, the university will broaden support for use of the tool in courses starting in 2006.
"I think it will be a truly valuable resource," said Victoria Szabo, academic technology specialist manager for the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and a key member of the project team. "It's really about being able to engage more in-depth with different media types than we can now."
The Alumni Association will debut Stanford on iTunes as part of the kickoff of Stanford's annual Reunion Homecoming Weekend, which begins today. The association will have a table set up at the Ford Center where returning alumni can try out the service for themselves. Also starting today, the general public will have free access to the same audio content at http://itunes.stanford.edu.