Monday, January 30, 2006

ITunesU -- A great idea

You know I love my IPod. I've talked about that often enough here.

But as a communications consultant, I'm always looking for ways that new media can help businesses. So far, I haven't had a lot of luck convincing companies that podcasts are something that they can turn to their advantage. But the business reasons for including tools like blogs and podcasts in your communications toolkit are slowly piling up.

Now, here's another cool tool.

Introducing ITunesU. Apple has unveiled this specialized version of its popular ITunes online music store that universities can sign up for. It gives them all the tools they need to create their own online content.

Here's a blurb:
iTunes U* is a free, hosted service for colleges and universities that provides easy access to your educational content, including lectures and interviews 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

It’s the most powerful way to manage a broad range of audio or video content and make it available quickly and easily to students, faculty, and staff. And it is the only application that supports the overwhelmingly popular iPod. iTunes U also offers you the simplicity and mobility you expect from Apple because it is based on the same easy-to-use technology of iTunes Music Store.
While this service is aimed at universities, it's easy to imagine that large companies would be interested in adapting this technology to their own in-house communication activities. They could deliver all kinds of audio and video content right to employees.

There are a lot of opportunities here and I expect we'll see this kind of application leaping into the commercial area. The revolution continues...

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