Quick Start Guide to SPU on iTunes U
(For a printable version click here)

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to start using iTunes U. This guide functions both as “how-to” reference and a step-by–step tutorial. In addition, we have included a guided video demonstration of each step. If you have additional questions, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page or send an email to iTunes@spu.edu.

Contents:
Step 1: Accessing iTunes U
Step 2: The main page and content sections
Step 3: Configuring your view (one-time only)
Step 4: How to use iTunes U
Step 5: Podcasts

Before you begin: Please make sure that you have iTunes installed on your computer. If you do not have iTunes or are unsure, you can download the latest version here. If you would like assistance with downloading and installing iTunes, we have created an installation video that walks you through the process step-by-step.

  1. Accessing iTunes U
    (Watch a video of this step.)
    To access iTunes U, click the iTunes U link on the SPU homepage (under Campus Resources), and then click the Open SPU on iTunes U>> button. iTunes U will open in a new window.

  2. The iTunes U Main Page and Content Sections
    (Watch a video of this step.)

    Screen capture of itunes U

    iTunes U opens to the main page (shown at right). This page contains links to content sections, help documentation, and a “What’s New” page. You can return to the main page at any time by clicking the Seattle Pacific University button, located on the Navigation Barat the top of the page. You can also use the Navigation Bar’s Back and Forward buttons to navigate as you would in a web browser.

    Content Sections: In the center of the page are nine content sections, each reflecting a different facet of Seattle Pacific University. Click on a section to view it; from there, you can browse, play, and download files (see Step 4 for directions). Sections are divided into two groups. Speakers & Events includes public Lectures and Forums, Group, Chapel, Convocations, Sports, and Alumni events. Courses & Community includes course-related content and lectures, student and faculty arts productions, and the Community section, which is a creative forum for SPU community members to share their original content. More information about these sections can be found on our FAQ page.  

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  3. Configuring Your View (One-Time-Only)
    (Watch a video of this step.)
    You will want to take a few moments to adjust your view settings to display iTunes U content properly. You will only have to do this once. Completing these steps will make track information more readable and give you access to dates, synopses, speaker/artist background information, and more.
    To configure your view, first enter a content section, such as Chapels.
    1. To configure your view, first enter a content section, such as Chapels.
    2. Right-click on the column header called “Price

      Screen capture of column header

    3. Click Comment from the pop-up menu. Adjust the widths of your columns to preference by clicking and dragging on the vertical lines between the column headers (Name, Artist, Album, etc.). You will probably want to narrow the Artist, Album, and Time columns, and widen the Name and Comment columns. Note: it is perfectly fine to make your columns wider than will fit the screen. You can scroll left and right using the horizontal blue scrollbar at the bottom of the window.

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  4. Using iTunes U
    Navigating iTunes U: At the top of the page the Navigation Bar:

    Screen capture of navigation bar

    The Navigation Bar functions much like a web browser. Use the Back and Forward buttons to navigate between pages. You can return to the iTunes U main page at any time by clicking the Seattle Pacific University button.

    Browsing Files in iTunes U
    (Watch a video of this step.)
    Content on iTunes U is browsed, played, and downloaded from the Content Screen (shown below). Tracks are listed on the lower half of the screen. Track information is displayed in columns. If your screen is not wide enough to display every column at once, you can scroll left and right using the horizontal scrollbar at the bottom of the window.

    Click the title (header) of a column to sort by the information in that column. The far-left column sorts by date, the Name column sorts by track title, and Artist sorts by speaker/artist name. Click multiple times to toggle ascending/descending views.

    Screen capture of iTunes U content screen

    You can temporarily widen a column while browsing to view information that is too long to otherwise be displayed. To do this, click and drag on the vertical lines betweencolumn titles. If you wish to view all the information about a specific file at once in a separate window, right-click the file, click Get Info from the popup menu, and then click on the Info tab.

    Some sections of iTunes U are divided into tabbed subsections. Click on a tab to view its contents.

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    Playing Content
    (Watch a video of this step.)
    To play a file directly over the Internet, double-click on it. The file ’s name will appear in the information box at the top of the window as it plays. If you are not able to hear audio, please make sure that your volume is turned up and your speakers are turned on before contacting ITS for help.

    Screen capture of play controls

    At the top of the window are your Play Controls (shown above). These function like a CD or cassette player. The horizontal slider controls volume. Videos open in a separate window; move your mouse cursor over the video to access on-screen play controls.


    Searching
    (Watch a video of this step.)
    To perform a search in iTunes U, type your search query into the search box in the upper-right corner of the iTunes window, and press Enter on your keyboard.

    Screen capture of search box

    Search results are displayed sorted by relevance. Note, however, that iTunes does not comprehend your search query. Instead, it searches the fields (Name, Artist, Comment, etc.) by exact word only. As a result, you may have to try several different keywords to find all the files related to the topic you wish to search. It may also return files with similar-sounding words. For example, a search for “Weter” may return files with “Peter” or “Writer.” These, however, will be marked with low-relevance status.

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    Downloading Content to Your Computer
    (Watch a video of this step.)
    You can easily download content to your computer with iTunes U. This allows you to play files when not connected to iTunes U, put audio files on a CD for use in any CD player, or transfer them to an iPod or other media device. You may also wish to download a file if your Internet connection is slow and audio played directly from iTunes U sounds choppy. Once downloaded, the content is saved on your computer.

    To download a track from iTunes U, press the track’s Get or Get Movie button (all downloads are free). A download indicator will appear on the left side of the iTunes window. When your download is complete, the indicator will disappear and you will be able to play your file. To access your audio Library, click Music on the left side of the window. To access videos, click Movies. To return to iTunes U, click iTunes Store.

    If you no longer wish to keep a downloaded file, you can remove it by clicking on it and pressing the Delete key on your keyboard. To completely remove the file, click Remove, click Move to Recycle Bin, and then empty your computer’s Recycle Bin.


    Burning Downloaded Content to an Audio CD
    (Watch a video of this step.)
    Once an audio track is downloaded, you can easily put it onto an audio CD. iTunes automatically generates playlists for you of files downloaded from iTunes U, grouped by section. For example, if you download tracks from Chapels, iTunes will make a Chapels playlist for you:

    Screen capture of downloaded playlist

    To burn a file to an audio CD, first insert a blank CD into your computer ’s CD drive. Click on the playlist in iTunes that contains the file you want; you will notice that each file in the playlist has a checkbox next to its title. Make sure that the file you want is checked and that all other files are unchecked. Click the checkboxes to check/uncheck them. To create the CD, click the Burn Disc button in the bottom-right corner of iTunes.

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  5. Podcasts
    A podcast is the audio equivalent of a magazine subscription, and a vodcast is a video podcast. Once you subscribe to an SPU podcast, iTunes will automatically download any new tracks in that section of the site to your computer as they become available. Once you have subscribed to a podcast, you can access it by clicking on Podcasts on the left side of the iTunes window.

    You can access downloaded podcasts by clicking Podcasts on the left side of the iTunes window. Click the grey triangle next to any podcast you’ve subscribed to in order to view all tracks that have been downloaded or are available for download. Podcasts can take up quite a bit of storage space on your computer, so we recommend that you periodically delete content that you no longer wish to keep—just like throwing out old magazines. You can edit podcast settings by clicking Preferences from the Edit menu.

    Because Apple regularly updates the podcasting features in iTunes, we have not provided a tutorial for downloading and using podcasts. Instead, please see the Help menu in iTunes for the most up-to-date information and directions.

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Your Guide to iTunes U
 
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Instructional Technology Services: (206) 281-2170 or email your questions: itunes@spu.edu