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Podcasting - iTunes U

EdComm now offers podcasting as an additional means of distributing your electronic media. A podcast is audio or visual content that is automatically delivered over a network via free subscription.  Once downloaded, video and audio can be played on the computer or synced to iPods or other digital audio players. (Playing video content requires an iPod capable of video playback.)

A podcast is different than a stream for some very important reasons. You should discuss these with your stakeholders to ensure you are selecting the appropriate delivery mechanism for your content.

  • Best use of podcasting is for serial content e.g. information that is routinely presented as part of a series of presentations, discussions and events. For example:
    • Educational Courses
    • Medical Grand Rounds
    • Community Outreach Lectures
  • Podcasts are downloadable files; meaning, once you post your content, the subscribers download these to their media players and the files stay with the user
    • Copyrights, intellectual capital, HIPAA compliance, etc. are all considerations for podcasts
      • You may have the option to make your podcast “private,” allowing only those you want to download the file to do so with a username and password
      • If you will be providing a link to your podcast from Sakai (OHSU’s course management system), the student’s Sakai username and password is used to access the podcast from the course materials posted in their registered classes
  • Be mindful of the limitation in media player display sizes of portable devices.
    • Audio podcasts are popular and easy to use
    • Video podcasts should be orchestrated in advance to ensure the pertinent content is being captured. For example:
      • If you expect someone to be able to read slide content, make sure your slides are simple and easy to read

There are two podcast formats that EdComm uses for Apple-recommended iTunes U download:

  • Audio (.mp3)
  • Video (.mpeg4)
    • From 56 Kbps to 256 Kbps stream rate
    • Up to 320x240 pixel image size
    • Requires iTunes player download to view video files

The following is what the customer is expected to provide for podcasting:

  • Submit a podcasting request form and email to edcomm1@ohsu.edu
    • Five (5) working days are requested for processing podcasting requests
    • You must include a department manager/podcast approver for podcasts
  • Compliance with pertinent broadcasting policies (see departmental SLA)

The following is what EdComm will provide to the customer for podcasting:

  • Assign podcasting expert to process your request
  • Record video content to podcast format
    • Content from live events via camera or videoconference
  • Convert video content to podcast format
    • Content via camera or videoconference or from videotape, DVD, or CD-ROM
  • Upload podcast file(s) to iTunes U
  • Email notification of completion, including URL for channel and RSS feed
    • For private podcasts, includes username and password for distribution to your users
    • Email notification is for the first podcast only. Subsequent podcasts for your event are then available directly through iTunes U
  • Process completed within three (3) to five (5) working days, most cases


  • A department/unit/user may have up to 5 GB of video files on the server
    • EdComm will notify the customer when this limit has been exceeded and discuss plans for removal and/or archive to DVD
      • Archival to media may be fee-based
  • Podcast files will be deleted after three months of no activity (hits) or after one year, unless specific approval is granted
    • EdComm will notify the customer when these timeframes have occurred and, unless other plans are discussed, remove the files within ten (10) business days of customer notification

iTunes U at OHSU slide presentation (PDF)
OHSU's iTunes U Home (Free iTunes download required)

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