What do we want? Information.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Part of the challenge of working in digital media has always been: how do I get my content out there? In particular, video content. Whether we are talking about a narrated PowerPoint or an interview or a class project, the song remains the same. What format? What platform? What player?
In the good ole days there was Quick Time and not much else. Then arrived Real media, Windows media and DivX. What evolved was a condition where web publishers created multiple versions of the same video in different formats to accommodate user preferences. The evolution of Flash video only added to the confusion. Then YouTube arrived - a place to host your 10 minutes of fame. Ten minutes can be a lot or a little in terms of content value. This limitation changes the way you author and present content.
Following on YouTube's heels were a variety of video content storage outlets, Google Video, which eventually swallowed YouTube whole, and a host of others. Apple was one of the first to seriously look at education and ask, 'How can we leverage the vast repository of intellect in our nations higher institutions (and sell more iPods at the same time). Enter iTunes U.
First let's reconsider YouTube. It's public. It's embeddable. It's free. It accepts a variety of input formats. It's popular. It's platform agnostic. At Ithaca, we maintain a 'Director' account which increases our performance time to an hour, freeing us from the ten minute limitation and making it a viable platform for more long form video. Content should be fully copyright cleared and participants should sign a release form. YouTube can be viral - popular videos spread like wildfire. The service is easily integrated into other social media and linkable through Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.
Returning to iTunes U, it too is also a free service, limited to 1GB and has some very specific requirements for the type of file that can be uploaded. Video and audio uploaded to iTunes U can be shared with the campus community only or with the world. Ithaca College's iTunes U offerings are now listed in the iTunes U section of the Apple Store. Selections displayed in the Apple Store are video and audio that the author has designated as public. The remainder of the content is available only to the campus community via log-in. iTunes U content is easily sync-able to the iPod family of devices -perhaps it's most endearing quality.
Both YouTube and iTunes U are valuable assets. Which one is for you? It usually comes down to two questions...how public do I want this video to be... and can the portability of iTunes U be leveraged successfully. For help answering these and other questions, please contact Mark Hine or Marilyn Dispensa. We are happy to help!
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