I happened to stroll into our office earlier and caught a glimpse of the site my wife was looking at, her alma mater, ETSU. I was very excited by the fact that they had a page full of podcasts that the university was making available. As I looked closer, however, I saw the big red, bold warning across the top of the page:
YOU NEED ITUNES TO SUBSCRIBE TO ETSU PODCASTS!!!
Yes, it turns out the links were all in the itpc:// format, and although using http:// instead I could get the enclosures in Doppler, they were m4a files that I couldn’t play with Windows Media Player. I was so disappointed. They could have made mp3 files, or a video format that could be played in a variety of players, but they chose not to, opting instead to require me to get iTunes just to listen to their podcasts, and probably adding to the misconception that you need iTunes and an iPod to listen to any podcasts. Bummer.
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I’m curious what is gained by doing things this way, unless Apple is paying a stipend for this. Maybe it’s because they’re using an Apple to encode it and don’t want to double encode it or unless they are hosting them somewhere else (saving the pennies on their bandwidth). I’d be curious if other universities do the same, or if anyone knows what the thought process is behind this decision.
Phil, I think they host it themselves, my hunch is that they just assume everyone on campus has an iPod, and they might not be far off if my experiences of time spent on the Ohio State campus lately is indicative!