Technical guidance for preparing iTunes U material

Preparing your own material for inclusion into iTunes U? Here's the technical specification you need. Follow the link to Creative Media Team for a full range of production support if required, or complete our Request Support form.

Metadata: titles and descriptions for collections and items

You will need to provide a title and description for each collection you wish to submit, as well as a tte and description for each of the items in the collection. You can also add up to 10 keywords for the collection and another 10 keywords for each item. Taken together this information is referred to as “metadata”. It’s very important for us to have metadata because

  • It enables your content to be found more easily by people searching for it
  • It enables us to manage the growing collection of materials we have more easily

It is useful to try and think about how people might be searching for your content - what search terms might they use? What terms might be synonymous with your title and description keywords? Might there be variations in spelling of important words between UK and US english? If so, you might want to consider putting these as keywords - keywords do not show up in the descriptions in iTunes U but they are used by the search function.

Branding and encoding

Media should be branded using the standard intro and outro for audio and video from the shared Google Drive folder, available from the Branding Assets link on the menu.

The following files should be applied

For Audio content
Put the following file at the beginning of the audio piece:

audio intro v1.m4a

For Video content
For 16:9 aspect ratio videos use the following at the beginning and end of the video respectively:

Intro-1080p.mp4
Outro01-1080p.mp4
Outro02-1080p.mp4

NB this second version has been created without the University web address at the end to allow you to put in your own departmental web address instead.

For 4:3 aspect ratio videos use the following at the beginning and end of the video respectively:

Intro-1080p-4.3Ratio_1.mp4
Outro01-1080p-4.3Ratio_1.mp4
Outro02-1080p-4.3Ratio_1.mp4

NB this second version has been created without the University web address at the end to allow you to put in your own departmental web address instead.

Encoding Specifications and nomenclature of encoded files.

The Following specifications should be used for encoding audio and video content

Audio:
MP3 format at 128kbps

Video:
For 16:9 Aspect ratio:
H264 MP4 format. 960x540p 2.5Mbps
For users of Adobe Encoder we have a preset file which we can make available. This uses a two-pass VBR encoding with a target set to 2.0 Mbps, and a maximum of 3.0 Mbps.

Adobe Encoder Preset Files

We have provided some Adobe Encoder presets for audio, video at 16:9 and also some presets for legacy and other 4:3 type content. It is available from the Adobe Presets link on the  menu

Filenames

Use a filename system whereby file names reflect the content in a helpful way.
All files that have been encoded for iTunes U should carry the characters “_SITU” at the end of the filename

e.g
Your original file: “Dr G Mcelearney iTunes U interview 1.mp4”
Final encoded file: “Dr G Mcelearney iTunes U interview 1_SITU.mp4”

If in any doubt please contact itunesu@sheffield.ac.uk for clarification.