Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Health, wellness popular on Michigan iTunes U



Fitness and wellness have proven popular topics in the past 10 months of tracking U-M on iTunes U, http://itunesu.umich.edu/.

Of the top 10 downloaded tracks in January, eight are fitness related. The top three are from MFit: Core Abs Technique, Stability Ball Workout and Core Abs.

Listeners downloaded a monthly average of 44,000 tracks. U-M on iTunes U experienced the highest downloads in July with 83,561.

“Knowing the wide range of existing content, we knew that people would watch, learn, and see what is happening on campus,” says John Pariseau, a multi-media specialist with Michigan Marketing & Design. “We've almost been at it a year … and we hope to increase the numbers through new content over the coming year.”

U-M on iTunes U, www.itunes.umich.edu, launched in February 2008. In the familiar iTunes Store format, visitors can find lists of audio and video content. Users select desired content by downloading the segments to their computers or iPods. One big difference: the content is free.

The top three downloaded albums for January are Ask the Podcast Doctor, MiFitness and Saturday Morning Physics. By topic, Health and Wellness is the top download with 17,412. Science and Technology had 3,576 downloads and Dentistry had 2,304.

The download numbers reflect a larger multimedia trend, Pariseau says.

“I think people who would normally not have watched multimedia on their computers (or portable devices) are embracing it more and more,” he says. “Services like iTunes U, YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, Fancast and a host of TV networks offering their content online shows where we are headed in the short term — content people want, anytime, anywhere (mostly), and for free.

“Being in the midst of this through iTunes U is great because we can showcase U-M’s professors and lectures — not just to the local community, but around the world. Additionally, devices like AppleTV enable people to watch this content on their television, making it even easier to watch a lecture or hear a talk.”

New uploads include a new course on nano manufacturing, President Mary Sue Coleman’s winter message, Michigan Radio’s John Bacon sports commentary, and lectures from Engineering 101, the International Institute and Chemistry 466.