Videos of fine arts performances, news, lectures and events from Northwestern University will be available free on iTunes U starting next Tuesday, Feb. 17.

Northwestern is launching its own channel on Apple’s popular iTunes web site, with more than 250 video and audio files available for download at no charge.

iTunes U is a service provided by Apple Computer Inc. dedicated to the needs of higher education. Participation in iTunes U is part of Northwestern’s initiative to distribute cultural and pedagogical video programming to handheld mobile devices.

“This new site provides another outlet to showcase the remarkable diversity of events, performances and lectures that occur regularly at Northwestern,” said Robert Taylor, director of NUIT Academic and Research Technologies.

Five sub-channels have been created on the Northwestern site: News, On Campus, Arts, Alumni and Academics and Research.

Also on the site are news and other programs created by Northwestern for viewing on the Big Ten Network. After the shows appear on that network, the University puts them up on the iTunes U site.

Those additional programs include videos, multimedia shows and audio interviews of faculty members created by University Relations.

Recent productions include an interview with Northwestern President-Elect Morton Schapiro, an interview on an Aztec exhibit with anthropology professor Elizabeth Brumfiel and a short program discussing the recently launched Florence Kelly historical website and archive with University Librarian Sarah Pritchard and Leigh Bienen, law senior lecturer.

“The combination of the Big Ten Network, iTunes U and Northwestern’s YouTube channel is allowing us to tell Northwestern’s stories to audiences around the world,” said Alan Cubbage, vice president for university relations.

The Northwestern channel is a joint effort of NUIT Academic and Research Technologies and University Relations. Team leaders for the project were Harlan Wallach, Jon Fernandez and Chris Wallace from Academic and Research Technologies and Brendan Cosgrove and Matt Paolelli from University Relations.

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