iTunes U Documentation

Connexions has several RSS feeds that are used to populate our iTunes U site. This documentation covers that maintenance of these files and the iTunes U site.

RSS Files

  • The RSS files are located at the top level of Log in as a manager user and select the Contents tab. Select the following folders to get to the files:
    • feeds, then itunesu
  • Each collection has an RSS feed file and an image file, that is the book cover, in this directory.
  • Files should be added to as type "Image/Other File". This will allow them to be downloaded by iTunes U

RSS File Details

  • The RSS feeds are a combination of standard RSS and Apple's extension of RSS.
  • Details on Apple's requirements are in the iTunes U Administration Guide.
  • Some Feed Elements to be aware of
    • <itunes:summary> - only add this at the top level and not for each item in the feed. Space is limited on an iTunes U page. It displays best if only added at the top level.
    • <copyright> - add the Author(s) name(s) and CC-BY license information. Example:
      <copyright>John S. Hutchinson.  It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License CC-BY 1.0</copyright>
    • <itunes:image> - used for the book cover image
    • <itunesu:category> - Do not use this at the top level, only on each item. The list of categories is in the iTunes U Administration Guide linked above.
    • <title> - Inside an <item> element, make sure you include either "(PDF)" or "(ePub)" after the title. Spell EPUB "ePub". It is the Apple way.
    • <enclosure> - make sure you use a direct link to the datastore and not the link used in Apple will not be able to download the file without a direct link.
      • Correct Example:
        <enclosure url="" ...
      • Incorrect Example:
        <enclosure url="" ...
      • length attribute - this is the file size in bytes. I used this site to calculate the bytes.
      • type attribute - use correct mime-type for PDF or EPUB
    • <pubDate> - This is the last published date. The correct format is below. Do not include any of the brackets:
      [3 letter abbreviation of day of the week], [month date] [3 letter abbreviation of month] [Year] [HH:MM:SS] [Timezone]
      Example: Fri, 25 Mar 2005 15:19:00 CST
      • I used this site to determine day of the week.

iTunes U Administration

  • Log in to the iTunes U Manager
  • Collections
    • A Collection in iTunes U represents a Collection on Once your RSS feeds files are loaded into, you can paste the link to the RSS file on the Collections page to add the Collection to iTunes U.
      • iTunes U will check your feed files once a day to see if there is an update. You can manually update the feed by clicking the link to the collection in the iTunes U manager and clicking the "Update Feed" link at the top of the page.
    • Tags - tags in iTunes U are used to create the subject links. Do not use the keywords from for these. Use words that will link content together in a meaningful way such as all business books together, all math books together, etc.
  • Provider page - this is the welcome page for iTunes U. It is also where tag pages are accessed.
  • Tag pages - just adding tags to your collections does not make them available. You must select all of the tags on the Provider page setup page or they will not be displayed.