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So what does this mean for the slick Podcasts at Penn State environment your group has developed (is developing)? Will you migrate the content to iTunes U? Host in both spots? Or do you really see them as separate initiatives?

Cole Camplese

Carla ... good question ... I decided to do a top level post to try and answer and start the conversation.

Eric Aitala

I found this...


David Chmura

Hi Cole,

You could look at something like http://atomicparsley.sourceforge.net/

It provides a command line tool for reading/setting iTunes meta data. I am not sure how sophisticated you would like to get, but say you have a group of files with a similar foundation (all of these files are from Psych 101 - Fall 2005, taught by XX) for example; you could script part of the process without needing to touch iTunes.

You could get a bit fancier too if you wanted to build an AppleScript processor application to help facilitate the process.

It's a good problem to solve. If we could dedicate any resources to it in the short term, we would, but our focus has to stay on ProfCast's core for a bit.

David Chmura
Humble Daisy, Inc
Makers of ProfCast

David Chmura

Hi Cole,

You could use a tool like http://atomicparsley.sourceforge.net/

It is a command line tool for applying iTunes meta data to files. You could script it in fairly sophisticated ways (ie: if you have a bunch of files that you know are all from Psych 101 - Fall 2004 - taught by XXX, you could run them in a batch.)

It's a good problem to solve! We would build something ourselves, but we need to keep our focus on ProfCast's core development right now.

David Chmura
Humble Daisy, Inc
Makers of ProfCast


I downloaded ID3 Editor, but it told me I was already past the 30 day trial date. So far, no good.

Tried Atomic Parsley next. No problems there, worked like a charm (thanks, David!). It ain't for command line novices, but maybe ID3 Editor works once you give the developers $.

All good for movies, now I want metadata on my PDFs (always asking for more). According to Apple Education, iTunes doesn't support this (see page 4). But that has to be wrong, since I'm looking at David Gilmour's PDF sheet that accompanies his On an Island album. And I can even modify the metadata.

I tried adding PDFs into my iTunes lib, tweaking the metadata, then uploading. No go...I get a nicer title, but other fields don't appear in iTunesU. Gave up after trying different approaches. Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated.

The right answer is simply to get back the ability to edit ID3 fields once a file is uploaded into iTunesU. Apple does this...can they give us whatever they use?

The upside is that the system generates a group for class content automatically, so it's easy to find downloaded files in a packed music library (and I'm guessing mine is small compared to my students' collections).

Cole Camplese

Good point ... meta data on a PDF is critical. If I am going to use this as a place to share content it has to be clear and make sense to my students from the second they show up ... macdaddy_b, no sense making needed -- just easy is what I want and need/

Eric Bailey

As the site administrator of iTunes U you can use the Track Preferences settings to create site-wide policy for meta-data which will allow you to make sure that meta-data gets populated for tracks where it is missing (or override it, if needed). These settings work across your entire site and don't require you to re-upload the file.

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