Learning stuff with iTunesU

I spend a lot of time on the bus. I have two choices. I can either waste my time, or use it wisely. I’ll admit, for a while, I would waste the time. And occasionally, I still do.  Especially after coming home from a long day of work.

When I started doing iOS development to go along with the Android development I do, I mentioned it to a good friend of mine and he suggested looking on iTunesU for some courses. iTunesU consists of videos of college and high school courses. They had a series of videos for iOS development. So I went and downloaded all of the videos for free. I copied it to my Android Nexus 4 phone and the files wouldn’t play.  (Sad trombone sound).

So I went to see what sort of file the videos were. Since I come from a UNIX/Linux background, I opened up the terminal app and ran the “file” command and got this:

ISO Media, MPEG v4 system, iTunes AVC-LC

Wait? It’s MPEG 4? My Android phone shouldn’t have issues playing that.  So I renamed the file to a .mp4 extension and it worked. Since the videos don’t have DRM in them, a simple rename and I was ready to learn on the bus and make the best of my time!

TECHNICAL TROUBLESHOOTING STUFF: I use an app called “Explorer” to move files on my phone and rename them. However, renaming doesn’t register the file with the media system (Explorer app bug I think), so it may not show up in the Gallery to play.  To fix this, download a “rescan media” app (there’s a bunch) and run that.  Or simply reboot your phone. Or even better, rename them before you copy them to your phone.

Of course, if you have an iOS device (iPhone/iPod/iPad), you don’t have to go through this step.

iTunesU has many different courses, not just computer stuff.  There’s even some stuff there that we can probably use for homeschooling. Search for yourself.

When I’m not watching iTunesU stuff, I’ll also use YouTube as a resource. No, not funny cat videos, but things like Google I/O 2013 videos (Google Developer’s conference). This has the downside that it does streaming, but I don’t do it enough to go over my data plan.  I also listen to various podcasts on the bus.

What courses on iTunesU look interesting to you?

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