Syncing iTunes U videos

Christopher Breen
13 October, 2008
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The iTunes U section of the iTunes Store is packed with informative lectures from universities around the world, including many on Australia. However, syncing the videos can be difficult because when you mount your iPhone and choose it within iTunes, the playlists aren’t listed within the Music or Video tabs.

When you download a video, iTunes creates a folder for each university and drops a playlist of the same name into it. While that folder appears within the Music tab in the iPhone preferences window, you can’t couldn’t select it or see the playlist within.

However, the movies within that playlist do appear within the Movies section of the Video tab in the iPhone preferences window. Just enable the ones you want to sync by placing a check mark next to each.

Ah, but when you do this, all those videos appear in a long list under the movies heading on your iPhone or iPod. It would be handier if they were ganged together. And you can do that by tagging the videos as something other than a movie.

For example, in iTunes 8 select a video, press Command-I to bring up the Info window, click the Options tab, and change the Media Kind to Music Video. Repeat for the other episodes. Go to the Music tab in the iPhone or iPod preferences, make sure that the Include Music Videos option is checked, and then locate the playlist of iTunes U videos you want to sync with your iPhone or iPod. Click Sync and the videos will transfer over as music videos.

On an iPhone or iPod touch you’ll find your iTunes U playlist listed under the Playlists area in the device’s iPod/Music section. On a video-capable clickwheel iPod you’ll find the playlist by navigating to Videos/Music Videos.

Alternatively, you can designate the videos as TV episodes. To do that, return to the Options tab of the Info window for each video and choose TV Show from the Music Kind pop-up menu for each video. You’ll also want to go to the Video tab within the Info window and assign the same show title to each episode—iPhone Developer Videos, for example—so that the episodes are ganged together within iTunes and on your iPhone or iPod.

Sync an iPhone or iPod touch and the episodes will be listed in the Videos area, gathered together as a TV show with the name you assigned. On a clickwheel iPod you’ll find them at Videos/TV Shows, again pulled together under the assigned title.

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