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June 07, 2010

One Million Downloads for Warwick on iTunes U

[copyright: University of Warwick]

Just picked this up from the Warwick University News and Events, so it's their story:

Warwick has reached the digital milestone of one million downloads on its iTunesU channel. Since launching on the site fourteen months ago the University has firmly established its position as one of the leading high quality content providers on the service.

iTunesU was first launched by Apple in 2007, intended as a place for higher education institutions the world over to upload video and audio content for public access. Content includes course lectures, language lessons, lab demonstrations, sports highlights, campus tours and much more.

Warwick now has over 600 programmes available for free download on the Warwick channel, with video footage and audio recordings from across the faculties and student-generated content.

A million downloads later…
Portrait of Shakespeare

The biggest success story for Warwick so far has been the film "Shakespeare Found" which was about a recently discovered life portrait of Shakespeare and features an interview with Honorary Graduate Professor Stanley Wells. Made in collaboration with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the video had over 20,000 downloads in one weekend in March alone.

Since then, the collaboration with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has continued and videos celebrating the 400th anniversary of the Bard's Sonnets and, more recently, Searching for Shakespeare: The Dig and The Documents with the Capital Centre's Professor Carol Rutter have been added to the collection.

Chocolate-Powered Formula 3 Car
Portrait of Shakespeare

Another massive success came from WMG's video of their environmentally sustainable formula 3 racing car, powered by waste products from the chocolate industry. This film became a worldwide success, topping the engineering channel and receiving the most downloads of anything on iTunesU in June 2009.

Sex in the Ancient World

Professor Peter Pormann's series "Classics in Discussion" has had a resurgence of interest this year and his podcast on "Sex in the Ancient World" has risen to number three in the total worldwide downloads chart. His series of includes topics such as the poetry of Homer, Graeco-Arabic Studies and Medicine and classical civilizations.

Subject Highlights

Professor David Morley's "Writing Challenges", set up to lead listeners through a series of creative writing exercises and designed to develop creativity and writing ability have become increasingly popular. They have generated, on average, around 2,000 downloads per week since they launched and have been followed up in 2010 with "Poetry Challenges" which aim to discover the inner poet in us all.

In Health and Medicine, Peter Abraham's anatomy films using plastinated specimens were for most of 2009 never out of the top 2 Warwick downloads and in Mathematics Professor Ian Stewart's "Maths Challenges" have proved equally popular.

Recently the Complexity Science Conference, ECCS ’09, held here at Warwick became the most popular download for Warwick's channel. The video caught the attention of the world due to its more than relevant topic: how to solve the current climate crisis.


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