iTunes U @ TU Graz

Posted on Wed 08 February 2012 in university

After downloading and browsing via the new iTunes U app for iPad I decided to check out one of the offerings my university (Graz University of Technology) - therefore the title1 - contributes to the enormous iTunes U catalog, I was quite disappointed. I'm not entirely sure what to think yet since I've only checked out one episode about iTunes U's usage at the TU but I'm like the popular video game critic Yahtzee there: If something starts out quite bad and only "gets better" (or "gets great") after so and so many hours then it's not only a bad start. More often it will be a start that leads to many hours of frustration with a product. Yahtzee mentions in his extra punctuation column about Dark Souls that he has been broken by the game and now starts to enjoy it. It's a rather sad idea of how a game is supposed to trigger your feelings. Wasn't the original idea about making games that are fun? But I'm rambling...

Back to topic. It may be a bit unfair to judge the whole series of the course - although I don't understand the random information being a course at all instead of a podcast - I was a bit shocked about the quality of the episode I viewed. In case someone wants to post a follow up I'll go with a numbered list this time.

  1. There were problems with audio. Multiple, to be precise.
  2. The volume levels were bad. During playback of the video things were too loud while the speaker was too quiet.
  3. The speaker didn't always talk into the microphone (at least that's the impression you get).
  4. Parts were absolutely inaudible.
  5. The quality of the movie played back was very bad. And from a casual look I'd also guess that the framerate is off, but that might just be my impression.
  6. Presentation technique:
  7. During the intro the speaker is rambling. Being off topic and discussing stuff not important to the viewer.
  8. There's a direct plug for a textbook in there - though it's not as offensive as it could be. Which is good.
  9. There's absolutely no reason to show the desktop in this case. The seconds switching applications should have been cut.
  10. One thing that I've seen and despised a lot during presentations in class too is that switching back and forth between slides creates confusion. If you need the content a second time then show it a second time. Preferably on a new slide.
  11. I'd suggest rounding the figures for downloads as that makes it easier to follow.
  12. I'm not sure why they're showing the iTunes description of your apps copy pasted into slides. That's not necessary and a block of tiny text on the slide doesn't really help anyone.

And last: Please tell me they aren't snickering during 27:30-28:00 and I just misheard that for something it wasn't. Because if it's not just me I strongly argue to cut it.

One more thing: I'm not sure what exactly the common thing between app development and iTunes U as an additional offering were but it might have been a good idea to release both things as separate videos.


Update: @mebner has pointed out that this content was not edited after recording in any way. That obviously portraits the whole presentation in a different way but some of my critisism still applies.


  1. Hurray for abbreviations.