iTunes U - Technical Requirements

Last Updated: 08/09/2017


Please refer to Apple’s document, “Creating Content for iPod + iTunes,” for detailed information regarding content creation, file formats, metadata, and available tools. CU Boulder reserves the right of refusal for any content. The submitter will be notified if content does not meet the guidelines set forth for content, quality, or formatting, and appropriateness, and will be responsible for modification and resubmission. CU Boulder iTunes U content must be captioned and may be embedded with artwork provided by the University Communications.

Supported Formats


Audio – AAC or MP3 (.m4a or .mp3)

Video – MPEG-4 with H.264 encoding (.mp4, .m4v, or .mov)

Size: 640 x 480

NOTE: .mov content will not play on most iPods or portable devices

Document – PDF (.pdf)


iTunes U supports the distribution of compressed audio and video files. Apple recommends using the following formats for your iTunes U audio and video content:

Audio Files (AAC, MP3) with appropriate file extensions (.m4a, .mp3)

For best results during playback, Apple recommends converting MP3 files greater than 32 megabytes (MB) to AAC format. For AAC audio files, Apple recommends the following specifications:

  • Audio Format: Baseline Low-Complexity Profile with AAC-LC (Music)
  • Data Rate: Up to 160 Kbps
  • Channels: Stereo in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov formats
  • Output Sample Rate: 48 kHz
  • Encoding Quality: Better

Video files (MPEG-4 with H.264 compression) with appropriate file extensions (.mp4, .m4v, .mov)

For best results with iPod, Apple recommends using MPEG-4 with H.264 compression with the following specifications:

  • Video Format: MPEG-4 with H.264
  • Data Rate: Up to 1.5 Mbps
  • Image Size: 640 x 480 pixels
  • Frame Rate: 30 frames per second
  • Key Frame: Every 24 frames
  • Audio Tracks: Baseline Low-Complexity Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps

Document Files

  • PDF 

Video Captioning

The Captioning service was established as a part of the campus wide Accessibility Initiative aimed at fostering an accessible campus environment. The primary focus of this service is meeting captioning needs for accommodation requests and public-facing academic content. We also provide information, consultation, and guidance for a broad range of media and activities that may require captioning. For information about captioning, visit the video captioning service page. To learn more about the campus standards for Accessiblity and captioning, please review the CU Boulder Campus Standards for the Accessibility of Information and Communication Technology Policy