Apple is preparing to migrate iTunes U Collections from the iTunes U app to Apple Podcasts, with a warning to educational institutions advising the change will take place in September as part of the release of iTunes 12.7.
According to the notice provided to participating institutions spotted by MacStories, Apple advises "In September, iTunes U collections will move from iTunes U to the Podcasts app. No action is required on your part for this transition."
"With this change, users can access your collections using the Podcasts app on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV, and using iTunes on Mac and PC," the notice reads. "Your public iTunes U Collections will automatically be migrated and all links redirected into Apple Podcasts at the time of transition."
Apple advises that, while there is nothing required of institutions for the migration to take place, the company recommends they review their current collections and remove unneeded or out-of-date content before the transition takes place. The Public Site Manager support page also advises that Apple Podcasts supports all media types currently supported by iTunes U Collections with the exception of ePub files, with the suggestion files of this type could be converted to another compatible format, such as PDF files.
While iTunes U Collections will be moving to the Podcasts app, iTunes U Courses will continue to be accessible through the iTunes U app on iOS. Due to the split of content between the two apps, institutions will be able to continue managing public courses through the iTunes U Public Site Manager, but must use the iTunes Podcast Site Manager to manage their migrated collections.
The migration should in theory open up the iTunes U Collections to a wider audience, by providing users of the Podcasts app more educational content to consume.
The change does have a downside for Mac and PC users of iTunes. As iTunes U will be removed from the desktop version of iTunes, the migration will limit public courses to the iTunes U app on iOS devices, meaning there will not be a way to access the course content from macOS or Windows systems from that moment onwards.