iTunes U has the ability to host video content along with audio. To create video you will need a combination of both software and hardware.
Converting video from DVD
To convert video from a DVD using the Handbrake application:
- Insert a DVD into your computer
- Open Handbrake and explore the DVD’s contents as you would a data disk.
- Open the Video-TS folder from the DVD.
- Handbrake will scan the DVD and then you will see details of the DVD in Handbrake.
- If there is only one video on the DVD, it will load automatically. If there is more than one video on the DVD you will need to choose the correct video by selecting it in the Title drop-downbox.
- Set where you would like the converted video to be saved on your computer by using the Destination/File textbox.
- If the presets are not open on the right side of Handbrake, click on the Toggle Presets button to make them appear.
- Under the Apple preset heading, select the iPod preset. This will change the settings in Handbrake to ensure that your video is in the correct format.
- The only change you might want to make to this iPod preset is to change the Average Bitrate (kbps) under the Video tab from 700 to a different bitrate: a value between 700 and 1500. The higher the number the better quality your video will be, but it will also be larger in filesize.
- If you’d like to save this new setting as its own preset, click on the Add or + (plus) sign under the current presets. This will open a new window where you can name your preset. Name your new preset ‘Video for iTunes U’ and now you can select this preset every time you want to convert a new video.
- Click on the Start button on the top of Handbrake and it will convert your video from the DVD and save it to the location you set on your computer. Once Handbrake is finished with the conversion, your saved video is now ready to be uploaded to iTunes U.
Converting video from a file
To convert a video file on your computer using the MPEG Streamclip application:
- Open MPEG Streamclip, and select File > Open Files from the top menu. Browse for your video on your computer, and select Open.
- Your video will now open in MPEG Streamclip. You can hit play on the video to ensure you have opened the correct video.
- Once the video is loaded in the program, select File > Export to MPEG-4. A new window will open and show you encoding options for the MPEG-4 format.
- You will need to create a preset for converting videos that will be uploaded to iTunes U. Once you create this preset the first time you can simply select it for all future videos and be ensured they will be encoded correctly. To start creating an iTunes U preset, click on the iTunes button on the top right of the MPEG Streamclip window, and select option that matches the resolution of your video. Click the OK button and you will be returned to the previous window.
- Now you will need to make a few changes to the settings to create a preset that is made to work in conjunction with iTunes U. To the right of the check box that says Limit Data Rate you will see the number 1400. Change this to be a number between 700 and 1500 (the higher the number means the higher the quality but also the larger the filesize).
- On the left you will see ‘Frame Size’ and a listing of different sizes below it. The bottom option, Other, should be selected. Change this value to the appropriate size, depending on if your video is in a standard or widescreen ratio (see the Formatting Video section above).
- Your preset is now ready to be saved. Click on the Presets button on the lower right. A new window will open; click on the New button, and enter the name ‘Video for iTunes U’ in the text box. Click on the OK button.
- Your iTunes U preset has now been created and saved to your machine. Click on the Load button to load this preset’s settings into MPEG Streamclip. Every time you want to use this preset, you will first click on the Presets button, select the preset, and then click on the Load button.
- Now that the video encoding settings are correct, click on the Make MP4 button on the bottom right. You will now be asked where you would like to save the converted video. Set the location, and click the Save button.
- MPEG Streamclip will now encode the video to the correct format, and will show you the progress of the conversion process. Once the video conversion is completed the new converted video is ready to upload to iTunes U.
Note: both Handbrake and MPEG Streamclip can convert video files on your computer or from a DVD.
Recording and editing video
Both PC and Mac computers come with free video editing software: Movie Maker on the PC and iMovie on the Mac. While these programs are somewhat basic in their capabilities, they should work well for capturing and editing your video. While these programs are free, there is additional software you can purchase to create and edit video: Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premier Elements, and Sony Vegas.