I’ve been privately griping at iTunes for years.
There’s just something that rubs the wrong way with me about an online service that requires a credit card number or paypal account to sign in to look through free stuff. Yes, free stuff. The non-DRM podcast directory and iTunesU are both behind the same “Please Get An Account” wall as the m4p music downloads.
This had lead to me sitting on a Disney Digital Copy (Prince Caspian, if it matters) for quite a while now, thinking I needed an account to use the iTunes version (and the usability of the file over time is WORSE in Windows Media, but that’s a rant that can wait). And also thinking I needed a credit card number I was willing to hand over to get said account.
So, it’s November. I’ve had the disc set for over nine months. Because of Disney policy, Digital Copies expire unless claimed within a year of the DVD being released. (This is stupid, IMO, for several reasons I shall not go into here.)
For Prince Caspian, this date is in very early December. As far as I was concerned, today was Claim It, Or Don’t Claim It day.
It turns out Digital Copies work like gift certificates. Including the whole ‘can get you an account without a credit card’ policy.
Personally, I think this needed to be in great big type in the DVD packaging, since setting up a not-card-linked account for a kid using Disney movies and then passing on the account name and password upon reaching a reasonable age for responsible use of the account would be a better idea than sticking the Digital Copy on a parental iTunes account the kid the DVD was purchased for will eventually lose access to.
Anyhow, this means I finally have an iTunes account.
It also means I now have an insanely large iTunesU download queue. (Let’s not discuss the podcast queue just yet. That one’s still growing.)
The Open University has an insane amount of stuff up in iTunesU. So do many other schools.
There’s a seminary with beginning Hebrew and Greek courses up – including video if you’ve got the hard drive space.
There’s an entire course on museum design over time.
There’s even an entire course on dealing with disabilities in a church.
I do have some gripes with it, which I’ll likely discuss at length once I’ve had a few more experiences dealing with the interface – and have actually looked at what I’ve downloaded, as some of my problems are with labeling – but overall I’m pleased with finally having access.
I just wish Disney had thought to tell me the DVD I got as a late Christmas present would have given me access to all this months ago, when the Greek and Roman historical, architectural, and art history courses and downloads would have been extremely useful.