Apple Inc. is expanding the free educational content available on its online iTunes Store beyond lectures and videos from universities.
Materials ranging from recordings of U.S. Supreme Court arguments and public radio broadcasts on the civil rights movement to video interviews with sculptor Richard Serra are among the offerings under a new category called "Beyond Campus."
The section can be found within iTunes U, a free service which Apple has offered to universities since 2006 to distribute their course lectures or other digital content through the iTunes Web site. The schools decide whether they want to open the free materials to the public or limit access to students and alumni.
"But we found that there's a lot of educational content from other parties, and we thought it'd be a great opportunity to leverage iTunes U," Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of iTunes, said Thursday.
A larger learning catalog for anyone — in college or not — helps to broaden the appeal of Apple's iTunes and iPod franchises, Cue said.
The iTunes U material is accessible on Windows-based or Macintosh computers and transferable to portable devices, including Apple's iPods.
Apple began "Beyond Campus" this week, starting with six partners, including public radio producer American Public Media, Smithsonian Global Sound, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and KQED public radio and television in San Francisco, Cue said.