iPod Lecture Recording Project


The purpose of this project is to evaluate the effectiveness of the Apple iPod portable music player as a device for recording lectures with the intent of uploading these recordings to IU's central lecture streaming service IStream. This project arose from the need to record and stream lectures from classrooms that do not contain recording/streaming capabilites.

This project is still in the early stages of deployment and certain aspects may therefore be modified as the project is proceeding.

Various pieces of equipment were evaluated and a set of recommendations were made. Here are those recommendations:

  1. Apple iPod - 3rd or 4th Generation iPod, including iPod Photo, but not iPod Mini, Nano, Shuffle, or 5G Video iPod.
  2. Belkin Universal Micrphone Adapter adds recording capability to iPod and allows for the use of an external microphone.
  3. Sony ECM F01 Boundary effect microphone with omni-directional pick-up pattern or ECM C115 lavalier microphone.

Other equipment evaluations are ongoing and new recommendations will be made as new technology reaches the market and as a result from participant feedback.

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Requesting Access to Upload Lecture

Fill out the iPod Lecture Recording Form to request authorization to upload lecture.

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Lecture Recording Process

The basic process of recording and publishing the lecture involves three steps:

Step 1: Record lecture with iPod
Step 2: Synchronize iPod with a configured desktop or laptop computer
Step 3: Upload lecture to IStream webserver

Some configuration is necessary before recording lectures:

    1. Follow instructions in iPod box for installing iTunes software and updating the iPod as necessary. The basic requirements are a computer running Mac OS X (10.2 or later) or Microsoft Windows XP with either high speed USB 2.0 or FireWire ports (aka IEEE 1394, iLink, etc.).
    2. The iPod must be configured for either a Macintosh OS X or Microsoft Windows XP computer. Different file system formats are used for the different platforms and Apple does not support using a Mac formatted iPod with Windows, or vice versa.
    3. Verify that the iPod is recognized by iTunes and that synchronization is possible before attempting to record lectures.

See iPod Support for more information on configuring or troubleshooting the installation.

Step 1: Recording lecture with iPod

  1. Insert iTalk(or equivalent) recording adapter into top of iPod and attach microphone. The iPod should awaken into the "Voice Memo" mode. If not, navigate to "Extras", "Voice Memos", "Record Now".
  2. Turn on the microphone. The Sony ECM F01 has a small red indicator light that will momentarily flash if the battery has sufficient power. The replacement battery is LR1130. It is suggested to turn on the "Mid Boost" option.
  3. Press the center round button to select "Record". A red light will be illuminated on the iTalk adapter when recording. The iPod is now recording.
  4. To pause the recording, press the center round button. Press again to resume.
  5. To stop the recording and save the lecture, move your finger on the simulated wheel to navigate to the "Stop and Save" option and then press the center round button.
  6. The lecture is titled by the date and time the recording began.

Step 2: Synchronize the iPod with a configured computer

  1. Insert iPod into the dock or connect to the comuter with the the proper USB or FireWire cable.
  2. iTunes should automatically load and begin synchronizing files between the computer and iPod.
  3. Select "Voice Memo" on the left-hand side of the iTunes window.
  4. Select the recording that will be uploaded to the iStream webserver and drag it to the desktop or copy it to another folder on your computer.

Step 3: Upload lecture to the IStream webserver

  1. Go to https://amy.ucs.indiana.edu/upload with any web browser (Internet Explorer, Safari, Mozilla, FireFox, etc).
  2. Accept the self-signed security certificate if prompted.
  3. Use your IU network username and password to authenticate with CAS. If you have trouble with CAS, see IU Knowledge Base Article for more information. If you have already authenticated with a CAS enabled website, you will not be prompted again.
  4. At the "Lecture to Upload" option, click on "Browse" to choose the recording that was earlier saved on the desktop or another folder on your computer.
  5. For recordings from an iPod, choose "WAV" as the format. The MP3 option is for recordings made from other devices.
  6. For "Course", you will be presented with a list of courses you have been given authority to upload. As the course instructor, you can request that another person (designated student, GA, etc) can also be given privileges to upload lectures. Choose the course from the list that you want to upload.
  7. Choose the date for the lecture recording.
  8. Click "Submit Request" to begin uploading your lecture. Depending on the length of the lecture, this may take several minutes, and you will not be presented with any indication as to the progress of the upload. When the upload is complete, you will be notified that transfer was successful. The uploaded lecture will be converted to a low bitrate MP3 file and copied into the iStream system. This process will take a few minutes.

Students can access lectures on the IStream portal in the same fashion as those captured by DMNS. Go to IStream portal authenticate with your IU username and password. Enter the course number (261, 110, etc), choose the current semester and you will be presented with a list of recordings that have been uploaded.

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Questions, feedback, troubleshooting, etc.

This project is facing its first deployed usage. While we don't expect any serious issues, it is possible that they may occur. We are also looking for input and feedback as to how well the process works and what we can learn from the pilot. If successful, this system may see widespread use.

Contact Gary Curto (gcurtoiupui.edu) at IUPUI for technical questions relating to the iPods and recording mechanisms. Contact James McGookey (jmcgookeindiana.edu) for questions regarding the uploading or streaming portions of IStream.