iTunes U, and all that other new stuff...

So I was messing around in the iTunes Music Store, trying not to let the $6.38 left in my account burn a hole in my pocket. It seems Apple has made some pretty serious additions, at least in the Canada store. I noticed some new games – anyone know if Musika is worth the $6, BTW? Anyway, the biggest thing I noticed was iTunes U. It seems to be a podcasting service, more or less, but it creates files by university in the Playlist section, rather than lists in the Podcasts library. The content seems to be better on the whole than podcasts, which actually makes a lot of sense – universities are generally committed to offering academic/artistic performances at low prices (or for free), so why not podcasts? On the other hand, it’s not entirely clear to me why iTunes U isn’t just a subset of podcasts. There really aren’t a whole lot of universities on there yet, though I’m sure that will change with time.

Of course, the real downside of iTunes U is that my Downloads section is currently at 74. Duke has free classical music, what can I say?

Complete My Album would be a lot better if the offers didn’t freaking expire, but it’s a nice thought. Just for You seems kind of useless to me – if you want to find new artists in similar styles to what you already have, Pandora is a far better place to start, since you can listen to entire songs, rather than thirty second previews. YMMV, of course.

iTunes Plus is great, of course, though it also suffers from too few providers as of yet.

Last and in this case least, I haven’t played around with iTunes collections at all. Would burn through a lot more than $6.38 if I did…

So in general, what are y’alls’ opinions about the newer features on iTunes? Gimmicky or worthwhile? And what on Earth is iTunes U supposed to be about? It doesn’t even have an entry on Wikipedia!

…and I have now realized that the filing for iTunes U is just an implementation of the newest feature on iTunes – folders! (Oops.)