Tunesviewer Brings iTunes U to Android, Linux

When Apple launched the updated version of iTunes U back in February, they had planned to only make it available on their hardware.Unfortunately for Apple, someone forgot to tell that to a Linux developer who has been working to make the content in iTunes U accessible to those not lucky enough to own an iPad or iPhone.

Tunesviewer is a 2+ year-old app for Debian, Fedora and Android. It predates the current iTunes U app by quite a bit, and it has one simple goal.  It helps Android owners (there's more of them than Linux owners) find and download the podcast and videos in iTunes U.

The app won't help you with the more sophisticated features that Apple added this year (like shared notes) but that's okay.  It would require far more tricky programming to do more than simply download content. And it does show you everything that is currently available via iTunes U (I double checked with my iPad).

Update: The app has been updated and it now works for me.

TBH, I'm not sure it can even download content. I've now tried it on a couple Android tablets (including my eeePad Transformer) and I cannot download anything. I can find the course pages, but when I click the button nothing happens.

Right now I'm scratching my head.  This apparently worked for someone at some point, but it's clearly not working for me. What's more, I've looked through the various pages and I don't see where I can do anything to change it. (Perhaps the app doesn't like the latest version of Android?)

Even though I cannot get it to work, I'm posting this anyway. I'm hoping that it works for you and that someone might have pity on me and tell me how I can fix it. I am willing to put some work into troubleshooting my issues.

I definitely like the idea and I think the developer deserves a round of applause.


22 thoughts on “Tunesviewer Brings iTunes U to Android, Linux

  1. Thanks a lot for introducing me to this tool! It works well on my Android 2.3 Samsung Galaxy S as well as on my Ubuntu 11.10 install – both streaming and download worked immediately,no tweaking required.

  2. “they had planned to only make it available on their hardware.” Are you sure? When iTunesU was introduced, a major selling point on their site was that it was “accessible to all”. (granted, at the time it was dependent on iTunes and they had not yet released a software for access from Linux/Android).

    As for the Android version not working… You could probably find the error message with ADB Logcat, right after you select “download” and it fails.

    If you can capture the error you could post it as a bug at:

    1. I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt that Apple plans to make iTunes U any more open than iBooks. Both are currently limited to iOS. Knowing Apple, they will likely remain that way.

      1. iTunes U wasn’t, isn’t only iOS, it was originally for iTunes, a Mac/Windows program. Not sure why iBooks and other features aren’t yet available for non-ios, but hopefully after they fix it for pcs they will expand these to Linux/Android, once it gets more popular.

        1. I seriously doubt that will happen. It looks to me like Apple has turned iBooks and iTunes U into iOS specific apps as part of their overall strategy (OSX for creation and iOS for consumption). Note that there’s not even an iBooks app for OSX.

    1. The joys of Mac/Windows… having to install 100MB program in order to view/download your university’s podcasts :) Not to mention no preinstalled Office etc.

    1. It’s not on Google Play, to my knowledge it has never been on there. Source code and app download are available on the site linked.

      Personally I don’t like to use Google Play because of security (Anyone with your account can add any software to your device, and it has had some site security issues in the past…)

  3. Not bad, though Tunespace requires 2.3 or greater to run? Also it seems to not have any general podcast+iTunesU searching capability like Tunesviewer has, and many error messages are not in english, or are somewhat odd english translations. It’s a good start though, it has holo theming if you like that style.

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