Duke University Gives Away iPods

There was a time the idea of handing out a device capable of holding 5,000 MP3s free to students would have caused sweating, outcry and at least a couple of writs from the music industry, but Duke University have made this into a unique opportunity.

New freshmen at Duke will receive a 20 gig iPod loaded with course information, calendars, and maps – and students will be able to download language lessons, music, recorded lectures and audio books from the university’s website. They’ll even be able to buy music from their own music store. Students get to keep the iPod, but will have to pay for its replacement if they lose it.

Duke will be handing out 1,650 iPods on August 19th during the freshmen orientation sessions.

Apple have long had a relationship with academia, from donating Macintoshes and equipment to schools to offering iTunes on Campus. This new version of iTunes dissuades students from downloading music illegally by giving them branded alternative whilst at the same time giving academic institutions another communications channel with their students.

iTunes on Campus

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?