University of Pennsylvania excludes Mac users with Windows-only music service

“Despite negative feedback from other universities, the Undergraduate Assembly has faith that a new music downloading service will be a hit at Penn. Ruckus — a service that provides free unlimited music downloads to students — has been dropped by some schools that have used it. But UA members believe that an updated version of the program will yield different results on campus,” Beth Sussman reports for The Daily Pennsylvanian.

Sussman reports, “The body passed a proposal this week that, pending approval from Provost Ron Daniels, would provide the free service for students who use computers with Windows. Ruckus allows songs to play on the computer to which they were downloaded, but the files cannot be transferred onto MP3 players for free, and the service will not work on MacIntosh computers.”

“But some Mac users feel excluded. ‘They’re leaving out a whole group of people that they, in theory, would want to be using this system,’ Engineering freshman Maddy Yasner said. ‘If it’s that important to them, then they should think about the whole school — not just those who use Windows.’ Yasner uses a Mac and said she downloads her music legally from the iTunes service,” Sussman reports.

Full article here.
iTunes U is a free, hosted service for colleges and universities to manage a broad range of audio, video and document content and make it available quickly and easily to students, faculty, staff, and alumni through the iTunes Music Store which works for both Mac users and Windows sufferers. iTunes U also provides your students with the best legal solution to acquire, manage, and listen to music and videos from the Internet. Use your school colors, logos, and photography to make iTunes U familiar to staff, students, and alumni. iTunes U looks like your college or university but it acts like iTunes. More info here.

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Related articles:
Cornell Student Assembly to vote on funding Mac- and iPod-incompatible Napster for another year – November 01, 2005
Why are Brown University’s Mac students being forced to pay for useless Napster? – September 06, 2005


  1. this isnt a huge deal, many universities do that, i am going to one now, since it has more then 15k people attending, and a large number being mac users, (I would say about 1/3). They are being excluded. They have some service just for windorws users. Since this is happening all over, how is this really news?

  2. Just try excluding people for being Jewish, or Muslim, or left handed, or red headed or gay or liberal and you’ll have these people up in arms. But exclude them for their choice of computers and they say “meh.”

    The hypicrisy of Universities proves that a college education is not what it used to be.

    Ironically, the “magic” word is study. LOL!

  3. It is nice to know that even fifteen years after graduation, the UA continues its tradition of excellence in decision making.

    One of the great things I learned at Penn was to embrace all people regardless of their beliefs or backgrounds, and yet the UA knowingly excludes folks when they know by going with another choice such as iTunes and iTunes U, they can embrace all.

    One of Penn’s brightest professors, Dr. Fader, is a proponent of the subscription model. Fader is a brilliant marketing mind and the best professor I ever had. He believes in a concept called the “celestial jukebox” which is an potential evolution of today’s subscription model. So the university does have “ownership” in seeing subscription models work. But you should not do this at the expense of alienating a large segment of your student population.

    And all this from the school that turned me onto Macs and FileMaker. I will remember this later this year when they call asking for a Penn Fund donation.

  4. “yet the UA knowingly excludes folks when they know by going with another choice such as iTunes and iTunes U, they can embrace all.”

    iTunes is quite exclusive itself. You could use the same argument that the school is excluding a segment of their students if they only offered iTunes.

    Unless they prevented the students from downloading and using iTunes, then they are not doing anything wrong. Perhaps the better place to direct your misguided anger is toward the service itself.

  5. “I will remember this later this year when they call asking for a Penn Fund donation.”

    Interesting thought. Perhaps a polite e-mail to the alumni association might help change their minds?

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