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. Who said that educators were educated – that looks to be the case at the University of Pennsylvania – or at least there not very good retailers or marketers!

    I get it now – they just want the students to study not dick around with music (i.e iTunes and iPod’s) – I guess University of Pennsylvania isn’t the party school I through it was after all!

    One thing for sure – the School of Marketing sucks!

    And what about the School of Design – what’s design?

  2. Using the argument that is used so much here at MDN, let the numbers speak for themselves. If people want iTunes, they can download it for free. If they want to use Ruckus instead, they can. The choice is up to them. The better service will be shown by whichever is more popular. If Ruckus is used more often by the majority of people despite only being available to some of the students, then the conclusion is obvious; people want Ruckus more than iTunes.

    Additionally, this service is free to the university and the students, so what good reason do you have for their not offering their students the choice?

  3. Penn State also does something similar. They give “free” Napster to all their students. Of course the students are paying for it, just hidden in another fee. Given the number of Macs/iPods I see on campus its utterly ridiculous Penn State to go to Napster.

    Their answer BTW, when asked about Mac support is to install Virtual PC on your Mac to run Napster!

  4. Michigan State University started using Ruckus this year too. No idea as to why. I can’t try it out because I use a mac, but I have not heard one person say they use the service. Maybe it is awesome and I should switch to Windows to use free* stuff, maybe not

  5. Pog: “Penn State also does something similar. They give “free” Napster to all their students. Of course the students are paying for it, just hidden in another fee.”

    No, that’s different. With Napster, the university has to pay Napster a small fee which gets passed on to the students, usually bundled in some type of “technology fee.” With Ruckus, there is no fee that the university has to pay. Thus, it really is free to the students.

  6. With Ruckus, there is no fee that the university has to pay.

    That makes no sense. The article says the service is free to the students. Someone has to pay something. If the students aren’t paying directly, then it has to be paid by the university, recouped through student fees.

    That’s the biggest gripe I have. No student should be forced to pay a fee to support a service they’re incapable of using.

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