It's our data

The iTunes U brouhaha [1, 2] has so far generated a lot of heat but not much light. This morning, however, Dan Phiffer and Nathan Nutter advanced the story. You may remember Dan as the guy who did the awesome Wikipedia change visualizer. Dan notes that although the iTunes GUI indeed does not allow capture of podcast feed URLs, you can export to OPML or text and dig them out of those files. The procedure is, for example, File -> Export Song List -> OPML. Nathan wrote it up here. Thanks guys!

Now all I need to do is figure out how to get Gmail to cough up my full mail archive, including messages sent before the advent of Gmail's POP service, without my having to violate its terms of service. I've discussed this with Gmail's product manager, and am still waiting for a definitive answer.

If we would simply trust services to manage our own data for our own good, everything would be so much easier, wouldn't it?

Update: Gardner Campbell eloquently explains why iTunes is not an appropriate content management system for universities.

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