Downloads Help for Mac

This page contains instructions for using a Mac to download and listen to MP3 albums.

For help with accessing the links in your order confirmation to download your purchases, refer to the Downloads Help Overview page.

For help with downloads on a PC, visit Downloads help for Windows computers

Table of Contents

Music Downloads Overview for Mac

When the albums and songs are first downloaded, they are in a compressed form called a "zip file" that makes the download process easier.

Before the music can be played, the zip file has to be uncompressed, or "unzipped", to extract the folder and music files that are inside it.

After unzipping, each album will be in the form of a folder with the same name as the album. Inside the folder there will be one MP3 audio file for each song. (If you downloaded an individual song instead of an album, the process is the same, except after unzipping there will be an individual MP3 file without a folder).

The MP3 files can be played in iTunes and can be transferred to any MP3 player device, including iPods and others.

The steps for accessing your new music are as follows:

  • download the zip file
  • locate the downloaded file on your computer
  • unzip the zip file to reveal the folder containing the MP3 files
  • use iTunes to play the MP3 files
  • it's a good idea to protect your music files from loss or damage by making backup copies

Detailed instructions for each step follows on this page, and can be accessed from the Table of Contents above.

How to contact us for help with your downloads

For fastest results, please review the instructions on this page and try the steps that apply to your situation.

If that doesn't solve the problem, to email us for assistance, use our Downloads Help Request Form.

Step by Step Instructions

Where are the downloaded zip files located?

When your browser downloads the files, they will be placed in the browser's assigned downloads folder. Usually, in Mac OS X the default downloads location is set to the "Downloads" folder inside the user's main "Documents" folder. But your computer could have a different setting.

If your download does not appear in the "Downloads" folder, you can find out where your browser is saving downloaded files as follows:

  • Using the Safari Browser
    • In the main menu, go to: Safari > Preferences
    • Choose the Main tab in the preferences window.
    • In the "Downloads" section, look for "Save files as" and to the right it will identify the folder where downloads are saved
    • You can also set a new location for your downloads folder in this preferences tab
  • Using the Firefox Browser
    • In the main menu, go to: Firefox > Preferences
    • Choose the Main tab in the preferences window.
    • In the "Downloads" section, look for "Save files as" and to the right it will identify the folder where downloads are saved
    • You can also set a new location for your downloads folder in this preferences tab

How to unzip a zip file

To unzip your download files, do these steps for each of the albums you downloaded:

  • Double-click on the icon of the zip file
  • The file will "unzip" automatically
  • The unzipped folder will be located in the same folder as the zip file
  • The unzipped folder will include one MP3-file for each song and will be ready for you to play the music.

What are the files and folders inside the unzipped album folder?

After you unzip the file, there will be new folder for each album, and with the mp3 songs inside.

Each song will have one file with the .mp3 extension after the song title.

How to play the MP3 files in iTunes

Simply double-click the MP3 files to launch iTunes and play the songs.

If double-clicking does not work as expected, then use these steps:

  • control-click the MP3 file and in the pop-up menu
  • choose "Open with..."
  • choose iTunes from the list.

How to add your downloaded albums to your iTunes music library

  • Open iTunes
  • (OPTIONAL, BUT RECOMMENDED) Go to iTunes preferences and choose the Advanced tab.
    • Check the box to select "Copy files to the iTunes Music folder when adding to library"
    • This will require iTunes to copy all content that is added to the iTunes library to the iTunes Music folder.
  • From the File menu, choose Add to Library
  • Navigate to the folder containing the unzipped music MP3 albums that you want to add
  • Select the folder or individual MP3 files to add
  • Click the "Choose" button

The above instructions were adapted from an article on Apple's iTunes support website.

For more information, view the original article here.

Finding where iTunes for stores your audio files

By default, items you import into iTunes from CDs are stored in this folder:

      [Home Directory]/Music/iTunes

Depending on how youíve imported items into iTunes, your library might include items located elsewhere.

Here are ways to locate where your iTunes files are stored:

  • Select an item in iTunes
  • Choose File > Get Info
  • The path to the file is shown at the bottom of the Summary pane (the Where section).

To reveal the file in the Finder:

  • select the song in iTunes
  • Choose File > Show in Finder.

The iTunes Library file is a database of your libraryís contents. If you move or delete this file, iTunes creates a new one the next time you open iTunes, but it doesnít contain playlists, song ratings, comments, and other information you created.

For best results, donít move the iTunes folder or folders inside it.

These instructions are based on an iTunes for Mac help page on Apple's website.

For more information, view the original article here.

How to burn your MP3 album to a CD using iTunes

1) Tell iTunes That You Want an Audio CD

  • Open iTunes and from the iTunes menu, choose Preferences.
  • Click Advanced in the resulting dialog and then click the Burning tab.
  • Next to Disc Format, select Audio CD and then click OK.

2) Create a New Playlist of Songs

  • From the File menu, choose New Playlist.
  • Type a name for your playlist in the Source list (this will become your CD's name)
  • Then drag songs from your library to your new playlist.
  • To change the song order, select your playlist and just drag and drop songs in the order you want.

3) Burn Your Disc

  • With your playlist selected, click the Burn Disc icon in the upper-right corner of the window.
  • Then simply insert a blank, recordable CD into your disc drive to start burning it.

The above instructions were adapted from an article on Apple's iTunes support website.

For more information, view the original article here.

How to View Album Art in iTunes

To show or hide the album cover in the Artwork Viewer section of the main iTunes Window:

  • Locate the four buttons together in a row at the lower left corner of the main iTunes window
  • Click the right-most button that looks like an arrow pointing up
  • The album cover will display in the Artwork Viewer, in the lower left-hand column of the iTunes window
    • To hide the album cover, click the same button again
    • (when the album cover is visible, the button changes to a downward pointing arrow)

To display artwork in its own window:

  • Follow the instructions above to view the album cover in the Artwork Viewer
  • Click the art image in the Artwork Viewer.
  • A new window will open, displaying a larger image of the album cover artowrk.

To show or hide artwork next to each item in a playlist in the music browser:

  • Choose the menu command View > Show Artwork Column

To visually browse your iTunes library:

  • Locate the View buttons, located at the top right corner of the main iTunes window, tothe left of the search bar.
  • Click either the middle and rightmost View buttons.
    • The middle View button will display your iTunes library as a grid of album covers
    • The right-most View button will cause your iTunes browser to enter Coverflow mode
  • While you are using Cover Flow (the rightmost View button), to view artwork full screen:
    • Click the button in the Coverflow display at the far right beneath the displayed album covers
    • To exit fullscreen Coverflow mode, click the same button again or press Escape.

The above instructions were adapted from an article on Apple's iTunes support website.

For more information, view the original article here.

Make backups of your downloaded MP3 albums

Make a backup copy of your new songs: copy them to an external disk drive, or burn them to a CDR. That way if you erase them by accident later you have a way to get them back.

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