|From: Lucky Boyd, webmaster,
Well, here we are in the 21st century. Downloads are all the rage, but if you're not an expert on how to complete the process or how to use the download once you get it, then it's sort of a waste of time and money.
I'm going to show you how to maximize your downloading experience. You might want to print this page out and keep it next to your computer. Then you can close this window and you'll be right back where you started.
First, let me give you the MyTexasMusic.com philosophy on downloads. We ask our members to offer downloads when the physical product no longer exists and is not going to be re-issued. We also are exploring the idea of offering downloads of songs and albums that are not available on CD. You won't find too many instances where you have a choice between the CD and the download. It's usually one or the other. We believe that physical product makes the world turn.
Here's how to purchase our downloads:
PURCHASING THE DOWNLOAD TRANSPORT FILE
We don't make you open an account and deposit a bunch of money, decreasing your balance with each purchase. We sell mostly complete albums and most of them sell for $9.99.
Just click on the link to put the download in your shopping cart. You can purchase other items from the site by clicking the CONTINUE SHOPPING link in the shopping cart. When you are ready to check out, just do so like you would with any other purchase. But at the end, look for your download link.
After your order is complete you will see a link right in the middle of the page with instructions on how do download it. THIS IS NOT THE ALBUM. This is a transport page that will help you get your album without staying connected to the shopping cart.
I suggest you download that file to your DESKTOP. For Internet Explorer users, you just right click on the link and click 'Save Target As' and when the browser window opens, select DESKTOP and click on SAVE.
When it is finished, you will have a choice of opening the file or finding the file. Go ahead and open it.
At this point, you can begin your download. For Windows users, you can close the other instances or tabs of Internet Explorer if you want, but it's not necessary.
DOWNLOADING YOUR ALBUM
Now that you have the transport file open, you can begin downloading your album. Before you do, read the page and see how big the file is. Make sure you are downloading to a place on your computer that has enough space for the album. Most albums are between 40MB and 60MB in size. Remember those little floppy disks, the little 3 1/2 inch ones? They could hold about 1.4 MB on each one, so imagine that the average album would fill about 17 of these disks. You see how big the file is going to be.
With that being said, it's going to take some time to download the album. If you're on dialup, you probably should have someone do this for you. It will take a long time to download this file over a dialup connection. It could take as much as 24 hours. You don't want to do that, especially since with a DSL connection, it could take as little as 12 or 13 minutes.
Make sure you know where you're saving the file. If you want to create a folder for this album, do so before you begin the download. It's not critical that you do this, but it's just a good idea, unless you're an expert, then do whatever works best for you.
If you don't know how to create folders on your computer, get a friend to help you. That's just too much for me to go into here.
Now, click on the link and your download will begin. When given the choice to OPEN or SAVE the file, select SAVE and save it to the DESKTOP.
Get a snack.
When your download is finished, you will have a file called a ZIP file. Most .zip files will UNZIP when you double-click on them. If you don't know how to unzip a ZIP file, again you might want to ask a friend to help you. If you need a free upzip utility, download 7-zip here.
LISTENING TO YOUR DOWNLOAD
Once you've unzipped the file, all the MP3 files will be there. You can double-click on any one of them and your default audio player on your computer will open the file and begin to play it.
We recommend that you use WINAMP to play your MP3 files. It offers a lot of flexibility as a listener and you can get a free copy at www.winamp.com
You can listen to your album with Real Player, Windows Media Player, and a lot of other players. Any player that will play MP3 files is okay.
MAKING A CD OF YOUR ALBUM
Now this is where it gets tricky. First, if you do this, DO NOT GIVE A COPY TO ANYONE, IT'S AGAINST THE LAW. Distributing music freely without compensating the artist properly is a crime. Got it?
I use Power2Go to make my CDs from MP3s. To do so, I had to learn how to use it. Regardless of which software you want to use to make your CD, you have to learn how to operate it. I can't help you with every piece of software out there, so I'll walk you through Power2Go and give you some general tips.
If you have those four little blocks stacked on top of each other on the right side of your desktop, then you have Power2Go. Double click the one with the music note on it. That will open the Power2Go software.
Click on the red plus sign at the top left of the software and browse to the folder where you unzipped the album. Select all the song files. You can move them around with the up and down arrows until you get them in the order you want.
Then put a blank CDR in your CDR recorder and you'll be ready to burn a CD.
Click the BURN button at the bottom of the software and wait. Don't try to do anything else with your computer while this CD is being created.
When done, the computer will open the tray and you can take out your CD.
Immediately pop it in your CD player, boom box, or whatever you like playing CDs in and check it out.
If it didn't burn properly, you might have to burn it again. Don't close the software until you're sure you have a good burn.
We try to include the cover art of each album if it's available. If your album doesn't have the cover art, email us and we'll see if we can help you get it.
Well there it is. I could type another ten pages of instructions on each of these topics but this should get you started. Once you do this a few times, it should be easier for you. Let me just say that I'm proud of you for trying this in the first place. I may not be able to help much, but you're welcome to drop me an email if you get stuck. If you're in a real panic, you can go ahead and give me a call. Just remember, I gotta sleep sometime, so I might not answer.
I remember my first time. It was frightening! You'll do fine. Take your time.
Good luck and happy listening!