“I’ve Downloaded Your Song. Now What Do I Do?”

I was over at a friend’s house, and she tells me, “Hey, I really like that song. I have downloaded it, but now what do I do?” It just doesn’t occur to someone like me who has been in the tech business for years that there are probably a lot of people that don’t know what to do with a track after they have downloaded it to their computer.

When you buy tracks on iTunes, the process of downloading the track and getting it into iTunes is one seamless/painless step. For other tracks that you get off the internet, you have to do one more thing to get them into iTunes. Well, here’s a quick “how to”. I am using one of my recent freebies as an example.

Let’s say you went to my Bandcamp page and downloaded my free track “Etude No. 1”
(here’s a link http://kellycarpentermusic.bandcamp.com/track/etude-no-1):

This is a free track and it’s one way to get people to enroll in my monthly newsletter. Let’s say you’ve entered the email and zipcode and clicked OK. The following email will show up in your inbox.

Clicking the link will take you back to the BandCamp site with a Download link here:

Once you click download, what happens next depends on whether you’re Mac or Windows and what web browser you’re using. I generally use Chrome (both on Mac and Windows), so the file downloaded gets displayed at the bottom of the Chrome window in either case.

This is helpful to see so you know the name of the file that was downloaded. Next step is to start up or switch to iTunes, and from the File menu, select “Add to Library” or use the keyboard shortcut Command+O (on Mac) or Ctrl+O (on Windows). You will get a file picker dialog, like the following on Mac:

Navigate to your Downloads folder. On Mac, it is located under your name.

If you’re on Windows 7, it is located under Favorites:

In either case, click Open and it’s added to iTunes. You can find it easily by just clicking on at Recently Added in the left-hand navigator:

You may wonder why it takes so many steps to download a track from a website. It doesn’t always. But responsible services like Bandcamp use a “double opt in” method to protect your computer from malware threats. You have to confirm via an email that you really do want the track. A little extra work for a lot of piece of mind.

Now, like I said, purchasing a song from iTunes does all of this in one step. But people who offer free tracks don’t put them on iTunes.

Well, there you go. Pretty simple once you know how!


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