View Full Version : Downloading MP3 files with iTunes

Nov-28-2008, 2:54pm
I installed iTunes, version

I can't figure out how to get the files from the Cafe MP3 section to my laptop. I just don't know anything about doing these things. I don't even know what ripping or burning means.

Can anyone offer instructions or a link to them?

I don't have an internet signal at a lot of the places I stop for the night and just want to get a few to listen to then.


Jean Fugal
Nov-28-2008, 3:10pm
on my Mac I just control click it select download and open with Itunes A PC may? down load with a right click? then drag into itunes? I don't know how PC,s work

Nov-28-2008, 5:29pm
On a PC, download the files to a folder (eg: c:\cafeDL) then in iTunes under the File drop down select add folder to library, then path to ans select c:\cafeDL or whatever you choose. The files should be copied to your iTunes. You may need to edit the track information to get it filed correctly by right clicking the song name (or group of songs if you want them to have a common album, genre, etc) and selecting Get Info to edit that information.

I've done that with many of the free Acoustic Disc downloads. Good stuff.


John Hill
Nov-28-2008, 5:53pm
I just copy the mp3 to my computer and click on it to open and iTunes automatically opens and plays it.

Bill Snyder
Nov-28-2008, 8:07pm
Greg, do you have to use i-tunes. I use Windows Media Player or Real Player.
With them, once you have downloaded the mp3's you want you can scan your computer for media content and it will add all mp3's and other media files to your library. From there you can make playlists. I would think that i-tunes would work in a similar fashion.
To download an mp3 to your PC right click it and choose Save Target As. You can then choose what folder you want to save the file in and even name the file.

Nov-28-2008, 10:09pm
do you have to use i-tunes.
To download an mp3 to your PC right click it and choose Save Target As. You can then choose what folder you want to save the file in and even name the file.

Thanks to all.

I don't know about HAVING to use iTunes-----a link to it is in the "MP3" section saying that iTunes must be installed. So I installed it!!!! (Just trying, for once, to follow directions:grin:).

I couldn't ever see a copy or download anything to use when I right clicked on the file. The "Save Target As" did the trick!!!!!

I think I have it working. Thanks.

Now all I have to do is figure out how to use iTunes better!!!!

To top things off, I fumbled around and found over 100 Cafe podcasts, they are downloading now. I'm gonna let the computer do that for now and tackle what to do with them later. This is looking good.


Nov-29-2008, 12:54pm
[[ I can't figure out how to get the files from the Cafe MP3 section to my laptop. I just don't know anything about doing these things. I don't even know what ripping or burning means.
Can anyone offer instructions or a link to them?]]

"Ripping" is generally the process of converting a song track from a CD (or other source) into mp3 format. The conversion can greatly reduce the file size, depending on the bit rate used for the conversion.

"Burning" is to make a data or audio CD from files on the computer's hard drive (or other storage media). In some ways, it's almost exactly the opposite of ripping.

Now, how to get an mp3 file from a page on the net into your computer, and then into iTunes? (following is "Mac-only" and no application for Windows users)

Do you know how to "right click" with the laptop touchpad? If you don't, you can get EXACTLY the same results by "control clicking" (that is, hold down the control key and then click on a link or object.) Aside: if the touchpad confounds you, as it does me, you might consider getting a small "laptop mouse", wired or wireless (I like Logitech mice).

Here's a very brief tutorial based on opening the cafe's "MP3" page and just trying to save some things that appear there.
By the way, these instructions assume you are using Apple's Safari browser to view the page, but other browsers work in a very similar way.

When I opened up the MP3 page, I notice the cafe now has a "player" and it started playing on its own. Ignore that for the moment, and look at the song lists down below.

Down below you'll see two columns:
Artist/Link MP3 Clip/Recording Title

Put the mouse pointer over the Recording Title you wish to download.

Then, either "right click" or "control click" the link.

A "contextutal menu" pops up with several choices:
- open with iTunes
- open link in new window
- download linked file
- add link to bookmarks
- copy link

If you choose the first option, iTunes will open and play the song. I don't believe this _saves_ it on your disk - it just PLAYS it. When you quit iTunes, the song isn't "saved" (perhaps the "link to it" will be saved, and the next time you re-open iTunes, you can hit the site and play it again.)

Same for the second option. It will open a window and load the file with Quicktime Player, and you can listen to it. If you have Quicktime Pro enabled, you can also save it.

I generally pick option #3. When you choose this, Safari will automatically begin downloading the file to the location you have specified in Preferences. To set this, choose Preferences from the "Safari" menu, and go down to the "Save Download" popup menu. I prefer to have my files saved right to the Desktop, and then I can move them where I wish after they've arrived.

If you check "Open safe files after downloading", iTunes may open to play the mp3 file as soon as the download is completed. I leave this UNchecked, due to some security scares, but more because _I_ like to direct what happens when the download is complete.

Once the file is on the desktop, you can open iTunes, and then "drag" the file from the desktop and "drop it" into the iTunes playlist window.

Or - another option: click ONE time on the file to select it, then type "Command-i" to "get info". You can play the file right from the info window!

Another useful (and small) app for playing and converting mp3 (and other) audio files is a little piece of freeware called "QTAmateur". You can download it here:

This gives you many of the file opening and conversion features that you would otherwise have to pay for with QuickTime Pro.

OK, that's one way to save mp3 files from the Cafe page. These instructions work essentially the same for linked mp3 music files (or files in other formats) that you'll find anywhere.

But there's ANOTHER way to grab files that even many Mac folks don't know about. This works while you're listening to files playing in the Cafe's "player" (top of the mp3 page), or playing on other pages through other players.

Again, I'll assume that you're using Safari to view the page and play the online music, and also that you're listening to something playing on the Cafe's "player" (which I will assume is Flash or Java-based).

For example, let's say I'm listening to "Maple Leaf Rag" by Brian Roe. With the right trick, I can download this directly to my hard drive. Here's how:

Go to a little-used menu choice in Safari's "Window" menu called "Activity".

You will see a bewildering number of lines with URL addresses. What you're looking at is all the "page elements" of the web page(s) you have open at the moment.

You may have to scroll down to the bottom to see what you need.

I found what I was looking for under "Mandolin MP3 Music":

Now, hold down the "Option" key and double-click on that link/line. The file that you have selected will be downloaded automatically (to wherever you have selected incoming files to go, same as the "right click" option above).

I noticed while writing this that the Activity menu keeps a list of all the mp3 files that the Cafe's player has played, so you can go back through the list and option/double-click to grab any of them that you want.

I couldn't make this any shorter but hope it helps!

- John
P.S., If you're new to the Mac, I suggest "The Little Mac Book" by Robin Williams:
David Pogue's "Missing Manual" books are good, too.

Bill Snyder
Nov-29-2008, 1:00pm
John its good of you to take the time to go into such detail for Mac users. Fortunately for Greg he said he had it working yesterday evening on what I assume from his response to be a PC.

Nov-29-2008, 4:42pm
Yes, I've got an IBM Thinkpad. I pieced enough info from everyone to get it working.

I'm not sure what to call everything that I did in computer lingo, but it worked!!!!