How Do I Download My Purchase?
Your album purchase can be delivered directly from the ronhawkins.com server following download links that we provide you. So that you don’t miss them we provide them to you in a few spots. You can find them:
a) Order Confirmation Page -after successfully checking out.
b) Confirmation Email -we send you after successfully checking out.
c) Account Profile -log in HERE using the account info you set when you made your purchase then select ‘Downloads’ in the top menu.
How Do I Unzip My Album Purchase?
To simplify the download process and save you mouse clicks, we provide our media files in a compressed format known as ‘ZIP’ files. Think of it as a digital envelope that we stuff all the media files. We place the MP3 format of the album in one envelope (xxx_mp3.zip) and FLAC format (xxx_flac.zip) in another. Artwork is placed in both. That way, you just download the envelope with everything inside it without having to deal with each file on their own. Following that analogy, you’ll need to open up the envelope on your computer and extract the files in a proces called ‘UNZIPPING’…it’s easy.
If you are on a MAC, double click the file. Another done.
If you are on a PC, right-click the downloaded ZIP file and choose ‘Extract All’. Done.
**If you don’t see ‘Extract All’ when you right click the ZIP file then you may not have unzipping software built in to your PC. The options are either buy a new computer (just joking) or download and install a free unzipping program for Windows. Our favourite is 7-Zip.**
Which Format (MP3 or FLAC) Should I Download My Purchase?
We provide albums for download in two file formats, MP3 (~270 VBR) and FLAC.
We’ve been around so long that our first ever ronhawkins.com website featured music in the MP2 format. MP3 is its younger sibling but it has become a mature universally accepted format to provide audio information in. It is still holds up well and is playable on thousands of devices (Iphones and Android Phones for example) and software apps (Itunes, Windows Groove Music Player etc..) so it will be the main go to format for most. Our MP3 will be packaged within ZIP files and will look like xxx_mp3.zip in your download link.
MP3 files use compression so that they can be stored in a smaller file size compared to the tracks of a CD for example. That way you can put more songs on a device and make them faster to download. MP3 files are created using ‘Lossy’ compression meaning that audio information that is thought not to be important (i.e. heard by) to the human ear is removed to save bytes. During the playback, the MP3 file is decompressed by the application (Itunes for example). The result is a svelte pretty good sounding file.
The FLAC (free lossless audio codec) format is a lossless file format by comparison in that its compression deems all audio information important. This file is the preferred choice of those who have been given a keen sense of hearing who are able to detect slightly reduced sound quality in a lossy audio file. These sonically gifted individuals are often called audiophiles. CD quality sounding files as these do have a few drawbacks. They are large in file size compared to MP3 in that they take up more storage space and take longer to download. They also require a more specialized application to play them back ie. FLAC files do not get along with Itunes. Our favourite app to playback FLAC files is Jriver’s Media Center available here.
How Do I Playback My Album Purchase in Itunes?
First, make sure you download the MP3 format of the album. Remember Apple apps and FLAC files don’t quite get along. Extract the music files to your computer using the instructions above. There is just one last step if you would like to play them back with Itunes (PC or Mac) or Apple Music App (Mac).
To add music to either app, just launch iTunes or Apple Music and choose File > Add To Library in the upper menu. You’ll have to guide the app to the location that you extracted the files. Press OK and you are done.
Can I Download My Album Purchase Directly To My Iphone or Ipad?
Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t allow direct downloading of music to iOS devices like iPhones or iPads unless the music is purchased at the Itunes store. Speaking indrectly, the music files can be synced to your IOS device after they’ve been imported into Itunes or the Mac Music App.
How Do I View Album Artwork?
Once you have ‘unzipped’ the media files you’ll find one or more files with the .pdf extension. These files contain the artwork for the album. You’ll need a PDF viewer to enjoy their full colour greatness. The good news is modern computers have native PDF viewers built in.
If you are on a MAC, double click the PDF files. MAC will launch the built in Preview app and display the artwork.
If you are on a PC, double click the PDF files. A Windows 10 PC will launch their Microsoft Edge browser to display the PDF files if it is the only viewer on your computer. If your computer is still running Windows 7 or 8, you may have to download a third party PDF viewer. Our favourite free one is the Foxit Reader.