Download zipped audio files from a website and add them to an iPod

by on December 5, 2008

Q: I am trying to download some audio interviews from a website but the audio files are in the .zip format. How do I download these interviews, add them to iTunes, and then sync them to my iPod Nano? Does it matter if it goes into Podcast, Audio Book or Music categories in iTunes? My teenager was unable to help me with this problem. Thank you so very much for any help.

A: The .zip that you are trying to download is not an audio file, but it is a kind of downloadable folder that might contain audio files. Begin by downloading the .zip to your computer’s hard drive, to do this in Internet Explorer right-click on the .zip and choose Save Target As, in FireFox it is called Save Link As. I recommend that you save the .zip to your computer’s desktop.

In Microsoft Windows XP or newer, right-click on the zipped folder and choose Extract All. This will create a new folder. Move the .zip to your computer’s Recycle Bin and then look inside the new folder to see if there are any audio files that iTunes can understand (click here for a list). Assuming that there are iTunes-compatible audio files in the folder, start iTunes.

In iTunes, go Edit => Preferences => Advanced. Now put a checkmark in the checkbox called Copy Files to iTunes Music Folder when adding to library, and single left-click on the OK button to return to the normal iTunes window. Still in iTunes, go File => Add Folder to Library, and select the folder that contains the audio files you wish to add.  Then single left-click on the OK button. The new audio files will now be in the Music section of your iTunes library.

Lastly, sync the audio interviews to your iPod Nano as you would any other audio files — procedure depends on your current iTunes/iPod sync settings, storage capacity of your iPod Nano, etc.

Tip: Consider enhancing the listening experience in iTunes and on your iPod by using File => New Smart Playlist in iTunes to create highly customizable playlists.

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