To zip or not to zip?

11 replies
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I've got 19 mp3 files, total of 120 megs, to send as an audiobook demo download. If I post all the links individually on a webpage with instructions to right-click download, that's a lot of individual downloads.

The upside of that is that people don't have to deal with a zip file - zip of course would be easier to deal with for people with a certain level of computer knowledge.

Another advantage of the zip file would be that it all would be extracted as folder with files automatically numbered in the folder

- I'm thinking that if the files were just laid out on a web page to download, such as:

1.link.mp3
2.link.mp3
3.link.mp3

Etc.

- a lot of people will either inadvertently skip files, or else left-click the file and thus it would stream on the web (or it would attempt to stream) instead.

What do you think?
#audio downloads #zip
  • Profile picture of the author topnichewebsites
    A self-extracting Zip file maybe your answer.
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    • Profile picture of the author Matthew Shelton
      Originally Posted by topnichewebsites View Post

      A self-extracting Zip file maybe your answer.
      Yes, I agree, it would - however most firewalls and antivirus systems tend to throw up all kinds of flags when there is an executable file, and it would be best not to have to explain over and over again that it is just a unzip that is executing.
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  • Profile picture of the author David V
    Yeah, that's way to many.
    Just zip them up.
    120mb is nothing, but you could separate them into 2 or 3 parts if you wanted.
    The self-extracting zip that topnichewebsites mentioned is a great idea, but as Matthew Shelton said, it will likely cause an issue for many people.
    Just create a regular zip.
    Nearly everyone has zip capability on their computer, and it's free if they don't and you can even get portable so it doesn't have to be installed.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Shelton
    Ok, I've had fun (what a geek:rolleyes: ) creating the zip file - created it with cutezip and tested opening it with 7zip.
    Realized that I had to drag the zip folder into the archive window so the archive when unzipping would open as a folder as I wanted.

    Also, to make the files open in the zip in the order they should be played, I named them 00001_filename, 00002_filename, etc.
    It's compressed to 112 megs now.
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  • Profile picture of the author Johansmith
    Zip file is best it reduce the file size and it is easy to send.
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    • Profile picture of the author Matthew Shelton
      Originally Posted by Johansmith View Post

      Zip file is best it reduce the file size and it is easy to send.
      Yes it is easy to send and people recognize it.

      112 megabytes is too big to send as an attachment for most email systems though so I've ended up putting the zip file on the web in the form of site.com/folder/thezipfile.zip
      - that way when someone clicks on the link in an email or on a web page, the download process will begin immediately. Of course I tested it and it works (wouldn't believe how many people don't test their links).

      Sometimes for downloads I get .7zip files instead of .zip files, and sometimes even .rar files - in my opinion it is much more standard and accepted still to use .zip - anything that makes the process easier and more accepted and less resistance to unzipping the file, that is what I want to use! Zip (file format) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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      • Profile picture of the author DailyIncome
        Zip 1 large file containing all 13, then zip each individual file. Place the links on your download page.

        If you have lots of traffic and little bandwidth, then use a cdn provider.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chosen2013
    Offer a choice of downloading either all the files in a regular zip file, or original mp3 files one-by-one manually.
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    • Profile picture of the author Patbinc
      Originally Posted by Chosen2013 View Post

      Offer a choice of downloading either all the files in a regular zip file, or original mp3 files one-by-one manually.
      I agree with Chosen, give people options and let them choose whatever format they are comfortable with.
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      • Profile picture of the author YHmuWong
        Originally Posted by Chosen2013 View Post

        Offer a choice of downloading either all the files in a regular zip file, or original mp3 files one-by-one manually.
        Originally Posted by Patbinc View Post

        I agree with Chosen, give people options and let them choose whatever format they are comfortable with.
        This way might be longer but helps you in solving your problem.Zip files are notoriously huge files if there is 19's *.mp3
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    • Profile picture of the author Matthew Shelton
      Originally Posted by Patbinc View Post

      I agree with Chosen, give people options and let them choose whatever format they are comfortable with.
      Originally Posted by Chosen2013 View Post

      Offer a choice of downloading either all the files in a regular zip file, or original mp3 files one-by-one manually.
      Thanks for your ideas - usually this would be a good way to go, but because it is an audiobook, it must be read in the correct order, and unless you use a download plugin like Downloadhelper there's a good chance of missing one of the files (there are 19!) and/or getting them out of order

      - so by giving them the one zip file that will open in a folder (helps for organization) and also the files are numbered so the files will display in the correct sequence, then it should be listened to without anything getting lost or listened to out of order.

      The file numbering thing within the zip file is turning out to be really important - if I just named the files like this:

      thestorybegins.mp3
      thestorybuilds.mp3
      thestorygetsmoreinteresting.mp3
      thezombietriestosignupforhealthcare.mp3
      thebigmeh.mp3
      anotherbitjustbeforetheend.mp3

      - you can see that most computers will automatically alphabetize the files, so that anotherbitjustbeforetheend.mp3 would display first even though it is supposed to be listened to near the end of the audiobook

      - that's another reason why I've decided to give only the one zip file, already zipped into a folder, just to keep things in order -hopefully this will minimize problems with organizing and listening.
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