Apple's iTunes software, which allows you to transfer recordings to and from an iPod, is fully integrated into the iTunes store, making it a popular choice for listening to all your downloaded music. But it can also be easily used for Pristine Classical downloads - both to play music on your PC or Mac or to transfer tracks to an iPod.
It's simple and straightforward to add recordings downloaded from Pristine Classical to your iTunes player and library - here we outline the two-step processes for ipporting MP3s, FLACs and cover artwork:
FLAC or MP3?
This is a question we get asked from time to time, and the answer really depends on your likely use of the download in the months and years to come.
For iPod use only we'd normally recommend the MP3 download. As you're likely to use compressed tracks on an iPod anyway there seems little point in paying a little extra for the uncompressed files only to apply similar compression to that we've already applied to our MP3s. However, do bear in mind that storage space is growing relentlessly, and the era of everything needing to be compressed for portable music players like the iPod may be brief. In a few years' time you may wish you had an uncompressed recording such as a FLAC download.
For iPod and regular hi-fi use we suggest you audition the FLAC files - but be aware that you'll have to do a little file conversion before you can get a FLAC to play on an iPod.
For iPod and high end hi-fi use we suggest you sample 24-bit FLAC files - though you won't get the benefit of any extra resolution if you choose to play these back on an audio CD player (which is locked to a maximum 16-bit resolution), they do offer the maximum possible fidelity from our recordings. Remember - you can always reduce the quality of a recording to fit a particular player if you have to, but you can't create audio information that's no longer there.
Importing MP3s to iTunes and an iPod
1. Split the MP3 if required, using the MP3+Cue system and a cue splitter to generate individual tracks. Note that where recordings are continuous this may cause short gaps between tracks during playback (this is a side-effect of all lossless compression and why we sell 'long' MP3s only). See track splitting guide here.
2. Import the MP3s into iTunes by selecting File/Add Folder to Library... in iTunes and selecting the folder containing your MP3 file(s)
3. Transfer the MP3s to your iPod by dragging and dropping tracks from your music library to your iPod
Importing FLACs to iTunes and an iPod
Unfortunately Apple's refusal to license their lossless compression software means we're unable to offer you any downloads in this format - the only lossless-compression format iTunes and the iPod will play directly - but if you have a few moments to spare once your download is complete, all is not lost.
iTunes is happy to read both 16-bit CD-quality files and the 24-bit 48kHz files we use for our 24-bit FLAC recordings, and will retain the additional 24-bit information if you then convert the files into Apple Lossless (for your own use only) by using the iTunes software.
1. Convert the FLACs into either WAV (PC) or AIFF (Mac) files as iTunes cannot yet read FLAC files, using a free and easy-to-use FLAC converter. See FLAC guide here.
2. Import the decoded FLACs into iTunes by selecting File/Add Folder to Library... in iTunes and selecting the folder containing your WAV or AIFF files.
3. Compress file (if required) in iTunes - first select your preferred file type: in Edit/Preferences/Advanced/Importing you can choose between a number of types of compression and (where applicable) select the compression settings you wish to use. Once these are set you can convert files to these setting by selecting them and clicking on Advanced/Convert to [chosen filetype].
4. Transfer the recordings to your iPod by dragging and dropping tracks from your music library to your iPod
Alternatively here are a couple of third-party guides for file conversion from FLAC to MP3 (and other formats):
1. Open the music page at Pristine Classical in your web browser so that you can see the cover artwork on your screen
2. Open Album view in iTunes by selecting View/Album View. Select and play a track from the Pristine download then click and drag the cover artwork from your browser onto the space at the bottom left of iTunes where it says "Drag Album Artwork Here".