Awakened By Science

Technical Help with Audio Files

Audio files downloaded from this site are in the MP3 format.  This page contains helpful tips for downloading MP3 files and for selecting an MP3 player. 

Playing the Lectures on Your Computer

Simply click on the lecture link button and it should play on your computer.  I say “should” play because there is a broad spectrum of computers in service and some may not be set up to play audio files or have speakers.  This is the simplest way to hear the talks but is also the most limiting, as you must be in front of your computer to hear it.  A better approach is to download and play on a portable device. 

Downloading the Lecture as an MP3 file

Right clicking on the link button should give you the option to download the linked file.  This allows you to listen to the file at a later time without being connected to the Internet or to transfer it to a portable device.  

ITunes

ITunes is probably the best way to organize music and audio files to play on your computer or transfer to an Apple device.  ITunes can be downloaded from the Apple website for free.  After downloading a lecture from this site, bring it into iTunes by selecting “Add to library” under the “File” menu. 

Ability to Fast-Forward or Rewind an MP3 File

When listening to a large MP3 file, such as these lectures or audio books, it is important to have the ability to fast-forward or rewind a file.  Not all MP3 players or smart phones allow for this.  In a long file you want to have the ability to rewind a few minutes to listen to a portion again.  Similarly, if you only partially listened to a talk and return to it a few days later, you want to be able to fast-forward to where you left off.  Also if you are listening to a talk and stop, you want the device to remember where you were when you turn it on later.  The importance of this functionality is a factor in the following discussion on MP3 devices. 

Apple Devices

The Apple iPhone and iPod devices provide the fast-forward, rewind and location memory functionality described.  If you are in the market for an MP3 player, the Apple iPod devices are the best in my opinion.  Any iPod device will do except the iPod shuffle, as it is intended for a different purpose and not designed to select specific audio files.

Non-Apple Devices

There are some nice, inexpensive MP3 players out there if an iPod stretches your budget.  My advice for a non-Apple MP3 player is the simpler the better.  Not all of them will pick up where you left off when turned off and turned back on.  Try to find this out before buying.  My limited experience is the simpler devices may be more likely to remember where you left off than a more complex one.  An MP3 player that also handles photos may not be as good with audio files as one that is audio only.  Virtually all smart phones can also handle audio files and can be used to play these talks.