The default download format is MP3, and this is probably what you want. These files play back beautifully in iTunes, Windows Media Player, your iPhone/Android phone, etc. and include high quality cover art, accurate artist and track names, and lyrics when available. Our MP3s use variable bit-rate encoding (VBR) to shrink the size of the files while maintaining the highest quality, so you get fast downloads and can fit more cool island songs on your iPhone.
If you have an older MP3 player that doesn't like VBR files (consider visiting a Radio Shack this century, bub), try the MP3 320 format instead. These files are larger but they sound just as good and have all the same metadata, and will work on any MP3 player.
You can also download in FLAC, ALAC (Apple Lossless), AAC, or Ogg Vorbis format. These options are, as we say in the interface, for "audiophiles and nerds." If you aspire to become either, this isn't a bad place to start.
When you download an album from Bandcamp, it arrives on your computer in a compressed format called zip. Before you can add the music to your library and listen to it, you'll need to decompress, or "unzip" it. Doing so is very easy:
If you're on a Mac, double-click the file. You're done.
If you're on a PC, right-click the file and choose Extract All... You're also done. Don't see an "Extract All..." option? Try renaming the file to something simple, like "music.zip". The important thing is to make sure the name ends with ".zip". Then right-click it again. You should now see "Extract All..." in the menu. If you still don't see an Extract All... option, double-click the file. This will open a window listing the files inside. Press Ctrl+A to select all the files, then drag them into a folder or onto your desktop. This will extract them, for sure. What!? That doesn't work either? You may be amongst the elite few who simply don't have unzipping software built in to their PC. Easy to rectify: just go here and get it.
To add music to iTunes, just launch iTunes and choose File > Add To Library.
To add music to Windows Media Player, you can either: a) select the audio files, then right click them and choose "Add to Windows Media Player List", or b) drag and drop the audio files onto the Windows Media Player window (if that doesn't work, try the drag/drop operation again, but make sure the Library tab is active in Windows Media Player first).
Go and check out the Downloading on Android page.
Go ahead and stop the download, then try clicking the link in the email receipt from Bandcamp again (and if you're on wireless try plugging directly in). If the download stops again, or the speed is still slow, it could be that a firewall or other internet security tool is in the way. Temporarily disable what you can, then try again. If that doesn't help (or simply doesn't apply), you might need to try your download using another internet connection -- some ISP's throttle the speed of large downloads, and the album downloads from Bandcamp (particularly the lossless formats) can be downright huge. If you purchased one of the larger formats like FLAC or ALAC and would like to try the download in a more compact, but still high-quality format like MP3, just click on the link in your receipt email and select a different format.
All of these errors indicate the same thing: that the downloaded file is incomplete, probably due to a hiccup in your internet connection. The solution is to try downloading the album again (if you paid for the album, click the link in your receipt from Bandcamp). Album downloads can be pretty large, so if you're on wireless you should definitely try plugging directly in. You can verify that your download is complete by right-clicking it and selecting Properties (or if you're on a Mac, by clicking it and choosing File > Get Info). The size should match the file size indicated on the download page on Bandcamp.
If after re-downloading you still aren't having better luck even though the file sizes match, I ask: are you using an older version of Windows? If so, there are a few tricky things that might trip up the built-in unzipping program:
Long album & track names can cause trouble. To work around this, move the downloaded zip file to a place on your hard drive with a short path name, like C:\temp, and extract from there. Once the files are successfully unzipped, rename them to something simple (like "every atlas - track 1.mp3") and then move them to wherever you need to in order to import them into your music player.
Punctuation & unusual characters can make that old unzipper of yours sneeze. Rename the zip file to something simple (e.g., "madeinheights.zip") and try unzipping again. If that doesn't work, you may need to use another extraction tool (like WinZip, WinRAR, or 7-Zip) with better support for extended characters.
iTunes does not support FLAC, but you knew that already, right? Good. The second most common cause of problems with FLAC files is having outdated software. Before pulling your hair out, check online, get the latest version and try again. If that doesn't work try another FLAC program. We personally use VLC for playback and the command line flac tools for converting to WAV.
The source of the problem is that a lot of older software can't handle FLACs with sample sizes greater than 16 bits or sample rates higher than 44.1kHz. We encourage artists to upload the highest quality sources they can get their hands on, and more and more tracks are 24-bit/96kHz (what a great world we live in). On unsupported software these FLACs sound wrecked by static, or superloud, or they just won't play at all. Some albums have a mix of 16- and 24-bit audio which explains why you might be able to play some tracks but not others.
The bottom line is that FLAC is great and we can't wait for the day when our 24-bit Beatles FLACs sail seamlessly into our Bandcamp Limited Edition iPods, but we're not there yet. Software support for FLAC is still iffy, especially for the newer high quality formats.
No problem: just click on the link in your receipt email, choose the format you really did want by clicking the link next to "format", and after making your selection click Download.
If you're using Windows, start by looking in your My Downloads and My Music folders. If your download isn't there, please try your download again (if it was a paid download, you'll find a link to retry it in the receipt that we emailed you). However, when you click download this time: 1) click Save (not Open) in the dialog that appears, and 2) in the subsequent dialog, choose a location for the file, but remember to note which folder you're saving to.
If you're on a Mac and you weren't asked where to save your file, look in the Downloads folder.
We've definitely sent the email. Unfortunately, many things can happen once it leaves our servers, so if you haven't received it yet and it's not in your spam folder, we suggest trying again. If that still doesn't get it, try entering a different email address.
First, please double-check that the email isn't sitting in your spam folder. Next, look for the original receipt for your pre-order -- the link in that email can be used to get the full album. If you're still out of luck, please contact us.
If your code is expired, you'll need to contact the artist about getting another one. To shoot them an email, just click "Contact artist" on the right hand side of their music page. Please include your original 8 character code in the message (e.g., "9r8d-ejxb"), and be sure to mention what it is you are trying to download.
No problem, just send an email to customer support. Please include the old download link or, if you don't have that, a link to the track or album page.
Still wondering? Contact Bandcamp Support.