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Downloading BARD Audio Books with a Mac Computer

  1. Log in to BARDexternal link.
  2. Find the book you want to read.
  3. Click or press Enter on the blue Download link. The download process will begin automatically and may take several minutes, depending on the size of the book and the speed of your connection to the internet.
  4. Screenshot of a Mac desktop, showing Safari browser opened to BARD, and one book in the process of downloading
    The screenshot shows a Mac desktop, with the Safari browser opened to BARD. The Downloads window is open while a book (Agatha Christie's By the Pricking of My Thumbs) is in the process of downloading.
  5. Most Macs automatically unzip the books when downloading, and save the files in the Downloads folder on your hard drive. (The zipped version will go automatically to trash.)

    Note: If you have an older Mac that downloads the book in a zipped format, you will need to unzip, or "unarchive" the file before your digital player can read it.
  6. screenshot from a Mac laptop showing the contents of a flashdrive, with two zipped files highligted

    The screenshot below shows a flashdrive (UDISK) in the Mac "Finder" window. It holds three books; the first one, with the blue folder icon, is a previously unzipped book, while the next two, with white file icons, are still zipped.

    Once unzipped, the directory will look like this:

    Screenshot of the Finder window, showing both the zipped files and the unzipped folders for some BARD downloads

    In the screenshot above, the directory shows both the zipped and unzipped files, including files for the book Lost Horizon, by James Hilton:

    • DB-Hilton, James-Lost Horizon-DB851095 (unzipped folder, with icon of a blue folder)
    • DB-Hilton, James-Lost (zipped file, with icon of a white page with a zipper and .zip filename extension)

  7. To unzip a file, just double click on it (or press Enter). It may take a few seconds; during this time, the Archive Utility window will appear on screen, showing the progress of the unzip process.
  8. Screenshot of the Finder window, with the Archive Utility window in front of it while the file DB-Harrod-Eagles... is being unzipped

    This screenshot shows the "Archive Utility" window open while a digital book (The Bill Slider Omnibus, by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles) downloads.

    The bar to the left of the "Cancel" button indicates the progress of the download.

  9.  The files inside will automatically be unarchived into a new folder with the same name as the original zipped file (but without the .zip extension). The new folder will be in the same directory as the original zipped book folder.
  1. Insert your flash drive or digital cartridge in your Mac's USB port. You should see an icon for it appear on your desktop, usually in the upper right corner.
  2. Open Finder. The Finder icon is the first one in the "dock" at the bottom of your desktop and looks like this:
  3. This is the icon for the "Finder" on a Mac.
    Blue double sided smiling face

    The Finder is the program that manages files, applications, network connections, and devices such as flash drives or cartridges for talking books. (It is similar to Windows Explorer on a PC.) The Finder is always on when your computer is running, though it may be in the background if you’re using another program. The screenshot below has the Finder icon highlighted. It is always the first icon in the dock or tray at the bottom of the screen.

    Mac desktop with Finder icon, in the lower left-hand corner, highlighted.
  4. Open the Downloads folder to see your book.
  5. Move, copy or drag-and-drop the unzipped book from the Downloads folder to your flash drive or blank digital cartridge. (In Finder, your USB flash drive or blank digital cartridge should be listed under Devices. Or, if you can see the desktop icon for the flash drive, you can drop or paste the files there.)

    You can put multiple books on a flash drive or cartridge. A 4-gigbyte flash drive or cartridge can hold about 30 books.

    Keyboard shortcuts: Move or Cut (Command+X); Copy (Command+C); Paste (Command+V).
    Note: On older Macs, the "Command" key may have the Apple ™ logo on it.
  1. Eject the flash drive or cartridge from your Mac.
  2. Turn your digital player on.
  3. Plug your USB flash drive into the USB port on your digital player. (Note: The USB port, which has a removable plastic cover, is on the right side of the player, next to the audio jack.) If using a digital cartridge, insert it in the front of the player, just like a regular digital book.
  4. The digital talking book player has a USB port on the side for digital books that have been downloaded (via BARD) to a flash drive. The port, which has a removable black plastic cover, is on the right side, next to the audio jack.

    Blank digital cartridges, inserted into the front of the player, are also available from several vendors for use with BARD.

    Digital player, with the USP port and cover labelled
  5. The player will recognize the book that is on your flash drive or cartridge. If there are multiple books, hold down the Play/Stop button until it beeps to go into bookshelf mode and select the book you want.
  6. Once you have finished a book, you can delete it from your flash drive or cartridge. Or, if you think you may want to read the book again later, you can keep the book, in either its zipped or unzipped form.
Last Updated: October 10, 2023