Getting Ready to Download

active-downloads mob-downloads

You can start discovering new insights in just minutes after purchasing and downloading your digital course to your personal computer, laptop, smart phone, or iPad.

When you are on the go or do not have access to a high speed internet connection, your Digital Library gives you the option to download lectures to your favorite device for listening later. Downloading is easiest and fastest for audio courses. Video files are large and take up a lot of storage space on your device, so we recommend downloading no more than a few video lectures at a time.

If you have trouble accessing your digital library, check out our Frequently Asked Questions for downloads or streaming.

Q:What is the difference between downloading and streaming?
A:When you download a lecture, you save it to your computer. It will take up disk space, but you will be able to access the lecture offline. When you stream via our website or apps, you are not saving anything to your computer. The lecture is playing directly from the website, so it requires an internet connection.

Q:I’m still confused. Can you explain it another way?
A:Sure! Think of streaming like the radio. When you turn on your radio, you can listen to a broadcast. Downloading is like making a cassette tape of your favorite radio program so you can listen to it again later.

Q:Is downloading the best way for me to enjoy my courses?
A: Downloading is for you if:

  1. You plan to enjoy your courses when you do not have internet access.
  2. You will always use the same device to enjoy your courses.
  3. Your smartphone or tablet data plan is limited. (See Streaming FAQ for more details.)

Q:What should I do before downloading courses?
A:Before downloading courses we recommend the following steps to ensure an optimal experience:

  1. Make sure there is enough free space on your hard drive for the files you are downloading
  2. Create a new folder titled The Great Courses for all of the downloads to reside
  3. Confirm the speed of your internet connection so you do not experience any start/stop issues
Sidenote: We recommend an internet connection speed of 20 megabytes per second (mbps) or better for an acceptable experience. For optimal performance, we recommend an internet connection speed of 40 mpbs or higher. If unsure of the download bandwidth/speed, please contact your internet service provider or test the internet connection from websites that provide this service, most times for free.

Q:What formats should I choose?
A:When you first visit My Digital Library you will be shown a screen (see below) that asks you what format you want to use. In order to make the process as efficient as possible, we ask you for both your audio and video formats so we can store them and you do not need to worry about it again. Whenever you need to change your selection it can be done through the 'Download Preferences' tab located on the digital library page. Options are broken out by your video choices and your audio choices. We have files that support Apple products and we have files that support PC products. If using an Apple product (iPhone, iPad, etc...) you will want to choose:

  1. m4b for the audio experience
  2. m4v for the video experience

This files are compatible with iTunes and the Quicktime player.

If using a PC product (Windows, Android, etc..) you will want to choose:

  1. mp3 for the audio experience
  2. wmv for the video experience

This files are compatible with Media Player as well as other standardized video players

Q: How do I download my courses?
A: When you are logged into your account, click My Digital Library and then select the course you would like to download. Right-click (or Ctrl-click on Mac) the download icon and select “Save As,” “Save Link,” “Save Target,” or “Download Link As” to download your selected lecture.


Chrome experience:

Firefox experience:

Internet Explorer experience:

Safari experience: