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Understanding Digital Downloads


MikeXRyan

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I recently had OSCommerce installed by an experienced programmer who lives in The Netherlands. He did a fine job and I am most pleased. The whole thing is set up for (current) payment via PayPal and should send the buyer an url for their digital download purchase. We sell travel videos in digital format.

 

I'm a novice so I asked him to explain the process to me. Our time differences cause much delay between messages if he or myself have not gone to bed. He leans toward programming and light on explaining to the laymen.

 

Here's how he explained it to me:

 

"Normally you would have to upload the whole thing ( products into the

download directory and secure it from your cpanel ( from

hostprovider ).

 

When a customer pays by paypal it would automatically send an email to

them with the url."

 

I can't check this, of course, because I can't buy my own products with my own PayPal account. BUT let's go back to paragraph 1: "Normally... "

 

I found the downloads directory and uploaded an MP4 file into it as a test. I then went to the Category and Products men, setup a new category and added the product. What I couldn't find from the Admin's add-product menu was a place to tell the system where to get the file and make it available upon purchase.

 

What I don't understand is how the system knows which file the customer is buying.

 

Now the programmer put up a test product called software.zip. And when you view the product online and click on the "Details" then "For more information, please visit this products webpage" link I don't get another information webpage but I do see the url, which is: http://www.warpcity.com/shop2/template50/o...8475e5fba0ced2e

 

One of my questions was: how does the system access the downloads directory if I 'secure' it with an ID and PWD - and how does the customer's download url access the same directory. From the url above it appears the ID/PWD is encrypted "http%3A%2F%2Fwww..." as well as the file for download because you see this: %2F&osCsid=8adbc9c3bc307c9408475e5fba0ced2e instead of software.zip

 

How does that happen and what makes it happen?

 

Should I "secure" the downloads directory and if so do I accomplish that through the hostprovider's CPanel and password protect the download directory?

 

What tells the product page to select the right file?

 

The whole point of adding the OSCommerce shop to our site was to offer digital downloads that could be paid for thorough PayPal. Now if I can just learn how to make the files available for download I can have someone else go in and buy a download and see if it works.

 

Thanks for the help.

 

Mike

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The advice to you is quite incorrect.

 

The /downloads/ directory should be secured using the .htaccess file that is provided with the default osCommerce package - just make sure the file is in the directory (and that is all)

 

You also need to have a /pub/ directory that has write permissions (777)

 

Then in admin, configuration, download set 'enable downloads' to 'true'.

Set 'download by redirect' to true (unless you are on a Windows server, which you shouldn't be)

 

To add your file to the product you need to go into admin, catalog, products attributes.

 

Here, in the top left, create an option named 'Download'. Then on the right select your newly created option from the drop menu and create an option value 'MP4'.

 

Then under product attributes at the bottom select your product from the drop menu, enter the filename (exactly), then select 'download' and 'MP4' from the Option and Option Value drop menus - click 'insert'.

 

Thats it!

 

Sonia

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The advice to you is quite incorrect.

 

The /downloads/ directory should be secured using the .htaccess file that is provided with the default osCommerce package - just make sure the file is in the directory (and that is all)

 

You also need to have a /pub/ directory that has write permissions (777)

 

Then in admin, configuration, download set 'enable downloads' to 'true'.

Set 'download by redirect' to true (unless you are on a Windows server, which you shouldn't be)

 

To add your file to the product you need to go into admin, catalog, products attributes.

 

Here, in the top left, create an option named 'Download'. Then on the right select your newly created option from the drop menu and create an option value 'MP4'.

 

Then under product attributes at the bottom select your product from the drop menu, enter the filename (exactly), then select 'download' and 'MP4' from the Option and Option Value drop menus - click 'insert'.

 

Thats it!

 

I don't believe the programmer had ever installed the digital download feature before. Initially we hired him off of FreeLancer.com to install a commercial shopping cart which failed to materialize (company never provided the script). The programmer suggested OSCommerce adding he had experience with three installs as well as customization. We explained what we wanted and he proceded but advised he didn't know if digital download was possible. I had been to these forums and noted several webmasters had installed OSCommerce for the specific purpose of offering digital music downloads. We didn't understand why we had to prod and push him along to complete the work because we saw no activity on our Unix server. In retrospect he may have been working things out on his own server to ensure we got a working shopping cart as promised.

 

And he did do a nice job although we will be looking for someone to customize the look/feel a little later on (not sure if I'm allowed to seek out such a person in these forums).

 

Back to your response Sonia. Thank you so very much. I followed your instructions and at last found the place where the filename would go and the requirements to ensure a digital download should take place. Took me a few moments to figure it out but since I had the file in place and the product listed it was just a matter of following your guide. I still don't know if the customer will get the url and file but I can check that within a day or two by having a friend with PP account go through the motions.

 

Can't thank you enough and thank God for this forum! I know I'll be back with more questions as we roll along. I am fascinated with OSCommerce and happy to have found it!

 

I'll be back with final results in a day or so.

 

Mike

Sonia

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Wait! Another question: do I follow the same procedure each time I add a travel video in MP4 format and simply add a new file name then use the same Download and MP4 attrubyte options? Also,

 

If I offer a travel video in AVI, MPG or WMV format then I assume I create a new 'Download' in upper left, 'AVI' 'MPG' or "WMV' on upper right then under attributes at bottom insert filename, select download and appropriate extension then click insert. Is that correct?

 

But once each (download and file extension type) is established I use the established settings for the proper file extension, right? (I hope that makes sense!)

 

Mike

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Sorry guys, I tried to go back and edit that post but the forum said no. Here's the edited version, please follow this one:

 

Wait! Another question: do I follow the same procedure each time I add a travel video in MP4 format and simply add a new file name then use the same Download and MP4 attributes options? Also,

 

If I offer a travel video in AVI, MPG or WMV format then I assume I create a new 'Download' in upper left, 'AVI' 'MPG' or "WMV' on upper right then under attributes at bottom insert filename, select download and appropriate extension then click insert. Is that correct?

 

But once each (download and file extension type) is established I use the established settings for the proper file extension, right? (I hope that makes sense!)

 

Looking at the video for download now from the customer's screen you see the picture, item description and 'Available Options" in which a small drop down menu displays MP4.

 

(Light bulb!) Can the customer click that drop down button and select the same video in another format? That is, could I offer the same travel video in three separate formats all on one product display page? By clicking the drop down then selecting another media type (say WMV instead of MP4) could they get the WMV version?

 

I assume the same file name could be used but the system would select the proper one based on the media format selected. Is that correct? If so, I am duly impressed!

 

Mike

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