I've downloaded a couple of packages I wish to install. I have used the appropriate tools to get the contents of the package into a directory (gzip and tar), but don't know where to go from there. How do I actually install the package so I can used it in the OS? Also, I get an invalid fs message when trying to mount an audio CD.
Sorry I keep asking for help, but I can't seem to find the answers anywhere else.
Your CD link helped, but whenever I use pacman I get "load_pkg: missing package info file in ..."
Ah, ok, that means that you did not download a pacman-package. A pacman package ends in pkg.tar.gz and you usually only get them from ftp.archlinux.org or a mirror thereof. Note also, if you have set up /etc/pacman.conf you hardly ever download any of these packages by hand - pacman will do it for you in combination with the -S flag.
What you downloaded is probably something people call tarballs, I guess.
This can be anything !
If it is some sort of source archive you will have to compile its contents. If it is anything meant to be looked at by a human it better has some files called README or INSTALL or the like. Well, as the name "README" suggests, read it ! :-) ... oh, and unlike in Windows software, in Linux, the README's are usually helpful. But in general, if you have trouble with whatever you downloaded, and if it is not from Archlinux, you should ask the maintainers of the tarball.
Now you may realize that you would have rather gotten some software for archlinux instead of downloaded *something* ;-) ? Right ? Then you should set up /etc/pacman.conf and start playing with
pacman -Ss cd-play
(Guessing from your Audio CD question) that you may want a CD player. This will search for packages wich have cd-play in the name or description. pacman -Ss is one of the most fantastic features of AL, IMHO. Once you have decided on one package, install it, e.g., with
pacman -S xmms
Here, xmms is the exact name of the package. Note that xmms is one of the best audio players, including a cd-player (however, it won't show up in the search example above).