Guided audio tours for your Garmin device

Many newer Garmin devices support mp3 audio files, allowing you to have guided GPS tours that play an audio file when you approach a Point of Interest (or POI). Garmin refers to these as "TourGuides." In general, these Garmin devices support audio TourGuides: nüvi units (that play MP3 files), zūmo, and many StreetPilot devices (check your manual to see if yours supports TourGuide files.

Unfortunately, there's no simple way of setting this up, but it makes for a more enjoyable tour if you do. The Route 127 tour does include audio components.

Here's how to set one up.

1) Download the zip file that contains the GPS route (in GPX format) along with the associated media files (mp3s and JPEGs). Unzip the files and put them in a folder on your hard drive.

2) Download Garmin's POI Loader software, and install.

3) Activate POI Loader and have it load the files from your hard-drive directory to your Garmin device (make sure your device is connected to your machine).

4) When POI Loader tells you the files were successfully transfer, properly disconnect the GPS device from your computer, and turn it on. You will have to locate your custom POI files that were just uploaded (In the nüvi units, you will probably go to the "Where To" screen, hit "Extras", then click on the "Custom POIs" button. You will find all of the Points of Interest from this tour there.

5) Click on each of the points, and "Save" them to your Favorites area (you should be able to test the audio here too).

6) When complete, you'll need to create the custom route. Find your "Routes" button (in the nüvi units, you will probably go to the "Where To" then "Routes" area. You'll want to create a new Route. Do this by adding the Points of Interest you just transferred to "Favorites" into the route (do this in order of the tour).

7) When you're done, save it under a recognizable file name, like "Route 127 Tour." When you're ready to go on the drive, just click that route and it should take you to the first POI.

One tip: You can set the audio to play automatically, or to prompt you to play. We recommend setting it up so you can control when the audio plays. This prevents the tour audio from playing when your Garmin is still giving you directions, or automatically playing whenever you pass that point of interest (if you live in the area of the tour).