And here I am!
ZIP files aren´t a problem under OS
X. Even the Finder supports them directly, although most people have the free version of Stuffit installed which also supports unpacking them.
Packing files or folders into a .ZIP file can be done as simply as selecting "make archive"
from the context menu in the finder. Unpacking them is a simple double-click.
To your concrete problem, RNO:
Having Safari(?) mention Stuffit when downloading the file is normal; When Stuffit is installed, .ZIP files are mapped to it as the unpacking tool.
I´d like to know more about what´s going on when you say the icon is "replicating" itself. In all cases I know about, the contents of the folder would just be unpacked and would then be accessible as usual. What has happened, exactly?
One thing you should do in every case: Go to the Finder preferences and activate "show all file extensions".
(It should always remain enabled.) Then look at the .ZIP file and the unpacked one again. What are their extensions?
If it´s a small .WMV file, it could be a streaming link file; In that case it can be fed to the player directly. Some .MOV files work in a similar way. If it´s an .EXE, they were just trying to coax you into installing Windows spyware, which fortunately won´t work under OS
You may not need to install the Windows Media Player, by the way. It reports back to Microsoft what you´re watching. There are two Open Source players which can handle most files that can´t be played in the QuickTime Player:
VLC media player
In addition to that, there are several codec plugins for QuickTime which extend its native playback capabilities (3ivx, divX etc.).