EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


January 22, 2014

What's all the 'hoopla' about?

Libraries offer free streaming/downloading of movies and music


“You’ll be able to search and browse movies, similar to services such as Netflix,” Moser said.

The free Hoopla app is available at the Apple AppStore and the Google Play Store for Android devices, although you won’t be able to register until the library launches the service.

Unlike the “OverDrive Media Console” used for downloading digital and audiobooks, Hoopla has no queue so you can rent items whenever you’re in the mood without having to wait for another patron to return them.

Through Hoopla, library patrons can borrow digital music albums for a week, digital movies for three days and audiobooks for three weeks.

“Our goal is to have as wide an array of services as possible and appear to as many patrons as possible,” Moser said.

For the last several years or so the library has been expanding its online offerings, which include being able to access certain magazines, such as Consumer Reports, on your desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Through OverDrive, library patrons can download eBooks and audiobooks. An app is available for iPhones, IPads, android phones and tablets, Kindle, Nook, Windows 8 PCs and tablets and other devices.

Car and Driver, Horse and Rider and Good Housekeeping are just a few of the more than 30 magazines you can read for free on any PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone through Zinio, an online service the library offers.

Moser says Hoopla may eventually replace Freegal, an online service that allows patrons to download and keep five music MP3s each week for playback on computers, players, tablets or smartphones. With Hoopla, you can borrow an entire CD, choosing from an expanded selection, but the music will stop playing when your free rental period expires.

Library patrons have embraced online services such as HeritageQuest for genealogy research, Mango Languages for learning a new language and Consumer Reports online.

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