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Freegal, Zinio, and Hoopla fans will like this.

Updated on May 6, 2015

Love to get your hands on magazines, music, and movies?

Once upon a time, we went to video stores, paid exorbitant prices for movies - paid over due fees - you get it. Fast forward to today. Now, it's all about downloading and streaming.

In light of that, how would you like to gain access to a bountiful supply of digital magazines, movies, or music - just by having a library card? It can be done in the comfort of your home! Make sure you have access to the internet, and you are set to go. It is easy, I promise, and all you need to do is utilize your library's resources - Zinio, Freegal, and Hoopla Digital. If you don't have the internet at home, your library does, and you get to use theirs - along with no charge computer sessions.

If you do not have a library card, you need to obtain one, and next, set up a free account with your library. There is no charge to set up an account, and no fee to borrow digital items.

Library homepages will all have a different look. However, they all have one thing in common: to direct you to their resources via specific links. Your part will be to look for a link that says Downloads, or Digital Downloads, Digital Library, eLibrary, Virtual library - or maybe something more specific: Books, Music, Magazines, and Movies.


In my prior hub, Audio and eBook Downloads - I discuss downloading books. Here, I will focus on accessing magazines, music, and movies. I am excited about the array of choices, such as Reader's Digest, Outdoor Magazine, and Time, among others! Maybe you will find your favorites.

Let’s begin with magazines. The library uses a venue called Zinio. After signing in to your library's website, look for a link that leads you to magazines. Next, you will find detailed instructions on how to download. You will need to open a free account for Zinio, and download the Zinio app, which is compatible with the following:

  • Apple iOS
  • Android
  • Kindle Fire
  • Blackberry
  • Windows 8
  • PC, or Mac

Use the app when you want to read your magazines.This information, and more, including installing your app, reading your magazines, checking out additional magazines, and managing your account, will be on the instruction page.

You will be notified after successfully downloading your magazine.


Next, we will explore music via two venues - Freegal, and Hoopla. Freegal uses mp3 files. All songs are DRM-free. You may download five songs per week, and the songs are 100% yours to keep - at no cost to you.


How to use Hoopla and Freegal. Check your own library's site.

Look for the link leading to Music Downloads, then click on Freegal. It will open to a detailed instruction page.Sign in with your library card, and begin browsing for your favorite artist or songs. You may download to your MP3 player or any other media player. For iOS, use iTunes, for Android, use Google Play. The following are devices compatible for downloading the app:

  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • iPod Touch
  • Android

On to the other music venue - Hoopla Digital - it will allow you to stream albums for one week. After the week is over, you will no longer be able to play the music. Don’t be concerned about overdue fees or returning your items. They automatically expire.

Here is how you get started: click on the music or movie category, and a full instruction page will open. You need to click on the Hoopla Digital link, and that takes you to Download the Widevine plug-in. Your library instruction page tells you how to set up a free account and covers topics on: using Hoopla on a PC or Mac, which devices are compatible, browsing/checking out items, and how long you may borrow your items.

Open the main page to find a selection of categories ranging from music, to movies, and television shows. Just to let you know upfront, if you are using a personal computer, you may use:

  • Internet Explorer 8 and on
  • Chrome
  • Safari
  • Firefox 8 and on

On mobile devices such as a phone or tablet:

  • iOS
  • Android


You don't have to stick to only one library - having multiple cards multiplies the fun, and resources!

After downloading your item, you will receive a lending period notification. If you change your mind, there is an option to return your item. For further help, use the Hoopla support website, FAQ, or Contact Us links.

Oodles of magazines are yours for the reading. Look for your favorite music and movies - or discover something new! Grab your library card - or get one if you don’t - set up an online account. Navigate to the digital or virtual download/streaming section, then choose your media! Don't be surprised, if like me, you lose track of time. You've been happily warned!


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    • EsJam profile image

      Essie 17 months ago from Southern California

      Thank you, I hope you will find much enjoyment from utilizing some of these sites!

    • sujaya venkatesh profile image

      sujaya venkatesh 2 years ago

      an informative hub

    • EsJam profile image

      Essie 2 years ago from Southern California

      No, it's not just you. I know several people who simply can't get into audio books. I think it all comes down to preference and experience. If someone had a pleasant experience with audio, they are more likely to use it again. If not, it can make the whole thing seem out of whack, and it just never feels right.

    • EsJam profile image

      Essie 2 years ago from Southern California

      Hi Sherry, good to hear from you, thank you! Glad that you're enjoying those digital many books, not enough time!

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 2 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      I recently discovered borrowing digital books from my local library. It's a great resource.

    • Emceria profile image

      Joyce Y Davis 2 years ago

      I tried Audio too, but, I don't know, my brain just doesn't seem to process it the same way as when I reading a physical book. Maybe it just me.

    • EsJam profile image

      Essie 2 years ago from Southern California

      Hi Joyce,

      Thank you for sharing your opinion. Personally, I enjoy all forms. A book is a book. In the end, it's the content that matters the most to me. But I understand. For a long time, I refused to use ebook form, but now that I use it, I like it. I'd never given it a chance.

      Audio, it does take a certain tolerance. Some people say it bores them to tears. The narration makes or breaks the book, in my opinion. I enjoy the convenience of mobility.

      I still love my hard-copy books, don't get me wrong. My home will always have a good, old fashioned bookshelf ! Big smile! Hope you have a great day!


    • Emceria profile image

      Joyce Y Davis 2 years ago


      I prefer hard copy as well. It's nothing holding a book in your hand while you read it.

    • EsJam profile image

      Essie 3 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you, you are so kind to write. Like you, I enjoy hard copy as well. Very much, so.

      Thank you for checking out my Hubs. I am looking forward to reading more of yours. Count me in with all your fans!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Very informative and interesting information in how to access digital magazines, music etc Essie. I like free things. Thanks for sharing. I still love my hard copy books, but audio ones especially make it easier to access them while you do other things.