Tag Archives: Freegal

In Praise Of Freegal

freegalmusic Almost every day I work the reference desk one of my patrons approaches me and asks me to help him or her download free music from the web. Often the request comes in a whisper–the patron leans in, eyes twinkling with mischief, perhaps thinking there will be something untoward in the process of acquiring free songs. While a lot of folks know you can find “free” music online at certain notorious and best unmentioned spots, some might need reminding that the CLP system subscribes to Freegal. It’s part of our eCLP package of amazing digital resources any patron can access free with a library card.

With Freegal you get five free songs (MP3s) per week, refreshing each Monday. So every Monday, you can grab five more songs to keep forever. That’s right, they’re yours to keep. Freegal’s selection rarely disappoints me. Every genre gets love. Literally millions of songs fill its many categories. Love Adele? All of the Songs from her latest album 25 are on there. Big 1990s R&B fan? Freegal’s got PM Dawn and A Tribe Called Quest. How about reggae? Maxi Priest can fill the bill. In some cases, if Freegal doesn’t offer songs from a favorite performer or band, they’ll have a collection of tribute albums with popular songs reinterpreted by other artists. Led Zeppelin is a good example of this.

Freegal also features streaming music, and offers a free app that will allow you to bring the service to your mobile device.

While Freegal does not have agreements with every artist or label, it has a lot. Once you dive in, you’ll be building a digital music collection that’s hundreds of hours in length, and as varied as your tastes allow. You get all that content free of charge and totally free of guilt. Freegal is aptly named indeed.

–Scott

Tribe-Called-QuestMaxi-PriestAdele-25

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eCLP: Free and Easy

icon-music

 

If I wrote a blog post about all that was amazing about the FREE “e” services Carnegie Library provides, it would be the longest one ever. I will therefore force myself to concentrate on one aspect — downloadable and streaming music. So Much! Downloadable and Streaming Music! Whatever Your Tastes!

There is so much that it can get a little overwhelming, so I urge you to start now. All you need is a library card, which is free of course. Downloadable offerings are easily accessible using apps or on a PC. No need to come to the library to take out or return stuff. Best of all it is free, free, free, free, free, free, FREE!

Here is a summary of what Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh offers:

Downloadable Music

Hoopla100Downloadable music, by album. Hoopla also has lots of movies, TV shows and audiobooks. I personally use this service a lot! I have the app on my smartphone, and plug it in to my car speakers or listen in my kitchen while I’m cooking. I have yet not to find what I’m searching for, and I have very eclectic tastes. I have educated myself about new artists with this service. Everything is always available, no waiting or putting things on hold.

 

freegalmusicDownload the app, or go through your PC. Three free songs per week. Yours to keep forever. ‘Nuff said.

 

Streaming Music

Streaming music is not downloadable. You need to be connected to the internet. I use these sites to listen to music on my computer with headphones. Go through this site to access these databases.

Alexander Street Press music databases:

American Song — Songs by and about Native Americans, miners, immigrants, slaves, children and many others.

Contemporary World Music

Smithsonian Global Sound — world, folk (including the U. S.) and traditional music

Classical Music Library

Jazz Music Library

Opera in Video — operas, interviews & documentaries

This site also has help pages listed at the bottom, including Using Your Mobile Device with Alexander Street Press.

 

Naxos databases:

Naxos Music Library — classical, jazz and world music.

Naxos Music Library: Jazz — lots and lots of Jazz!

 

DRAM Online:

Digital Recordings of American Music — A scholarly resource of recordings, including liner notes and essays. This streaming site is only available within the Main Library of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

 

All this music for free! Educate yourself. Discover a type of music you’ve never heard before. There’s no risk because there is nothing to buy. Each site has new content all the time. What are you waiting for?

-Joelle

 

P. S. Did I mention that all this content is FREE (with your free library card)?

 

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Streaming Pete

Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger
Found on npr.org; Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Pete Seeger’s influence over my life, starting in early childhood, is so large and lasting that it helped inspire me to become a musician and music librarian. I love sing-alongs! I love the feeling of exhilaration from participating in music with a group. I love the fact that a powerful song can incite social change. I love that Pete Seeger recorded tons of American folk songs for the same reason that the Grimm brothers collected and wrote down fairy tales: for posterity.

I have chosen to honor Mr. Seeger’s memory by listening (and singing) to his recordings streaming on our database Smithsonian Global Sound. In fact, the Carnegie Library has a large array of streaming music databases that you can listen to on your very own computer, or on a wide variety of devices. “Remote Access” allows you to get these services outside of the library building with your library card. CLP also has a service called Freegal, that allows you to download and keep three free MP3 music tracks each week with no software to download and no digital rights management (DRM) restrictions. There’s even an app for it!

This library was made for you and me.

-Joelle

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What I Love

Dear Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh,

Perhaps it is a little early in our relationship to tell you this (you’ll recall that tomorrow marks our four month anniversary together), so forgive me if I’m being presumptuous.

But tomorrow is also Valentine’s Day, so this is the perfect occasion to say those three little words.

I’m in love.

With everything about you.

I love that you allow me to check out up to 50 books at a time.

And that nobody at the circulation desk blinks an eye when my fines creep higher and higher.

And higher.

I love the secret window that allows me to look down upon the dinosaurs.

I love that someone put a warm scarf on Dippy the Dinosaur during this long cold winter.

I love the quiet sense of history I get whenever I walk in the building.

I love that kids don’t have to be quiet.

And that kids all over the globe are discovering the Library online through My StoryMaker.

And that our libraries are the cool places for teens to hang out.

I love the way that Main looks at night.

And that you can come enjoy the Library After Hours.

I love that the First Floor librarians are enablers, telling me to “take as many as I want” when they see me browsing the stacks.

I love the conversations that happen among strangers on our Facebook page.

And among real life Library users when you find yourself browsing in the same stack, interested in the same thing.

Chalkboard I love reading the chalkboards.

I love when I feel guilty about taking a new display book from its stand, I know another excellent one will quickly replace it.

I love that I can renew my books online at 11:59 p.m., avoiding a fine by mere seconds.

I love when a donor tells me that he or she loves the Library.

I love that brilliantly magical moment when a child gets his or her own library card and for a few seconds, traveling back in time and becoming six years old again.

I love getting lost in the stacks (I need to carry a GPS) and discovering a new author.

I love that we have a GLBT section on the First Floor and that it’s not hidden away.

I love that we offer so many diverse programs and events.

I love that we offer Sensory Storytimes for children with special needs.

I love that when we were looking for a family-friendly place to go with my son with autism, we came to (and were welcomed at) the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Main.

I love that every one of our CLP branches is different.

I love the immensely talented staff members I’m privileged to work with and call friends.

I love going to meetings and coming back with five books.

And recommendations of five more to read.

I love the peacefulness of the International Poetry Room.

I love being able to hear a new-to-me song on the radio while driving into work in the morning, and checking it out so I can listen to it on my drive home.

Or downloading it via Freegal.

I love walking up those worn marble steps.

I love that patrons can drink coffee anywhere on the first floor.

And that a Donor Plus Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh card offers a discount at Crazy Mocha.

I love that I could continue this list forever.

And that there is still so much more at the Library to fall in love with.

Love, Melissa F.

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Presents You Can Open Early: Zinio and Freegal

We are as pleased as punch to present two new digital library services that will rock your world!

That’s not hyperbole. Although librarians remain staunch defenders of the printed word (think Nicholson Baker, but cuter), we also love digital tools that extend the library’s reach beyond its walls, and we actively seek out new products and services that will help you experience the library better (just another one of those invisible tasks we’re up to all day).  This month the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh debuted two new eCLP services that expand our magazine and music offerings in fun ways; here’s a peek at what they are and how they work.

Zinio

What it is: A collection of 300 magazine titles that you can read on your desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone (huray for apps!). The collection covers a broad range of topics including cooking, news/current events, fitness, gaming, crafts, and tattoos (yes, really).

Who can use it: Library cardholders in good standing from any Allegheny County library.

How you sign up: First-time Zinio users should visit the eNewsstand page to start the sign-up process and choose which titles they’d like to read.

When you’ll receive your magazines: After you’ve created your library and Zinio accounts, and subscribed to your titles, you’ll receive a new e-mail from Zinio every time there’s a new issue of your magazines (so, monthly for monthlies, weekly for weeklies, etc.).

Where to get help: The Zinio User Guide and video tutorial can both walk you through sign-up and service use, or you can ask a helpful library worker.

Why you won’t see all your favorite publications: Much as with e-books, some magazine publishers are reluctant to sell digital content to libraries. The library’s subscription includes as much available content as we could provide.

Things to Watch Out For: The two-step sign-up process can be confusing if you’re not used to registering for online services, so please take advantage of the help features. Also, Zinio has magazine subscriptions for sale that are not part of the library’s collection, so if you ever see prices or requests for payment information, that means the title is not part of the CLP subscription.

The bottom line: If you don’t mind a little set-up work on the front end, Zinio is a great way to sample new magazines risk-free. I personally love the high quality of the scanned images, and the ability to tweak certain screen features for readability. Most publications even let you print pages, if you’re so inclined. Recommended for people who love to read magazines, but don’t always have time to come hang out in the library.

Fluffy loves reading Audubon Magazine on Zinio. Spotted at VentureBeat

Fluffy loves reading Audubon Magazine on Zinio. Spotted at VentureBeat

Freegal

What it is: A free and legal (see what they did there?) way to get your hands on over 3 million songs, including the entire Sony Music catalog.

Who can use it: Anybody with a card in good standing from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

How you sign up: Visit the eCLP Music page and log in with your library card number and PIN. That’s it!

Where to find music: Freegal’s landing page offers a variety of browsing options, including “Featured Albums,” “Recent Downloads,” “Genres” (from a capella to zydeco!), “A-Z Artist Browsing”, and “The National Top 100.” Looking for something specific? You can do a simple search from the main page, or select Advanced Search for more detailed options.

When you’ll hit your download limit: Freegal allows library users to download a total of 3 songs per week. In an age of instant gratification, that might seem maddening, but remember: your music doesn’t cost you a penny, and there’s no pesky DRM to deal with either (some things are worth waiting for).

Where to get help: There’s an extensive FAQ that covers everything from transferring music to iTunes or Windows Media Player, downloading to your desktop, and using the Freegal app, should you so desire. As ever, your friendly neighborhood library workers will be happy to help.

Why you can’t find your favorite artist: Only certain record labels have agreed to work with Freegal. You can keep current with their latest offerings by checking out the “News” section while you’re logged in.

Things to watch out for: If a song has been covered by a tribute band, you might find that version in Freegal along with the original – double-check to make sure a song is really what you want before you use up a download. Also, advanced searches are far more precise than simple ones, so if you’re really jonesing for a specific tune, hit the advanced search first.

The bottom line: Search quirks and delayed gratification issues aside, Freegal is a terrific way to beef up your music library. The range of available genres is eclectic enough to suit every mood, and I’m pleasantly surprised by how many popular artists and songs I’m finding, too.

Ehrmegerd, The Mountain Goats are on Freegal! Still shot of an animated .gif

Ehrmegerd, The Mountain Goats are on Freegal! Still shot of an animated .gif

We hope you like your library gifts, and that you’ll not only open them early, but use them often! If you’ve tried the services, and have questions or other feedback, please leave a comment.

–Leigh Anne

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