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What is Freegal?
Freegal® is a free music service from your library. All you need is your library card number and possibly a PIN if your library utilizes them. Freegal offers access to about 9 million songs, including Sony Music’s catalog of legendary artists, and over 15,000 music videos. In total the collection is comprised of music from over 28,000 labels with music that originates in over 100 countries. There is no software to download, and there are no digital rights management (DRM) restrictions. Access to Freegal is limited to patrons of subscribing libraries.
Who is Library Ideas LLC?
Library Ideas is a privately held company based in Virginia, USA that offers services and products to the educational markets. Besides Freegal Music, Library Ideas offers movies, eBooks and an online language learning product.
Where did you get the name Freegal? (Rhymes with “legal”)
It's a word used by Library Ideas, the company who developed Freegal Music . It means “free and legal” music.
How does Freegal Music work?
A download usage counter is located in the upper right corner of freegalmusic.com displaying your weekly allotment. For instance, 1/3 means that you have a weekly limit of 3 downloads, and you have used 1 of those downloads. The download counter resets each week at Monday 12:01 AM (Eastern Time, USA).
The site is set up to browse or search for your favorite music or artist. You will see some of the most popular music on Freegal for your country on the Home page. You can use the navigation bar toward the top of the page to view different pages, such as Most Popular in your library or country, or the New Releases. You can also use this bar to navigate to the Genres page where you can scroll through all of the genres and artists on the Freegal site. Additionally, you can use the search bar at the very top of the page to search for artists, albums, songs, or a combination (such as “bruce springsteen high hopes”).
How much music is on Freegal Music’s website?
It changes daily. But it's safe to say that there are thousands of artists, tens of thousands of albums, and millions of songs. The Freegal Music website has hundreds of genres of music and is rich in many of them. The content is based upon agreements with over 28,000 music labels, including the labels of Sony Music Entertainment.
Are the songs and videos really free?
Freegal Music and the music you download are free in the sense that most things in your library are free to you as a patron of the library. The service is underwritten by your local library.
What can I legally do with downloaded or streamed music from Freegal?
The music you access via the Freegal Music site is for non-commercial purposes only. It comes with a license for personal use only. This means that you cannot duplicate it for others, or play it in public, other than for the intended enjoyment of a normal circle of family or friends.
Why are there limits on the amount of downloads I can make? What does “limit exceeded” mean?
The limit is set so that a maximum number of patrons may have equal access to the songs in the Freegal Music Service. The “limit met” notification appears in place of the download link when you have used all of your downloads for the week.
My device crashed and I lost my music. Can Freegal restore my library?
Because of our licensing agreements, we are completely unable to restore music libraries that have been lost. For this reason, we highly recommend backing up your files. For example, if you have your music library in iTunes on your computer, you could back up to iCloud so your music isn’t only on your computer. If you’re using iOS, you can also back up everything to iCloud. You could also use File Sharing in iTunes to sync the music on your iOS device with iTunes on your computer. For Android devices, you can backup files to a cloud service, such as Dropbox, to your personal computer, or to an external hard drive. Again, once music is downloaded from the Freegal Music site, it is yours to keep and do with what you want. Backing up personal computing devices is always recommended, and if you elect not to do this, Freegal cannot restore your music library.
Freegal Mobile Apps are available!
The Freegal Music Service has launched free mobile apps, and they are currently available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
What are the latest updates to the Freegal Music software?
- A brand-new interface, search engine, and browse abilities. These changes are the by-product of your suggestions and years of research into the best practices in the industry. We feel that this change alone will mark a new level in enjoyment from Freegal users.
- A more than doubling of the content. Freegal Music now consists of over 7 million songs from over 28,000 labels that originate in over 80 countries. This includes the complete catalog of Sony Music Entertainment, in your home country, on the day of release.
- Freegal Music is a public site, that is, any end user will be able to see the great Freegal Music content without logging in, assuming your library has not restricted access with authentication. This will enable the library to promote specific Freegal songs, and send links to the songs via social media.
- Freegal music has over 15,000 music videos. Library cardholders can download a DRM-free MP4 file that is theirs to keep forever. Each video download counts as 2 of your weekly allotment.
- The following additional features are also live with Freegal 4.0:
- The ability to create a wishlist of songs that you want to download in subsequent weeks.
- The ability to backup songs downloaded through the app on their iTunes.
- The users ability to delete songs from their app to save memory on their phones.
Tell me about the music videos.
One of the great new additions to Freegal Music is the rich and growing collection of music videos. These videos often have supplemental content that is not in the underlying song, and some of these videos are historical treasures.
New content will be added weekly. Here are a few things we’d like you to know about the videos:
- There are approximately 15,000 videos for you to choose from.
- As a video is premium content, a video download will count as 2 of your weekly music selections. If you do not have 2 downloads left, you will not be able to download a video.
- The videos are in MP4 format, and are yours to keep.
- The videos are large files and we recommend that you be connected to a wifi network or cable while downloading.
What are the basics of Streaming?
- Streaming AND downloading.
Patrons of subscribing libraries now have a weekly download allotment, and a DAILY streaming allotment. The download counter and the streaming time remaining are at the top of the page once you login.
- How to stream, how to download.
Nothing has changed with the download functionality, except that the sample clips are now gone. Streaming is, after all, a license to sample!
- When you put your cursor over an album, you will see a “stream now” button come up. If you press that button on an album, the whole album will play in order.
- You can use “Freegal Playlists”. This is a list of pre-selected songs in a genre that you are sure to enjoy.
- To create a playlist:
- Click on “My Playlists” under “Streaming” on the left side of the page.
- Click on “Create and Store Playlists”.
- At the top center of the page, click on the “+” symbol next to “Saved Playlists”.
- Name your playlist (ex. “The Boss”) and describe it (ex. “Bruce”).
- In that box, click on “Create New Playlist” and your playlist is ready to add music.
- Click on the “Home” page and start looking for music to add.
- To add an album, move your cursor over an album cover and a =+ will appear. Click on that, and then add to your playlist of choice.
- To add an individual song, click on the image until you see a play arrow and =+ sign. Pressing the =+ will allow you to add the song to your chosen playlist.
- Go Mobile with Freegal Apps!
As always, Freegal Music is also a mobile experience. The newest Freegal Music update for Android and Apple devices is in the app stores for you to be able to stream ad-free music, at no charge to you.
What’s the difference between Streaming and Downloading?
Downloading is capturing and keeping the file on a permanent basis. Streaming is accessing the file on a temporary basis, while being connected to the internet. Streaming gives you access to more music. Your daily streaming limit is posted in the upper-right corner of the home page.
How do I know if my library has the Streaming service?
If your library has contracted the streaming service, you will see a “Streaming 1-2-3” guide when you first login, and you will see a “Streaming” sub-section on the left-hand side of the web interface. On the app, you will notice an ability to create Streaming playlists.
Is there a download manager to install on my computer?
No, Freegal Music utilizes the browser to download music, so there is no need to install anything on your computer. That's one of the benefits of the site.
Is there Digital Rights Management (DRM) on the music files?
No! These files are downloaded as MP3 files which are compatible with any MP3 Player or device. You can transfer the music to any computer, MP3 player or even burn it to a CD. Copyright laws apply for all music downloaded.
What is the song clip?
The song clip is a randomly chosen 30-second sample of a song. If your library does not have the streaming service, the 30 second sample will play when you click the play button to help you decide whether or not you want to download a particular song.
Why does the counter say I've downloaded 3 songs when I'm sure I haven't?
You may have started a download then changed your mind and canceled it. Once you click the "download now" button, it can't be reversed. It will count towards your download limit even if you cancel or choose "play" instead of "download." To avoid this, please use the song samples to ensure you are downloading a song you want in your music library. We cannot credit a download.
How does the recent downloads functionality work?
On the left hand side, under "My Downloads", you will see "Downloads." Here you have the ability to re-download a previously downloaded song up to two more times within 2 weeks from the original download for reinstall purposes, in case your connection timed out. This re-download will not count against your download totals.
In the mobile apps there is no Recent Downloads section. If a download fails, there is a feature built into the app to recognize an incomplete download, and the next time you open the app it will ask if you want to resume the downloads that have not completed.
How do I get the songs into Windows Media Player?
When downloading a file in Windows, you are typically given the option to “Open” or “Save” the file. Select “Save” for the mp3 downloads, then once it’s downloaded you can click “Open”. If the downloaded song does not open directly into Windows Media Player, simply launch Windows Media Player then click and drag the song into the Windows Media Player window or simply Select: File - Import File. To select multiple songs Select: File - Import Folder. Select the file(s) you wish to add then click OK. The song will now appear in your Windows Media Player library.
How do I burn music to a CD?
Each computer system is different. You can use iTunes, Windows Media Player or a third party software like Roxie. Simply follow the instructions found in the software for burning your CD.
How do I search for a song or artist via my computer?
Freegal Music is set up to browse, or to search for your favorite artists or songs. You can use the navigation across the top of the page to browse by genre and news articles, or use our quick search tool on the home page. Searching by keyword at the top of the website allows you to search by artist name, song title, or a combination. The Auto-Complete feature provides multiple options based on your search criteria, and the expanded search page lets you see results in a much more organized manner.
How do I download a song on my computer?
When you've found a song you want, click on the "Download" link next to your chosen song. At the prompt, select Save and choose where you want to save the song. If you're not presented with a prompt, try right clicking the link and choosing the option to save the link (i.e. Save Target As, Save Link As, or Download Linked File, etc.). This will let you choose where to save your song.
Note: Anytime you click on the "Download" link, even if you decide to cancel or play it, the download will count towards your weekly allotment.
Can I download a whole album?
The songs are only available on an individual basis. Over time, you can choose to download all the songs in an album.
I downloaded a video and it took 2 of my downloads when I downloaded only 1 video.
That is the expected functionality. Videos are premium content and cost 2 downloads instead of one.
How do I get the Freegal Mobile Application?
If you have an Apple device (iPhone/iPad/iTouch), you will be able to download the Freegal App by doing a search for “Freegal Music” in the App Store.
If you have an Android phone or tablet, you will be able to search for “Freegal Music” in the Google Play store. As a precaution, while many Android devices successfully run the Freegal Music app, not all Android devices are compatible.
Barnes & Noble tablet devices are not compatible with the Freegal Music app. For information on how to install the app on a Kindle Fire, please see the question “Is there an app for the Kindle Fire?”
What is the functionality of the Freegal App?
The Freegal App is designed to find libraries that have the Freegal Music Service, to store your login information, to search and browse the Freegal Music collection of your library, and to download, store and play your Freegal MP3 files.
Currently, the Freegal Music App cannot export files to Itunes or any other software. Please refer to the FAQ "How do I backup Freegal Music from my iOS mobile device into iTunes?"
As a Freegal Music user, you can download a song again for the purpose of having a copy in your Itunes and in the Freegal Music App. You can do that within 2 weeks of your original download by accessing your library’s Freegal site via a computer, and accessing the “recent downloads” functionality on the navigation bar of the home page (HINT: you may need to log out of the Freegal Application to do this. You log out by going to “settings” within the Freegal App.
Is there an app for the Kindle Fire?
You can download the Freegal Music® app for your Kindle Fire through GetJar or through SlideMe.org
Make sure you have enabled "Download from unknown sources" in the device settings. This is different depending on the model of Kindle Fire.
The easiest way to access the app is to go to the site SlideMe.org and search for “Freegal Music”. You should be able to install from here without too much hassle.
To use GetJar, make sure you have set the browser to optimize for mobile view. To do this on the NEW Kindle Fires, you open the browser, tap the menu button at the bottom, select Settings, and set "Requested website view" to Mobile. Then re-load the GetJar website, and search for “Freegal Music”. When you try to download it, check the status bar to see if there has been a download. If there has, tap it, and install. At this point, you should have the GetJar app installed. Open this, and search again for “Freegal Music”. This should allow you to download the app. Make sure to check the status bar for a download.
*Note: The application will download, but will not install automatically. Once the file downloads, look for a notification indicating there has been a download. Typically this will display in the notification bar at the top of the screen, and you will be able to drag down from the top to view the recent downloads. Tap the download, and this will begin the installation process. Once installed, you will be ready to use the Freegal Music® app.
How do I login to the Freegal Music App?
Right after you select the library of which you are a patron, the login screen will appear. This screen requests your library card number. Some libraries also request a PIN. Once you are validated, you will be in the Freegal App’s main area where you can browse, search and download music. If you have problems logging in, please contact your local library.
How do I find my local library in the Freegal App?
To use Freegal, you need to be a registered cardholder of a library that has contracted the Freegal service. Once you have downloaded the App, the first thing you will see upon opening the App is a search box for libraries. In the United States, you can enter your home zip code, and a list will appear of current subscribing libraries within a 60-mile radius. You can also enter in the name of your library or the city in which your library’s main branch is located. Outside of the United States you can enter the name of the country you are searching (example: Australia), the name of the library you are looking for (example: Edmonton), or the city in which your library’s main branch is located (example: Edmonton).
How do I use Freegal Music on mobile devices?
The Freegal Music web interface is designed to be used on the web. For mobile devices, we have developed a mobile application that is compatible with iOS and Android devices.
Can you take me through the main areas of the Freegal App?
Home Screen. This screen shows certain featured albums, and allows quick browsing of the TOP 10 recent downloads by your fellow library patrons, and the TOP 10 recent downloads of all the Freegal users in your country. The upper right corner has your weekly download allocation, and the number that you have used in the current week. The search icon is in the upper right side as well. The play button is to play a song clip (or stream the song if your library has a streaming subscription), and the downward pointing arrow is to download music. The bottom of the home page has the major functionality buttons described below:
My Music: “My Music” is where all your songs are stored. Once you download a song, this is where it goes.
Playlist: This is where you can create shortcuts to your favorite music. Most people will use this after they have downloaded a lot of songs. This way they can separate their classical music from their workout music, etc. You can create multiple playlists to organize your music. Once you create a playlist, you will have the music both in “My Music” and in the Playlist area.
Browse: In this area, you will be able to quickly browse the most popular Artists, Songs, Genres, and Music Videos by selecting these options from a navigation bar at the top of the screen in the Browse area.
More…: This section contains the Settings page, where you can logout of the application, and the My Music Videos page. The My Music Videos page holds your music video downloads just like your My Music page holds your downloaded songs.
If your library has a streaming subscription you will see a Recent tab instead of My Music, and the My Music page will be grouped in the More… section with My Music Videos and Settings. The Recent page contains a list of all songs that you have streamed that particular day.
As a Freegal Music user, you can download a song again for the purpose of having a copy in your iTunes and in the Freegal Music App. You can do that within 2 weeks of your original download by accessing your library’s Freegal site via a computer, and accessing the “recent downloads” functionality on the navigation bar of the home page.
How do I delete a song off my mobile device?
In the "My Music" section of the app, you will see a list of songs that you have downloaded. If you swipe to the side on one of the songs, an option to delete will appear.
How do I backup Freegal Music from my iOS mobile device into iTunes?
- Plug your iOS device into your computer. Please select "Yes" if you see a pop-up asking if you trust this device.
- Open up iTunes on your computer and you should see your device appear to the right of the "More button" on the left side of your screen.
- On the left of your computer screen you will see the option bar. Select "Apps" and scroll down to the bottom of the page.
- Click to highlightFreegal Music under "File Share". A folder named after your library card number will appear to the right of your screen.
- Click to highlight the folder shown, then click "Save To". A popup will appear to select where to save the file. (It's easiest to select desktop and Click "Save to".)
- On your desktop, or wherever you elected to save it, you should see this folder. Click to open the folder on your computer, select and drag the song files back into your Music Library within iTunes. This will add the song(s) to iTunes where you can sync it to any other device using iTunes.
*Additional Note: PC-users will not see "Save to" when saving the file to their desktop rather they will see "Select Folder". Click this button where your songs and folder will transfer the same.
How do I transfer songs via iTunes?
Freegal music has its own iOS Application that can be downloaded from the App Store. Some users may still wish to download songs to their PC and synch to their mobile device, as they will have the advantage of having a copy of their music their computer's memory.
Apple, the manufacturer of the iPhone and the iPad, has created their devices without the ability to download music directly, unless going through the iTunes store or using an approved application. To get music on the iPhone, iTouch or iPad, we recommend the following procedure:
- Download Freegal files to your computer desktop by doing the following:
- Press “download now”
- Press “save”.
- Direct download to desktop.
- Next, import the file into iTunes. We believe the easiest way to do this is: Open iTunes then drag the file from the desktop to the open application. The next time you sync your device the Freegal file will be both on your “home base” computer and your mobile device.
How do I get music off my Android device onto my computer?
To retrieve music from your Android device, the easiest method is to plug your Android device into your PC or Mac.
On a PC, once you connect your device, driver software should install automatically if not already installed. For troubleshooting on a specific device please check the Android forums, for example http://www.xda-developers.com/) it should be detected automatically. If not, open up Computer to see your device. Choose to browse Internal Storage, then open the folder titled “Freegal Music”. Inside this folder, you will see another folder labeled with your patron card number. This folder contains all of your Freegal Music downloads (songs and videos) that you’ve gotten through the Freegal Music app. Simply drag this folder to your desktop, and once the transfer is complete you can then move the songs and videos wherever you’d like on your computer.
On a Mac, depending on the version of Android, you’ll need some additional software.
For Android 2.3, you can plug the device in and select the option (on the Android device) to mount as a disk. From this point you can find the device through Finder, open the device, then open the folder titled “Freegal Music”. Inside this folder will be your patron barcode folder. You can then drag this folder to your desktop. Once it copies, you can drag it straight into iTunes and iTunes should be able to sort your music.
For Android 4.0 or newer, you can download the Android File Transfer software http://www.android.com/filetransfer/ .
This software, once installed, will open automatically when you plug your Android device into your Mac. Once it opens you will see the file system of your device. Open the Freegal Music folder, and drag your patron barcode folder to your desktop. From there you will be able to move your music around your Mac and into iTunes.