If you like streaming services like NetFlix, YouTube or Spotify, then Mentor Public Library just signed up for a service that should make you very happy.
It's called Hoopla, and it allows patrons to stream more than 300,000 movies, TV episodes, audiobooks and music albums to their smartphones, tablets and computers.
It's also free and lets you borrow media without even setting foot in a library.
All you need is a library card to use it.
Hoopla is fantastic with several smartphones and tablets and is compatible with:
- any iPhone 3G or newer
- iPad 2 or newer
- iPad mini
- iPod Touch 4 or newer
- any Android 4.0 and above.
If you prefer to stream onto your computer, you can visit www.hoopladigital.com and the site offers all the same videos, music and audiobooks as the app. The Hoopla web site is compatible with browsers Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer.
Once the app is downloaded (or you're on the Hoopla web site,) you only need to provide an email address and your library card number. Then you can browse and borrow from Hoopla’s extensive library and watch or listen wherever they are.
If any of that sounded confusing, MPL Librarian Mary Pelton made a video that walks you through the sign-up process.
On Hoopla, you can borrow a video for three days, a music album for seven and an audiobook for 21 days.
Using cloud computing, you can even borrow titles with your home computer, begin watching on a tablet and resume watching with your smartphone – anywhere there’s an Internet connection.
If you are going somewhere without an Internet connection, then you can download a title using the Hoopla app and watch or listen to it later. (For DRM reasons, downloading is only available on the app – not on Internet browsers.)
MPL patrons can borrow up to five items per month using Hoopla.
In addition to Hoopla, Mentor Public Library also offers several other digital services. You can stream independent films from festivals around the globe using IndieFlix, you can download mp3s using Freegal, borrow eBooks and eAudiobooks using OverDrive, take online classes with Learn4Life or borrow digital versions of magazines using Zinio.
And -- once again, it should be noted -- all of these services are free with a Mentor Public Library card.