Full disclosure: My original plan was to make a column “3 best places to find free ebooks, music and movies” where I found three different but excellent sites for you.
Then I discovered that one excellent site in particular stood out as having the best overall mix of all. So I figured that instead of sending you to the far corners of the internet for all your free content needs, I could just refer you to a single convenient destination instead.
You and I are both busy people, so let’s go straight to it, shall we?
This is the page: Hoopla. What is the catch? There are three.
First, you need a library card. That part is not that difficult. Second, your library must be a Hoopla Partner. It also does not seem super difficult. I live in a small town and our library works with Hoopla.
You can check this card to see if your library is on board. Do this before creating an account.
As you can see on the map, there is one lot of libraries on board.
And finally, the third catch – and it’s fair – is that Hoopla acts as a library, meaning you “borrow” content for a certain number of days. Unlike a real library, however, you do not have to worry about returning the things you have borrowed on time. It will expire on its own and will not be available to you unless you re-lend it.
It depends on the publisher, but most movies and TV shows are available for three days. Most music is available for seven days. Most books – including audiobooks, e-books and comics – are available for 21 days.
Now your local library will also decide how many things you can borrow at a time. Mine has a limit of 10.
Your library will also determine if it will allow renewals. If it does, you will receive a message 24 hours before your content is due back, asking if you want to borrow it again.
How is the content?
Is it the same as subscribing to Spotify, Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Peacock and HBO Max at once? No it is not. However, Hoopla is also not just a repository of old public books and underperforming independent films. There is genuine content here.
To get a feel for what is available, check out these pages for popular movies, popular shows, popular music, and popular e-books.
So there is a little something for everyone and plenty to eat. You have it Charm soundtrack, Harry Potter series, Hot in Cleveland with the late, great Betty White, and of course the excellent coming-of-age hit Continued 30. There are lots of duds too, but free is free.
Perhaps the best part, especially if you are keen on watching movies and TV, is that Hoopla has apps for Apple TV, Android TV, Fire TV and Roku. There are also apps for iPhone and Android.