What is Freegal?
Freegal is an online, downloadable music service containing over 7 million songs and music videos
collected from more than 10,000 recording labels worldwide, including Sony Music Entertainment
and its many subsidiaries. Hundreds of music genres are represented: pop, rock, alternative, heavy
metal, dance, electronica, country, jazz, classical and easy listening. As well, folk music from almost
every country can be discovered and there is no shortage of both legendary and up-and-coming
The song database is updated daily and includes new tracks the moment an album is released.
All you need to use the service is a Haldimand County Public Library membership card. The Library
pays the host site a subscription fee and in turn you get free, legal access to every track. Artists are
properly compensated through participating library fees. In this way, Freegal helps to keep the
music industry strong and vibrant.
All songs are in MP3 format and all music videos are in MP4 format. Once a track is downloaded, it
is yours to keep – you do not have to return it, it does not expire, and you can transfer it to any
compatible device you want, including burning songs to a CD or DVD.
There is no special software to download.
Once you log into the Freegal website site
or open the Freegal app, you can search
and download directly from it.
How To Access Freegal
From a computer: visit the Haldimand County Public Library’s website at www.haldimandlibrary.ca and follow the
link to Freegal, found in the centre of the library’s main page. It is important to follow this link rather than using a
search engine to find Freegal, since the link is customized for Haldimand County users.
From a tablet or smart phone: download the free Freegal app from your device’s app store by doing a search for
“Freegal Music”. For Android devices, check the Google Play store. An app for Microsoft Surface is not yet available.
Logging in from a computer: Select “Login” from the upper-right corner of the Freegal homepage. On the
subsequent screen, enter your library card number (without spaces) in the appropriate field and then click “Login In”.
Logging in from a tablet or smartphone: Launch your
newly downloaded Freegal app. The first time you use it,
library identification is required. The app will
automatically try to determine your library based on
your IP location – this only works, however, in the
United States. Instead, enter “Canada” in the library
search bar and then select “Haldimand County Library”
from the resulting “Choose Your Library” list.
Once the Freegal app recognizes your library, you can
login by entering your library card number (without
spaces) in the appropriate field and then pressing the
More than one library member in your household can
use Freegal on the same device ... simply logout by
selecting the “Settings” button at the bottom of the
home screen and then log in again as a different user.
The more library cards your family has, the more songs
you can get!
Each week, you can download 5 free songs. A counter appears at the top of the Freegal screen, keeping
track of the number of your downloads (e.g. 1/5, 2/5, 3/5). Your song count resets to zero every Monday
morning at 12:01 am. The 5-song limit ensures that a maximum number of library members have equal
access to the song catalogue and that the Freegal service remains affordable to your library.
Your downloads do not expire and are yours to keep; they do not need
to be returned, or “checked-in,” like other library materials.
Your account includes download and wish list summaries. By selecting
“My Downloads”, you can access and sort all of your songs. You can use
the “My Wishlist” menu to tag songs for downloading later – a useful
feature if you’ve reached your 5-song weekly limit.
Freegal Features: on your computer
Freegal’s navigation bar enables you to search directly for your
favorite track, album title or artist or browse by genre or artist:
Select the Browse button to access a genre/artist table:
Tip: Point your mouse directly to the right of the genre, letter, or artist name listings to
display scroll bars for navigating the lists.
From Freegal’s main screen, you can also browse for music videos, view new release, chart-topper
and featured lists, and explore by music genre. You can view lists of the top downloads in Canada
or by fellow Haldimand County users and you can even get a sneak peak at soon-to-be-released
Freegal Features: on your tablet or mobile device
At the bottom of the Freegal app screen,
you’ll find five icons:
Access Top 10 download lists, featured lists,
and search options.
Your downloaded songs are saved and
listed here. Bring up the list to play them
Customize your download list by creating shortcuts to your favourite tracks or categorizing your tunes by genre. All of
your songs will still be listed under the “My Music” icon – the “Playlist” feature is simply a better way to sort them!
You can search directly for song titles or artists – or use Freegal’s Browse feature
to explore music by genre.
Use the settings icon to logout if you wish to switch to another user account.
Otherwise, it is not necessary to logout after each use. Like most apps, Freegal
will remember you the next time you launch it.
Sampling a song
Freegal offers randomly chosen 30-second sound clips for each song so you can decide whether or not you
want to download it. This feature not only lets you build a better personal collection, but it lets you quickly
determine if a new artist or new genre is to your liking. Not familiar with South American music or Cajun
Zydeco? Browse Freegal’s many genres and give them a try!
To sample a song, select the arrow icon beside the song title listing:
Downloading a song
When you’ve found a song you want, click the Download button to the
left of the song title. At the prompt, select “Save” and choose where you
want to save the song. While downloading, a status box will appear at
the bottom of your screen:
Tip: If no prompt appears, 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).
If you are unable to login using your library card number, please call your local branch and we will make
sure it can be authenticated by Freegal. If you have just signed up as a library member, there may be a
short delay in processing your Freegal account. Mention to library staff your interest in using Freegal, and
we will speed things up!
Be sure to follow the link to Freegal from the Haldimand County
Public Library website. This link contains custom coding identifying
you as an HCPL user. If you find links to Freegal elsewhere - for
example, after doing an Internet or Facebook search - those links
will omit this important identification step. Also, do not bookmark
the Freegal music website and attempt to log in from a bookmark
on your browser.
If another member of your household is also a Freegal user, it is
important that he or she logs out of the site before you can log in.
Freegal is compatible with Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer 8 and up. It is best
viewed with the latest browser versions; navigating the Freegal site can be slower when using older
browsers. If the site seems sluggish or is preventing you from logging in, try clearing your browser’s
cache and cookies. (This is usually done under a “Tools” menu). It is also possible that antivirus or
firewall settings on your computer may conflict with Freegal. If you are comfortable with doing so, try
modifying or temporarily turning off those settings. If you encounter difficulties playing song samples,
check that your browser’s Flash Player is version 10 or higher.
Using Freegal songs with iTunes
Freegal Music has its own iOS application which can be downloaded from the Apple iTunes App Store.
Music cannot be downloaded directly to iTunes from Freegal. As an alternative, you can download songs
to your PC using the Freegal website and then import the tracks into iTunes from your PC. Your Freegal
downloads are stored for two weeks in the “Recent Downloads” section. You can transfer these files to your
iTunes account at no cost to your weekly song allotment during this period of time. Once your songs are
in iTunes, the next time you synch up they will transfer to your iPod, iPad, or IPod Touch. Remember that
you have only two weeks to do this and the songs will stay on your device as long as they also remain in
iTunes on your computer.
Once you start a download, it counts towards your weekly
allotment – even if you decide to cancel the download
midstream. Play a sound clip first to make sure it’s the track you
really want and be careful not to click the download icon when
you really mean to play a clip!
You can download an album on a song-by-song basis, with each track counting towards your weekly
allotment. It may take a while to get every track – but it can be done.
Burning Music to a CD
The Freegal site does not have a burning feature; instead, use whatever application is available on your
computer. Each computer is different – you can use iTunes, Windows Media Player or a third party
software, like Roxie.
Using Windows Media Player
If a downloaded song does not open directly into Windows Media
Player, simply launch the Player then click and drag songs into its
window. Or, simply select File Import. To add multiple songs, select
File Import Folder.
Can’t find a song?
Freegal doesn’t include every song since not all record labels
have contracted with the site. But with millions of titles to
choose from, you’re sure to find something you like. And don’t
forget to check the library’s CD collection, with hundreds of
albums not offered through Freegal. For CD availability, search
the library’s catalogue at www.haldimandlibrary.ca
Finding Downloaded Songs
Where songs are automatically saved on your computer can depend on settings you may have
established using other programs. Your tracks may get stored in a “Downloads” or a “Temporary
Internet Files” folder or they may even open automatically in iTunes. Here are some techniques for
finding your downloaded songs:
Use Windows’ Search feature, or Mac’s Spotlight tool and look for files containing the song or
Open Windows Media Player, select the File menu and scan for recently played music. If your
downloads are in this list, click on one of the song titles to play it. While it is playing, click
again on its Now Playing title to view the track’s properties. The properties description will
include the file’s location, revealing where it is stored. If you’d like to move the track, select
“Open File Location” from the properties window, then drag the file from the resulting dialog
box to your desktop or desired folder.
If you use the Firefox browser, check the settings under ToolsOptions. The “General” tab
shows the location that is used for saving downloaded files.
If your computer is set up to automatically open MP3 files in iTunes,
locate the song in iTunes and right-click it’s title. Select the “Get
InfoSummary” tab and the file’s location will appear at the bottom
of the resulting dialog box.
Once in a while, your Internet connection may be interrupted and you might experience an incomplete
or problem download. Freegal allows you a second download attempt without using up one of your
weekly allotments. Songs you’ve had trouble downloading during the current week or previous week can
be downloaded again by selecting the “Recent Downloads” option located at the top of the Freegal
screen. Choose the song in question, then select “Download Now”. You are allowed two download
attempts for each song; after the second download, “Limit Exceeded” will appear beside a song title
Downloading Songs at the Library
Using your laptop, tablet or mobile device along with the library’s wireless connections, you can access
Freegal and download songs at your local library branch. You can log in to your Freegal account just as
you would at home.
You can also use the library’s public access computers to log into Freegal and download songs, provided
you bring a memory stick to which your personal downloads can be saved directly. It is important that
any track you acquire through your Freegal account not be saved on any other public computer drives.
Haldimand County Public Library’s Internet
and Computer Acceptable Use Policy
precludes downloading copyrighted songs
to public computers. Your downloaded
songs are for your personal use. Just like
purchasing a song from a store, there are
legal limitations on how you can use your
songs. You will be asked to agree to a
license agreement the first time you sing
in to Freegal.