What is Freegal?

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full details - Haldimand County

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

Canadian talents.

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

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

Login button.

Multiple Users

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!

Your Account

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.

My Music

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).

Additional Tips

Logging In

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.

Cancelling Downloads

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!

Downloading Albums

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

artist name.

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.

Incomplete Downloads

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.

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