Friday, December 10, 2010

My Library Just Sent Me a Christmas Present (and if you live in Jackson County, you can get one too!)

And no it wasn't a book.

My library just purchased access to the database Freegal for all its library card holders. Never having heard of Freegal (rhymes with legal), I wasn't very excited until I read what that actually meant to me.

Just by entering my library card number, I can download up to 3 mp3 songs a week for FREE! The database is poorly organized and the search engine leaves a lot to be desired but the collection is a treasure trove of surprises. My first guess was that the music would be odd, old, and unwanted. Wrong. Understand that not everything is there. I didn't find Madonna, Taylor Swift, Audra McDonald or Steely Dan. On the other hand, I did find R. Kelly, Usher, Beyonce, Britney Spears, and a ton of show tunes and soundtracks as well as R&B, pop, country, and classical.

There are alphabetical listings of performers and I stumbled across Hal Holbrook in the classical section. Voila! There was the recording of Mark Twain Tonight! with each section a separate download. If you wanted the entire album, it would take a few weeks but rather than downloading a 3 minute song, you could download a 15 minute story!

You have to really dig deep to find things sometimes. Always check the bottom of the page to see if there are additional pages.

Performers are listed by first name. Dionne Warwick is listed under D (for Dionne) in R&B. There are lots of things listed under THE (examples: The Fifth Dimension, The Isley Brothers, The Canadian Brass)There are only three albums listed to a page, but Earth, Wind and Fire has nine pages.

Did I mention Glee albums? They've got them.

So if you don't have a library card, maybe now is the time to go and get one. Where else can you legally download FREE music?

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