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freegal FAQs

 Posted by NicoleH on December 4, 2010
Dec 042010

What is freegal?

freegal is a downloadable music service, like iTunes, available from your library. All you need is your library card number and PIN. With access to the Sony Music Entertainment catalog, it offers hundreds of thousands of songs, over 100 genres of music, and more than 50 record labels, all without having to download special software or have any digital rights management (DRM) issues to deal with.

What’s my library card number?

It’s the fourteen-digit number on your library card.

What’s my PIN?

If you have never set a unique PIN (Personal Identification Number), try the last four digits of your phone number.  If you have forgotten, or would like to reset your PIN, call or stop in at any NOPL library.

How much music is on this site?

New music is added daily but it’s safe to say that there are thousands of artists, tens of thousands of albums, and hundreds of thousands of songs. The freegal site has over 100 genres of music and is rich in many of them. The content is based upon a license with Sony Music Entertainment, owner of 54 different music labels. You can read more about Sony and its artists at

How many songs can I download?

You may download up to three songs per week. On Sunday at 12:00 a.m. your counter will be set back to zero. After that time you can download three more songs over the following week.  You may add to your “wish list” anytime.

How will I know how many downloads I’ve used?

In the upper right corner of the freegal site is your download allotment, and the ticker helps you track it. For instance if it says 1/3, you have 3 downloads for the week and you have used up 1.

How do I download a song?

It’s easy!  When you’ve selected an artist and song you want, click on the ‘Download Now’ link next to your chosen song. At the prompt, select ‘Save’ and choose where you want to save the song.

If you’re not presented with a prompt, 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, etc.). This will let you choose where to save your song. The files are downloaded in an MP3 format, and can then be played, transferred or burned to a CD.

Note: Anytime you click on the “Download Now” link, even if you decide to cancel it, the download will count towards your weekly allotment.

Can I download a whole album?

Songs are available on an individual basis only. You can choose, over time, to download all the songs on an album. However, previewing a song will help you decide if you have favorites and don’t want them all.

What is the song clip?

The song clip is to the left of the song title. The song clip allows you to preview a song, so you can decide whether or not you want to use your allotment of downloads on a new song. To listen to the song clip, click on the arrow to the left of the track.

What are the different ways to search for a song or artist?

The freegal site is set up to browse or to search. You can use the bar across the top to browse by genre or by suggestions. You can use the grid at the bottom right to browse by artist in alphabetical order. You can search by artist, song, album or keyword. Expanded search options are under advanced search.

Some tips:

  • Start by browsing
  • Choose “See All” under Genre to see how the music is organized.
  • The site’s catalog wasn’t arranged by librarians!  Artists are listed alphabetically by first name, and groups with names that begin with “the” (The Flatliners, for example) are found under “T”.)
  • Don’t give up immediately if you don’t find what you’re looking for.  Artists/performers may not be listed where you expect them to be. Use the advanced search if you get few or no results.

Introducing freegal PDF