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Library system offers free music downloads

Patrons can get up to three song every week under new program
 Posted: 2:00 AM August 31, 2013

Jackson County Library Services is keeping up with the constant game-changing trends in technology with its launch of the 4.0 update to its Freegal Music Service.

The update, which went live Aug. 15, allows library cardholders to download three songs per week for free because the library is on an unlimited plan, said Eric Molinsky, library associate with patron technological support.

Jackson County Library Services has a 12-month subscription to Freegal Music Service that ends in December, said Kim Wolfe, library services director. She could not immediately provide cost estimates, saying it depends on the number of users.

The update is similar to downloading music on iTunes, where all files are in MP3 format, and users get to keep the songs.

"We're trying to feel our way into the digital world," Molinsky said. "Several counties around Oregon are offering this same service."

Freegal also offers free mobile apps for Android and Apple products, which are available in the Apple App Store and Google Play, Molinsky said.

Patrons can download the music to their computer, and the newest upgrade feature allows users to back up music to iTunes.

"There are tons of genres," Molinsky said. "Whatever is licensed to Sony Music Entertainment, you will find on this site."

Sony's catalog of legendary artists include everyone from Justin Timberlake to Bob Dylan to Duane Eddy.

John Mayer's new album is available for users, Molinsky said.

"The upgrade has also made it possible to pull up an artist's entire album at once instead of just their individual songs," Molinsky said.

Patrons now have access to more than 4 million new songs from 12,000 labels from around the world, a press release said. By the end of summer, the library's digital music collection will top 7 million songs. Molinsky said they've added 5 million tracks to the site as of now.

"This upgrade will be popular because it makes it easier to navigate," he said. "Users can see right at the front what is available. It's more intuitive."

The upgrade will also help the library in marketing its service to the community, a press release said.

"The upgrade helps people know that the library is relevant for what people want," Molinsky said. "It shows we're keeping up with the developments in technology. The upgrade is just an addition to all of the things you can get at the library."

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