Hoopla Digital – The Free Digital Audiobook and Movie Library
Hoopla Digital is a free library application offering eBooks, movies, TV shows, audiobooks, magazines, and graphic novels and comics to anyone with a library card at a library opting into the program. If you’re interested in using the app, you’ll first have to verify that your library opts into the app, which means that they pay for the service. You can usually find out by either searching your local library website for online resources or simply “Hoopla” or using Google (or a search engine of your choice) to search for your library and Hoopla. Unfortunately, Hoopla library is not as popular as alternatives like OverDrive and RB Digital, but with a larger focus on audiobooks and movies, has a lot to offer for library card holders who still like to read paper but want to take advantage of the world of digital media.
What is Hoopla?
Hoopla is a digital lending app for library media, with about 30-40% of its content dedicated to audiobooks and anther 20%+ dedicated to movies and TV shows. While the app has a lower concentration of eBooks, its large diversity of media makes it a great choice for entire families, especially if you not everyone is interested in books and family members like to watch movies or listen to audiobooks together.
Using the Hoopla Library
Hoopla is very simple to use, you only need a library card from a participating library.
- Get your library card ready
- Create an account online at Hoopladigital.com. Choose your library. Input your library card. Confirm
- Download the Hoopla app onto a compatible tablet such as a Kindle or onto a device such as an Apple TV
- Sign into your account on the app
- Search movies and media and watch online or download at your convenience.
- Titles automatically remove from your device once the checkout period is over
Review of the Hoopla App
Hoopla is just one of numerous solutions available for accessing digital library files. Their app is available for most common devices, including Apple and Google TV.
Interface – Hoopla’s app interface is a little bit clunky and certainly feels like it hasn’t been updated in quite some time. However, it is fairly easy to use and most users will easily navigate the app within a few days of beginning use. If you’re helping an older loved one use the app, consider going through it first to ensure you understand it as it’s not always 100% intuitive. However, you can easily stream HD content to your TV, download and access files offline, and search for content based on your library. With auto-removal of files after your checkout period, you also won’t have to worry about managing files.
Availability – With just 1,500 libraries and less than 500,000 total titles, most of which are audiobooks, Hoopla has a much smaller library and accessibility range than competitors like OverDrive and RB Digital. This is in part because of the added costs of including movies and TV in the subscription, which may tax smaller library resources.
Overall, Hoopla Digital has a lot to offer including free movies and audiobooks. While the availability and library is smaller than most competitors, Hoopla is the only option to really offer movies as part of their library subscription. If you can get it, it’s a great option if you want those movies. If you don’t care, RB Digital, Overdrive, and CloudLibrary are likely better options.