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Free music downloads at L.A. city, county libraries

July 1, 2011 | 10:19 am

Photo: Los Angeles Central Public Library. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times Anyone with a Los Angeles county or city library card now has access to more than what’s on the shelves.

Beginning Friday, the County of Los Angeles Public Library and the Los Angeles Public Library will offer cardholders the ability to download songs from Sony Music’s catalog -- for free.

Through a service called “Freegal” -- a combination of “free” and “legal” -- registered cardholders will be able to download up to three songs each week at no cost. The songs come in MP3 format and can be accessed through both library websites.

Librarians said they were glad to bring the service to their patrons.

“The Los Angeles Public Library is pleased to partner with the Los Angeles County Public Library to enhance our digital services and offer an easy-to-use music download service that delivers great music to a variety of devices,” said City Librarian Martin Gomez.

“The County Library has been waiting a long time for a service like this that delivers great music, compatibility with lots of devices and simplicity of use,” said County Librarian Margaret Donnellan Todd.

Several other public libraries already use Freegal, including the Orange County Library, Princeton Public Library and Nashville Public Library.

Freegal is the brainchild of Library Ideas, a Virginia-based company that offers music, games and language learning tools to public libraries nationwide.


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Photo: Los Angeles Central Public Library. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times