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Free Music Downloads at Libraries

The Westchester Library System has subscribed to a new, free music downloading service.

Although the outlaw days of downloading free music from Napster are gone, the question remains: Where can music be downloaded legally without the fees typically involved with iTunes?

Luckily, all libraries within the Westchester Library System will now be able to access the entirety of the Sony music catalog.

Beginning Saturday, Dec. 1, Westchester residents will now be able to access over 3 million songs on 10,000 labels utilizing the Freegal Music Service, said Mamaroneck Public Library Director Susan Riley.

“Residents with a valid library card are able to download up to three songs per week,” said Riley.

The Freegal project is funded by the Westchester Library System and individual county library budgets.

Westchester is not the first county to have jumped on the Freegal bandwagon, whose current subscribers include the New York Public Library as well as libraries located in Connecticut, Oregon, California , Washington and Virginia.  Freegal is operated by the privately-owned, Virginia-based company Library Ideas, LLC.

Unlike e-book downloads, residents utilizing the Freegal site can keep their free music indefinitely.  They must, however, access the site through the library website where he or she is a cardholder, said Riley.

“We have been waiting a long time for a service like this that delivers great music, compatibility with lots of devices and simplicity of use.  We think this will be incredibly popular with our patrons and will help the Library in marketing all its services to the community,” said Riley.

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