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Rocking out on the cheap in Braintree

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  January 22, 2011 02:36 PM

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Gone are the days of virus-prone music files and expensive iTunes purchases, because Braintree residents can now download free music – legally.

With Thayer Public Library’s new program Freegal (a blend of "free" and "legal"), residents can download three songs a week for free from anywhere with an Internet connection, and all with good conscience.

“It’s stuff you normally would pay for, like iTunes,” said Thayer's teen librarian, Reba Tierney. “You can download the files through the computer, through a flash drive, through a hand-held MP3 with a cord, [or] you can even download it at home at your computer.”

The Sony-run program, with over half a million songs, is available through the library’s website under the Freegal link.

With the royalties paid for by the library, residents are able to download up to 150 songs a year with the program by using their Braintree library card. And unlike books or CDs, which you have to return, the songs are yours to keep.

Teens have yet to discover the brand-new program, yet Tierney has high hopes that it will draw younger library users into the building or onto the website.

“It’s one more thing we can offer teens,” she said. “A lot of them are very computer-oriented, but I think this will be a big draw. We also buy CDs. So hopefully it will be very popular, people will be really into it.”

The program does have its limitations, Tierney said. Users must be Braintree residents and also aren’t allowed to exchange songs once they’ve been downloaded.

However, users can queue music for future downloads, and the program works with all MP3 formats, the website says.

Songs also have sample clips users can listen to before using up one of their three weekly downloads.

Users must have a valid Braintree library card. To register for a library card, bring a photo ID and proof of current address to the main circulation desk at Thayer Public Library on Washington Street.

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