Library district offers patrons free downloads of music

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The Fort Vancouver Regional Library District has unveiled its new, free downloadable online music collection, available to all cardholders.

Cardholders may access the Freegal service to download songs from thousands of artists under Sony Music’s large catalog.

The downloads are permanent for users to keep. Several genres are available — from the latest pop music hits, to rock, Latin rock, R&B and classical and jazz — even to, yes, William Shatner’s spoken lyrics.

Not every favorite band or recording artist is under Sony’s umbrella, however.

Go to Find a Book and click on the Freegal button to begin.

There is a three-songs-per-week limit. The counter for each cardholder (visible in the upper right corner of the screen) resets to zero at 9 p.m. each Sunday.

There are instructions for downloading songs into phones and other portable devices: See the FAQ tab on the Freegal home page on how and where to save the downloads.

Users may click on the small delta/arrow (left side of each song title) to hear a sample, which doesn’t count against the download quota. But, any click of the download button is irreversible and will count against the quota.

Cost of the new service is covered by increased local revenue from the FVRL property tax levy lift measure approved by voters in September 2010.