Now that we've explained a bit about what Hoopla is and how it works, let's answer the question: does Hoopla live up to all of the hoopla about it? Here are what we feel are Hoopla's strong and not-so-strong points.
Free to use — Hoopla doesn't require you to pay any money to sign up for it or use it. All that you need to use it is an email address, a password, and a library card.
Many different types of content — Hoopla has over 500,000 items that you can borrow, spread across many different media formats. You can borrow audiobooks, e-books, music albums, movies, and even e-comics!
Most of the heavy lifting is taken care of — Most of the files for titles that you borrow from Hoopla are taken care of right on the Hoopla website. This means that, besides one or two common web browser additions, you won't need to download or install any special software to enjoy them. As an added bonus, your titles on Hoopla will automatically be returned when your lending period is up, without you having to do anything (though you can return titles early).
Available on mobile devices — You can also download and install the Hoopla app for your mobile device and borrow titles to enjoy on the go!
Borrowing only, like a library — Titles from Hoopla cannot be bought or kept; they can only be borrowed for limited amounts of time. Movies and TV show episodes can be borrowed for 3 days, music albums can be borrowed for a week, and all other types of content can be borrowed for 3 weeks.
Lending limits — You can only borrow a certain number of titles per month from Hoopla; this limit is set by the library that you log into Hoopla through. In addition, the specific titles that you may borrow may be limited by the particular library that you log into Hoopla through.
No downloads — With the exception of the mobile app, you cannot download titles from Hoopla and play them on a client-side application, which would allow you to enjoy them while not connected to the Internet.
The bottom line: 8/10
If you have trouble making it out to your local library, then Hoopla is a neat online alternative. Hoopla's major selling point is the breadth of content types available through it; you can borrow audiobooks, e-books, e-comics, movies, music, and TV shows… over 500,000 titles in all! The other nice thing about Hoopla is that it takes care of the back-end mechanics for you; titles are returned automatically once their lending period is up, and a few small and simple web browser additions are all that you need to enjoy content right on the Hoopla website. You can even take titles on the go with you through the Hoopla mobile app.
Hoopla has a few downsides, though, such as monthly lending limits and fluctuating title availability that are both dependent on what library you log into Hoopla through. And outside of its mobile app, Hoopla also doesn't allow downloading the files of titles to your device so that you can enjoy them offline, something that some of its competitors (such as OverDrive) do allow.
That's our review of what we liked and disliked about Hoopla. But why not see what all the hoopla is about for yourself? It's free to use Hoopla, after all, so you've got nothing to lose! Our next tutorial will show you how to get signed up for Hoopla.