Hoopla Review

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.

Pros

  • 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!

Cons

  • 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.


What is Hoopla? + How Hoopla Works

Imagine being able to take your local library with you everywhere that you go.  With Hoopla, you can!  Anywhere that you take your mobile device (i.e. smart phone or tablet computer) or can access a computer, you can log onto your Hoopla account and borrow thousands of different titles to enjoy.  Listen to audiobooks or music albums, watch movies or TV shows, or read e-books and e-comics… the choice is yours!

So what exactly is Hoopla?

Hoopla is a digital media lending service powered by local libraries worldwide.  Users sign up with an email address, password, and library card information, and Hoopla gives them access to their local library's collection of digital titles.  Users can then borrow a limited number of titles per month.

How Hoopla works

It's free… all that you need is a library card!

Signing up for Hoopla costs no money and takes very little time at all.  All that you need to do is find your local library in Hoopla's database (it will help you based on your location), and then provide an email address, a password, and your library card information.  That's it!  You're in!

Choose what you want to borrow, and enjoy it whenever you want on Hoopla!

Hoopla has six different types of content, and they can each be borrowed for different lengths of time.  Movies and TV show episodes can be borrowed for 3 days, music albums can be borrowed for a week, and audiobooks, e-books, and e-comics can be borrowed for 3 weeks.

Everything can be played or read right on Hoopla; you just need some basic web browser add-ons!  Enjoy all of Hoopla's titles free of commercials and advertisements, and when your lending period is up, your titles will automatically be returned.  No need to worry about late fees!

Take Hoopla with you wherever you go!

Hoopla isn't just for enjoying on desktop computers or laptops… you can use it on your mobile devices, too!  Download the free Hoopla application from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store, sign in, and borrow and enjoy titles just like you would if you were using Hoopla on a regular computer.

 

Throughout our Hoopla course, we'll show you how to get signed up for the service, how to find and borrow titles, and how to work the players that will help you enjoy each type of content on Hoopla.  If you have a library card, why not come see what all the hoopla is about?  With Hoopla, you'll have a free library at your fingertips!