Boston Public Library
Streaming Media

Our Collections

Hoopla on an iPadBoston Public Library now offers streaming movies, television episodes, music, and audio books through Hoopla. Popular titles are always available so you can borrow what you like, when you like.

Getting Started With Hoopla Streaming Media

You'll need a few things to use streaming media:

  1. Your library card and 4-digit PIN
  2. One of these supported web browsers or mobile devices:
    • Internet Explorer 8 or higher
    • Firefox version 8 or higher
    • Google Chrome
    • Safari
    • Device with iOS 6 or higher
    • Device with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher
  3. A Hoopla account
  4. An app for your mobile device or add-on for your browser. You'll be prompted to install the browser add-on if when you play your first title on your computer. If you're using a supported mobile device, you can download the Hoopla app from the appropriate app store:

    Android app on Google Play

You can learn all about the service on the Hoopla site help page. We've answered some common and BPL-specific questions below as well.

Frequently Asked Questions - Streaming Media

How many titles may I check out?

You may check out 10 titles in a calendar month. Although you may return titles early, doing so will not allow you to stream more than 10 titles per month. One check out consists of any of these items:

  • A movie
  • A television episode
  • A music album
  • An audio book

How long is the borrowing period?

The borrowing period depends on what you've borrowed.

  • Movies and TV episodes - 3 days
  • A music album - 7 days
  • An audio book - 21 days

Items will check back in automatically at the end of the borrowing period, so you'll never have overdue Hoopla items.

Do I need to be connected to the internet to watch or listen to my checked out titles?

Generally speaking, yes. Most content is streamed live over an internet connection. Be aware of this if you are streaming over a 3G/4G mobile data connection and have a limited data plan.

Some titles may be downloaded for offline viewing. Availability of this feature is based on studio or publisher restrictions. Titles may only be downloaded on iOS or Android devices using the Hoopla app.

Will I have to wait in a hold queue for popular titles?

No. All titles are available all the time so you will not be required to wait until someone else finished a title before you can check it out.

How do I install the browser add-on?

The Widevine installation varies depending on the browser you are using. Here are installation manuals for Internet Explorer 8Internet Explorer 10, Chrome, and Firefox.

Does Hoopla work on the Kindle Fire, XBox 360, PS3, Roku or Chromecast?

At this time, Hoopla does not currently support these devices/platforms. However, Hoopla is working on increasing compatibility with more devices - check back for updates.

Can I watch/listen to Hoopla on library computers?

Not at the moment. First we need to install the browser add-on to hundreds of public computers across the library system. We're working on it, but it's going to take us a little time to finish.

Is this going to cost me money?

No. This is a free service of the Boston Public Library.

Can children use Hoopla?

Yes, children with library cards in good standing may use Hoopla. However, be advised that our Hoopla collection contains material that may not be suitable for all ages. Films and television shows are labeled by MPAA and TV ratings when they have been rated. In accordance with our Access to Materials Policy, children and teens who use Hoopla are not restricted to certain content. Parents are responsible for guiding their children’s use of this and other library resources.

I'm having trouble. Where can I find help?

  • Most questions can be answered by visiting Hoopla help.
  • If you still are having trouble, please email webmaster@bpl.org. We will respond on the next weekday that the library is open.