This app offers you free entry to tons of flicks by way of your native library

This app gives you free access to tons of movies via your local library

All of us learn about Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and even completely free streaming choices like Pluto TV. However do you know there’s an app particularly devoted to letting you stream tons of your native library’s video catalog? You is probably not heading the library for motion pictures lately (in case your library is even open), however Kanopy is the right resolution to both the bodily media or COVID-closure dilemma, and also you is likely to be shocked by what you will discover there. Impartial movies, obscure documentaries, and long-lost oddities await you, together with a slew of traditional motion pictures hardly ever accessible on conventional streaming companies.

That is proper, all you’ll want to try Kanopy is a library card or college login particulars for any one in all 4,000 taking part public libraries and campuses. Observe that not all libraries in all places work with Kanopy, so it would range based mostly on what kind of agreements your native establishments have. A lot of the bigger universities and public library networks work with Kanopy, although your mileage might range. If it does not work, take into account giving Hoopla a attempt.

Getting began

Making an account in Kanopy. Even simpler with Google single sign-on.

To make use of Kanopy, you will want to join an account, and it is a easy course of. You’ll be able to even use Fb or Google’s single sign-on to skip coming into a lot of the info that you’re going to have to, and it makes logging in later a breeze. (You will have to confirm your e mail tackle as nicely.)

Logging in along with your library card quantity.

When making your account, the app may have you seek for your library or college inside its system. Observe that not all libraries help Kanopy, so that is the purpose at which the method might fail for a few of our readers. In the event you do not have already got a library card, many libraries are at the moment closed, however some supply short-term, type of probationary memberships with straightforward on-line registration. Your finest wager is to seek for your native library’s web site or name them up (in the event that they’re nonetheless taking calls lately).

Even when you do not have entry to Kanopy via your native library (or should you’re lacking a library card), you possibly can peruse the service’s assortment as a visitor.

Utilizing Kanopy

You should utilize Kanopy from a number of platforms. The location is appropriate with Chrome and plenty of browsers if accessed from a desktop, and there are iOS and Android apps, in addition to help for Android TV, Apple TV, and there is even a Roku channel.


The apps additionally help Chromecast streaming. Briefly, you possibly can watch it just about wherever and nevertheless you need, however there are three large caveats:

  • Watching most content material on Kanopy requires spending “play credit.”
  • Your library has a restrict for the variety of credit you will get every month.
  • You can’t buy further credit (however you possibly can entry credit from a number of library/college memberships on one account).

For instance, my native Minuteman library community imposes a 5-credit restrict every month, some others supply 10-credit limits, your quantity might range. Credit are charged as soon as you have watched not less than 5 seconds of any given content material, so watch out what you watch. As soon as a credit score is spent, you may have three days to look at it as many instances as you need, although — even should you do it on the finish of a month and your credit reset, you continue to have the remaining time for the final cycle.

The Kanopy Android app.

Realizing all that, you are able to get began. Signal into your account out of your most well-liked platform and, nicely, begin watching. The Android app and desktop web site are each easy and simple sufficient to navigate. You’ll be able to view automated and curated classes like “Newly Added Documentaries,” “Kelly Reichardt-esque,” and “The Feminine Gaze,” every increasing horizontally on a giant vertically scrolling checklist. The navigation sidebar menu has choices for navigating by style, and Kanopy has watchlist help, so you possibly can pull collectively the content material you need to take a look at forward of time.

Virtually wherever you’re within the app, your remaining play credit are seen up on the high inside an orange-red field. The Android app additionally has settings for issues like video high quality choices and a toggle to restrict mobile information use should you’re on a restricted plan. Observe that you possibly can’t obtain motion pictures to look at them offline.

A person movie’s particulars.

If you’ve discovered one thing you need to look at, or if you would like to know one thing extra a few given title, tapping it brings up a extra detailed display, opening by default to a synopsis that summarizes the premise with a star score based mostly on consumer critiques. Awards it was nominated for/gained and quotes from skilled reviewers are typically additionally included. A second “Particulars” tab lists info just like the movie’s distributor, director/filmmaker, forged, supported languages, and class.

Streaming controls by way of Chromecast (above), and for on-device playback (under).

If you’re prepared to look at, simply faucet that large play button to start out, and revel in. It won’t supply as a lot in the best way of TV exhibits or Marvel flicks in comparison with Hulu or Disney+, however should you’re itching to take a look at a few of the latest A24 releases, or hoping to compensate for the classics, it is an incredible choice. Plus, you possibly can’t actually beat free.